The Boeing 737 MAX 8 model first flew on 29 January 2016 and entered service in 2017, making it one of the newest aircraft in Boeing's commercial airliner offerings, and the newest generation of Boeing 737. As of February 2019, 376 aircraft of this model have been produced, and one other has crashed, Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia in October 2018. Following the accident, the Boeing 737 MAX series of aircraft was grounded by various airlines and government regulators worldwide.
Flight 302 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. The aircraft took off from Addis Ababa at 08:38 local time (05:38 UTC) with 149 passengers and 8 crew on board. One minute into the flight, the pilot reported a “flight control” problem but decided to continue the flight; three minutes into the flight the aircraft accelerated beyond its safety limits,[better source needed] and the pilot requested permission to return to Addis Ababa while the air traffic controllers had already been diverting other approaching flights.
However, the aircraft then disappeared from radar screens and crashed at 08:44, six minutes after takeoff, having reached an altitude of about 9,000 feet MSL. Flight tracking data showed that the aircraft's altitude and rate of climb and descent were fluctuating. Several witnesses stated the plane trailed "white smoke" and made strange noises before crashing. It crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62 kilometres (39 mi) southeast of Bole International Airport. Photographs of the accident site show a large crater with only small pieces of wreckage. There were no survivors.