Ethiopia To Fast Track Report into 737 Max Crash

 - March 21, 2019, 8:06 AM
Recovery crews sift through the wreckage of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed southeast of Addis Ababa on March 10. (Photo: Kaleyesus Bekele)

The Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is expediting the preliminary report on the March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to reveal the basic findings no later than March 29.   

Members of the AIB who took the destroyed Boeing 737 Max 8's flight data and cockpit voice recorders to French accident investigation agency BEA for analysis last week returned to Addis Ababa on Tuesday morning with the downloaded data.

Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority director general Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw told AIN that the AIB “is working day and night” to complete the preliminary report. Hunegnaw said Ethiopian Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges will present the major findings of the investigation next week. “Based on the readings of the CVR and FDR we have confirmed that there are clear similarities between the Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302 accidents,” said Hunegaw. The flight path, altitude, the flight time, and speed of the two 737 Max 8 aircraft are similar.” 

He declined to give further details about the readings.

AIN has learned that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Boeing have asked for the recordings of the CVR and FDR. However, Ethiopian aviation authorities so far have shown reluctance to release a copy of the data, even though representatives of the NTSB and Boeing observed its extraction by the BEA in Paris.

The U.S., through its ambassador in Addis Ababa, Michael Raynor, is exerting diplomatic pressure on Ethiopian authorities to secure the critical data to determine the cause of the accident.