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Black box from Ethiopian Airlines crash shows 'clear similarities' to Boeing 737 Max crash last year

A preliminary report into last Sunday’s crash will be released in 30 days.

Workers collect clothes and other materials, under the instruction of investigators, at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed last week
Workers collect clothes and other materials, under the instruction of investigators, at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed last week
Image: Mulugeta Ayene/PA Images

DATA FROM A black box recovered from an Ethiopian Airlines jet which crashed last week shows “clear similarities” to the crash of an Indonesian Lion Air plane last year.

The link between the two crashes will be “subject of further study during the investigation” Ethiopia’s transport minister Dagmawit Moges said today.

She also said that a preliminary report into last Sunday’s crash would be released in 30 days.

Last week’s Ethiopian Airlines crash killed 157 people – including Irishman Michael Ryan – after the plane plummeted into farmland southeast of Addis Ababa minutes into its flight to Nairobi.

The crash led to the grounding of around 350 Boeing 737 Max jets worldwide earlier this week, when it was suspected there was a problem with the plane because of the similarities between last week’s accident and October’s Lion Air tragedy.

Even before the black box data had been recovered, countries and airlines seized on the similarities between the Ethiopian and Indonesian crashes to order the Boeing model out of service worldwide.

Both planes reportedly experienced erratic steep climbs and descents as well as fluctuating airspeeds before crashing shortly after takeoff.

Questions have focused on an automated anti-stalling system introduced on the 737 Max 8, which is designed to automatically point the nose of the plane downward if it is in danger of stalling.

The black boxes from the Ethiopian Airlines flight have been handed to France’s BEA air safety agency, which is working with US and Ethiopian investigators to determine what brought it down.

With additional reporting from - © AFP 2019

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