Friday, March 15, 2019

Pilot called in panicky voice minutes before Ethiopia Airlines flight crashed: Report

Addis Ababa: The pilot of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed requested permission "in a panicky voice" to return to the airport shortly after takeoff, The New York Times reported Friday.

The report cited "a person who reviewed air traffic communications" from Sunday's flight saying controllers noticed the plane was moving up and down by hundreds of feet, with its speed appearing unusually fast.

An airline spokesman has said the pilot was given permission to return. But the plane crashed minutes later outside Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.

French authorities now have the plane's flight data and voice recorders for analysis. The agency in charge of the review said it was unclear whether the data could be retrieved.

In Ethiopia, officials started taking DNA samples from victims' family members to assist in identifying remains.

Countries including the United States have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 as the US-based company faces the challenge of proving the jets are safe to fly amid suspicions that faulty software might have contributed to two crashes that killed 346 people in less than six months.

The decision to send the flight recorders to France was seen as a rebuke to the United States, which held out longer than most other countries in grounding the jets.

The US National Transportation Safety Board sent three investigators to help French authorities.
15/03/19 AP/India Today

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