Barely a month after Ethiopian plane crashed killing all 155 persons aboard, a new report has revealed that the captain of the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed was untrained.
He allegedly did not practice on a new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before the crash.
The captain whose name is given as Yared Getachew, 29, was meant to undergo a refresher training at the end of March.
His colleague who spoke with Reuters said he was meant to undergo the training two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received one of the first such simulators being distributed.
”The MAX, which came into service two years ago, has a new automated system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System). It is meant to prevent loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall sending the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.”
“Boeing did not send manuals on MCAS,” the Ethiopian Airlines pilot told Reuters in a hotel lobby, declining to give his name as staff have been told not to speak in public.
“Actually we know more about the MCAS system from the media than from Boeing.”
Ethiopian Airlines speaking on Thursday said its pilots had completed training recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on differences between the previous 737 NG aircraft and the 737 MAX version.
They were also briefed on an emergency directive after the Indonesia crash, which was incorporated into manuals and procedures, it said in a tweet. The 737 MAX simulator was not designed to replicate the MCAS system problems, it added.
“We urge all concerned to refrain from making such uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation,” it said.
“I think that the differences between the 737 NG and the MAX were underplayed by Boeing,” said John Cox, an aviation safety consultant, former U.S. Airways pilot and former air safety chairman of the U.S. Airline Pilots Association.
“Consequently the simulator manufacturers were not pushing it either. The operators didn’t realize the magnitude of the differences,” he told Reuters in a communication over the Ethiopian pilot’s remarks.
“It is still very disturbing to us that Boeing did not disclose MCAS to the operators and pilots,” the association told members in a memo seen by Reuters.
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