Report reveals painful final moments of Ethiopian plane crash

Last words of the pilot struggling

An illustration of the crash (Twitter)

A new report has shed more light on the ill-fated flight ET-302 with pilots said to have been unable to prevent the plane from nosediving despite following procedures.

Although the pilot and first officer followed safety procedures recommended by Boeing, they couldn't stop the plane from going into a fatal dive.

Flight ET302 took off from Addis Ababa at 08:38 local time for a two-hour flight to Nairobi but six minutes later at 08:44, it crashed.

The pilots contended with wild swings to either side and jerky climbs and fall before the Ethiopian Airlines flight ploughed nose-first into the ground.

Last moments of Flight ET302

According to the report, the impact was so great, both engines were buried at a depth of 10m in a crater 28m wide and 40m long.

Data from flight recorders recovered at the crash site tell of the last moments of Flight ET302, and the instructions by Captain Yared Mulugeta did little to help control the plane, which investigators believe had multiple engineering flaws.

Investigators indicated that the sensors mounted on either side of the plane gave contradicting information relating to the aircraft’s angle of flight.

At 8.38am, shortly after liftoff, the left and right recorded the angle of attack values deviated. Also, the airspeed, altitude and flight director pitch bar values from the left side noted deviating from the corresponding right side values,” the investigators stated.

Last words from the pilots

The left side values were lower than the right side values until near the end of the recording,” the report further reads.

Captain Mulugeta directed the First Officer to contact the air traffic controllers at Bole International Airport seeking clearance to return.

Clearance for a return to Bole Airport was granted, but Flight ET302 could not make it back as it ploughed into a recently cleared farm field some 60km from the airport. 

The last words from the pilots as the plane started to nosedive, after desperate attempts to point it back up, were “left alpha vane”.


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