Readings show Lion Air pilots struggled with Boeing 737 system before crash

29 November, 2018, 04:25 | Author: Angel Logan
  • National Transportation Safety Committee investigator Nurcahyo Utomo holds a model of an airplane during a press conference on the committee's preliminary findings on their investigation on the crash of Lion Air flight 610 in Jakarta Indonesia Wednesda

National Transportation Safety Committee investigator Nurcahyo Utomo holds a model of an airplane during a press conference on the committee's preliminary findings on their investigation on the crash of Lion Air flight 610, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

"This is the basis of our recommendation to Lion Air".

He said "in our opinion, the plane was no longer airworthy and it should not have continued" after problems on its last flight the day before, the BBC reported.

A crash investigator said that pilots seemed unsure about which problem to deal with first.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA) and Lion Air's operational director claim Boeing's operational manual for the MAX 8 did not contain adequate information about the MCAS system.

Shortly after the catastrophe, the airline issued a notice to pilots urging them to be more proactive in reporting problems.

After landing, the pilot reported the malfunction to the engineers, who performed a number of maintenance checks on the aircraft before it was used for the Pangkalpinang flight.

Therefore the "angle-of-attack" sensor, which contributes to those readings, had been changed the day before the crash.

CNN aviation analyst David Soucie said that the circumstances created by the plane's automatic correction would have made pilot intervention "impossible".

AoA sensors send information to the plane's computers about the angle of the plane's nose relative to the oncoming air to help determine whether the plane is about to stall.

The investigators recommended that Lion Air ensure it follows proper operating procedures to improve its "safety culture and to enable the pilot to make proper decisions" and that it ensure it keeps proper, full documentation on flights and maintenance issues.

The investigators are focusing on whether faulty information from sensors led the plane's system to force the nose down.

Within 90 seconds of takeoff, the co-pilot asked air traffic control to confirm air speed and altitude.

However, they managed to land the plane safely after requesting an uninterrupted descent, and the problems were logged.

The cockpit voice recorder has not yet been found.

The doomed plane's flight data recorder showed that pilots had repeatedly tried to correct its nose from pointing down, possibly after erroneous data from AoA sensors was fed into a system that automatically adjusts some of its movements.

The plane experienced technical problems in four earlier flights.

Today, KNKT acknowledged actions to improve safety had been taken by Boeing, Lion Air, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Indonesia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

"I am really surprised if Boeing has not shared all the flight performance parameters with pilots, unions, and training organisations", University of Leeds aviation expert Stephen Wright told AFP before the report was released, adding that "a deliberate omission would have serious legal ramifications". Jagged lines in graphs contained in a preliminary report crash investigators are preparing to release Wednesday show the airplane's nose being pushed down at least two dozen times, the pilots pulling it back up each time, before its final, fatal nose-dive into the Java Sea.

The MAX aircraft that crashed is the latest version of Boeing's popular 737 jetliner.

The Indonesian investigation is continuing with help from U.S. regulators and Boeing.

The findings will heighten concerns there were problems with key systems in one of the world's newest and most advanced commercial passenger planes.

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