Boeing has admitted a sensor on its 737 Max jet malfunctioned during two recent flights that crashed, killing everyone on board.
The plane manufacturer issued a statement saying a sensor that pushes the plane’s nose down to prevent stalling had been activated as a result of erroneous data on the doomed Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights.
Yesterday a preliminary report by Ethiopian investigators found the pilots followed all the correct procedures but ultimately could not regain control of the flight, which crashed and killed all 157 passengers on board.
The inquiry found the pilots were not to blame and pointed to sensor issues as a potential cause of the crash. Transport minister Dagmawit Moges urged Boeing to review its aircraft control systems.
Boeing said the malfunction also occurred on the Lion Air flight that crashed near Indonesia in October, killing all 189 people on board.
“With the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation, it's apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information,” said Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg.
The aircraft manufacturer has said it will introduce a software update for the MCAS in a bid to resolve the sensor problems.
“We at Boeing take the responsibility to build and deliver aeroplanes to our airline customers and to the flying public that are safe to fly, and can be safely flown by every single one of the professional and dedicated pilots all around the world,” Muilenburg added.
The 737 Max, which is Boeing’s new flagship plane, has been grounded by aviation authorities around the world.