Boeing says will take 'any and all' needed safety steps after Ethiopia crash

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Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg deplaning a Boeing 737 MAX after a test flight of the company's proposed fix to its anti-stall system

New York (AFP) - Boeing on Thursday said it would take "any and all" necessary safety measures to ensure the airworthiness of its jets following last month's deadly crash in Ethiopia.

The statement came hours after Ethiopian investigators said the pilots of a doomed Boeing 737 MAX 8 had repeatedly followed Boeing's recommended procedures prior to crashing on March 10.

"We will carefully review the... preliminary report and will take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft," Kevin McAllister, head of Boeing's commercial aircraft division, said in a statement.

The Ethiopian investigators' preliminary findings put the embattled US aviation giant under even greater pressure to restore clients' confidence and demonstrate the airworthiness of planes that crashed twice in less than five months.

The company says it plans to release a software fix to the anti-stall system used aboard the 737 MAX aircraft in the coming weeks. US regulators this week demanded further improvements to a proposed fix before it could be submitted for review.

The Ethiopian probe appeared to confirm suspicions about the so-called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, with data echoing that from the crash of the Indonesian Lion Air 737 MAX 8 flight in October last year which killed 189 people.

The full report has not been publicly released but, according to a draft copy seen by AFP, shortly after take-off a sensor recording the level of the plane began transmitting faulty data, prompting the autopilot system to point the nose downwards.

"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft," said Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges, unveiling results of the preliminary probe into the crash.