Just one minute after taking off from Addis Ababa on Sunday, the pilot of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 reported a "flight control" problem, a person who reviewed air traffic communications told The New York Times Thursday.
The brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft crashed while en route to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board. The person said that three minutes into the flight, the pilot sounded panicked, and requested permission to return to the airport. By that point, air traffic controllers had already noticed that the plane had accelerated to an unusually high speed, and was erratically moving up and down. Within five minutes, contact with the jet was lost.
In October, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia, and while there are similarities between the accidents, investigators say it's too early in the Ethiopian Airlines investigation to draw any conclusions. The crash of Flight 302 led to a global grounding of the MAX aircraft, and the plane's voice and data recorders are now in France, where they will be analyzed.
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