Ethiopian Airlines black box data shows 'clear similarities' to Lion Air crash

Dagmawit Moges told reporters on Sunday evening that data so far shows there is a "clear similarity" between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and an earlier one in Indonesia that involved the same type of plane.

- Investigators have found a piece of a stabilizer in the wreckage of the Ethiopian jet with the trim set in an unusual position similar to that of the Lion Air plane, two sources familiar with the matter said.

In grounding the Max last week, the FAA cited similarities in the flight trajectory of the Lion Air flight and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.

The black box has been found in a good condition that enabled investigators to extract nearly all the data inside.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam has previously said the pilot of Flight 302 had "flight control problems" shortly before the plane crashed.

This is the 737 Max's automatic anti-stalling system which is created to keep the plane from stalling.

A preliminary report into the Lion Air crash showed that the pilots struggled with an automatic safety system, known as the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), which was created to activate automatically only in the event of a high-speed stall.

The suspicion is a new anti-stall feature installed to help pilots is malfunctioning and caused the crashes, but a final report establishing what caused both crashes will not be delivered until forensic investigators have finished examining the black box flight recorders of both jets.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

The US National Transportation Safety Board has sent about 16 members to assist the investigation, she said.

The crash was the second tragedy involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aeroplane within five months, after a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia shortly after take-off in October, killing 189 people. Thousands of Ethiopians have turned out to a mass funeral ceremony in the capital one week after the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

On Monday, Boeing announced it is working with the FAA to update software related to the MCAS system to make the planes safer.

"The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members", a relative of one of the victims told the Associated Press.

In both cases flight tracking data showed the aircraft's altitude had fluctuated sharply, as the planes seemed to experience erratic climbs and descents.

Ethiopian Airlines has offered the relatives of 157 victims of last Sunday's Boeing 737 Max plane crash bags of scorched earth to bury in place of their loved ones, reports say. "He was the pillar for his whole family", Mr Bilew said.

Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker, says the 737 Max is safe, but after the Lion Air crash a year ago began plans to roll out a new software upgrade.

  • Joey Payne