Data retrieved from the “black box” aboard the Ethiopian 737 MAX 8 that crashed last week has shown “clear similarities” to the Lion Air crash last October just after takeoff from Jakarta.
The information was released by the Ethiopian transport minister. The Wall Street Journal writes:
“Accident investigators in the probe of the earlier crash, which killed all 189 people aboard the Lion Air flight, have said they are looking the plane’s anti-stall system that repeatedly pushed the 737 MAX’s nose down. They are also looking at plane maintenance. The airline said the plane was well maintained.
“The Lion Air crew battled the airplane for the 11 minutes after takeoff before the plane crashed. The system, based on erroneous sensor inputs, thought the crew was about to stall the plane and repeatedly pushed its nose down, accident investigators said in a preliminary report. The pilots tried to recover but eventually lost control.”
Even though the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is manufactured in the U.S., Ethiopian authorities elected to send the plane’s flight recorder to France for examination. The move was seen as a snub to American investigators. The U.S. was one of the last countries to take the airplane out of service. From Bloomberg:
“Ethiopia will ask European air-safety experts to analyze black boxes from a crashed Boeing Co. jet in a sign U.S. authorities aren’t trusted to determine the cause of the disaster after ruling that the model is safe to fly.”
Boeing’s ties to the U.S. government have been deep and wide for many years. The Washington Post reports:
“Boeing was among the top companies spending money last year trying to influence U.S. government decision-making. The Chicago-based aerospace giant spent $15.1 million lobbying the federal government, employing about 100 lobbyists on its behalf.
“On top of that, Boeing’s political action committee made $2.4 million in donations to political candidates in 2017 to 2018, eighth most in the country among corporations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The recipients included 329 current members of Congress.”
Also, Donald Trump’s acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, is a former Boeing executive.