[UPDATE 19] No Survivors as Ethiopian Airlines Flight Enroute to Nairobi Crashes

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]

 class=Online flight tracking of flight ET-302 | Flightradar24.com

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.”

 class=Ethiopian Airlines ET-302 Crash Site | Ethiopian Airlines

“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 Mohammod 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 and GE.

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]

Ethiopian Airlines announced it has grounded its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 as a precaution until the causes of yesterday’s accident are known.

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 airraft that crashed near the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa minutes after take-off on Sunday morning, Ethiopian Airlines announced that the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of flight ET-302 have been Recovered.

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 and certification of the software enhancement, and it will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks. The update also incorporates feedback received from our customers.  

“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 civile (BEA), the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority, said today that its team of experts has successfully downloaded the data from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa last week.

 class=Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302 Cockpit Voice Recorder | BEA

“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 civile (BEA), the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority, has completed the works to obtain the data from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302.

“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 and CEO Dennis Muilenburg recorded a video message from Boeing Headquarters in Chicago on March 18, 2019, to address airlines, passengers and the aviation community.

[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 and NTSB.

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.  

[UPDATE 16 | March 24, 2019]

Local residents of Gimbichu Woreda (district), where Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 accident happened, held a traditional memorial service on March 21, 2019 to honor those who lost their lives in the accident.  

The memorial service, led by local religious fathers and community elders, marks the deep compassion and heartfelt condolences of Ethiopians, sharing the grief of all humans.

 class=Ethiopian Airlines

Regarding the service, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer, remarked:

“I am deeply touched by the commemoration the local residents observed in their own initiative. It is such a compassionate gesture which highlights the unique deep-rooted love and affection of Ethiopians, and consoles all hearts grieving for the lives lost in the accident. I would like to thank all the local residents for their extraordinary compassion and solidarity with the families and loved ones of the deceased and the entire world.”  

[UPDATE 17 | March 25, 2019]

Ethiopian Airlines issued the following statement from its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam:

“It has been more than two weeks since the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. The heartbreak for the families of the passengers and crew who perished will be lasting. This has forever changed their lives, and we at Ethiopian Airlines will feel the pain forever. I pray that we all continue to find strength in the weeks and months ahead.

“The people of Ethiopia feel this very deeply, too. As a state-owned airline and the flagship carrier for our nation, we carry the torch for the Ethiopian brand around the world. In a nation that sometimes is saddled with negative stereotypes, accidents like this affect our sense of pride.

“Yet this tragedy won’t define us. We pledge to work with Boeing and our colleagues in all the airlines to make air travel even safer.

“As the largest aviation group on the continent of Africa, we represent The New Spirit of Africa and will continue to move forward. We are rated as a 4-star global airline with a high safety record and member of Star Alliance. That will not change.

“The investigation of the accident is well underway, and we will learn the truth. At this time, I do not want to speculate as to the cause. Many questions on the B-737 MAX airplane remain without answers, and I pledge full and transparent cooperation to discover what went wrong.

“As it is well known in our global aviation industry, the differences training between the B-737 NG and the B-737 MAX recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration called for computer-based training, but we went beyond that. After the Lion Air accident in October, our pilots who fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 were fully trained on the service bulletin issued by Boeing and the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the USA FAA. Among the seven Full Flight Simulators that we own and operate, two of them are for B-737 NG and the B-737 MAX. We are the only airline in Africa among the very few in the world with the B-737 MAX full flight Simulator. Contrary to some media reports, our pilots who fly the new model were trained on all appropriate simulators.

“The crews were well trained on this aircraft.

“Immediately after the crash and owing to the similarity with the Lion Air Accident, we grounded our fleet of Max 8s. Within days, the plane had been grounded around the world. I fully support this. Until we have answers, putting one more life at risk is too much.

“Let me be clear: Ethiopian Airlines believes in Boeing. They have been a partner of ours for many years. More than two-thirds of our fleet is Boeing. We werethefirst African airline to fly the 767, 757, 777-200LR, and we were the second nation in the world (after Japan) to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner. Less than a month ago, we took delivery of yet another new two 737 cargo planes (a different version from the one that crashed). The plane that crashed was less than five months old.

“Despite the tragedy, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines will continue to be linked well into the future.

“We also are proud of our association with U.S. aviation. The general public does not know that Ethiopian Airlines was founded in 1945 with help from Trans World Airlines (TWA). In the early years, our pilots, flight crews, mechanics and managers were actually employees of TWA.

“In the 1960s, after the handoff, TWA continued in an advisory capacity, and we’ve continued to use American jets, American jet engines and American technology. Our mechanics are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified.

“Our first direct passenger service to the U.S. began in June 1998, and today we fly directly to Africa from Washington, Newark, Chicago and Los Angeles. This summer, we will begin flying from Houston. Our cargo flights connect in Miami, Los Angeles and New York.

“U.S. travel to Africa has increased more than 10 percent in the last year, second only to travel to Europe in term of the percentage increase — traveling to Africa has increased more than traveling to Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, South America, Central America or the Caribbean. The future is bright, and Ethiopian Airlines will be here to meet the demand.

“In less than a decade, Ethiopian Airlines has tripled the size of its fleet, we now have 113 Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier aircraft flying to 119 international destinations in five continents. We have one of the youngest fleets in the industry; our average fleet age is five years while industry average is 12 years. Moreover, we have tripled the passenger volume, now flying more than 11 million passengers annually.

“Each year, our Aviation Academy trains more than 2,000 pilots, flight attendants, maintenance workers and other employees for Ethiopian Airlines and several other African airlines. We are the company others turn to for aviation expertise. In the last 5 years, we have invested more than half a Billion dollars in training and other infrastructure in our Addis Ababa base.

“We will work with investigators in Ethiopia, in the U.S. and elsewhere to figure out what went wrong with flight 302.

“We resolve to work with Boeing and others to use this tragedy to make the skies safer for the world.”

[UPDATE 18 | March 28, 2019]

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO issued the following statement in response to Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Ato Tewolde GebreMariam and the aviation industry:

“As the lead engineer on a project earlier in my career, I watched my pilot friend climb into the cockpit of a prototype aircraft and fly it for the first time. He landed safely, and I exhaled with admiration and relief—a vivid memory I carry with me every day. Knowing someone’s life depends on your work is an unforgettable feeling, and it’s one shared among all of us at Boeing. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety, excellence and integrity in our work because the stakes could not be higher.

“Since the moment we learned of the recent 737 MAX accidents, we’ve thought about the lives lost and the impact it has on people around the globe and throughout the aerospace community. All those involved have had to deal with unimaginable pain. We’re humbled by their resilience and inspired by their courage.

“In the weeks since the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, the airline’s crews have demonstrated this by continuing to serve the flying public with distinction and professionalism. As the airline’s Group CEO Ato Tewolde GebreMariam said in his heartfelt statement yesterday, this tragedy does not define Ethiopian—and it won’t define the aviation industry or our enduring relationship with their team. For those of us who have worked with them over the years, this comes as no surprise.

“Ethiopian Airlines has a proud history that stretches more than seven decades. In that time, Ethiopian has been a pioneer and a leader in our industry, launching Africa into the jet age, connecting the continent with all corners of the globe with its extensive network, and earning a reputation for service and safety. More than just an airline, Ethiopian represents the pride and progress of a great people and a symbol of The New Spirit of Africa.

“We are all humbled and learning from this experience. We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder in partnership with the Ethiopian team to grieve and extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and communities of the passengers and crew.

“With a shared value of safety, be assured that we are bringing all of the resources of The Boeing Company to bear, working together tirelessly to understand what happened and do everything possible to ensure it doesn’t happen again. All of us thank Ethiopian Airlines for their commitment and share their resolve to doing everything possible to build an even safer air travel system.

“Boeing stands together with all our customers and partners to earn and strengthen the flying public’s trust and confidence in us every day.”

[UPDATE 19 | April 05, 2019]

The Ethiopian accident investigation bureau has released a preliminary report on Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-302 accident:

Preliminary Report Boeing 737 MAX 8 ET-AVJ Categories Safety

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