Skip to Content

A report on the Ethiopian 737 Max crash has cleared the pilots of blame

The preliminary report indicates that Boeing’s anti-stalling software could have caused the Ethiopian Airlines crash last month, which killed 157 people.

The findings: The plane was repeatedly pushed into a nosedive even though the pilots performed all the procedures provided by Boeing, the initial report found. During a news conference today, Ethiopia’s transport minister, Dagmawit Moges, said it appeared similar to another major crash in Indonesia last October, which also involved the Boeing 737 Max. 

The software: Concerns have focused on Boeing’s system, dubbed MCAS, which automatically points the plane’s nose down to stop it from stalling.

Recommendations: The inquiry hasn’t assigned any blame, but it issued two recommendations to Boeing and regulators. Specifically, the report said Boeing should review the aircraft control system, and aviation authorities must ensure the issue has been solved before permitting the 737 Max back into the air.

It has been grounded around the world since the crash, which was the second major crash involving this model within six months. Boeing is currently working on a software update to MCAS.

Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.


Deep Dive


What’s next for the world’s fastest supercomputers

Scientists have begun running experiments on Frontier, the world’s first official exascale machine, while facilities worldwide build other machines to join the ranks.

The future of open source is still very much in flux

Free and open software have transformed the tech industry. But we still have a lot to work out to make them healthy, equitable enterprises.

The beautiful complexity of the US radio spectrum

The United States Frequency Allocation Chart shows how the nation’s precious radio frequencies are carefully shared.

How ubiquitous keyboard software puts hundreds of millions of Chinese users at risk

Third-party keyboard apps make typing in Chinese more efficient, but they can also be a privacy nightmare.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.