The ‘Black Box’ flight recorders from Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 have been recovered from the crash site near the town of Bishoftu in Ethiopia.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, came down at 08:44 local time on March 10, approximately six minutes after it left Addis Ababa bound for Nairobi. All 157 people on board were killed. Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, said the pilots had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa. Asked by reporters at Bole International about a potential cause, he added: “At this stage, we cannot rule out anything.”
The MAX variant of the highly successful 737 family only entered service in 2017 and the as yet unexplained loss of ET302 follows the loss of a Lion Air MAX 8 in October. Although the investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines crash has only just begun, the carrier has grounded the other five Boeing 737 MAX airliners in its fleet. As a precautionary measure, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has also ordered all Chinese airlines to ground their 737 MAX aircraft for the time being. Cayman Airways has also grounded its two Boeing 737 MAX airliners until further notice.