Candles burn before a flower adorned memorial arch erected at the site of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crash on March 14, 2019 in Ejere, Ethiopia.
Safety investigators on Thursday will release a much anticipated preliminary report on the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, providing the first official clues as to the cause of the disaster.
The new Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed the morning of March 10 after taking off from Addis Ababa on its way to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all 157 people on board.
The disaster was the second such crash of a Max 8 jet in less than six months and prompted worldwide grounding of the plane.
In October, all 189 people on board Lion Air Flight 610 were killed when the flight went down over the Java Sea in Indonesia 13 minutes after takeoff.
The Federal Aviation Administration agency said it had identified similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
At the center of the investigation is a flight-control feature, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), that was installed on both planes.
The MCAS is a system that automatically lowers the nose of the plane when it receives information from its external angle of attack (AOA) sensors that the aircraft is flying too slowly or steeply, and at risk of stalling.
The report is the airlines’ first from the disaster and is required by the investigating authority to be produced within 30 days of an incident.