Seattle - The horizontal stabilizer of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 on March 10 was in an unusual position at the time of the crash. Researchers concluded this after finding a drive spindle at the crash location, according to a flight safety consultant who spoke to the Seattle Times.
According to John Cox, CEO of Safety Operating Systems and former safety expert of the ALPA (The Air Line Pilots Association), the discovery would point to a possible link between two accidents of the Flight ET302 of Ethiopian Airlines (March 10, 2019) and Flight 610 of Lion Air (October 28, 2019).
The movements of the elevators on the horizontal stabilizer confirms that the nose of the aircraft went up or down before the crash.
In the case of the Lion Air crash, problems with the flight control system forced the nose of the aircraft to be pushed down again and again. The position of the drive spindle found indicates that this might also have happened in the case of the Ethiopian Boeing 737 MAX 8.
According to Cox, this discovery, combined with satellite data on flight ET302, led the FAA to ground the 737 MAXs.
According to ATC recordings, the captain requested to return after three minutes from the takeoff from the Addis Ababa International Airport. Air Traffic Controllers also observed that the aircraft was oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet even before the pilots declared an emergency.
The aircraft rose to an abnormal height and disappeared from the radar shortly thereafter. It crashed six minutes after departure.
Earlier this week, Boeing already announced a software update for the flight control system of the Boeing 737 MAX, specifically for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
The update must be approved by the FAA before implemented, and it won't happen until the end of next month.