Doomed Ethiopian Airlines Plane Experienced ‘Flight Control’ Issues Minutes After Takeoff

The captain of the crashed Ethiopian Airlines flight that sparked a worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes reportedly called into air traffic controllers with an emergency just minutes after takeoff. A source who reviewed the air traffic communications told The New York Times that pilot Yared Getachew, who had 8,000 hours of flight experience, started reporting a flight control problem just one minute after takeoff. The plane was reportedly flying at higher-than-normal speeds and oscillating in altitude. Controllers reportedly noticed the plane “going up and down by hundreds of feet” about two minutes into the flight, and also observed that it was going “unusually fast.” At three minutes, the plane had accelerated to speeds “well beyond its safety limits.” Getachew then reportedly asked the control tower for permission to return to the airport. Controllers reportedly gave him permission to do so, and the plane turned right as it kept climbing in altitude. According to the Times, the plane disappeared from the radar about a minute after over a “restricted military zone.”