Investigators into a Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people have reached a preliminary conclusion that an anti-stall system was activated before the plane hit the ground, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that preliminary findings from the “black box” recorders were subject to revisions, adding a preliminary report from Ethiopian investigators was expected within days.
The plane crashed on March 10 shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa.
149 passengers and eight crew members were killed when the plane went down just six minutes after take-off.
Investigators into a deadly 737 MAX crash in Indonesia in October have also focused on the new anti-stall system, called MCAS.
MACS, – or Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System – reacts when sensors in the nose of the aircraft show the jet is climbing at too steep an angel, which can cause a plane to stall.
Boeing on Wednesday said a planned software fix would prevent repeated operation of the system that is at the centre of safety concerns.
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), although airlines are still allowed to fly them without passengers to move planes to other airports.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority has 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.
Singapore, Australia and Mexico have also temporarily suspended the 737 MAX from their airspaces, following China, Indonesia and many others the day before.
TUI and Norwegian Air are amongst the carriers in the UK that will not be able to take off or land in the UK as they both operate the aircraft as part of their fleets.