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Ethiopian Airlines crash: Pilot's last message sent just before doomed flight killed 157

Mirror logo Mirror 5 days ago Bradley Jolly
a man sitting on a rock: American civil aviation and Boeing investigators search through the debris near Bishoftu, Ethiopia © REUTERS American civil aviation and Boeing investigators search through the debris near Bishoftu, Ethiopia

The pilot of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed killing all 157 on board begged air traffic control to land, minutes before the tragedy.

Yared Getachew, captain of the Boeing 737 Max 8, was granted clearance to return to base after he experienced flight control problems on Sunday minutes into the journey to Nairobi, Kenya.

EJERE, ETHIOPIA - MARCH 13: A bouquet of flowers is placed in front of a pile of debris at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash on March 13, 2019 in Ejere, Ethiopia. All 157 passengers and crew perished after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight came down six minutes after taking off from Bole Airport. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images) © Getty Images EJERE, ETHIOPIA - MARCH 13: A bouquet of flowers is placed in front of a pile of debris at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash on March 13, 2019 in Ejere, Ethiopia. All 157 passengers and crew perished after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight came down six minutes after taking off from Bole Airport. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images) Now the CEO of the airline has revealed the last messages between Mr Getachew and air traffic control.

Airline chief Tewolde GebreMariam said: “According to the air traffic controller’s recorded voice exchange, the pilot recorded flight control problems, so he was having difficulties with the flight control of the aeroplane.

“He asked to return back to base, and clearance was given to him."

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Yared Getachew was the pilot of the doomed jet © NTV Kenya Yared Getachew was the pilot of the doomed jet

But he told CNN: “That was at 8.44am, at the same time the aeroplane disappeared from the radar.”

It is unclear at this stage what flight control problems the crew experienced.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, gave more details about the in-flight communication © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, gave more details about the in-flight communication

But Mr GebreMariam stressed all employees were given new training after the Lion Air disaster last year, which saw another Boeing 737 Max 8 plunge to the ground in Indonesia.

The aviation boss continued: “They’re both the same aeroplane model, brand new aeroplanes, and also the flights were very short.

“The fact that many other countries are also now raising cautions on the aeroplane shows there is very significant similarities (between) the two accidents.

“There are a lot of questions to be answered on the aeroplane.”

Now the black box, which records data, will be sent to Paris for analysis.

a pile of dirt and grass field: All 157 people on board the plane died on Sunday © VCG via Getty Images All 157 people on board the plane died on Sunday

Mr GebreMariam said Mr Gatechew was a “commendable” pilot with an excellent flying record who had clocked up more than 8000 flight hours.

He was accompanied in the cockpit by the experienced first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur.

The disaster has rocked the global aviation industry.

Boeing has tonight said it is pausing deliveries of its 737 MAX aircraft to customers in the wake of the deadly crash. 

Multiple nations, including all in the European Union, have  suspended the 737 MAX, grounding about two-thirds of the 371 jets of that make in operation around the world.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority also announced it had banned the jet from UK airspace.

a group of people standing in the grass: No bodies have been recovered from the wreckage © AFP/Getty Images No bodies have been recovered from the wreckage

And Donald Trump has Donald Trump grounds 737 Max 8 and 9 after Ethiopia Airlines crash.

The US president said Boeing "is an incredible company" but, for now, has notified all airlines of his decision.

Speaking at the White House, the former businessman said: "All of those planes are grounded effectively immediately.

"Boeing is an incredible company. They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully, they’ll come up with an answer, but until they do, all planes are grounded.

a group of people standing on top of a dirt field: Ethiopian Federal policemen stand near engine parts at the scene © REUTERS Ethiopian Federal policemen stand near engine parts at the scene

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"We are going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line."

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