The black box from the Boeing jet that crashed and killed all 157 people on board will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site.
The causes of the two crashes are under investigation, but amid the uncertainty a growing number of countries and airlines have grounded the plane, one of Boeing's newest and most important models.
"The plane crash I witnessed on Sunday has made me especially sad", Fekadu said.
The CEO says controllers granted captain Yared Getachew permission to return to Addis Ababa at around the same time the Boeing 737 Max 8 disappeared from radar, just six minutes into the flight.
U.S. President Donald Trump, an aviation enthusiast whose ties with Boeing run deep, received safety assurances personally from its chief executive Dennis Muilenburg.
State-owned Ethiopian Airline had taken delivery of the Boeing 737-800 MAX plane on November 15.
"We discussed the departure at length and I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can't think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively", one pilot said.
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In the US, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines operate the Max 8 and United Airlines flies a slightly larger version, the Max 9. China, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, India and others have temporarily suspended the plane.
Gebremariam was asked about the similarities of the latest crash to that of Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 off the coast of Indonesia that killed all 189 on board but said it is too early to speculate.
Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker, has said it retains "full confidence" in the 737 MAX.
Egyptian aviation authorities have banned the operation of all Boeing 737 Max aircrafts, citing safety concerns.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Asrat Begashaw said the airline has "a range of options" for the data and voice records of the flight's last moments.
The airport authorities explained that they wanted to question him because he was the only passenger booked on the doomed flight who wasn't on board.
In a joint press statement, Kenya's Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Ethiopian Airlines' Kenya country manager Yilma Goshu said that the government has reached out to the families of 25 of the 32 Kenyans who perished in the Sunday morning crash. "I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!"
Until flight data recorder data is analyzed, it's impossible to say whether the two disasters are linked.