Washington, D.C. - A failure, which happened during a Republic Airways Embraer E175 flight last year in November, is reminiscent of what led the two 737 MAX to crash, investigators found.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued ten recommendations to the Brazilian and U.S. aviation regulators. One of the issues was the emergency procedures followed by the pilots, who were operating the flight for American Airlines Group Inc., didn’t seem to immediately stop the problem, the NTSB said. The failure was also difficult for pilots to detect, which occurred in the 737 Max crashes that killed 346 people.
The regional jet carrying six passengers and four crew members had just lifted off when the captain noticed the plane was trying to aggressively pull the nose up into a climb.
The captain and copilot followed an emergency procedure they’d memorized for the problem, but it didn’t stop the malfunction, the NTSB said. They reported they both needed to push the control column with two hands to maintain control of the plane, preventing them from reaching for their emergency checklists.
Eventually, the copilot was able to use a thumb switch to help keep the jet’s nose level and they returned for a safe landing, the NTSB said. While the Boeing 737 MAA crashes involved a separate failure, it also caused what is known as the pitch trim system on the plane to go haywire. In those cases, it was driving the nose down and pilots weren’t able to diagnose the issue and disconnect the motor that was malfunctioning.
Investigations into those crashes also raised concerns about emergency procedures. In the Atlanta incident, the NTSB said it found evidence of chafed wires, which caused a short circuit that appears to have triggered the issue. The safety board called on Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration to mandate inspections for similar wiring problems and to examine whether the plane’s emergency checklist needs to be revised.
It applies to several similar models, the E170, E175, E190, and E195.