Lion Air pilots fought frantically to keep jet airborne

Lion Air pilots fought frantically to keep jet airborne

Lion Air pilots fought frantically to keep jet airborne

Sensors were misfiring on the almost new Boeing Co.

Its co-founder Rusdi Kirana - who described his own airline as the "worst in the world" in a 2015 interview - is a close confidante of President Joko Widodo, who appointed him to the key post of Indonesia's ambassador to neighbouring Malaysia.

The crash appears to have been caused by a mix of brand-new technology and cockpit confusion as the pilots fought to gain altitude after an early morning takeoff from Jakarta.

"Data from the flight data recorder summarized in the report also makes clear that, as on the previous flight, the airplane experienced automatic nose down trim, " the manufacturer said. That happened 26 times during the 11-minute flight, but pilots failed to recognize what was happening and follow the known procedure for countering incorrect activation of the automated safety system, Lemme told The Associated Press. Lion Air indicates it will comply with those recommendations.

Accident investigators often speak of the "Swiss cheese" theory of airline accidents.

"We still don't know yet, if it contributed or not", he said in response to a question at a briefing.

The board issued a preliminary report that stopped short of placing blame for the crash - the investigation is continuing - but it provided new details about the pilots' struggle to fly the highly automated jet and Lion Air's inability to fix problems with sensors on the plane.

Boeing says the procedure for dealing with a so-called runaway stabiliser, under which anti-stall systems push the nose down even when the plane is not entering a stall or losing lift, had not changed between an earlier version of the 737 and the newly delivered 737 MAX.

Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers said the company is "taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident".

And the problem appeared to get worse in spite of attempts at fix.

The plane from Denpasar (Bali) was released and it was said (to be) airworthy according to documents and what the technicians have done.

Members of the National Transportation Safety Committee lift a box containing the flight data recorder from a crashed Lion Air jet
Members of the National Transportation Safety Committee lift a box containing the flight data recorder from a crashed Lion Air jet

The preliminary report says that the stick shaker - a warning device that alerts flight crew when their plane is at risk of stalling - was active throughout the flight.

Pilots tried to correct this by pointing the nose higher, until the system pushed it down again.

The US and European Union flight bans have been lifted in recent years, but the industry is still wrestling with outdated infrastructure, accusations of cutting corners and heavy restrictions on hiring pilots and technicians from overseas to plug staff gaps. The airline will implement the safety recommendations made by NTSC, he said.

When they reached Jakarta that night, they logged various problems with the plane, but didn't say the shaker had been activated. More often, a problem spirals out of control as maintenance crews fail to spot or address an underlying issue and then the flight crew takes a series of steps that lead to a fatal outcome.

SCHAPER: The preliminary report calls for improved maintenance procedures and more pilot training. But crash investigators say the faulty sensor was a recurring problem and after being replaced still malfunctioned the day before the crash.

The measures recommended by the regulator put Indonesia's patchy aviation safety record back in the spotlight.

INSKEEP:.Pushing the plane down. Sirait told reporters in Jakarta the airline has always upheld a safety culture. "Is this true? If it's like that, it seems that the report is finished".

While the report doesn't dwell on the Boeing design, the consultant Cox said that was also an area that should be examined for how to prevent future accidents. Boeing, for its part, updated its safety bulletin with information on how to disengage the system. Pilots at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines complained this month that they had not been given all information about the new automated anti-stall safety system on the MAX.

While KNKT acknowledged that Lion Air, along with other parties like Boeing, have taken actions to boost safety since the crash, it urged the low-priced carrier to do more to improve its safety culture.

"We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX", the company said.

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