The pilot of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet requested permission ‘in a panicky voice’ to return to the airport shortly after takeoff, it has emerged.
Within a minute of departure, Captain Yared Getachew reported a ‘flight control’ problem because the aircraft was well below the minimum safe height during a climb, it is claimed.
After being cleared by the control room to turn back, Flight 302 climbed to an unusually high altitude and disappeared from radar over a restricted military
zone, a source told the New York Times.
All contact between air controllers and the Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 MAX 8 was lost five minutes after it took off, a person who reviewed air traffic communications told the newspaper.
The report said air traffic controllers observed the jet ‘oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet’ prior to the crash which killed 157 on Sunday morning.
‘Break break, request back to home,’ the Times quoted the pilot as saying just prior to the crash. ‘Request vector (direction) for landing.’
Boeing was criticised after the Lion Air crash for allegedly failing to adequately inform 737 pilots about the functioning of the stall prevention system