Mar 10, 2020 - World

Ethiopian investigators find design flaws contributed to Boeing crash

Debris at the crash site of the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight near Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in March 2019. Photo: Michael Tewelde/AFP via Getty Images

Investigators in Ethiopia have found that Boeing 737 Max jet design flaws contributed to the Ethiopian Airlines crash in the country last year, according to an interim report released Monday.

Why it matters: The report was released as families prepared to mark the first anniversary of the crash, which killed all 157 people on board. This second fatal crash involving a Boeing 737 Max jet within six months prompted scores of countries, including the U.S., to ground the planes.

Key findings: Investigators' final conclusions into the March 10, 2019, crash are expected later this year. But they reported issues including that the pilot training "provided by the manufacturer was found to be inadequate."

  • Malfunctions related to the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) were a key factor, according to the report.

What they're saying: "Boeing continues to provide technical assistance in support of the investigation, at the request of and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the accredited representative for the United States," the company said in a statement, per the Washington Post.

  • "We look forward to reviewing the full details and formal recommendations that will be included in the final report from the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau."

Of note: On Friday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee published a report into the Boeing 737 MAX model as a result of the crashes, which Axios' Dion Rabouin notes outlined a "laundry list of Boeing's reckless and unforced errors that led to the two plane crashes."

Read the investigators' report:

Go deeper: Boeing's continued woes will add to coronavirus damage

Go deeper

Boeing's continued woes will add to coronavirus damage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Somewhat forgotten in the evaluation of the current state of the U.S. economy is the ongoing debacle at Boeing, a flagship American company whose production shutdown led to the New York Fed estimating it would shave 20% off of 2020's GDP growth — and this was before the coronavirus outbreak. Things could be getting worse for Boeing.

Driving the news: A report is due this week from airline safety investigators to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that was the second in six months for Boeing's 737 MAX jets.

New Boeing CEO criticizes predecessor, looks to future

David Calhoun. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Boeing's new CEO David Calhoun criticized his predecessor Dennis Muilenburg for failing to get the company back on track following two deadly 737 Max crashes, during an interview with The New York Times.

"I'll never be able to judge what motivated Dennis, whether it was a stock price that was going to continue to go up and up, or whether it was just beating the other guy to the next rate increase. If anybody ran over the rainbow for the pot of gold on stock, it would have been him."
— Boeing CEO David Calhoun

Nikki Haley resigns from Boeing's board in response to bailout request

Nikki Haley on "Fox & Friends" in November 2019. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley resigned from Boeing's board of directors on Thursday in protest of the company asking for federal aid amid fears of mass revenue loss due to the novel coronavirus.

What's happening: Boeing asked for a $60 billion bailout from the federal government on Tuesday.