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Report: Software pushed jet's nose down 4 times before Ethiopian Airlines crash

The crash killed all 157 people on board.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 11, 2019, file photo, wreckage is piled at the crash scene of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. The year since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max has been a journey through grief, anger and determination for the families of those who died, as well as having far-reaching consequences for the aeronautics industry as it brought about the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 jets, which remain out of service. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, File)

Software designed to stop an aerodynamic stall activated four times as Ethiopian Airlines pilots struggled to control their Boeing 737 Max 8 shortly before the jet slammed into the ground on March 10, 2019.

That's one of many findings in an interim report on the crash released Monday by Ethiopia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau. The crash killed all 157 people on board.

The report makes safety recommendations and gives clues about the cause crash, but an analysis won't be done until a final report expected later this year.

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The software called MCAS pushes the nose of the plane down. That touched off the pilots' desperate struggle to regain control of the plane. According to the report obtained by the Associated Press, the pilots de-activated the MCAS software and tried to control a stabilizer on the plane's tail manually. Some experts say the air speed of the plane made manual movement impossible.  

Boeing said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press Monday that it is providing technical assistance to support the probe.

“We look forward to reviewing the full details and formal recommendations that will be included in the final report from the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau,” it said.

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