“Clear similarities” have reportedly emerged between Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max 8 disaster and the crash of a similar aircraft off Indonesia last October.
Ethiopia’s transport minister made the suggestion as a result of flight data from the latest incident.
The Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crashed after take-off from Addis Ababa last Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.
Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges told journalists that a preliminary report would be released within 30 days.
“Clear similarities were noted between Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which would be the subject of further study during the investigation,” Dagmawit told journalists yesterday, the BBC reported.
In both cases flight tracking data showed the aircraft’s altitude had fluctuated sharply, as they seemed to experience erratic climbs and descents.
Airlines around the world grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft following the second crash.
Boeing chairman and chief executive Dennis Muilenburg later reaffirmed that the company was supporting the investigation.
In a statement, he added that Boeing was going ahead with a software update that will address the behaviour of the flight control system “in response to erroneous sensor inputs”.
Muilenburg said: “Boeing continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available. Safety is our highest priority as we design, build and support our airplanes.
“As part of our standard practice following any accident, we examine our aircraft design and operation, and when appropriate, institute product updates to further improve safety.
“While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalising its development of a previously-announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the flight control law’s behaviour in response to erroneous sensor inputs.
“We also continue to provide technical assistance at the request of and under the direction of the National Transportation Safety Board, the US accredited representative working with Ethiopian investigators.”