Black box data from crashed Ethiopian Airlines flight shows ‘clear similarities’ with Lion Air crash
Ethiopia's transport minister Dagmawit Moges said the similarity between the two crashes would be the "subject of further study during the investigation."
Ethiopia's transport minister Dagmawit Moges on Saturday revealed that the black boxes from the doomed Ethiopian Airlines plane showed "clear similarity" to the Lion Air crash near Indonesia in October last year.
Although the minister did not provide any more details, he said that the similarity between the two crashes would be the "subject of further study during the investigation."
Moges added that a preliminary report on the crash will also be issued in "30 days."
The Ethiopian Airlines plane, flight 302, crashed into the farmlands of Addis Ababa on March 10, just minutes into its flight to Nairobi, killing all passengers and crew on board.
The latest crash sparked speculation over the functionality of Boeing's 737 MAX 8 as countries across the world grounded the aircraft.
The Lion Air jet, another Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, crashed into the Java Sea in October last year, killing 189 people on board. The plane crashed after vanishing from radar 13 minutes post departure from Jakarta airport. According to reports, both the planes experienced erratic steep climbs, descents and fluctuating airspeeds before crashing.
Soon after the Lion Air plane crash, questions were raised on an automated anti-stalling system introduced on the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, designed to automatically point the nose of the plane downward if in danger of stalling. The flight data recorder of Flight 610 showed that pilots had struggled to control the plane as the automated MCAS system repeatedly pushed the plane's nose down after takeoff.
Reports state that two black boxes of the Ethiopian Airlines plane have been handed to France's BEA air safety agency, which is working with Ethiopian and American investigators to determine what went wrong during the flight.
The news came as thousands of mourners took to the streets of Addis Ababa on Sunday for a mass funeral of the crash victims. Officials reportedly delivered bags of earth to family members of the victims instead of their remains as the identification process is expected to take a long time, according to reports.
The news was confirmed by some of the victims' family members, who said they were each handed a 1kg sack of scorched earth taken from a crash site.
"The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members, "one family member said. "We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones," the Daily Mail reported.
Forensic DNA work has reportedly begun on identifying the remains from the crash, however, officials have said that the process may take six months.