The Ethiopian Airlines pilot whose jet crashed killing 157 people had reported flight-control problems, the company said on Wednesday, as it prepared to send the black boxes to Europe from a disaster that has rocked the global aviation industry, ONAreports quoting Reuters.
The still unexplained crash, which happened just after take-off from Addis Ababa, followed another disaster involving a Boeing 737 MAX in Indonesia five months ago that killed 189 people.
Though there is no proof of links, the twin disasters have spooked passengers, led to the grounding of most of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet and hammered shares in the world’s biggest planemaker.
Since the Indonesia crash, there has been attention on an automated anti-stall system that dips the aircraft’s nose down.
Ethiopia Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw told Reuters it was still unclear what happened on Sunday, but its pilot had reported control issues - as opposed to external factors such as birds.
“The pilot reported flight control problems and requested to turn back. In fact he was allowed to turn back,” he said.