The pilots of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed of 157 people have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
A preliminary report has found those in control of the Boeing 737 Max did everything they could to save the flight after a bird strike damaged a sensor connected to new anti-stall software.
The jet was piloted by Yared Getachew with Ahmednur Mohammod serving as first officer.
The plane came down six minutes after take off from Addis Ababa on March 10.
The Ethiopian minister for transport said today the plane was in good condition and airworthy, with the initial take off ‘normal’.
However the flight suffered a “repetitive uncommanded nose-down”.
Dagmawit Moges told a news conference in the capital, Addis Ababa: “The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft.”
The report appears to point the finger of blame for the disaster at plane manufacturers Boeing.
She recommended that Boeing review the aircraft control system and aviation authorities confirm the problem had
been solved before allowing that model of plane back into the air.
The Boeing 737 Max plane has been grounded worldwide since the disaster with the anti-stall software (MCAS) also linked to the Lion Air JT610 disaster last year which saw 189 killed in a crash also shortly after take off.
In a statement today Ethiopian Airlines said: “The preliminary report clearly showed the pilots followed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved emergency procedures to handle the most difficult emergency situation created on the airplane.
“Despite their hard work… it was unfortunate that they could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nose diving.”
The New York Times has previously reported that pilots were not taught in detail about the MCAS anti-stall system, which was new on the 737 Max.
The full report into the Ethiopian Airlines crash will be released in a year.
The FAA in the USA said today: “We continue to work towards a full understanding of all aspects of this accident.
“As we learn more about the accident and findings become available, we will take appropriate action.”
149 passengers and eight crew members were killed when the plane went down.
Boeing’s fastest-selling 737 Max jet, with orders worth more than $500 billion at list prices, has been grounded globally by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
But airlines are still allowed to fly planes without passengers to move them to other airports, it is understood.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced that it had banned the jet from UK airspace and the European Aviation Safety Agency has suspended flights involving Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9.
Boeing is working to submit an upgrade of the MCAS software to the US regulators in a couple of weeks and adding extra training.