Pilot of Ethiopian Airlines plane reported flight control problems - CEO

Clay Curtis
March 13, 2019

In a post called "My Lucky Day", Antonis Mavropoulos shared an image of what appears to be his boarding pass and says he arrived at his gate just after boarding had finished on Sunday morning.

The CEO says controllers granted captain Yared Getachew permission to return to Addis Ababa at around the same time the Boeing 737 Max 8 disappeared from radar, just six minutes into the flight.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam says the pilot of the downed plane had flight control problems.

The Greek man narrated that he was transferred to the next flight but was informed by airport authorities that he couldn't board again because of "security reasons".

"I collapsed because then I realized how lucky I was", Mavropoulos added. "I screamed to put me in but they didn't allow it", he wrote.

He immediately contacted his people and informed them that "for two small random circumstances", he lost the flight. He had been scheduled to travel to Nairobi for an environmental conference, according to reports.

Mourners Visit The Crash Site Of Ethiopian Airlines Flight
Mourners Visit The Crash Site Of Ethiopian Airlines Flight

As the crash is being investigated, many countries have pulled the 737 Max 8 airplane.

The still unexplained crash followed another involving a Boeing 737 MAX in Indonesia five months ago that killed 189 people.

China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom have grounded the model from flying until further investigation. The FAA has refused to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8, leaving the United States in an increasingly small minority, the BBC reports.

GebreMariam said a recorded conversation with air traffic control detailed final moments of the flight.

Given problems of identification of charred remains, it will take days to start returning them to families, probably weeks for some which will require dental or DNA testing.

Boeing has said it has full confidence in the 737 MAX - a model that has 371 jets in operation around the world.

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