Ethiopian authorities say the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people had “clear similarities” with October’s Lion Air crash as shown by initial analysis of the black boxes recovered from the wreckage of the March 10 disaster.
The crash has generated one of the most widely watched and high-stakes inquiries for years, with the latest version of Boeing’s profitable 737 workhorse depending on the outcome.
Both planes were MAX 8s, and both crashed minutes post take-off after pilots reported flight control problems.
Concern over the plane’s safety led aviation authorities to ground the model, wiping billions of dollars off Boeing’s market value.
“It was the same case with the Indonesian, Lion Air crash. There were clear similarities between the two crashes so far,” Ethiopian transport ministry spokesman Muse Yiheyis said.
“The data was successfully recovered. Both the American team and our (Ethiopian) team validated it,” he told Reuters, adding that the ministry would provide more information after three or four days.
In Washington, however, US officials told reporters that the FAA and US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had not yet validated the data.