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27 January 2010

Update to the Investigation into the 25 January 2010 Crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737

The investigation into the 25 January 2010 crash of the Ethiopian Airlines is still in the early stages, with searchers still looking for wreckage and victims. While there has been no formal announcement of the death toll by the investigating authorities, no survivors have been found in the two days since the crash. Most of the aircraft wreckage, including the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (black boxes) is on the seabed just off the coast has not been recovered. On the 27th, several media outlets, including, reported that at least one of the black boxes was located in about 500 feet of water, and that recovery would be attempted. The American naval vessel USS Rampage was assisting in this effort.

The aircraft crashed into the sea about 6 km past the end of runway 21, about 3.5 km from the village of Naameh. According to the departure procedures for that runway, the airplane was supposed to have turned right due to high terrain east and south of the airport.

Several media outlets also reported that the aircraft failed to follow air traffic control instructions after takeoff or that witnesses reported seeing the aircraft in flames before it struck the surface of the water. None of these reports have been confirmed by part of the Lebanese government that is tasked with investigating this event.

Below is an AP report on the early results of the investigation, including wreckage recovery.

NTV in Kenya filed the following report:

BBC Report on Crash Aftermath
BBC reporter Uduak Amimo interview on the Focus on Africa program about what the mood was like in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital the day of the crash.

More information on the Ethiopian Airlines Crash
American Airlines 737-800 crash in December 2009
Ethiopian Airlines fatal plane crashes
Fatal 737 plane crashes
Boeing 737 Technical Site
Example 737-800 cockpit with notes
Ethiopian Airlines announces order for 10 737-800 aircraft
Fatal airliner crash rates by model

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