Ethiopian Airlines crash: ‘Pitch up, pitch up!’

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Details have begun to emerge of the final moments of an Ethiopian Airlines flight which crashed three weeks ago.

An anti-stalling system on the plane, a Boeing 737 Max, has been blamed for the disaster which killed all 157 people on board.

Soon after take-off – and just 450ft (137m) above the ground – the aircraft’s nose began to pitch down.

One pilot, according to the Wall Street Journal, said to the other “pitch up, pitch up!” before their radio died.

The plane crashed only six minutes into its flight.

The Wall Street Journal – which says it’s spoken to people close to the ongoing investigation – says the information it has “paints a picture of a catastrophic failure that quickly overwhelmed the flight crew”.

Leaks this week from the crash investigation in Ethiopia and in the US suggest an automatic anti-stall system was activated at the time of the disaster.

The Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight-control feature was also implicated in a fatal crash involving a Lion Air flight in Indonesia last October.

The Boeing 737 Max went down shortly after take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

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