Ethiopian Airlines Slams Bloomberg’s Ex-Pilot Story as ‘Baseless & False Allegation’

(Photo: Ethiopian Airlines Bombardier Aircraft/by Mulat Abera)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: May 31st, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian Airlines has dismissed a recent Bloomberg news story titled Long Before Boeing 737 Max Crash, Ethiopian Air Pilot Warned of Dangers as “baseless and factually incorrect.”

The article refers to an ex-Ethiopian Airlines pilot by the name of Bernd Kai von Hoesslin who claims that he had communicated with his former superiors at the company about the need for more Boeing 737 Max training back in December 2018, prior to the March 10 crash of flight 302 that killed all 157 passengers and crew on board.

The claim by von Hoesslin, who is not Ethiopian, mirrors comments made recently by Boeing’s CEO as well as the acting head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and some American politicians blaming the pilots for the Ethiopian crash despite the fact that investigators had preliminarily ruled that a defective software flight data sensor known as MCAS was to blame for the accident and that the pilots performed all the procedures recommended by Boeing but could not control the plane.

Boeing has admitted in a press release earlier this month that it was aware of 737 Max safety problems two years before the deadly Ethiopia and Indonesia crashes, but had deemed the now globally grounded airplane as safe after an internal examination.

“The pilot who has been referred to as a source of these false allegations is a disgruntled former employee of the airline who has left the airline after many administrative problems, failures to comply with the company procedures and repeated demonstration of clear disobedience during his short employment period,” Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement responding to Bloomberg. “As a result of the cumulative problems he created and his inability to perform his duties as per the airline procedures and policies his contract of employment was terminated.” The statement added: “Ethiopian Airlines strictly complies with all global safety standards and regulatory requirements.”

Meanwhile, in his first media appearance since the Ethiopia crash nearly three months ago Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued an apology to the victims’ families. “I do personally apologize to the families,” Muilenburg told CBS News in a broadcast aired this week on Wednesday, May 29th. “We feel terrible about these accidents. We apologize for what happened. We are sorry for the loss of lives in both accidents, and that will never change. That will always be with us. I can tell you it affects me directly as a leader of this company, it’s very difficult.” He added: “We know there was inaccurate sensor data that came into the airplane and there appeared to be a maintenance issue with that sensor. The implementation of that software, we did not do it correctly. Our engineers discovered that. We are fixing it now, and our communication on that was not what it should have been. We clearly fell short and the implementation of this angle-of-attack disagree alert was a mistake. We did not implement it properly.”

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has emphasized that Ethiopian, which has been a customer of Boeing for more than seven decades, has no plans to fly the Boeing 737 Max again anytime soon, but has not yet made a decision to cancel its pending orders with the U.S. plane maker.


Related:
Read Excerpt From Ethiopia Crash Report
Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot

Watch: Ethiopian CEO on The Future of Boeing 737 Max Planes — NBC Exclusive

Watch: Ethiopia Releases 737 Max Preliminary Crash Report

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