Ethiopian Airlines Crash and B737 MAX Update

It is now reported that the pilot of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 had “flight control problems” shortly before the crash this week, according to the company’s CEO.

The ATC tapes detailed the final transmissions of the flight, CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told CNN. “He was having difficulties with the flight control of the airplane, so he asked to return back to base,” GebreMariam said in an interview Tuesday. He said the pilot was approved to return to the airport. Just afterwards, ATC lost radar contact.

Canada has become the latest country to join the ban and will no longer allow Boeing 737 Max 8 or 9 (the slightly larger variant) aircraft to take off and land or fly over Canadian airspace.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports  “A software fix to the MCAS flight-control feature by the FAA and Boeing had been expected in early January, but discussions between regulators and the plane maker dragged on, partly over differences of opinion about technical and engineering issues, according to people familiar with the details. Officials from various parts of Boeing and the FAA had differing views about how extensive the fix should be. U.S. officials have said the federal government’s recent shutdown also halted work on the fix for five weeks.” See the WSJ report here.