By Simon De Broise

Ethiopian investigators released a statement this morning providing details of their preliminary findings into the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302, which crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa. The accident involved Boeing’s new B737 Max 8 aircraft type, which suffered another loss, in similar circumstances, last October when Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after take-off.

It has been widely reported that both crashes appear to involve Boeing’s new Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which is designed to prevent stalling of the aircraft’s engines. MCAS operates to override the pilot’s controls and bring the nose of the aircraft down if it detects that the aircraft is climbing too steeply such that there is a risk of engine stalling.