Yared Getachew, the pilot of the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
‘‘I am coming to Nairobi. I have forgotten my phone, but we will talk once I get there,” these were the last words Mr Yared Getachew, the pilot of the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 uttered to his mother as he prepared to steer the aircraft for the less than two-hour flight to Nairobi.
It was a trip he had done many times before, and even for his family this was nothing to worry about given that he had flown for more than 8,000 hours as he charted a path in aviation.
Little did the 29-year-old pilot know that he would never live to see his family, given that minutes after take-off his plane developed technical problems and crashed six minutes later as he attempted to make a turnaround and land back at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.
“According to the air traffic controller’s recorded voice exchange, the pilot recorded flight control problems, so he was having difficulties with the flight control of the aeroplane,” GebreMariam told CNN.
“He asked to return back to base, and clearance was given to him.