"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft", Dagmawit Moges told a news conference in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Faulty sensors on the Boeing Max jet led to the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March that spurred an global grounding of the fleet and launched numerous federal investigations by the US government, the Chicago-based manufacturer said on Thursday.
The FAA is responsible for regulating aviation in the U.S. and operating the nation's air traffic control system.
Boeing is now developing a software fix for MCAS that it says will add inputs from a second AOA sensor and an indicator light that will alert pilots when something is wrong.
Later on Thursday, the Accident Investigation Bureau published the full preliminary report that details the pre-impact circumstances.
They turned the system back on and tried other actions before the plane crashed, the paper said, citing people familiar with preliminary findings of the crash investigation. Lion Air flight JT 610 crashed into the sea near Indonesia in October killing all 189 people on board. If pilots find that the plane is repeatedly pointing the nose down, Boeing procedures say they should flip two switches to the left of their knees that would cut electrical power to motors that control a horizontal stabilizer on the tail.
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"As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full cooperation with the investigation team", the airlines statement said.
- Experts believe a new flight control system, MCAS, on the jets, created to stop stalling by dipping the nose, may have been a factor in both accidents, with pilots unable to override it as their jets plunged after a faulty sensor indicated a stall.
Boeing, the leading USA aerospace manufacturer, and its principal regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks over claims their relationship is too cozy.
- USA lawmakers said on March 14 the 737 MAX could be grounded for weeks to upgrade software in every plane.
Investigators are studying whether there are any conditions under which MCAS could reactivate itself automatically, without the pilots reversing the cut-out maneuver.
Family members of crash victims said they were unsettled by the report's findings.
The U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies will continue investigating if Boeing offered misleading or incomplete information in order to win safety certification for the plane.
Before it crashed, the pilots of the Lion Air 737 Max struggled to control it as the MCAS repeatedly pushed the plane's nose down, according to its flight data recorder.
Pilots initially turned the software off, then restarted it.