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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Ethiopian plane crash: to cause it the same problem as the Lion Air?

Pilots untrained to face that kind of malfunction?

The accident of the Boeing B-737 MAX 8 of Ethiopian Airlines (see AVIONEWS), which occurred yesterday morning shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa airport, reopened the case concerning the anti-stall system of the aircraft produced in the United States. As a precautionary measure, the Civil Aviation Authorities of Ethiopia and China have decided to ground all the models of the B-737 MAX 8, also because this incident is similar, in some ways, to the one concerning the same model of aircraft used by the Indonesian Lion Air, which shortly after takeoff crashed into the sea off the coast of Jakarta.

In that case the pilot had asked to return to the departure airport due to a technical problem, but during the turn the nose of the plane was beaten automatically due to the entry of the automatic anti-stall system that had detected an angle of wrong wing attachment. Even the Ethiopian Airlines pilot when he, too, asked the Addis Ababa control tower to return to the airport seems to have difficulty controlling the plane and that it has an inconsistency in the relative speed indicators.

Only the investigations, however, will be able to clarify if indeed to precipitate The Boeing B-737 MAX 8 was a problem related to the sensors of the angle of attack of the wing, which may have entered the automatic anti-stall system due to an erroneous measurement. It could be a huge blow for the US aerospace company, as it would be for the Ethiopian air carrier because after the Lion Air aircraft incident the pilots should have been trained to remedy this type of malfunction. The "luck" is that in this case it will be easier to find the two black boxes, thus allowing to start processing and analyzing the collected data as soon as possible, in order to quickly reach the possible resolution of a possible problem. Investigations will also be attended by a team of technicians from Boeing as well as the National Transport Safety Agency (NTSB), which will support Ethiopian investigators.

M/A - 1219646

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