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By Gabriele Steinhauser and Robert Wall
Ethiopian Airlines on Friday said the country's lead accident investigator had arrived in France, kicking off the process there to examine why a Boeing Co. (BA) 737 MAX 8 plane crashed earlier this week near Addis Ababa.
The cockpit voice recorder and flight-data recorder that would provide the strongest clue on what happened on the ill-fated six-minute flight Sunday that killed all 157 people onboard arrived in France on Thursday for analysis.
Ethiopia, which leads the international probe that also includes experts from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing, asked the French accident investigation office, the BEA, to download the recordings and assist with the analysis.
State-owned Ethiopian Airlines on Friday said the chief of its country's Accident Investigation Bureau was now at the BEA facility outside Paris where the investigation has now kicked off.
Investigators could get a first sense of what happened with the Boeing plane within a few hours, though a detailed assessment of what happened with the plane could take months.
Regulators around the globe this week grounded the Boeing plane out of safety concerns and because of possible similarities with the crash of another 737 MAX 8, operated by Lion Air, in Indonesia less than five months ago. The cause of that accident is still under investigation. Accident investigators in that probe have said they are looking at why the plane's anti-stall system repeatedly pushed the MAX's nose down. They are also looking at plane maintenance. The airline said the plane was well maintained.
U.S. and Canadian officials this week said that they had received data on the Ethiopian flight that indicated its flight path had similarities with the Lion Air crash.
Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at firstname.lastname@example.org and Robert Wall at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 15, 2019 06:33 ET (10:33 GMT)
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