Officials believe a stall-prevention feature on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 automatically activated before the plane went down — this according to a new report out Friday.
Anonymous sources told The Wall Street Journal investigators have concluded that the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, otherwise known as the MCAS, misfired right before the deadly crash.
The MCAS pulls the plane's nose down automatically if data says the nose's angle is too high. But if the sensor is wrong, the MCAS would force the nose of the plane down anyway — leading to a nosedive.
The Journal says these preliminary findings are the first based on data from the plane's black boxes, and the information is subject to change. But it's even more evidence that the MCAS misfired in both the Ethiopian Airlines crash and a Lion Air crash last year.
Officials say the MCAS could have caused both crashes, which killed a total of 346 people. Investigations are still ongoing.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.