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On March 10, 2019, at 05:38 UTC, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, Boeing 737-8 (MAX), ET-AVJ, took off as a scheduled international flight, from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport bound to Nairobi, Kenya. It departed Addis Ababa with 157 persons on board: 2 flight crew (a Captain and a First Officer), 5 cabin crew and one IFSO, 149 regular passengers.
The take-off roll and lift-off was normal, including normal values of left and right angle-of-attack (AOA). Shortly after liftoff, the left Angle of Attack sensor recorded value became erroneous and the left stick shaker activated and remained active until near the end of the recording. In addition, the airspeed and altitude values from the left air data system began deviating from the corresponding right side values. The left and right recorded AOA values began deviating.
At 5:40:22, the second automatic nose-down trim activated. Following nose-down trim activation GPWS DON’T SINK sounded for 3 seconds and “PULL UP” also displayed on PFD for 3 seconds.
The Captain was unable to maintain the flight path and requested to return back to the departure airport. At 05:43:21, an automatic nose-down trim activated for about 5 s. The stabilizer moved from 2.3 to 1 unit. The rate of climb decreased followed by a descent in 3 s after the automatic trim activation.
The descent rate and the airspeed continued increasing.
Computed airspeed values reached 500kt, pitch and descent rate values were greater than 33,000 ft/min. Finally; both recorders stopped recording at around 05: 44 the Aircraft impacted terrain 28 NM South East of Addis Ababa near Ejere. All 157 persons on board: 2 flight crew, 5 cabin crew and one IFSO, and 149 regular passengers were fatally injured.
The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was, after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, the second crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 within a period of 4 months.