Analysis of the flight recorders of the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane has begun, the airline said Friday, and The New York Times reported that the pilot requested permission “in a panicky voice” to return to the airport shortly after takeoff as the plane dipped up and down sharply and appeared to gain startling speed, Associated press reports.
The report cited “a person who reviewed air traffic communications” from Sunday’s flight saying controllers noticed the plane was moving up and down by hundreds of feet.
An airline spokesman has said the pilot was given permission to return. But the plane crashed minutes later outside Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.
French authorities now have the plane’s flight data and voice recorders for analysis. The agency in charge of the review said it was unclear whether data could be retrieved, and tweeted a photo of the data recorder that appeared to show damage. Ethiopian Airlines said an Ethiopian delegation led by its chief accident investigator had arrived there.
In Ethiopia, officials started taking DNA samples from victims’ family members to assist in identifying remains. The dead came from 35 countries.