Based on the initial report, Ethiopian safety investigators recommend Boeing reviews the aircraft flight control system of its new 737 Max 8 model and that avian authorities verify the flight controllability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before resuming operations of this aircraft, according to the transport minister.
Pilots of an airliner that crashed last month in Ethiopia initially followed Boeing's emergency steps by disconnecting a system that can force the nose of the plane down, but they could not regain control.
Aviation regulators around the world grounded Boeing's 737 MAX last month following the Ethiopian Airways crash, which came less than five months after an October Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.
On March 10 Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed into arid farmland near Addis Ababa, killing 149 passengers and eight crew from 33 countries. Similarly, in October past year, a Boeing 737 MAX Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia, claiming the lives of all 181 people on board.
Faulty sensors on the Boeing Max jet led to the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March that spurred an worldwide grounding of the fleet and launched numerous federal investigations by the USA government, the Chicago-based manufacturer said on Thursday.
The preliminary report did not attribute blame for the crash and did not give detailed analysis of the flight.
Boeing announced on Wednesday that it had developed software updates to "prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation".
"I'd like to reiterate our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the accident", said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Kevin McAllister.
They then switched the system back as they tried to find other ways to control the jet before it crashed, the newspaper added.
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- Indonesia has advanced the planned release of its report on the Lion Air crash to between July and August, versus a previous schedule of between August and September.
Investigators are now focusing in on the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that was in place on the downed Boeing 737 Max.
In their statement, Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam defended Ethiopian Airlines pilots and said, "We are very proud of our pilots compliances to follow the emergency procedures and high level of professional performances in such extremely hard situations".
Boeing's anti-stall software is at the center of investigations into last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Investigators are studying whether there are any conditions under which MCAS could reactivate itself automatically, without the pilots reversing the cut-out maneuver.
The newly-published preliminary report from the Ethiopian authorities suggests pilot error was not the cause of the crash.
Boeing is the focus of investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the Transportation Department's inspector general, and congressional committees.
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX planes are parked on the tarmac after being grounded.
This was reportedly due to anti-stall software being re-engaged onboard, which pushed the plane downwards once the pilots turned it off.