Updated Apr 4, 2019

Preliminary findings issued on Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash

Wreckage from the March crash in Ethiopia. File photo: Michael Tewelde/AFP/Getty Images

Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges recommended on Thursday that Boeing review its aircraft control system after preliminary findings showed Ethiopian Airlines crew followed procedure as the 737 Max jet nose-dived several times before it crashed.

The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft.
— Ethiopia's Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges

Details: Moges said since "repetitive uncommanded nose-down'' conditions had been noticed it's "recommended that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer."

  • Ethiopian Airlines issued a statement on Twitter following the release of the findings, stating the preliminary report "clearly showed" its pilots on Flight 302 followed Boeing's recommendations.

Driving the news: Boeing responded to the release of the preliminary investigation report of Ethiopian Flight 302 later on Thursday, stating the company will take "any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft."

  • In a statement on the initial findings of the report, the Federal Aviation Administration said: "The ECAA investigation remains ongoing, with the participation of the FAA and the NTSB. We continue to work toward a full understanding of all aspects of this accident. As we learn more about the accident and findings become available, we will take appropriate action."

Why it matters: A total of 157 people were killed in the March 10 crash shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa. It was the second fatal crash involving a Boeing 737 Max jet within 6 months — prompting scores of countries, including the U.S., to suspend Boeing 737 Max flights.

The big picture: Boeing is facing investigations from the Transportation Department's Inspector General, Justice Department and other entities examining how the 737 MAX was certified as safe to fly in 2017 and judged to be safe enough to continue to fly after the October crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8.

  • The Senate Commerce Committee is investigating multiple whistleblower complaints accusing the FAA of improperly training its aviation safety inspectors, including some who reviewed Boeing's 737 MAX 8 jets.
  • Canadian and European authorities are conducting their own investigations.
  • Boeing has been working on new fixes to the MCAS software for its 737 MAX series jet.

"As previously announced, the update adds additional layers of protection and will prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation. Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane," the Boeing statement indicated.

Go deeper: Everything else you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 857,957 — Total deaths: 42,139 — Total recoveries: 178,091.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 188,547 — Total deaths: 3,899 — Total recoveries: 7,068.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health