Ethiopia crash investigation zeros in on automated anti-stall system


All 157 people on board were killed when the Boeing 737 Max crashed.

Reports indicate that shortly after take-off - approximately 450ft above the ground - the nose of the aircraft began to pitch down.

Ethiopia will release a preliminary report on Monday into the cause of an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people last month and led to the worldwide grounding of United States planemaker Boeing's top-selling 737 MAX jet.

Candles were lit in tribute to Ethiopian Airlines plane crash victims at the United Nations Environment Assembly, in Nairobi.

It crashed only six minutes into the flight.

Budget carrier flyadeal has said its waiting until investigations into the two crashes are completed before deciding if it proceeds with an order for 30 MAX jets.

The jet's radio reportedly broke down seconds after the speech was captured.

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 takes off during a flight test in Renton, Washington, January 29, 2016.

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These initial airflow readings from the Ethiopian jet, first reported by Reuters, refer to stall-related information needed to trigger the automated nose-down MCAS system.

The airline and authorities have refused to comment on leaks from the investigation.

Acting FAA chief Daniel Elwell told Senate lawmakers an amended certificate had been given Boeing because the Max 8 and Max 9 were very similar to the company's older 737 models.

Boeing is working on an update to the MCAS software so it's less aggressive about pointing the nose down and easier for pilots to override it.

The stakes are high, with Boeing trying to hold on to almost 5,000 MAX 737 orders; air safety regulators facing questions over their scrutiny of the aircraft; and airlines and victims' families looking for answers - and potentially compensation.

The aircraft update is created to ensure the MCAS will no longer repeatedly make corrections when a pilot tries to regain control.

Boeing is also seeing its own expenses rise, although it would not disclose how much it is costing the company to make the software fix and also train pilots how to use it.

"Earlier in March, a Boeing spokesperson said that the 737 Max was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in accordance with standard procedures".