A screw-shaped device discovered by investigators in the wreck of the Boeing 737 Max that crashed in Ethiopia last Sunday indicates that the aircraft was configured to dive when it crashed to the ground after take-off.
The horror incident killed all 157 people on board and prompted countries around the world to gather Boeing jets.
It has now been revealed that the discovery of the screw device on the scene has finally convinced US officials to also land the jet model.
The so-called jack is used to adjust the trim that raises and lowers the nose of the airplane, according to a person involved in the investigation.
The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, added that the investigation found that the device was configured to push the nose down.
A screw-shaped device found in the wreck of the Ethiopian airline's flight was pointed down, indicating that the plane was set to "dive"
This, combined with a new satellite flight track in the aircraft, convinced the American Aviation Authority that there were similarities with the collapse of Ethiopia and an accident on October 29 of the same Max model off the coast of Indonesia.
The head of the FAA, Daniel Elwell, had previously cited unspecified evidence for the reason behind the jet.
In the incident near Indonesia, reports said that a safety function on the Boeing aircraft was repeatedly trying to dive the plane.
This is due to a malfunction, although it is not clear whether the same problem has affected the aircraft in Ethiopia.
Previously, it emerged that the pilot of the convicted Ethiopian company asked for "panic" permission to return to the airport shortly after take-off.
Meanwhile, a French accident investigation opened today as the US aerospace giant Boeing stopped supplying the top-selling Max 8 aircraft. In the photo: the black boxes of the plane arrive in the French capital
A minute after departure, Captain Yared Getachew reported a "flight control" problem because the plane was well below the minimum safety height during a climb, it is claimed.
After being cleared from the control room to get back, Flight 302 has risen to an unusually high altitude and disappeared from the radar in a restricted military zone, a source told the New York Times.
All contacts between the air traffic controllers and the Boeing 737 MAX 8 linked to Nairobi were lost five minutes after take-off, a person who examined the air traffic reports told the newspaper.
The report says air traffic controllers watched the jet "swing up and down hundreds of feet" before the crash that killed 157 on Sunday morning.
Speaking in a "voice of panic", the commander of the condemned aircraft is said to have asked permission to return to the airport almost immediately after take-off, when the plane "accelerated at abnormal speed" .
Investigation: one of the flight recorders of the black box of the precipitated Ethiopian Airlines jet
"Break break, request back to home," the Times said, citing the pilot just before the crash. & # 39; Request carrier (direction) for landing. & # 39;
Boeing has been criticized after the accident at Lion Air for allegedly not having adequately informed the 737 pilots of the operation of the stall prevention system.
The managing director of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde GebreMariam stated that the captain of the condemned flight was an experienced aviator with over 8,000 flight hours.
Yared Getachew (pictured) was the main pilot of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302
Meanwhile, a French accident investigation opened today as the US aerospace giant Boeing stopped supplying the top-selling Max 8 aircraft.
The MAX was rooted worldwide following the disaster – the second involved the model in five months – and the relapse left the company, the regulators and the airlines were quick to respond.
"We are pausing delivery of the 737 MAX until we have a solution," a Boeing spokesman said, adding, "We will continue production, but we are evaluating our capabilities."
An Ethiopian delegation handed over the black boxes to the French air safety agency BEA "and the investigation process started in Paris," Ethiopian Airlines said on Twitter on Friday.
The BEA confirmed that it had received the black-box recorders of the plane, which was only four months old and crashed a few minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa on Sunday.
BEA investigators will now seek to retrieve information from flight data and cockpit voice recorders, which were damaged in the disaster.
Thousands of miles away, distraught families asked for answers as they visited the deep black crater where the plane crashed into a field outside the capital, disintegrating at impact.
Ethiopian Airlines, the largest African airline, sent black boxes to France because it does not have the equipment to analyze the data.
The information they contain helps explain 90% of all crashes, according to aviation experts.
Wrecked relatives of accident victims have visited the site in recent days as investigations continue into the cause of the disaster
On Wednesday, US authorities said that new evidence showed similarities between the collapse of Ethiopia and that of a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October, which killed 189 people.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States has declared that the results of the site of the accident and "new refined satellite data" have justified "further investigations on the possibility of a shared cause for the two accidents".
An FAA emergency order has landed 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft until further notice, effectively lifting the plane from the skies around the world.
The move came after a growing number of airlines and countries decided not to fly planes or ban them from their airspace until it was determined that there were no safety issues.
US President Donald Trump told reporters that "the safety of the American people and all peoples is our main concern".
The head of the FAA, Daniel Elwell, said the agency worked "tirelessly" to find the cause of the accident, but faced delays due to damage to flight data recorders.
The new information shows that "the trace of that plane was close enough to the layout of the Lion Air flight" to guarantee the grounding of the airplanes, so it is possible to collect more information to determine if a connection exists, said Elwell on Wednesday to CNBC.
The MAX was rooted worldwide following the disaster – the second involved the model in five months – and the fallout left the company, the regulators and the airlines worked hard to respond
Boeing shares fell 12% in the days following the accident in Ethiopia, erasing nearly $ 30 billion in value.
The 737 MAX series is Boeing's best-selling model and is still relatively new with less than 500 in service.
There are 74 registered in the United States and 387 worldwide with 59 operators, according to the FAA.
Reports of recent incidents are echoed by concerns registered by US pilots about how the 737 MAX 8 behaves.
At least four American pilots complained after the Lion Air incident that the plane would suddenly crash down shortly after take-off, according to documents reviewed by the AFP on the air safety reporting system. a database of voluntary incidents managed by NASA.
In two anonymous flight reports immediately after the Lion Air disaster, the pilots disconnected the autopilot and corrected the plane's trajectory in response.
It is unclear whether US transport authorities review the database or investigate incidents.
However, the FAA said it had ordered Boeing to update its flight software and training this week.
Questions about the Lion Air accident have been refined on a stall prevention system, the MCAS, designed to automatically point the nose of the aircraft down if it is in danger of stalling.
According to the flight data recorder, the Lion Air Flight 610 pilots struggled to control the aircraft while the MCAS repeatedly pushed the nose down after take-off.
Pilots of the Ethiopian airline reported similar difficulties before their plane crashed to the ground.