Ethiopian Airlines crash: France to analyse Boeing's black boxes

Ethiopian Airlines crash: France to analyse Boeing's black boxes

France’s BEA air accident investigation agency will handle the black boxes from Ethiopia [File: Alain Jocard/AFP]

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The black boxes from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed on Sunday in Ethiopia have been sent to France for analysis, Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday.

“An Ethiopian delegation led by Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has flown the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) to Paris, France for investigation,” the airline said in a statement.

Ethiopia said on Wednesday it will send the FDR and the CVR to France because the east African country lacks the facilities to carry out the detailed analysis required to determine the cause of the deadly disaster.

The devices from the US made aircraft will be analysed by France’s BEA air accident investigation agency.

Analysts backed the decision by Africa’s biggest airline to send the black boxes to France.

“To send the data recorders to the USA would be to allow a party with a vested interest to be a judge in its own case,” Awo Allo, a lecturer in law at Keele University in the UK, said.

“Boeing is more than just a company for the US and Ethiopia cannot reasonably expect a judicious outcome from a US investigation,” Awo added.


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Flight ET 302, heading to Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed about 50km outside the Ethiopian capital six minutes after taking off.

All 157 people on board – 149 passengers and eight crew – died in the crash.

Previous incident

The crash was the second involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 model in five months.

In October, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia 10 minutes after take-off, killing 189 people. The cause of that accident is still under investigation.

Before Sunday’s disaster, more than 370 jets of the model were in operation.

Following the latest crash, the European Union and several countries banned the 737 MAX aircraft from their airspace.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the temporary grounding of all 737 MAX aircraft operated by US airlines or in US airspace on Wednesday.

The US, home of Boeing – the world’s largest aircraft maker – was one of the last countries where the plane model was still allowed to operate.

According to flight tracking website, FlightRadar24, all Boeing 737 MAX jets have now been grounded.

Meanwhile, Boeing recommended a temporary suspension of the “entire global fleet” of 737 MAX aircraft on Wednesday.

Following Wednesday’s announcement, Boeing shares fell by nearly three percent. The aircraft maker’s stock has gone down by at least 13 percent since Sunday.


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