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Missing 737 Sensor Becomes Focus of Ethiopian Crash Probe

  • Preliminary finding confirms MCAS was involved in second crash
  • Part hasn’t been found in wreckage of the March 10 disaster
The crash site on March 16.

The crash site on March 16.

Photographer: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

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Investigators of an Ethiopian Airlines crash have concluded that the same system that malfunctioned in an earlier accident off Indonesia was activated, and they are searching for a key piece of equipment that might explain why, according to people briefed on the probe.

Preliminary flight data from the Boeing Co. 737 Max jet’s black-box recorder indicates that a new anti-stall system known as MCAS was pushing the plane’s nose down during the March 10 disaster, said the people, who asked not to be named because the findings aren’t yet public.