LEBANON: Official investigation into 2010 Ethiopian Airlines plane crash off the lebanese coast which killed 90 people blames the captain and his crewRecord ID: 382773
- Title: LEBANON: Official investigation into 2010 Ethiopian Airlines plane crash off the lebanese coast which killed 90 people blames the captain and his crew
- Date: 17th January 2012
- Summary: NAAMEH, LEBANON (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (FILE - JANUARY, 2010) (REUTERS) SEA WITH SHIPS SEEN DURING SEARCH OPERATION AFTER ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES PLANE CRASH IN 2010 VARIOUS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL COLLECT DEBRIS AND PASSENGER BELONGINGS FROM SHORELINE PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE RAFIK HARIRI AIRPORT, BEIRUT, AFTER CRASH
- Reuters ID: LVA5QEU3T1LCPKHCE0HAF7NFU1
- Location: Lebanon, Lebanon
- Country: Lebanon
- Duration: 00:01:13
- Topics: Disasters
- Story Text: The crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane off the coast of Lebanon two years ago which killed all 90 people on board was caused by pilot error, according to a Lebanese report on Tuesday (January 17) which was challenged by the airline.
The Boeing 737-800 plane, bound for Addis Ababa, crashed minutes after taking off from Beirut in stormy weather on January 25, 2010.
"The probable causes of the accident were the flight crew's mismanagement of the aircraft's speed, altitude, headings and (direction) through inconsistent flight control inputs resulting in a loss of control," said the report by Lebanon's Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
It said the captain's high workload and stress levels may have led to him losing awareness of what was happening.
Lebanese pilot Mohammed Aziz, who read out the report's findings at a news conference on Tuesday in Beirut with Lebanon's transport minister Ghazi Aridi, said a contributory factor was the crew's failure to intervene when the captain didn't act.
"The second direct reason was the failure of the flight crew to follow procedures and CRM (Crew Resource Management) guidelines. The flight crew should intervene in case of any given warnings and report it to the captain. The non-interference of the first officer was a mistake; he didn't utter a word - as if nothing was happening," he said, quoting the report.
Aziz said the captain had minimal experience flying large passenger jets.
"There was a lack of experience. The captain was new, he had been flying jet planes only for 188 hours over 51 days -- he had been a pilot in the Ethiopian company for 21 years but he had been flying for 20 years as a first officer. For his first nine years he was flying agricultural aircraft, subsequently he flew for 10 years as first officer and only then became captain, flying Fokker aircraft for a year and he was new to 737 planes," he said.
Ethiopian Airlines dismissed the report, saying investigators ignored evidence including security footage, autopsies, baggage screening, and had declined to provide detailed profiles of passengers.
The airline's chief executive officer, Tewolde Gebremariam, speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said the company was not surprised that the investigation was used to justify earlier speculation that pilot error was to blame.
The Lebanese army said at the time that the plane had broken up in the air before plummeting into rough seas. One witness described the impact as a "flash that lit up the whole sea".
Ethiopian Airlines vice president of flight operations Desta Zeru said the last cockpit recording was of a loud noise which sounded like an explosion, suggesting that the aircraft may have been shot down, sabotaged or hit by lightning.
The eight-year-old plane, carrying mostly Lebanese and Ethiopian passengers, last had a maintenance check a month before the crash and no technical problems had been found, officials said after the crash
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