Ethiopian Crash Investigators Say Wreckage Is Strikingly Similar To Lion Air Crash

Investigations are ongoing into the recent fatal plane crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Most recently, it has been revealed that there could be some commonality with a crash just months before involving the same aircraft. Final conclusions have yet to be made about the cause of either accident, but initial observations show some worrying similarities.

Ethiopian Airlines crash debris
Investigations uncovered debris from the Ethiopian Airlines crash wreckage. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.

Suspicious debris found in the wreckage

As part of the plane crash investigation for the incident which occurred on March 11the, debris is still being recovered from the wreckage, in hopes of finding the cause. Days into the investigation, authorities may have uncovered a piece of evidence that links the Ethiopian Airlines accident to the Lion Air accident last year.

Sifting through the wreckage, investigators have found part of the aircraft stabilizer. This has revealed the specific settings of the plane at the moment of the crash. The stabilizer trim was set in an unusual position for the flight, especially since the aircraft had just taken off. These controls set the function of the aircraft horizontal trim. Based on the stabilizer, the trim may have been set with the nose down. This would have led to a steep downwards dive for the plane.

The most shocking part of this discovery is that the same piece of debris was found amidst the Lion Air debris set to the same position. Are the findings just a coincidence or does it somehow link the two crashes to a similar fault, either in the planes or the pilots?

Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in flight
The recent Ethiopian Airlines crash could be similar to the Lion Air crash. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.

Plane or pilots?

Authorities are increasingly suspicious that the plane crashes suffered by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air had a similar root cause.

In both accidents, the Boeing 737 MAX was the aircraft, making it a prime target of blame for the accidents. Searching through the wreckage is a good start for confirming or denying the claim. The stabilizer trim setting gives some indication of what could have happened with the accidents, placing potential fault on a couple of parties.

A nose down position shortly after take-off is highly unusual for any plane. The stabilizer could have altered on its own due to an aircraft malfunction, or the operators could have set it either by accident or intentionally. Debris uncovered at the site revealing the plane’s setting gives Boeing specific areas to focus on when re-evaluating the safety of its aircraft. It also leads to an examination of pilot training for operating Boeing’s latest 737 model.

Ethiopian Airlines aircraft fleet
Concerns over the safety of the Boeing 737 has grounded the aircraft worldwide. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.

Investigations are ongoing and more evidence is being uncovered to solve the mysterious crashes for the Boeing 737 MAX. Until further notice, all Boeing 737 MAX are grounded worldwide, awaiting design updates to the aircraft.

6 comments
  1. It seemed like a bad idea to let Airbus analyze the Boeing black boxes now we have proof that they are violating international protocols to hurt Boeing and help Airbus

    Infighting among entities involved in the Ethiopian Airlines air disaster probe has hampered analysis of the plane’s damaged black boxes by France’s BEA air accident investigation agency, Fox News has learned. Arguments broke out Thursday as the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder arrived at the BEA near Paris for analysis, according to a source who spoke to American investigators there. The source reported being told that the American investigators left the BEA Thursday night after 12 hours of “doing nothing.” The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization has protocols for examination, custody and cooperation among the investigators involved in a civil aviation accident but those protocols are being ignored, according to the source.

    1. @Mark Caporelli

      So, your’re basing your claims on what they tell you at Faux News — why am I not surprised?

      First, the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) is not Airbus. Only dumbed-down folks are likely not being able to make that distinction.

      2nd, the fact of the matter is that Ethiopian authorities was distrustful of U.S. authorities to determine the cause of the disaster after ruling that the model is safe to fly — amid concerns that similarities between the ET 738 MAX crash and the JT 738 crash last October crash in Indonesia could point to an inherent safety risk — that left the FAA isolated in arguing that the Max should continue flying, challenging its standing as the industry’s leading regulator.

      So, the Ethiopians are not “anti-American — they were probably just annoyed by American interventionism — however slighted U.S. officials might be feeling according to Faux News.

      1. BEA and Airbus are both French government entities.

        SOGEPA (Societé de Gestion de Participations Aéronautiques) is a French holding company owned completely by the French Republic. It is one of the largest public bodies investing in European aerospace technology, indirectly owning 11.11% shares of Airbus

        The Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA, French: Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile) is an agency of the French government

  2. It is the country and airlines choice who they choose to analyze the black boxes. It’s just common sense that BEA wont do anything stupid like making false claims against Boeing as this will most likely end in more deaths.

    I cant believe people actually believes this sh!t. Boeing should have grounded the Max the moment ET had their accident. We all know the NG and MAX is a common type rating so almost no pilots has been trained on the MCAS.

    1. You are correct that Ethiopia is running the investigation and can choose whoever they wish to assist. It is understandable that they would not want the home country of the aircraft manufacturer.
      However, the fact of the matter is that the France has a major financial interest in seeing Airbus succeed and Boeing fail. It is common sense that bureaucrats are corrupt especially in France where corruption is common.
      A more neutral country with adequate capabilities also in the southern hemisphere would have been Australia.

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