Ethiopian Airlines CEO Confirms Wrecked Plane Had 'Flight Control Problems'

By Canadian Press
Baby travelling to see grandfather teacher among Canadian victims in Ethiopian crash
Mar 14 2019

Ethiopian Airlines said passengers from at least 35 countries were on the flight.

The airline is planning to send the 737 Max 8 plane's flight data recorder to Europe rather than the U.S. for analysis, he said.

But much more about Sunday's crash remains unclear - including crucial questions over what caused the jet to go down.

GebreMariam also told reporters at a press conference that the pilot in contact with air traffic controlhad reported technical difficulties, and later elaborated to CNN that he reported "flight control problems".

Quindos however said the family would not be sending a representative to Addis Ababa on Tuesday, adding they had chose to return to Nakuru where family meetings are being held.

Trump did not refer to Boeing or recent accidents, but his comments echoed an automation debate that partially lies at the centre of an investigation into October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia.

The Ethiopian government is already taking preventive measures by announcing on Monday its decision to indefinitely ground all its Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.

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The MAX 8 was unveiled to great fanfare little over two years ago, but passengers around the world are now asking if the planes are safe after they were involved in two tragedies in less than six months.

"We discussed the departure at length and I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can't think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively", one pilot said.

Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker, which has seen billions of dollars wiped off its market value since the crash, said it understood the actions but retained "full confidence" in the 737 MAX and had safety as its priority.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has spoken directly to Trump about the crash, according to Reuters, which notes that the two businessmen have also spoken several times in the past - including negotiations over the price of the new Air Force One.

At the rural site where Flight ET 302, which was bound for the Kenyan capital Nairobi, came down near the village of Gora-Bokka, dozens of grief-stricken relatives paid their respects. And Nikki Haley, Trump's former United Nations ambassador, has been nominated to join Boeing's board. Canadian and American carriers remain the last major airlines using the plane.

Gebremariam says the pilot had asked to return to base and his request was approved shortly before the fatal crash.

The new questions are surfacing months after USA pilots criticized Boeing in the wake of the Lion Air disaster, saying the plane maker had not provided enough information or training about a critical aspect of its new flight control system, as NPR's David Schaper reported in November.

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