Ethiopian Airlines crash

Air crash victim's legacy lives on with animal charity

BBC Radio Devon

An animal welfare charity has been created in memory of a 36-year-old woman who died when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after take off from Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa airport in 2019.

Joanna Toole
Joanna Toole Foundation

Jo Toole, who was brought up in Exmouth, was one of 157 passengers and crew who died when the Boeing 737 crashed.

Since then the aircraft has been grounded - banned from flying by aviation authorities around the world.

Ms Toole had been working on the issue of marine debris for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

To "ensure that her legacy endures and her mission continues" friends and family have created the Joanna Toole Foundation "to continue the global work of campaigner Joanna Toole in advancing the welfare of animals, in particular that of marine fauna".

Ethiopian Airlines crash: 'I saw body parts being taken in white bags'
The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza reflects a year on from the deadly Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash.

Memorial for Ethiopian Airlines crash one year on

BBC World Service

The crash site of Ethiopia Airlines near Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Relatives of the victims of last year's crash are to hold a private service

Relatives of those killed when an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa are due to take part in a memorial service, a year after the accident took place.

The private ceremony will be held at the scene of the disaster.

All 157 people on board were killed when the plane came down, months after a similar tragedy in Indonesia.

On Monday, an interim report by Ethiopian investigators identified faulty sensors and inadequate training as possible causes of the disaster.

The crashes have cost the manufacturer, Boeing, billions of dollars and led to the worldwide grounding of 737 Max aircraft.

Read more:

Boeing reports loss first loss since 1997

Boeing's 737 Max has been grounded since last March
Boeing's 737 Max has been grounded since last March

Boeing reported a $1bn loss for the fourth quarter.

For the full year, it reported a $636m loss on sales down 24% at $76.5bn. It is Boeing first annual loss since 1997.

Boeing said deliveries of new planes dropped by 53% to 380 over the year.

The company was forced to ground its 737 Max following two fatal crashes and it is does not expect the jet to return to the skies until June or July this year.

Its commercial planes division reported a $6.6bn loss for 2019 on sales 44% lower at $32.2bn.

Boeing's battle over MCAS

Yet more deeply troubling revelations from the internal documents Boeing handed over to the US government investigating the grounded 737 Max aircraft.

Unlike its other models, Boeing's 737 Max features software called the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which is designed to stop the plane from stalling and can force the nose of the jet lower.

How the MCAS system works

This internal message from a Boeing employee shows their concern that MCAS might be seen as a new function and would therefore require pilots to be trained on simulators and certified to fly the 737 Max.

Internal Boeing documentation

It can be very expensive to train pilots on simulators, the cost of which may have put airlines off from buying Boeing's new jet.

Instead, pilots who were certified to fly Boeing 737 NG took a short course on an iPad to gain familiarity with the Max.

MCAS was found to be a factor in two crashes within five months which killed 346 people.

'I still haven’t been forgiven by God for the covering up I did last year'

Plane cockpit

Internal messages between Boeing employees about the 737 Max - the plane that remains grounded globally following two fatal crashes - have been shared.

Ethiopia Airlines' Boeing 737 Max crashed shortly after take off from Bole Airport on 10 March 2019 killing all 157 passengers on board.

The New York Times reports that one message from 2018 reads “I still haven’t been forgiven by God for the covering up I did last year,” possibly in reference to communications with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Other messages show that some employees wanted to save money on pilot training for the then new 737 Max.

In one email, an employee in marketing expresses delight that regulators approved a short computer-based training for pilots who had flown the 737 NG instead of requiring more expensive simulator training.

“You can be away from an NG for 30 years and still be able to jump into a MAX? LOVE IT!!” the employee writes, later stating in another email: “This is a big part of the operating cost structure in our marketing decks.”

Boeing said it had released the hundreds of redacted messages as part of its commitment to transparency.

The Federal Aviation Administration and US Congress were given unredacted versions of the communications last month.

737 Max 'designed by clowns, supervised by monkeys' said Boeing employees

Boeing 737 Max
Getty Images

Internal messages between Boeing employees reveal that they mocked the 737 Max, the New York Times reports.

Two of the aircraft crashed in late 2018 and early 2019, killing 346 people.

The messages were part of a number of documents Boeing handed over to the US government.

In one set messages, employees mocked the design of the plane and their own colleagues, writing: "This airplane is designed by clowns, who are in turn supervised by monkeys”.

In another, sent before the first crash in October 2018, one staff member wrote: "Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t.”