Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed that its flight ET 302 operating from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre
The aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, registered as ET- AVJ, took off at 08:38 am from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44 am.
At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities.
“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” the airline said in a statement.
It is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight but we the airline is currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight.
[UPDATE 1 | March 10, 2019]
The Ethiopian Prime Minister posted on Twitter offering condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones in the crash.
According to the Aviation Safety Network records for Ethiopian Airlines, the airline has had 60 accidents and incidents since 1965, plus six more for Ethiopian Air Lines, the airline’s former name.
One hijacking is the carrier’s deadliest accident when the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean due to fuel starvation in 1996.
The second-deadliest accident occurred in 2010 when an aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after it departed Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board.
Despite this, Ethiopian Airlines has a good safety reputation, in contrast to other African airlines.
On October 29, 2018, a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated as Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff killing 189. The Indonesian airline Lion Air canceled a $22 billion order for the Boeing 737 MAX 8.
[UPDATE 2 | March 10, 2019]
Ethiopian Airlines issued a second statement regarding today’s accident:
“Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO deeply regrets the fatal accident involved on ET 302 on a scheduled flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.
“The group CEO who is at the accident scene right now regrets to confirm that there are no survivors.”
“He expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident.”
[UPDATE 3 | March 10, 2019]
Thirty-three nationalities were onboard flight ET 302, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer told journalists.
Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam said passengers and crew onboard the ill-fated aircraft included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Chinese citizens, eight Americans, seven British citizens, seven French citizens, six Egyptians, five Dutch citizens, four Indians, four people from Slovakia, three Austrians, three Swedes, three Russians, two Moroccans, two Spaniards, two Poles and two Israelis.
Belgium, Indonesia, Somalia, Norway, Serbia, Togo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen each had one citizen onboard.
[UPDATE 4 | March 10, 2019]
Pilots of flight ET-302 identified as Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmed Nur
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending a team of four to support the Ethiopian Accident Investigations Bureau’s investigation of Sunday’s crash. The NTSB team has expertise in systems/structures, powerplants and operations and will be assisted by technical advisers from FAA, Boeing
Mr. David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, confirmed that United Nations World Food Programme staff were among those aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight.
“We will do all that is humanly possible to help the families at this painful time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” Mr. Beasley tweeted earlier today.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing issued the following statement:
“Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.”
[UPDATE 5 | March 11, 2019]
Chinese aviation authorities have also ordered the country’s airlines to ground their Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft while the investigation continues.
Cayman Airways has suspended the operations of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the wake of the crash that killed all 157 people onboard.
[UPDATE 6 | March 11, 2019]
After a tedious search by the rescue and investigation team for the black box of the Boeing 737 MAX 8
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet remains grounded while the cause of the accident is still unclear.
“Ethiopian has continued monitoring the situation closely with all stakeholders and is providing all the necessary support to the families of the deceased in its temporarily established family assistance centers in Addis Ababa and Nairobi Airports,” the airline said in its latest statement.
[UPDATE 7 | March 11, 2019]
Indonesia has become the second country after China to temporarily ground the Boeing 737 MAX. Currently, there are eleven Boeing 737 MAX aircraft flying in Indonesia, including one belonging to Garuda Indonesia, and ten belonging to Lion Air.
[UPDATE 8 | March 11, 2019]
Boeing issued the following statement on the Boeing 737 MAX Software Enhancement
“The Boeing Company is deeply saddened by the loss of Lion Air Flight 610, which has weighed heavily on the entire Boeing team, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of those onboard.
“Safety is a core value for everyone at Boeing and the safety of our airplanes, our customers’ passengers and their crews is always our top priority. The 737 MAX is a safe airplane that was designed, built and supported by our skilled employees who approach their work with the utmost integrity.
“For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer. This includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The enhanced flight control law incorporates angle of attack (AOA) inputs, limits stabilizer trim commands in response to an erroneous angle of attack reading, and provides a limit to the stabilizer command in order to retain elevator authority.
“Boeing has been working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on development, planning
“The FAA says it anticipates mandating this software enhancement with an Airworthiness Directive (AD) no later than April. We have worked with the FAA in the development of this software enhancement.
“It is important to note that the FAA is not mandating any further action at this time, and the required actions in AD2018-23.5 continue to be appropriate.
“A pitch augmentation control law (MCAS) was implemented on the 737 MAX to improve aircraft handling characteristics and decrease pitch-up tendency at elevated angles of attack. It was put through flight testing as part of the certification process prior to the airplane entering service. MCAS does not control the airplane in normal flight; it improves the behavior of the airplane in a non-normal part of the operating envelope.
“Boeing’s 737 MAX Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM) already outlines an existing procedure to safely handle the unlikely event of erroneous data coming from an angle of attack (AOA) sensor. The pilot will always be able to override the flight control law using electric trim or manual trim. In addition, it can be controlled through the use of the existing runaway stabilizer procedure as reinforced in the Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB) issued on Nov. 6, 2018.
“Additionally, we would like to express our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. A Boeing technical team is at the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. It is still early in the investigation, as we seek to understand the cause of the accident.”
[UPDATE 9 | March 12, 2019]
Aeromexico has decided to temporarily suspend the operation of its six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft until more thorough information on the investigation of the flight ET302 accident can be provided.
[UPDATE 10 | March 14, 2019]
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is dispatching three investigators to France Thursday to assist with the downloading and analysis of flight recorders from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed Sunday near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The NTSB investigators have expertise in recorders, flight crew operations and human factors. The French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) will be downloading the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder in support of the Ethiopian investigation.
The investigation is being led by the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigations Bureau in accordance with the standards defined in International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 13. The NTSB appointed an accredited representative to the investigation under the ICAO standards because the airplane was manufactured in the United States. All investigative data regarding the investigation will be released by Ethiopian authorities.
The NTSB investigators dispatched to France will work in coordination with investigators on the ground in Addis Ababa. Those investigators were sent immediately after the accident and have been integral to the efforts underway in Ethiopia. They are being assisted by technical advisers from the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and GE/Safran, the manufacturer of the engines.
[UPDATE 11 | March 16, 2019]
The Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation
“Data from the CVR has been successfully downloaded by BEA and transferred to the Ethiopian investigation team. BEA did not listen to the audio files”, the safety body said in a statement.
The works to retrieve the information from the flight data recorder will continue tomorrow.
[UPDATE 12 | March 17, 2019]
The Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation
“Data from the FDR has been successfully downloaded and transferred to the Ethiopian investigation team”, the safety agency said in a statement.
The Ethiopian Transport Minister said this afternoon that there are “clear similarities” between the accidents of Lion Air flight JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302.
[UPDATE 13 | March 17, 2019]
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued the following statement regarding the report from Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges today.
“First and foremost, our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
“Boeing continues to support the investigation and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available. Safety is our highest priority as we design, build and support our airplanes.
“As part of our standard practice following an accident, we examine our aircraft design and operation, and when appropriate, institute product updates to further improve safety. While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalizing its development of a previously-announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.
“We also continue to provide technical assistance at the request of and under the direction of the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Accredited Representative working with Ethiopian investigators.”
[UPDATE 14 | March 18, 2019]
Boeing Chairman, President
[UPDATE 15 | March 19, 2019]
The Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA), the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Bureau, said that the correct data extraction from both the FDR and CVR has been verified by the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau, BEA
During the verification process of the FDR data, clear similarities were noted by the investigation team between Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, which will be the subject of further study during the investigation.
The Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau intends to release a preliminary report within 30 days.
The U.S. Department of Transportation today confirmed Secretary Elaine L. Chao has asked that, as part of an ongoing review of factors related to aviation certification, the Inspector General conduct a formal audit of the certification process for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.