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How technology may have brought down Ethiopian Airways jet

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Just hours after an Ethiopian Airlines flight of model, 737 MAX 8 crashed killing all 157 people on board, airlines in a number of countries suspended the use of the aircraft over concerns about its safety.

Flight ET302 crashed Sunday 10March 2019 on its way to Nairobi minutes after it had taken off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

Pilots reported a technical problem then made a request to turn back to the airport shortly before the deadly clatter.In response to the crash, the Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered Monday that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets be grounded by 6 p.m. local time, until the cause of the recent accidents involving the Boeing planes is fully established.

Other countries simply followed suit!

“Given in both air crashes, the aircrafts were newly delivered Boeing 737 MAX 8, and both accidents occurred during the take-off, they share certain similarities,” the Chinese administration said in a statement.

The March-2019 Ethiopian plane crash marks the second accident in five months that a new Boeing aircraft crashed just minutes after takeoff. In October last year, a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight went down over the Java Sea killing all 189 people on board.

While extensive investigations are still underway in both cases, preliminary reports show glaring similarities in the incidents that have prompted caution among some airlines.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Wails, muffled screams and prayers as families of the victims visit crash scene

In its emergency order, America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that they have ‘identified similarities between the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia,’ leading the agency to ground all Boeing 737 Max planes.

The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, and missiles worldwide. The company also provides leasing and product support services.

Model 737 MAX is a narrow-body aircraft series designed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes as the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, succeeding the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG).The new 737 series was launched on August 30, 2011 but made its first flight on January 29, 2016 after getting series of new FAA certifications.

The first MAX 8 was bought and operated by Malindo Air, which placed the aircraft into service soon after the purchase.Boeing engineers introduced two safety technologies which, ideally were supposed to enhance the operability of the plane.

One of the technologies is Augmentation System, designed to reduce mid-air collisions between aircraft as well as to keep the plane at a responsive angle.

The other technology is Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) that monitors the airspace around an aircraft for other aircraft equipped with a corresponding active transponder, independent of air traffic control, and warns pilots of the presence of other transponder-equipped aircraft which may present a threat of mid-air collision (MAC).

READ ALSO:   Kenyan man mourns loss of five family members in Ethiopian plane crash

“This particular aircraft has something new as far as how the autopilot responds when the aircraft’s nose is too high. It pushes that nose down even when the autopilot is off. And a lot of pilots are not used to that,” said Aviation Investigator David Soucie.

In the case of Indonesian and Ethiopian plane crashes, pilots repeatedly fought to override the Augmentation System but failed to prevail over the technology.

Whereas investigations are still ongoing, preliminary findings suggest that faulty sensors within Augmentation System could have led to wrong responses in the battle between the pilots and the technologies involved.Months before an Ethiopian Airlines crash killed 157 people, American pilots filed a complaint with authorities about perceived safety problems with the same aircraft.

According to USA Today, the two pilots reported their aircraft unexpectedly pitched nose down after they engaged autopilot following departure.It was also reported that another pilot experienced a “temporary level off” triggered by the aircraft automation. The captain of a flight called part of the aircraft’s flight manual “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient.”

“The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag,” that captain – who was not identified by name – wrote in a report to the federal Aviation Safety Reporting System.

READ ALSO:   Addis air crash: Not a single body for burial

The captain said part of the plane’s flight system was “not described in our Flight Manual.”Professional aviators who operated Boeing 737 MAX 8, and logged from April 2018 to December 2018 filed at least 11 reports concerning ‘erroneous’ automation responses.

Both Ethiopia and Indonesian ill-fated planes crashed after experiencing drastic speed fluctuations during ascent, and their pilots tried to return to the ground after takeoff.Aviation experts suspect that MAX 8’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, may have caused the jets to make unwanted dives.

In both cases, it’s believed that technology took over the control of the planes from the pilots, and all attempts to take back the control failed – leading to deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

In fact, flight data recovered from the Indonesia crash indicated pilots repeatedly tried to get the plane’s nose up before impact.While responding to Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash, Boeing issued a service bulletin warning pilots that erroneous flight data fed into the MCAS could force the aircraft into a dive for up to 10 seconds.

source: standard.co.ke

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Africa

Kenyans are the most generous people

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Despite the erupting cases of corruption, news of murders and updates of hopelessness that litter social media pages, Kenyans remain the happiest people in East Africa.

According to the 2019 survey released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Wednesday, Kenya outperformed East African nations when parameters of happiness were measured using global standards.T

he report that was released to mark the World Happiness Day bases its ranking on six key variables: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.

This year’s focus was on how community affects happiness, how it has been changing over the years, and how information technology, governance and social norms influence communities.

Social systems

The chief researcher John Helliwell had an explanation for what makes countries like Kenya happy despite the many sad events that dominate their news.

“What stands out about the happiest and most well connected societies is their resilience and ability to deal with bad things,” said Helliwell.

Interesting to note from the survey is that social systems in Kenya seem to be crumbling. Compared to the 2018 report, more Kenyans responded in negative when asked: “If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them?”

READ ALSO:   Kenyan man mourns loss of five family members in Ethiopian plane crash

source:standard.co.ke

 

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Africa

PHOTOS: Uhuru all smiles in Namibia as drought crisis persists in Kenya

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President Uhuru Kenyatta led a high-powered delegation to attend Namibia’s independence day celebrations, despite the raging drought crisis in the country.

Pictures shared on the State House social media accounts show the head of state and those on his entourage all smiles during the celebrations that were held at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek to Namibia’s independence day celebrations. PHOTO | COURTESY

“President @UKenyatta arrives at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek to join the people of Namibia for celebrations to mark 29 years of their country’s independence,” read the caption.

Some of those in his delegation included his daughter Ngina, personal assistant Jomo Gecaga, ministers Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), James Macharia (Transport) and Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture), among others.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is welcomed at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek to Namibia’s independence day celebrations. PHOTO | COURTESY

At least 10 people have been reported dead as a result of the drought that has hit a number of counties.

The worst-hit are Baringo, Turkana and West Pokot.

Senior government officials, including Deputy President William Ruto, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa have, however, claimed that no Kenyan has died from starvation. They say the situation is under control.

READ ALSO:   There are no bones, not even a skull — Father of Ethiopian Airlines pilot speaks

SOURCE: Nairobi News

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Africa

Zambia High Commissioner dies while receiving treatment in Nairobi

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Zambia High Commissioner to Kenya, Her Excellency Brenda Muntemba-Sichilembe has died.

The 49-year old High Commissioner has been receiving treatment since she was involved in a fatal road accident at Machakos on February 26.

Foreign PS Macharia Kamau has confirmed the death.

Ms Muntemba-Sichilembe was initially admitted at the Machakos Level 5 Hospital, and then flown to Nairobi and operated on to stem internal bleeding where she was admitted in Intensive care unit (ICU).

Prior to her appointment to this role, she served as Chief Program Officer at UNESCO in Zambia.

More to follow…

READ ALSO:   There are no bones, not even a skull — Father of Ethiopian Airlines pilot speaks
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