French experts from the Office of Research and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) of France on Sunday gave investigators in Ethiopia the data of the flight data recorder (FDR) of the Boeing 737 8 MAX of Ethiopian Airlines injured last Sunday.
“The data contained in the FDR has been successfully downloaded by the BEA and transferred to the Ethiopian research team,” the French organization reported on its Twitter account.
The data from the first black box, which contained the cabin voice recorder (CVR) were extracted on Saturday and the same day were sent to Ethiopian researchers. In this way, the BEA completes “technical work” on the two black boxes that it made at the request of the African country.
On the other hand, a source who has listened to air traffic control recordings has reported that the plane had an unusually high speed after takeoff. A few minutes later, the pilots reported a problem and asked permission to take more height, after which the communication was lost.
A voice from the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX asked to go up to 14,000 feet above sea level – 6,400 feet above the airport – before asking to return to the terminal, the source said in an anonymity statement. Finally the plane disappeared from the radar at 10,800 feet.
“He said he had a flight control problem, that’s why he wanted to go up,” said the source, who stressed that the voice was nervous and did not give any more details about the exact problem they had detected.
Experts have explained that pilots usually ask to get up when they experience problems near the ground to have room to maneuver and avoid difficult terrain. Addis Ababa is surrounded by hills and immediately to the north are the Entoto Mountains.
The newspaper ‘The New York Times’ has reported that the voice of Captain Yared Getachew is in the recording, but the Reuters source could not confirm it because he did not know his voice or that of the first officer, Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur. However, it is the same voice that sounds throughout the recording.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration decided on Wednesday to ban Boeing 737 MAX flights by citing satellite data and site evidence showing some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with the October crash of another 737 MAX of Lion Air in Indonesia in which 189 people died.
HIGH SPEED, ELEVATION FAILED
The flight had to follow the standardized instrument exit procedures (SID) from the airport and did so with a first contact shortly after departure, said the source, so everything seemed normal.
The ground speed of the aircraft after take-off was unusually high, about 400 knots (740 kilometers per hour) instead of the 200 to 250 knots that is typically typical minutes after take-off. “That’s too fast,” the source assured.
About two minutes later, the air traffic controller was in communication with another aircraft when the voice of Flight 302 of Ethiopian Airlines interrupted it, saying “cut, cut”, indicating that other non-urgent communications should cease. The pilot seemed very scared, according to the source.
“He asked for permission to come back in. The air traffic control gave him permission to go back to the right because the city is on the left, maybe a minute passed before the blinking point of the radar disappeared,” he added.
After starting the turn, the plane disappeared from the radar at an altitude of 10,800 feet above sea level, the highest point it reached during its six-minute flight. The Addis Ababa airstrip is at an elevation of about 7,600 feet, suggesting that the plane rose some 3,000 feet.