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Ethiopian Airlines Flight Data Shows Clear Similarities with Lion Air Crash

Ethiopian Airlines crash site

Ethiopia's transport minister on Sunday announced that the recent Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crash had similarities to the Lion Air plane crash at the coast of Indonesia about five months ago.

A preliminary study of the flight data recorders show “clear similarities between Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610,” Minister Dagmawit Moges said at a press conference in Addis Ababa.

In both cases flight tracking data showed the aircraft's altitude had fluctuated sharply, as the planes seemed to experience erratic climbs and descents. According to a Reuters article one source reported that the plane had an unusually high speed after take-off before the plane reported problems and asked permission to climb quickly.

The findings will be subject to further investigation, and a preliminary report will be released within 30 days, she said.

On 29 October Lion Air Flight 610 crashed after taking off from Jakarta airport, killing 189 people. Following crash investigation, investigators identified problems with the anti-stall system, which is designed to stop a plane from pointing upwards at too high an angle where it could lose its lift. During flight, the system repeatedly forced the plane's nose down, even when the plane was not stalling - possibly due to a faulty sensor. Pilots tried to correct this by pointing the nose higher, until the system pushed it down again for more than 20 times.

Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said that Boeing was going ahead with a software update that will address the behavior of the flight control system "in response to erroneous sensor inputs".





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