The 2015 complaints, filed before the Max 8 was in use, are critical of training and pilot documentation on the 737 in use at the time, as well as two larger Boeing planes. They could also lead to renewed scrutiny of Ethiopian Airlines, a fast-growing international airline that has enjoyed a generally positive safety reputation in international aviation circles.
One pilot said the airline didn’t “have the infrastructure” to support the fleet of Boeing and Airbus jets it ordered, and alleged the airline had a “fear-based” management culture in which “safety is being sacrificed for expansion and profit margin.” The pilot also accused the airline of failing to update pilot manuals and leaving out certain checklists designed to help pilots respond to “non-normal” situations. Another pilot criticized Ethiopian regulators for maintaining lax standards with respect to crew flight and rest time. The FAA’s data does not identify the pilots by name.
Ethiopian Airlines responded to reports of the complaints by calling them “baseless and factually incorrect” and said it was to divert attention from the global grounding of the Max 8 aircraft.