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World:Pilot of Crashed Jet Reported Flight-Control Problems

Ethiopia Airlines Updates: Boeing 737 Crash Kills at Least 150

Ethiopia Airlines Updates: Boeing 737 Crash Kills at Least 150 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An Ethiopian Airlines flight carrying more than 150 people crashed early Sunday shortly after departing from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, the airline said, killing everyone onboard. The plane was identified by its manufacturer, Boeing, as one of its newest models, a 737 Max 8. The cause of the crash was unclear, but a Lion Air flight using the same model of plane went down in Indonesia in October and killed 189 people.

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia—The pilot of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed Sunday reported that he was having flight-control problems and wanted to return to the airport, the chief executive of the airline said.

In recordings of the pilot’s conversations with controllers, he didn’t indicate any external problems with the jet or the flight, like a bird collision, CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told The Wall Street Journal.

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The pilot “reported back to air-traffic controllers that he was having flight-control problems” and wanted to return to Addis Ababa, Mr. Gebremariam said.

The executive said he had listened to the recording and there were no other problems cited by the pilot.

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Mr. Gebremariam said the black boxes recovered from the jet would be sent to Europe for analysis, although a final determination as to which country hasn’t been made.

He said the U.K., France and Germany were being considered, as well as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency based in Cologne, Germany, and that a decision would be made Wednesday.

Pilot of Crashed Jet Reported Flight-Control Problems© MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP/Getty Images A photo shows debris of the crashed airplane of Ethiopia Airlines, near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 11, 2019. - Airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets Monday as investigators recovered the black boxes from a brand-new passenger jet that crashed outside Addis Ababa a day earlier, killing all 157 people on board. (Photo by Michael TEWELDE / AFP) (Photo credit should read MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that U.S. and Ethiopian officials were discussing the destination of the black boxes, with American officials quietly pushing for them to be sent to the U.S.

Black boxes are devices that contain voice recordings and data from the flight that are crucial in any crash investigation. Downloading the data takes technical expertise and equipment that only a few countries possess.

The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashed shortly after takeoff while on a scheduled Addis Ababa-Nairobi flight, killing all 157 people on board.

Boeing has maintained the jet is safe to fly after Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia and the crash of another 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia in October.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration reiterated Tuesday that the aircraft is safe.

“Our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” the agency said. U.S. carriers, sticking by the FAA guidance, have said they have no plans to ground flights.

Write to Matina Stevis-Gridneff at [email protected]

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Indonesia’s aviation safety regulator confirmed an off-duty pilot was aboard a Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 a day before the aircraft crashed, after people familiar with the matter said that a third person was in the cockpit and helped the crew disable a malfunctioning flight-control system. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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