Pilots at the controls of the 737 MAX that crashed in March in Ethiopia initially followed emergency procedures laid out by Boeing (NYSE:BA) but still failed to recover control of the jet, according to people briefed on the probe’s preliminary findings.

After turning off the MCAS flight-control system that was automatically pushing down the plane’s nose, pilots then cranked a manual wheel in an attempt to stabilize the plane, but the crew couldn’t get the aircraft to climb and ended up turning it back on before the final plunge that killed all 157 people on board.

The report from WSJ comes as Ethiopian investigators prepare to release their report about their preliminary conclusions from the accident, anticipated in the coming days.

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