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Investigators start studying Ethiopian jet’s voice recorder

Investigators start studying Ethiopian jet’s voice recorder

Experts say it is too early to speculate on what caused the crash or whether it is related to the Lion Air 737 Max 8 crash in Indonesia five months ago. The two Caspian region countries join a growing list of countries that have also grounded the Boeing model, including the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

French authorities have the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, though Ethiopia is formally leading the investigation and US experts are in Paris and Addis Ababa too. The deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash and President Trump grounding all Boeing 737 Max planes has had investors in panic.

Edward Jones, a financial services firm headquartered in the USA state of Missouri, said the second deadly crash of Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft in the past five months may have a tangible effect on the company's near-term earnings.

Two sources said investigators retrieved a piece of a stabiliser, which moves the nose up and down, set in an unusual position - similar to that of the Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia.

Countries around the world, including the United States and Canada, banned Boeing›s fast-selling 737 MAX this week after a fatal Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday, the second deadly disaster for the aircraft in five months.

Also assisting in the probe are officials from the US National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and Boeing. The flight data and voice recorders of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft were delivered to France on Thursday after Ethiopia asked BEA for assistance in analyzing the jet's black boxes. But the plane crashed minutes later outside Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board. The victims came from 35 nations.




Boeing declined to comment and Charles Bickers, an airline spokesman, referred the AP to the company's previous statement, which said only that the upgrade would be completed "in the coming weeks".

Engineers had to find out what the system was doing on the Lion Air flight, how the system's commands appeared to pilots, what changes needed to be made to software, manuals and training, and the best way to make those changes. Engineers are making changes to the system created to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the jet's nose is pointed too high and its speed is too slow. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed.

The Indonesian investigation focuses on whether flight-control software embedded in the plane automatically pushed the nose down repeatedly, and whether the pilots knew how to fix the problem.

The Max is the latest upgrade to the Boeing 737s.

At the rural crash site outside Addis Ababa, searchers picked through the debris. "The next steps will take some time", he said. Canada lost 18 people.

Associated Press writers Dave Koenig in Houston and Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed.

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