CRASH: Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 with 157 On Board


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UPDATED 15:23 (UTC +2), 15 March 2019

According to the media reports, the captain of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 requested permission to return to Addis Ababa airport three minutes after take-off as it accelerated to abnormal speed. The aircraft was cleared for return. However, after clearance the plane climbed to an unusually high altitude and disappeared from radar.

The contact between air traffic controllers and the crew of Boeing 737 MAX was lost five minutes after take-off.

Reportedly, the captain of the aircraft told about problems with flight control.

UPDATED 16:17 (UTC +2), 14 March 2019

Ethiopia’s Authorities requested assistance to read out the black boxes by the French BEA, the BEA accepted and is going to read the recorders out.

“Shortly after the departure from Runway 07R at HAAB, the aircraft was levelled off at approximately 9,000 feet MSL. The flight crew transmitted a distress call, and ATC authorized the flight to return to HAAB. Radar contact was lost shortly after at 0844L (0544Z).

The aircraft impacted terrain, and the wreckage was found near Ejere, Ethiopia, which is located approximately 28 nm east of HAAB. All persons on board received fatal injuries, including 18 Canadian Nationals; the aircraft was destroyed. Ethiopia’s Accident Investigation Bureau is investigating. In accordance with ICAO Annex 13 5.27, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada assigned an expert to the investigation”, the Canadian TSB reported.

UPDATED 12:48 (UTC +2), 12 March 2019

The airline confirmed both the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of ET-302 have been recovered.

UPDATED 11:14 (UTC +2), 11 March 2019

On 11 March Ethiopian Airlines released the statement saying the airline decided to ground its whole Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet, which, according to the Boeing website, consists of five MAX 8 including the one that was involved in the crash. Although the reason of the crash has not been determined yet, the airline calls its decision ”as an extra precaution”.

UPDATED 15:38 (UTC +2), 10 March 2019

In the press conference the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines confirmed that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 which was performing the flight ET-302 was a brand new plane the delivery of which was taken 15 November 2018. The aircraft has flown over 1,200 hours.

Particularly this Boeing 737 MAX 8 has just arrived from Johannesburg this morning, flight ET-858.

The aircraft had a rigorous first check maintenance on 4 February 2019.

The reason of the crash could not be determined yet. The investigation has been launched. By the time CEO reached the crash site there was no fire but a smog.

In regards to the crew members who were in charge of the flight ET-302, the CEO revealed the pilot in command was an experienced pilot with over 8,000 hours. The pilot in command became the captain on Boeing 737 aircraft in November 2017. The first officer had accumulated 200 flight hours.

Also, it was announced that passengers on the flight were of 35 nationalities.

UPDATED 14:59 (UTC +2), 10 March 2019

The airline issued the media statement confirming no survivors were found. The first image from the crash site shows a large terrain of impact with a lot of small pieces of the aircraft.

The Boeing Company has also confirmed that the aircraft performing a flight was Boeing 737 MAX 8.

”A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board”, the company said in the statement.

CEO at the crash site / Ethiopian Airlines

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8, performing a flight ET-302 from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to Nairobi (Kenya) with 149 passengers and 8 crew, was climbing out of Nairobi when the aircraft levelled off at about 9,000 feet and the radar contact was lost.

The airline confirmed the fact of the crash, however, the information about fatalities is not available yet. The airline reported rescue and recovery forces are on their way to the crash site near Bishoftu (Ethiopia) about 17nm southsoutheast of Addis Ababa.

In the media release the airline reported: “At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities”.

Ethiopia’s Government expressed its deep condolences to the families who lost their loved ones, on Twitter.

According to Flightradar24, the aircraft performing the fatal crash was a Boeing 737 MAX 8. The first flight of this plane was in October 2018.

The Boeing Company also released a short statement on its website saying that it “is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation”.

Second Deadly Crash for MAX 8

This is already the second Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane involved in fatal accidents. Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8 was a four-months old.

The first 737 MAX 8 that crashed into the sea taking the lives of 189 people on board flew for Lion Air. It was an eleven-month old machine which had only 800 hours of flight.