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A Bird Strike May Have Caused the Boeing Crash, Say US Aviation Officials

Boeing shares rose up 2.1% in premarket trading Tuesday after a Wall Street Journal report revealed US aviation officials believe a bird strike may have caused the crash of a 737 Max in Ethiopia in March that made headlines around the world.


The WSJ reported that a high-ranking Boeing exec raised but then dismissed the possibility of a bird collision having triggered the second crash following the first in Indonesia. In the meantime, the Journal reported that US aviation authorities increasingly believe that a version of that scenario is the plausible cause for the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Ethiopian authorities, however, disagree.

Bad sensor data

Previously, crash investigators said bad sensor data were the culprits for both the crashes in Ethiopia in March and in Indonesia in October. The fault lay in a system that automatically pushed the nose of the plane down if it perceived the aircraft to be in a stall.

The process, however, proves destructive if the plane is not in a stall. Since, then there has been much discussion about what truly went wrong including some whistleblowing.


One investigative report published by Drew Griffin at CNN revealed that one day after the Ethiopian minister of transportation released a preliminary report on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, several current and former Boeing employees called the US Federal Aviation Authority’s anonymous safety hotline. They reported additional problems with the aircraft.

For now, all Boeing 737 Max airplanes worldwide have been grounded. So far, the Ethiopian and Indonesian crashes together killed a combined 346 people. 

Source: Interesting Engineering