Clues have began emerging from the examination of the black box recorders from the crashed Boeing 737 Max 8 on Saturday.
A source that has listened to the air traffic control recording told Reuters, the Ethiopian plane was travelling at an usually high speed after takeoff.
The source said a voice from the cockpit requested to increase altitude. But then the pilot, who sounded very scared, mentioned a flight control problem. The pilot then started to make a right turn to the airport.
The plane then vanished off the radar. Investigators in Paris could not be immediately reached to confirm the conversation.
Similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and Lion Air flight over Indonesia last October have raised fresh questions about the systems on the 737 Max.
So far there’s no evidence to suggest a software upgrade was to blame for either accident.
But Boeing is planning to release a software upgrade in the next weeks to 10 days, sources told Reuters.
All Boeing Max jets have been grounded worldwide due to safety concerns.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines said Saturday DNA testing of the remains on the 157 passengers killed could take up to six months. It offered bereaved families charred earth from the crash site to bury.
‘‘Victim identification will be carried out using reliable, scientific and international standards and for this purpose, internationally-recognized and accredited organizations such as Interpol and Blake are going to be in the process”, said Ethiopian Transport Minister, Dagmawit Moges.
On Friday, investigators found a possible clue at the crash site, a key part of the plane’s tail. The horizontal stabilizer is reportedly set in an unusual position which is similar to that seen in the wreckage of the Indonesian MAX 8.
The position of the stabilizer could help determine whether the plane was set nose down for a steep dive.
For bereaved families, answers can’t come soon enough.