Sunday, March 10, 2019

Pilot of crashed plane reported ‘difficulties’, asked to return: Ethiopian Airlines

The pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines jet that has crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing 157 people on board, had alerted controllers “he had difficulties” and wanted to turn back the plane carrying 157 people, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said. The pilot “was given clearance” to return to Addis, Tewolde GebreMariam told journalists in Addis Ababa, after visiting the crash site.

The four-month-old Boeing plane, en route to Nairobi, lost contact at 8:44 local time, six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport, the Ethiopian Airlines said. The aircraft went down near Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa.

It said thirty-two Kenyans, eighteen Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Chinese, eight Italians, eight Americans, seven British and seven French nationals were among the passengers. There were also six Egyptians, five from the Netherlands, four with UN passports, four from both India and Slovakia, three from Russia, three Austrian and three Swedish; two Moroccan, Spanish, Polish, Israeli and one each from Belgium , Indonesia, Uganda, Yemen, Sudan, Togo, Serbia, Mozambique, Norwegian, Rwanda, Ireland, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

The plane had arrived from Johannesburg earlier today, before departing again for Kenya and the pilot, Capitan Yared Getache, had more than 8,000 hours flying experience, according to the press conference.

The flight had unstable vertical speed after takeoff, said flight-tracking website Flightradar24 on its Twitter feed.

In a statement posted on its Twitter page, the Ethiopian airlines wrote: “It is too early to speculate the cause of the accident and further investigation will be carried out to find out the cause of the accident in collaboration with all stakeholders including the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other International entities to maintain the international standard and Information will be provided once the cause is identified. Ethiopian Airlines will provide all the necessary support to the families of the victims.”
10/03/19 Ethiopia Observer