Revealed: Black Box Recordings of Crashed Ethiopian Airlines Flight

  • Investigators have released the preliminary reports from the recordings of the black box recovered from the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 that killed 157, among them 36 Kenyans. 

    US-based Wall Street Journal (WSR) on Friday reported that a suspect anti-stall system was activated shortly before the plane nosedived into the ground, causing a massive crater.

    The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) failed in a manner similar to the 2018 Lion Air crash in Indonesia.

    "According to a preliminary report from Indonesia investigators released in November, the MCAS on the Lion Air flight was repeatedly pushing the plane's nose down due to erroneous sensor information," reported Al Jazeera.  

    A stall occurs when an aircraft can no longer generate enough lift to counteract its weight which results in reduced speed. 

    When the MCAS system notices that the plane has stalled, it tilts the nose of the aircraft in order to correct the error. 

    American-based CNBC reported that the plane flew out of the sky after the pilot was unable to regain control. 

    Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 had also reported that the plane had unstable vertical speed after take off. 

    Sources privy to the investigation told WSJ that the preliminary findings are subject to revision, and Ethiopian authorities are expected to issue their own first report within days.

    The airline told the families of the victims of the crash that plans to compensate them were on course. 

    Families of the victims will receive between Ksh17 million and Ksh25 million for each person lost.

    Lucas Nzioka, who lost a nephew, intimated that Ethiopian officials told family members during a closed-door session that compensation will be subject to various factors.

    “We were told it could be between $170,000 and $250,000 depending on age, profession and so on. It should be done within 18 months,” Nzioka told the Sunday Nation.

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