Boeing sends team to site of deadly Ethiopian plane crash
By Lawrence Audu
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday involving a new aircraft model.
Aircraft manufacturing company Boeing, announced a technical team will be travelling to the crash site of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people to provide technical assistance.
Ethiopian Airlines 737 crashed six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport and killed all on board. The aircraft, bound for Nairobi, came down near the town of Bishoftu.
According to reports, the pilot had reported technical difficulties after takeoff and asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa.
“The voice recorder CVR, it tells you the communication that was going on between the cockpit crew and the ATC (Air Traffic Control) at Bole [International Airport]. As you might be aware of, the captain made a distress call asking clearance to get back to Addis Ababa’s airport, but while he was attempting to return back, the accident occurred,” said Kaleyesus Bekele, an aviation expert.
This is the second crash of the Boeing 737 in five months as last October a Lion Air accident in Indonesia killed all 189 people on board.
Safety experts says it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the jet since investigations about the crashes are still ongoing.
“The aviation experts are questioning the reliability of this Max aircraft, particularly on its flight control equipment. They are not questioning or doubting the safety of Ethiopian Airlines,” added Bekele.
This latest incident has prompted airlines across the world to begin withdrawing the model from schedules. Airlines in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico and other countries said they were suspending operations of their 737 MAX 8 fleets.
Meanwhile, US regulators have ordered Boeing to make urgent improvements on this model.