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Pilots reportedly followed Boeing emergency protocol before deadly Ethiopia crash

Protocol included turning off an automated flight-control system, but it didn't work.

Pilots on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed last month followed emergency protocol laid out by the plane's manufacturer, Boeing, before the crash, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

An unnamed source tolld WSJ that the pilots on the deadly flight that killed 157 turned off  to an automated flight-control system that lowers the nose of a plane. When they couldn't manually regain control of the plane, they turned the system back on.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is a system that automatically lowers the nose of a plane if it senses that the plane is climbing too quickly. The system is meant to prevent the plane from stalling.  A malfunction of this system has been a widely discussed theory as to why the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air planes crashed. 

The 737 MAX planes have been grounded around the world since mid-March. Investigations into both crashes are ongoing. 

Boeing said it would be introducing new software for the planes. The FAA announced Monday that they expected Boeing to submit the new software in the coming weeks. It would need to be approved first, which would keep the planes grounded longer than expected. 

"Safety is our first priority, and we will take a thorough and methodical approach to the development and testing of the update to ensure we take the time to get it right," said Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers.

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