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British newspaper Mirror reports Ethiopian jet crash caused by bird-strike

 The Ethiopian Airways Boeing 737 Max-8 crash site. [File, Standard]

Hours before investigators release the cause of the Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max-8 crash that killed 157 people, a British newspaper reports that a bird strike could have caused the calamity.

Quoting the American news  network, ABC, The Mirror, which has a publishing agreement with Standard Digital, reports:

The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed 157 people has been revealed, according to reports.

It is believed the Boeing 737 Max suffered a damaged 'angle-of-attack' sensor upon takeoff from a foreign object which could have been a bird, ABC News reports.

This reportedly triggered erroneous data and the activation of an anti-stall system that sent the plane down on March 10 shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa.

Boeing anti-stall software on the doomed jet re-engaged and pushed the jet downwards after the pilots initially turned it off due to suspect data from an airflow sensor, two sources said.

It was not immediately clear whether the crew intentionally re-deployed the MCAS system, which was designed to push the nose of the 737 MAX down to prevent a stall.

The pilots were not able to get control of the plane back, sources told ABC News.

Passengers from more than 30 nations were on board the aircraft.

The wreckage of the Ethiopian Airlines' aircraft at the crash site, some 50 km east of Addis Ababa.

Preliminary findings of an investigation into the crash are due to be released tomorrow morning by officials in Ethiopia.

Boeing's anti-stall software is at the centre of investigations into last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash and a Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October.

Last month's aircraft's flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR), or black boxes as they are often called, have been recovered and investigators are hoping they will shed light on the tragedy.

Investigators from France and America are assisting in the probe.

Safety experts stress accidents are usually caused by a combination of factors and the probe is at an early stage.

No significant new technical issues have so far emerged in the Ethiopian investigation beyond those already being addressed by Boeing through updated software in the aftermath of the Lion Air crash, a person familiar with the findings told Reuters.

Boeing's anti-stall software is at the centre of investigations into last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash and a Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October.

Rescuers at the crash site.


Boeing's fastest-selling 737 MAX jet, with orders worth more than $500 billion at list prices, has been grounded globally by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

But airlines are still allowed to fly planes without passengers to move them to other airports, it is understood.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced that it had banned the jet from UK airspace and the European Aviation Safety Agency has suspended flights involving Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9.

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