Ethiopia Crash Victims' DNA Samples to Be Sent for London Tests

By Nizar Manek, April 9 2019
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia will send DNA samples taken from the victims of last month’s Boeing Co. 737 Max jet crash for identification tests in London.
The remains of the 157 people who died are currently in a hospital in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopia capital, Musie Yehyies, the spokesman for the transport ministry, said in an interview. Human tissue has been gathered by a team led by Interpol and the U.K.’s Blake Emergency Services, the official said, without saying exactly where the tests will be carried out.
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Djibouti Needed Help, China Had Money, and Now the U.S. and France Are Worried

By Nizar Manek, April 6 2019
The African nation is tiny, poor, strategically located—and deeply in debt to Beijing.
(Bloomberg Markets magazine) --
Inside the carriages on the 10-hour rail journey through land-locked Ethiopia into the tiny Red Sea state of Djibouti, the chirping of mobile phones mingles with a mashup of regional languages and the murmur of the devout at prayer. A woman in a yellow frock trundles past maroon-upholstered seats with her cart: “Coffee! Bunna! Tea! Chai!”
At first glance, there’s nothing conspicuously Chinese about the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, but then you spot the train’s Chinese driver and a few Chinese passengers huddled on a bunkbed. In fact, says Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Djibouti’s good-­humored finance minister, “It’s all about the ‘C.’” The railway wouldn’t exist in its current form without a massive infusion of Chinese loans—indeed, most of Djibouti’s economy relies on Chinese credit. And the Chinese might not have shown as much interest if it hadn’t been for Djibouti’s geostrategic location: About a third of all the world’s shipping steams past this barren land on the northeast edge of Africa en route to and from the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
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Ethiopia Indicates Boeing Investigation Could Go Beyond a Year

By Nizar Manek, April 6 2019

  • Authorities to release interim report if deadline passes

  • Boeing to receive report for comment before its public release

(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopian authorities would be prepared to release a more detailed set of findings on the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Co. 737 Max jet that killed 157 people if the investigation drags on beyond the year-long target for the probe.
“It depends on the complexity of the investigation,” Amdye Andualem, chairman of the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau, said in an interview in Addis Ababa on Saturday. “If we cannot release the final report within a year, we can release an interim report,” he said, citing International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines. “These are the next steps.”
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Six Minutes to Disaster: Ethiopian Pilots Battled Boeing Max

By Alan Levin, Julie Johnsson and Mary Schlangenstein, April 5 2019

  • Preliminary report shows crew’s actions to counter malfunction

  • Speed probably contributed to crash, former investigators say

(Bloomberg) --
The alarms started sounding just seconds after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 took off on March 10 from Addis Ababa with 157 people on board.
As speed and altitude readings started going haywire, a device known as a stick shaker activated on the left side of the cockpit, where the captain sits. The mechanism makes a loud noise and rattles a pilot’s control column to warn of an impending aerodynamic stall.
With assistance from Nizar Manek, Todd Shields and Lucca de Paoli
(1,469 words)

Ethiopian Carrier Rethinks 737 Max Purchase, Citing 'Stigma'

,By Todd Shields and Nizar Manek, April 5 2019

  • Airline’s Chief Executive GebreMariam speaks in interview

  • Twin air disasters in five months cast pall on Boeing, plane

(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopian Airlines Group is reconsidering its order for 25 additional 737 Max jetliners from Boeing Co., in part because of the “stigma’’ surrounding the aircraft involved in two fatal air disasters in five months -- one of them an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
Tewolde GebreMariam, the state-owned carrier’s chief executive, spoke in an interview with Bloomberg News a day after Ethiopian officials released a preliminary report on the accident that killed 157 people last month shortly after take off from Addis Ababa and concluded it suffered the same equipment failure as a Lion Air 737 that crashed off Indonesia in October.
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Ethiopia Backs Pilots as Report Details Flight of 737 Max

By Todd Shields, Nizar Manek and Alan Levin, April 4 2019

  • Safety protocol was followed, transportation minister says

  • Disaster was second in five months for U.S. planemaker

(Bloomberg) --
Pilots commanding a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet were hit with a cascade of malfunctions and alarms seconds after the Boeing Co. 737 Max took off from Addis Ababa on March 10, according to a preliminary reportreleased Thursday.
Most critically, the plane’s automatic anti-stall system that was also linked to a previous 737 Max crash months earlier began pushing the nose of the jetliner down less than two minutes into the flight due to a malfunctioning sensor. The crew was able to climb as high as 13,400 feet and request permission to return to the airport after temporarily disabling part of the system.
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Max Disaster Pits Boeing Against Ethiopia's Prized Carrier

By Nizar Manek and Christopher Jasper, April 4 2019

  • Preliminary report says pilots followed all safety procedures

  • Africa’s largest carrier known for pilot training, newer fleet

(Bloomberg) --
African air disasters always used to lead to the same conclusion -- with the airline blamed for poor maintenance, ancient planes or poorly trained pilots, and often a combination of all three.
But when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Co. 737 crashed near Addis Ababa last month, a curious thing happened: Industry experts immediately began to question the safety not of the carrier, but the plane itself.
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Ethiopia Crash Mystery Deepens: Pilots Initiated Boeing Protocol

By Alan Levin, Julie Johnsson and Mary Schlangenstein, April 4 2019

  • MCAS system on 737 Max jet said to have engaged several times

  • Crew didn’t perform part of checklist, person familiar says

(Bloomberg) --
New details in the probe into the Ethiopian 737 jetliner crash that indicate the pilots disabled a safety system driving down the nose -- yet still crashed -- only deepen the mystery of what happened, say pilots and former investigators.
The flight crew on the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft followed at least part of a protocol set by planemaker Boeing Co. to manually disable an automated anti-stall system as they tried to save the 737 Max jet, a person familiar with the situation said as Ethiopian authorities prepare to release a preliminary report on the accident Thursday.
--With assistance from Kyunghee Park, Nizar Manek, Angelina Rascouet and Todd Shields.
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Ethiopian 737 Max Initial Crash Report Set to Be Released

By Nizar Manek and Todd Shields, April 3 2019

  • MCAS system on 737 Max jet said to have engaged several times

  • First official word on cause of second crash in five months

(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia said it will release a preliminary report Thursday into last month’s crash of a Boeing Co. 737 Max jetliner that killed 157 people, grounded the plane worldwide and raised questions about the relation between U.S. regulators and the aircraft maker.
The plunge shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was the second fatal accident in less than five months of a Boeing 737 Max 8, following a crash into the Java Sea in October.
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Ethiopia Wavers on Timing of Report on Boeing 737 Max Jet Crash

By Nizar Manek and Todd Shields, April 1 2019

  • Government sends conflicting message on timing as world waits

  • March 10 disaster prompted grounding of company’s best seller

(Bloomberg) --
A preliminary report into the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet last month is nearing release but the exact timing is uncertain, as investigators seek to shed light on a disaster that has rocked the credibility of Boeing Co.
Ethiopia’s Transport Ministry said Monday afternoon that the report wouldn’t be unveiled Monday, contradicting a statement in the morning from the Foreign Affairs Ministry that a briefing was planned during the day. Boeing said it would review the report after release.
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Missing 737 Sensor Said to Be a Focus of Ethiopian Crash Probe

By Nizar Manek and Christopher Jasper, March 30 2019

  • Preliminary finding confirms MCAS was involved in second crash

  • Part hasn’t been found in wreckage of the March 10 disaster

(Bloomberg) --
Investigators of an Ethiopian Airlinescrash have concluded that the same system that malfunctioned in an earlier accident off Indonesia was activated, and they are searching for a key piece of equipment that might explain why, according to people briefed on the probe.
Preliminary flight data from the Boeing Co. 737 Max jet’s black-box recorder indicates that a new anti-stall system known as MCAS was pushing the plane’s nose down during the March 10 disaster, said the people, who asked not to be named because the findings aren’t yet public. 
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Ethiopia Mulls Significant Financial-Sector Changes, Fana Says

By Nizar Manek, March 28 2019
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopian authorities are working with the World Bank to explore opening up the country’s financial sector to the global market, Fana Broadcasting Corp. reported, citing central bank Governor Yinager Dessie.
Significant changes are planned that may include the establishment of a capital market, modernization of the nation’s payment system and greater involvement of the diaspora in the financial sector, the Addis Ababa-based broadcaster said Thursday. 
(98 words -- Bloomberg terminal)

Boeing Tells Airlines to Get Ready for Free 737 Max Software Fix

By Nizar Manek and Layan Odeh

  • Talks show that regulators are closer to approving update

  • U.S. planemaker asks airline to request free changes to MCAS

(Bloomberg) --
Boeing Co. has asked airline owners of its 737 Max jet to submit orders for a free update of anti-stall software being readied for deployment, in a sign that regulators are closer to approving a proposed fix that could get the planes flying again.
Two deadly crashes in five months have led to a worldwide grounding of the narrow-body jet, Boeing’s most important aircraft. The U.S. planemaker has been working on an update to its anti-stall software, after a preliminary report from Lion Air Flight 610 in October indicated the so-called MCAS system had forced the nose down repeatedly before it plunged into the Java Sea.
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Boeing 737 Max Black-Box Analysis Gets Underway in Ethiopia

By Tara Patel and Nizar Manek, March 21 2019

  • Ethiopian, U.S, French, EU experts to take part in probe

  • As pressure on planemaker mounts, explaining crash is critical

(Bloomberg) --
Air-crash experts are gathering in Ethiopia to analyze black-box data from a Boeing Co. 737 Max jetliner as controversy over the model’s safety intensifies following two fatal disasters in less than five months.
Experts from Ethiopia, the U.S., France and the European Union will take part in the analysis of cockpit voice and flight data recorders, the Ethiopian Transport Ministry said Thursday in an emailed statement. A preliminary report will be prepared following standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, it said.
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Ethiopian Pilots Briefed on FAA Directives After Lion Air Crash

By Nizar Manek, March 21 2019
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopian Airlines reiterated that its pilots received additional training on the Boeing B-737 Max after the Lion Air crash, as the nation continues to piece together what brought down a similar aircraft it operated.
The pilots “were made aware and well briefed on the emergency airworthiness directive issued by the FAA following the Lion Air accident,” the airline said Thursday on its Twitter account.
(136 words -- Bloomberg terminal)