Ethiopian Airlines, has dismissed as uninformed, incorrect and irresponsible reporting by the New York Times when it ran a story insinuating that the Ethiopian Airlines pilot, who was flying the crashed B-737-800 MAX did not receive training on it.
The New York-based newspaper alleged under a story titled “Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training on it” that due to lack of training by the Pilot, it could have led to the crash.
“Ethiopian Airlines is pleased to confirm that Ethiopian pilots have completed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved different training from the B-737 NG aircraft to the B-737 MAX aircraft before the phase-in of the B-737-800 MAX fleet to the Ethiopian operation and before they start flying the B-737-800 MAX.
“The pilots had also been made aware of, and well briefed on the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA following the Lion Air accident.
“The content of the airworthiness directive has also been well incorporated in all pilot training manuals, operational procedures and working manuals.
“The B-737 MAX full flight simulators are not designed to simulate the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) problems,” said Ethiopian Airlines in a statement.
The statement added “Ethiopia Airlines urges all concerned to refrain from making uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation.
“International regulations require all stakeholders to wait patiently for the final result of the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines, has also issued a statement on the Washington Post article that suggests that two pilots filed complaints with the Federal Aviation Administration about allegedly flawed training programs and poor safety procedures at Ethiopian Airlines years before a Boeing 737 Max commercial jet crashed in Ethiopia with 157 people on board last week, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database.
Washington Post alleged that the 2015 complaints, filed before the Max 8 was in use, are critical of training and pilot documentation on the 737 in use at the time, as well as two larger Boeing planes.
“Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes all the baseless and factually incorrect allegations written in the Washington Post dated March 21, 2019. These are targeted at diverting and confusing the investigations into Boeing MAX 8 airworthiness,” said Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines added that all the allegations in the article are false defamations without any evidence, collected from unknown and unreliable sources and meant to divert attention from the global grounding of the B-737 MAX aeroplanes.
It added that Ethiopian airlines operate with one of the highest global standards of quality and safety performances certified by all National, Regional and International regulators like the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the FAA, EASA, IOSA and ICAO and other National regulatory authorities.
“Ethiopian is one of the leading global airlines with a modern fleet, high standards of infrastructure, highly automated with the latest ICT (information and communication technology) and one of the most modern operating systems.
“The airline has seven full-flight simulators (Q-400, B-737NG, B-737 MAX, B-767, B-787, B-777 and A-350) to train its pilots and other airlines pilots.
“It has one of the largest and most modern Aviation Academy with training devices and technologies among the very few in the world. The Airline has invested more than half a Billion dollars in infrastructure only in the last 5 years which is not common in a typical airline.
“Although the cause of the accident is yet to be known by the international investigation in progress, the entire world knows all B-737 MAX aeroplanes have been grounded since the tragic accident of ET 302/10 March.
“About 380 B-737 MAX aeroplanes are grounded all over the world including in the USA. All concerned regulators, Safety oversight authorities and other law enforcement agencies are conducting a serious investigation on the design and certification of the B-737 MAX aeroplanes and we are waiting patiently for the result of these investigations.”
“This being the fact, the subject article is trying to divert the main focus of the world to unrelated and factually incorrect allegations. We hereby demand the Washington Post to remove the article, apologize and correct the facts.”