Boeing plane that killed Pius Adesanmi had design errors—Investigation Report

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An investigation report by a US House of Representatives Committee into the cause of two plane crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX, says design flaws, as well as poor regulatory oversight, are to blame. Operated by Ethiopian Airlines, Flight 302, one of the ill-fated planes which was a Boeing 737 MAX had crashed March 10, 2019, after takeoff from Addis Ababa International Airport headed for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya, killing 157 people, including Professor Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian-Canadian academic and public commentator.

Adesanmi’s death had shaken the nation, triggering an outpouring of global condolence from people in different walks of life impacted by his brief existence. He was 47, accomplished as a writer, literary critic, public intellectual, and scholar of African studies.

The House report says Boeing adopted “flawed technical design criteria, faulty assumptions about pilot response times” due to “production pressures.” It also blames America’s Federal Aviation Administration, FAA—the regulatory agency for the country’s aviation sector.

“The MAX crashes were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event. They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA—the pernicious result of regulatory capture on the part of the FAA with respect to its responsibilities to perform robust oversight of Boeing and to ensure the safety of the flying public.”

The 238-page report  released yesterday also says the 737 MAX contained a new feature in its flight control computer—the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)—which “had the ability to trigger non-pilot-commanded flight control movements that could place the aeroplane into a dangerous nose-down attitude that challenged the pilots’ ability to control the aircraft.”

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 Also, “the MCAS software operated on input from one of the two angle-of-attack (AOA) sensors externally mounted on the fuselage on either side of the aeroplane.” These features, said the report, undermined pilot control in critical situations.

Adesanmi hailed from Isanlu in Kogi State and held a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada. His lecturing and public engagements spanned America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa. He is survived by a mother, a spouse, two children, and an entire army of young Nigerians who looked up to him for tutelage and support.

Many monuments have been created in his honour, including Wreaths for a Wayfarer, an anthology of 267 poems paying tribute.

Source: Nigerian Abroad

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