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11.04.2019 Ethiopia

Flight data, voice recorders show how pilots desperately struggled to save Ethiopian plane from crashing

Flight data, voice recorders show how pilots desperately struggled to save Ethiopian plane from crashing
LISTEN APR 11, 2019

A recently released investigative report in the Ethiopian plane crash has revealed the last six minutes of horror passengers and crew of the aircraft went through.

The preliminary findings contained in a 33-page document show that pilots of the plane tried all they could to avert a crash but to no success.

According to a report filed by the Standard on Monday, April 8, the Boeing 737 Max-8 kept flying in a nose down position and could not respond to all emergency procedures pilots executed.

Here is a detailed account of what happened between 8.37am and 8.44am on the dark morning of Sunday, March 10.

The control tower at Bole International Airport, in Addis Ababa gave crew nod to take off

The 737 Max-8 took off with accurate angle of attack (AOA) indications.

While climbing to the required cruising altitude, the captain's AOA indicator started indicating a conflicting angle from that of the first officer.

The captain engaged the autopilot hopping that it troubleshoots the differences in AOA.

An autopilot warning was heard.

A second autopilot warning is recorded as captured by cockpit voice recorder.

The first officer is instructed by the captain to contact radar.

The plane's left autopilot is engaged for at least 33 seconds and flaps retracted (flaps are used to generate more lift during lower speed).

Autopilot is disengaged and plane experiences amplitude roll oscillations and at the same time literal acceleration.

Pilots set the plane to fly at 32,000 feet and the speed at 440.78 kph.

The captain instructed first officer to set the flaps up.

Heading started to change from 072 degrees that was set to 197 degrees while the pilot kept insisting to first officer to maintain runway heading.

Autopilot was turned off.

The plane recorded a nose down motion for about nine seconds causing a slight drop in altitude.

Terrain senors informed pilots that they were flying close to the ground.

Captain told the officers to trim up with him.

First officer shouted "stab trim cut-out" two times.

The captain acknowledged and first officer responded stab "trim cut-out."

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