ET 302 – Africa remembers


(Posted 10th March 2020)

As daybreak nears over Africa will the continent today remember the victims of flight ET302. A special ceremony will take place in Ethiopia, where yesterday, a day short of the anniversary of the accident, the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, published the interim report on the crash.

In the initial aftermath of the crash did both Boeing and the FAA employ the same tactics they used after the Lion Air crash a few months earlier, mainly attempting to blame the victims, i.e. Ethiopian Airlines.
Little did they know that they took a bite too large to even swallow, as Africa stood united behind the continent’s most successful airline, rejecting any attempt to offload blame on Ethiopian Airlines.
Soon afterwards did things begin to unravel for both Boeing and the FAA. Much information, both organizations believed would remain a secret between them, did emerge during the past year. This happened as a result of detailed investigations by journalists, as a result of whistleblowers coming forward no longer able to wrestle with their own conscience and as a result of relevant information finally being shared by Boeing with the FAA which had previously been kept from the regulators, either by oversight or by design. Both organisations ended up muddied in the process and in fact are criminal investigations underway.
The FAA was found guilty in the court of public opinion for abrogating their sworn duty to make all effort to ensure that the certification process of a new aircraft is exhaustive and thorough – and not delegate such duties to the manufacturer itself which is paramount to making a goat a gardener.
And of course did the misguided move of ‘loyalty’ to the embattled Boeing company being the last major regulator to ground the B737MAX also come back to haunt them, costing the FAA a great deal of international reputation and respect and resulting in other key regulators like EASA divorcing from their mutual recognition pact.
Boeing, in the court of public opinion was found even more guilty for trampling formerly golden safety standards into the dust of corporate greed which put profits before safety.
‘Designed by Clowns overseen by Monkeys’ was the acid comment which made the rounds on social media and through the aviation press and it hit the nail on the head. The sordid affair cost Boeing’s CEO his job – far too late for that matter – while already costing shareholders up to 20 billion in losses, and that is not the end of it.

The faulty software, for which Boeing promised ‘fixes‘ within weeks of the two crashes is still not cleared for operation, as yet more flaws were found when really taking a hard look at it. Other problems too were found with the Boeing B737MAX, such as faulty wiring bundles and ‘debris‘ in fuel tanks.
Only after the pilot fraternity got vocal about the flawed training regime for this flawed aircraft, were changes put into place which now require pilots to receive simulator training on this aircraft type, and not as Boeing and the FAA had conjured up, a half hour session on a computer pad.
Ethiopia’s preliminary report makes damning reading, as did the one issued by the accident investigators of the Lion Air crash, and the lions’ share of the blame is directed in one direction, that of Boeing.

Whatever the final outcome will be, and no matter to how much compensation and damages Boeing will be sentenced in court, it will not bring back the lives of the 8 crew and 149 passengers on board the stricken flight.
To their families, relatives, friends and colleagues do our all thoughts go out today, that they continue to find peace but also, almost more important, eventually get justice to see those responsible at Boeing and the FAA get prosecuted to the full extend of the law.

Please observe a Minute of Silence at 05.44 hrs GMT or 08.44 hrs EAT.

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