As investigations continue, pertinent details have begun to emerge from the final moments of an Ethiopian Airlines flight which crashed three weeks ago in Ethiopia.
As of writing, an anti-stalling system on the plane, a Boeing 737 Max, has been blamed for the disaster which killed all 157 people on board.
Soon after take-off – and just 450ft (137m) above the ground – the aircraft’s nose began to pitch down, details from the thorough inquiry.
As per Wall Street Journal report, one pilot said to the other “pitch up, pitch up!” before their radio died.
The plane crashed only six minutes into its flight.
The Wall Street Journal – which says it’s spoken to people close to the ongoing investigation – says the information it has “paints a picture of a catastrophic failure that quickly overwhelmed the flight crew”.
Leaks this week from the crash investigation in Ethiopia and in the US suggest an automatic anti-stall system was activated at the time of the disaster.
The Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight-control feature was also implicated in a fatal crash involving a Lion Air flight in Indonesia last October, where 189 people on board killed.
An investigation of the Lion Air flight suggested the anti-stall system malfunctioned, and forced the plane’s nose down more than 20 times before it crashed into the sea.
The Ethiopian authorities have already said there are “clear similarities” between the Lion Air incident and the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The airline and authorities have refused to comment on leaks from the investigation.
Due to the twin fatal crashes, concerns about the Boeing 737 Max have led to a worldwide grounding of the plane.
The aircraft update is designed to ensure the MCAS will no longer repeatedly make corrections when a pilot tries to regain control.