Ethiopians skeptical of motives behind New York Times’ report regarding Ethiopian Airlines pilot who was flying the ill-fated Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane that crashed on March 10,2019 just minutes after take off
On March 20, 2019, The New York Times published a report entitled “Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training”
The Problem is Selam Gebrekidan, New York Times reporter who happens to be of Ethiopian origin, seems to have wanted to make important details relevant to the story appear rather murky.
She wrote, “The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Ethiopian Airlines had not authorized disclosure of the information, said the carrier had the Max 8 simulator up and running in January, two months before Flight 302 crashed.”
Ethiopian Airlines reacted to the story right away and it is claiming that the report is wrong.
The airlines tweeted:
- Ethiopian Airlines expresses its disappointment on the following wrong reporting of the @nytimes titled “Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training”
As well, Ethiopian issued a press statement pointing out as to what was exactly wrong with the New York Times’ reporting.
The statement, published on the airlines’ website, said:
- “Ethiopian Airlines, one of the safest and most dependable airlines in the world, is pleased to confirm that Ethiopian pilots have completed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved differences training from the B-737 NG aircraft to the B-737 MAX aircraft before the phase-in of the B-737-800 MAX fleet to the Ethiopian operation and before they start flying the B-737-800 MAX.”
In addition, according to the airlines also disclosed Ethiopian Airlines pilots have been briefed on Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA following the Lion Air accident, and that the directive is integrated into the pilot training manuals and operational procedures.
Ethiopian is also encouraging reports on the matter to avoid “making uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation.” The reason is, according to the airline, that “International regulations require all stakeholders to wait patiently for the final result of the investigation”.
New York Times report has outraged many Ethiopians for they are taking it as a sort of effort to, by exploiting a writer of Ethiopian origin, covers up for Boeing at the expense of the 73 years old Ethiopian airlines.
“This is irresponsible journalism! I have good friends of mine flying for Ethiopian Airlines I know how well trained they are,” Yared Abera (@AYadu23) replied on Twitter to the writer who shared New York Times story she wrote.
Sossina Tafari (@s_tafari), another Ethiopian outraged by the report tweeted “Selam, do your research before you belch out unrealistic, unsubstantiated, irresponsible, unconfirmed information to the public. Are you on @Boeing ‘s payroll? @nytimes retract this inaccurate article”
Apart from the similarities of Indonesian Lion Air crash and Ethiopian Airlines crash, at least two pilots in the US have reported, “an automated system seemed to cause their Boeing 737 Max planes to tilt down suddenly,” according to the TIME report published on March 13, 2019.
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