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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 Crash - 1/25/10

A Boeing 737-800 bound for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, was carrying eight crew members and 82 passengers when it crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after takeoff from Beirut due to the stormy weather.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 had lost contact with the Beirut airport shortly after takeoff at 2:37 am on January 25th and crashed into the Mediterranean 2.5 miles off the coastal town of Naameh, south of the airport.

Rescuers found bodies, but no survivors during a massive search operation launched after the Ethiopian airliner with 90 people on board burst into flames into the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon.

The pilot of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed into the sea flew in the opposite direction from the path recommended by the control tower after taking off in heavy thunderstorms from Beirut, Lebanon's transportation minister said.

The transportation Minister said the pilot initially followed the tower's guidance, but then abruptly changed course and went in the opposite direction.  Officials want to know why the plane veered off course after takeoff, but have ruled out sabotage.  It was not immediately clear why the pilot veered off the recommended path.

Lebanese officials ruled out "foul play" as the cause of the crash and initially blamed the weather. But aviation experts said bad weather alone was unlikely to have been enough to cause the crash and said a technical fault might have caused the engine to catch fire.

There were conflicting reports as to whether the jet exploded while airborne or after it had hit the water. Officials said the ferocious overnight storm that blanketed the small country's mountains with snow was likely a major factor.

Like most other airliners, the Boeing 737 is equipped with its own onboard weather radar, which the pilot may have used to avoid flying into thunderheads rather than following the flight tower's recommendation.

The airline has experienced two fatal crashes since 1980. Ethiopian Airlines serves Europe as well as three other continents, for a total of 56 destinations.

If you, a family member, or a client have been injured in a plane crash, you need the help of an aviation attorney.

Do not accept the airline’s insurance company’s settlement without speaking with an attorney. Call The Sheena Law Firm TODAY for a free consultation.

Danny M. Sheena, P.E.

The Sheena Law Firm
2500 West Loop South, Suite 518
Houston, Texas 77027
(713) 224-6508 - Office
(713) 225-1560 - Fax

Email: [email protected]


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