Ethiopian crash could be largest non-war aviation reinsurance claim -Willis Re

Boeing homing in on glitches fixes and upgrades for faulty planes but ‘rigorous review’ will take time

However, the same MCAS system was implicated in the October crash of a 737 MAX 8 airliner off Indonesia which left 189 people dead.

Reports indicate that shortly after take-off - approximately 450ft above the ground - the nose of the aircraft began to pitch down.

Addis Ababa - A preliminary report from the fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max in which 157 people died in Ethiopia will be released on Monday, the foreign ministry said.

The preliminary conclusion, based on information from the aircraft's data and voice recorders, shows that the malfunctioning automated system may be responsible for the deadly March 10 crash, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Regulators say the Ethiopian Airlines Max jet followed a similar flight path to the Lion Air flight, including erratic climbs and descents before crashing minutes after takeoff.

The jet's radio reportedly broke down seconds after the speech was captured.

Authorities in Ethiopia have already said there are "clear similarities" between the Lion Air incident and the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

It was yet another blow to aviation giant Boeing, which just this week unveiled a fix to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that Boeing created to prevent stalls in its new plane.

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Liability claims related to the Ethiopian crash and 737 MAX grounding could be the largest aviation reinsurance claim outside of war on record, broker Willis Re said on Monday.

Boeing is working on an update to the MCAS software so it's less aggressive about pointing the nose down and easier for pilots to override it.

As part of the upgrade, Boeing will install an extra warning system on all 737 Max aircraft.

"Earlier in March, a Boeing spokesperson said that the 737 Max was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in accordance with standard procedures".

The pilot had tried repeatedly to regain control and pull the nose up but the plane smashed into the sea. This was previously an optional safety feature.

Once activated, the MCAS forced the plane into a dive and ultimately a crash that killed everyone on board, the newspaper said.

Boeing also declined to comment on the lawsuit, but this week unveiled changes to the MCAS system that will be installed worldwide, once the FAA approves.

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