The Ethiopian transport minister said earlier that Ethiopian Airlines pilots had been unable to prevent the plane from repeatedly nosediving, despite having followed proper procedures as recommended by planemaker Boeing.
Pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jet that crashed on March 10 followed recommended procedures to rectify the plane's continued nosediving but in vain, Ethiopia's transport minister said on Thursday. This resulted in the plane's nose being pushed down.
The Senate panel's probe is the latest in a string of investigations by USA officials and lawmakers into how the FAA cleared the 737 Max as safe to fly. "You've killed people when you've let us down", said Adnaan Stumo, the victim's brother, addressing Boeing during a news conference in Chicago.
Last year, a 737 Max 8 operated by Indonesia's Lion Air crashed, killing 189 people.
Concerns over the safety of the Boeing 737 has grounded the aircraft worldwide. The United States was the last to do so on March 13, after the Federal Aviation Administration concluded the refined satellite data that became available to the agency that day warranted a temporary grounding of the Max.
But the FAA, which faced harsh questioning last week at a congressional hearing regarding its oversight of Boeing, said it expected the plane maker to submit the proposed fix "over the coming weeks" after it undertakes additional work.
Speaking in a statement issued in the wake of the report Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Tewolde GebreMariam said he was "very proud" of the pilots' who demonstrated a "high level of professional performance". The crew followed recommendations mapped out by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the airline said.
The report was based on data from the recorders of the Boeing 737 Max 8.
Dagmawit added: 'Aviation authorities shall verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before the release of the aircraft for operations'.
The crash has also raised questions about the aircraft's approval to fly. The Transportation Department's inspector general is reviewing the FAA's process for approving the airworthiness of new jets and aiding a Justice Department criminal probe.
"It seems evident that the report is keen to avoid direct finger-pointing at a singularity and instead keep the focus on a broader approach", he said.
Chicago-based Boeing, which is also the target of lawsuits over the October 29 Indonesia crash, has been working on a software fix and new training guidelines for the MAX.
"Pilots tried to control the plane repeatedly but were not able to do so, " Dagmawit said at the briefing.
However, the plane experienced "uncommanded nose-down conditions" after takeoff.
Little more was disclosed at the short news conference, which was conducted mostly in Amharic and partly in English, and was broadcast live on the national TV channel and the internet.
It was the second fatal air crash of a Boeing 737 Max in five months.