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Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 pilots also struggled to gain altitude after takeoff

Bradley Wint
Mar 10, 2019 2:47pm AST

With reports of another Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashing shortly after takeoff, initial automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) data now shows a stunning similarity to performance data from the Lion Air 610 crash in October 2018.

Data acquired from FlightRadar24 shows the Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8 aircraft struggled to gain altitude, gaining and losing height in the few minutes before radar contact was lost. The aircraft’s last recorded altitude was 8,600 feet MSL. As Addis Ababa Bole airport is located at 7,625 feet AMSL, the pilots were not left with much wiggle room to work with.

Vertical speed of ET-AVJ during climb out as ET-302. Indicated times are UTC.

Indicated times are UTC.

It is still too early to guess what went wrong, but all eyes are back on the MAX 8, with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) once again being one of the main areas of focus.

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