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737 MAX Hit Trouble Right Away, Says New York Times

The Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday was in trouble almost immediately after takeoff from Addis Ababa as it lurched up and down by hundreds of feet at a time, stated a New York Times report. The report cited a person who reviewed the jet’s air traffic communications.

The captain of the Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 asked in a panicky voice to turn back only three minutes into the flight as the plane accelerated to abnormal speeds, the newspaper reported.

“Break break, request back to home,” the captain told air traffic controllers as they scrambled to divert two other flights approaching the airport. “Request vector for landing.” All contact between air controllers and the aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to Nairobi, was lost five minutes after it took off on Sunday, NY Times quoted the person.

The person speaking to the newspaper on conditions of anonymity said the controllers had concluded even before the captain’s message that he had an emergency.

The account of the cockpit communications shed chilling new detail about the final minutes before the plane crashed, killing all 157 people aboard. The crash, which has led to a worldwide grounding of Max 8s, was the second for the best-selling Boeing aircraft in less than five months.

The exact nature of the flight’s problems is key because investigators are trying to establish

The new disclosures about the last moments of Flight 302 came as pilots were discussing what they described as the dangerously high speed of the aircraft after it took off from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport.

The voice and data recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines plane have been flown to Paris for investigation.

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