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Ethiopian Airlines Being 737 Crash Essay – Management assessment Paper

Management assessment encompasses the systematic approach implemented to assess a prospective leader in the suitability of executive functions. Essentially, emphasis is placed on the individual’s leadership qualities comprising issues such as communication, delegation and independence. The goal of management assessment is to determine and comprehend the leadership qualities of a candidate and the performance capabilities if offered the management position. Management assessment is important as it assesses the best individual capable of not only progressing the organization but also suitable to handle a crisis situation appropriately (Mnjama & Wamukoya, 2007). Crisis management happens to be one of the most critical issues that a leader and the organization may encounter thus an effective leader is key to handle such concerns that may impair an organization’s progress. Crisis affects the organization as it contributes to change that creates fear and uncertainty; therefore, it is crucial that a team leader is well-equipped to address changes in an organization.


In March 2019, an Ethiopian Boeing crashed a few minutes after take-off leading to the death of 157 passengers on board. The plane had set off from Addis Ababa and was scheduled to take off in Nairobi, Kenya. Moreover, the same type of Indonesian airline Lion Air had crashed into the sea only five months earlier, shortly after taking off from Jakarta and led to the death of 189 individuals on board. The presumed causes of the crash in both cases were similar, attributed to the malfunction of the anti-stall system (Anon, 2019). According to the Ethiopian authorities, the pilots of flight ET302 abided by the procedures advocated by Boeing before the deadly crash (“Abdi Latif Dahir | Quartz Journalist | Muck Rack”, 2019). Since then, multiple queries swirled around the subject matter of the anti-stall system and whether Boeing accentuated commercial deadlines over safety concerns as well as if the airline coached and notified its crew more precisely to the probable threats of the 737 Max Aircraft series.


Ethiopia Boeing 737 pilots raised safety concerns a number of years before the crash. Two pilots filed grievances about supposedly flawed safety procedures and training programs at Ethiopian airlines years prior to the deadly crash that claimed 157 lives. The 2015 complaints enfolded from the training procedures and pilot credentials on the 737 at time of use and the two bigger Boeing planes. One of the pilots claimed the airline did not have proper infrastructure to endorse the convoy of Airbus and Boeing jets that it commanded, and alleged that the management system culture instilled fear as well as prioritized profit margins over safety concerns. The pilot further accused the airline of excluding certain checklists necessary to aid pilots in the response to critical situations and failure to update pilot manuals. The other pilots specified that the Ethiopia regulators for lax standards maintenance with respect to rest time and crew flight. Nonetheless, the Ethiopian airlines countered the propositions claiming them as factually incorrect and baseless and stressed that this was a tactic to divert attention from the grounding of Max aircraft. Preliminary reports released also connoted that the Ethiopian airlines were recognized as one of the best and largest modern Aviation Academy equipped with advanced training equipment and technologies among a very few worldwide. Moreover, the airlines operate with one of the utmost standards of quality and safety measures verified by all regional and transnational regulators.

Another recent report confirmed that US pilots complained at least five times concerning safety controls to apply at critical periods in the operations of Boeing 737 aircraft. The grievances filed suggest a connection with the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia and specify a malfunction in the anti-stall system (Boyle, 2019). Furthermore, a flight incident in USA in 2018, reported that during take-off, the auto-pilot had engaged and within a few seconds, the airplane pitched nose down very steeply in a manner as to trigger the aircraft’s warning system but when the auto-pilot disengaged, the plane gained momentum and flew upward.

Apparently, the Ethiopian plane 737 descended steeply in more than one episode as pilots contested with the controls before the crash. Suppositions were that the nose-dive incidence was triggered with a faulty anti-stall system which was designed to force the aircraft into nose-dive position in the period that it rose sharply enough to threaten a stall. Several pilots lamented that Boeing Company had limited concern in ensuring the airlines and pilots had adequate knowledge on the new anti-stall feature. Moreover, in a separate occurrence, a pilot complained that the Max 8 aircraft auto-throttles that heighten the plane’s speed to a set pace within specified parameters were non-operational even though the crew had engaged them. The pilot quickly identified this and made the necessary adjustments immediately. The pilot later connoted the uncertainty surrounding the incidence and conjectured whether it was because the plane was new or if other pilots had reported similar observances.

According to the Federal database, a captain reported an auto-pilot incongruity that led to a brief nose dive while in a separate incidence, another captain reported a nose-dive anomaly after the engagement of the co-pilot. The auto-pilot disengaged and the plane continued with its flight.

Trigger events

Officials who investigated the Ethiopian Boeing 737 crash confirmed that the plane underwent repetitive unordered nose-dives preceding the crash, in a warranted reference to the Boeing’s aircraft contentious automated control system. The officials also stressed that the captain and auto-pilot strictly followed the set procedures and that the plane had not been damaged by any foreign object. Moreover, the preliminary statement vividly indicated that the pilots abided by Boeing’s commendation and FAA standard emergency procedures to handle potential emergency situations that may arise in the plane. Nonetheless, in spite of the pilots’ compliance to emergency procedures, the team was unable to recover the flight from the persistence of nose-diving. As a result, Ethiopian officials requested the Max 737 aircraft to review a report on its flight control systems. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System engaged four times on the Max 737 before the crash.  The aircraft system automatically switches to nose-dive position to prevent a recognized stall-out. Data and voice recorders recovered will aid in the compilation of a report though the process could take more than a year. The actualities of what occurred remain unknown. Even the anti-stall system that was proposed as the cause of the crash remains under investigations.


Boeing flights were disrupted due to the grounding of the aircraft and it is still unclear when the grounding will be lifted. Boeing Company representatives maintained that the aircraft was safe to fly though in the statement issued, the management approved the FAA recommendations for the need to conduct some improvisations and persist with the grounding. Moreover, in the USA, the grounding was welcomed by air flight attendants stating that it was right for both air passengers and air flight attendants.

The company also encountered significant losses of an approximately 11% plunge after the announcement of the Ethiopian airlines 737aircraft crash. As a result, the company has experienced massive losses. Moreover, most countries that grounded the Boeing aircraft have not clarified the period when the ban will be lifted. The scheduled flights of the airlines were also cancelled in most countries. In addition to this, the company has undergone immense changes due to the inception of the crisis thus have resorted to gradually engage in production. The management has also prioritized employee concerns because they were also affected by the crisis; hence they have been motivated to withstand the situation and embrace the change by learning from it  as well as perceive the situation as an area that needs to be addressed  so that better strategies can be employed to prevent likely incidents in future.

Post -crisis

Inquiries into both crashes are in progress to determine the clear rationale that caused the tragic incidents. Nonetheless, some reports suggest that the black box which is an automated system that aids the plane to avoid stalling was connected to crashes of the two incidences. The crash instigated the grounding of 737 Max Aircraft in different parts of the world. Subsequent to the Ethiopia airlines crash, aviation regulators beginning with those from China grounded the aircraft (2019). Governments globally immediately followed suit and many banned the Max aircraft from flying in their airspace. Though the Max airlines had just been in operation since 2017 and the disruptions to most flights were insignificant, carriers such as the American and South west lines had to adjust their schedules to cater to some schedules affected by the grounding.

Boeing prospected revenues should have summed up to billions of dollars in the coming years due to the thousands of Max orders. However, the revenues have slumped in the first quarter of this year and orders have significantly plummeted. In fact, the company has resorted to slow the production line. Whilst there are several types of Max jets operating and more to be launched in the near future, the automated system is confined to Max aircraft. Moreover, Boeing’s misery extends to the production of 787s. The FAA is obligated to approve new software and training procedures before the Max aircraft can proceed with its flights (Bardell & Yue, 2018) The updates will take approximately two months although international regulators could take a longer while to revise and certify the modifications. The company’s partnership with Federal Aviation and Administration is also under scrutiny as FAA is constantly understaffed and has since delegated its responsibilities to companies under its regulation including Boeing (Graver & Rutherford, 2018). As a matter of fact, some Boeing employees were held accountable for certification of Max as qualified to fly. As a result, the Department of Transportation, the Justice Department and concerned agencies have opened investigations into the crash and Boeing’s association with FAA. Moreover, investigators in Ethiopia mentioned that the pilots repeatedly followed protocol delineated by the Boeing to unfasten the system, yet the plane still crashed and since the software update seems to be taking much more time to be released, the planes are likely to remain grounded longer than anticipated. The FAA affirmed that the recommended modifications were suitable though the approval would be implemented steadily.

Boeing Company sales underwent a plunge. The quarterly revenue totaled to 22.92 billion dollars which was less than the 22.98 billion dollars that was anticipated. Furthermore, the company failed to achieve the prospected target 3.25 dollars per share but instead amassed 3.16 dollars per share which was significantly lower than projected. Additionally, the profits plummeted from 2.51 billion dollars in 2018 to 1.98 billion dollars in 2019. Meanwhile, the company is uncertain if progress will be made to full recovery this year. The company declared to its investors the possibility of withdrawing its projects and suspending its shares for the remaining part of the year. Boeing representatives   mentioned that it will communicate on further amendments in future since the company is still at a predicament due to the grounding of its aircraft. Moreover, the company has not received new orders recently which analysts believe would have embodied almost a third of its returns in the next five years.  Since the Ethiopia airlines crash, Boeing Company has plummeted by 11% which is the largest plunge on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company also delivered a smaller number of 737s than planned due to the grounding, while its return margins presented a 1-billion-dollar cost from a slash in output of the narrow –designed jets. Boeing Company also reserved charges to review the coaching of pilots as well as revise the Max’s software which has been connected to both incidents. The company’s profits from operations would possibly be apparent in the second quarter if Max aircraft do not resume. The grounding of Boeing further led to the plunge of sales by 20%

The CEO mentioned that a test flight was conducted, and the test pilots had completed 120 flights summing up to 203 hours of air flight combination of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System and software fix. The CEO also mentioned that approximately 85% of the Max operators viewed the actions while in simulator sessions.

A number of affected families sued Boeing airlines. A preliminary statement proved that earlier in the month, the Ethiopia airlines pilots had contested with a computer system that consistently commanded the nose down due to erroneous data. The US President, Donald Trump urged the company to rebrand its Max aircraft jetliner and perform the necessary modifications whilst regulators globally continue to review the Max aircraft modifications.

Leadership Analysis

The Max Boeing Aircraft management has been successful over the years in operation to attain largest profits and expand its markets. In fact, the brand wants to release two more jet designs in the industry. Nonetheless, the company’s management lags in the area of passenger safety concerns as identified from the numerous complaints specified by different pilots on the need to create more awareness on the aircrafts control systems and emergency procedures. Furthermore, the management must ensure constant updates of pilot manuals. Considering that two crashes have occurred within the same airlines and in a short period of time further indicates poor leadership that needs upgrading.

Nevertheless, the impact of the crisis has instigated organizational change as the company is more aware of the probable causes of the crashes and is willing to implement strategies to counteract potential similar incidences by improving the safety control systems as well as promote proper training of pilots (Anon ,2019). Furthermore, the company has resorted to withdraw its participation in the industry for the remaining part of the year to address the concerns pertaining to the crash incidents as well as re-assess its strategies.




In conclusion, the Ethiopian Boeing Max aircraft incidence is an illustration of the crisis that can affect an organization and hamper its development. The main phases of crisis management have been brought forward and it is apparent that warning signs are recognized by individuals prior to the crisis. In this case, a number of pilots complained about the system controls and the lack of proper guidance in handling new aircraft. Moreover, the failure to update pilot manuals as well as company’s emphasis on profits rather than safety concerns of the passengers further intensified the likelihood of a crisis. The trigger events of the crisis were steered by the erroneous anti-stall system though the report was not confirmed. The crisis resulted to a number of changes in the organization. For instance, the Boeing Company experienced plummeting sales coupled with grounding from several nations. Moreover, the profits have not been able to match up the forecast made by the analysts. Nevertheless, the management team was able to identify the areas that need to be addressed and even though the management team insisted that the safety controls were in good condition, they still approved the FAA recommendations on the necessity of conducting improvisations that will mitigate similar cases in future.

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