Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Doomed Lion Air jet was "not airworthy" on penultimate flight

Doomed Lion Air jet was

The sensor, called an angle-of-attack vane, or AOA, malfunctioned in earlier flights. They ask the arrivals controller to block the air space 3,000 ft above and below them so they can avoid other traffic.

All 189 people on board were killed when the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the sea on October 29.

According to the report, the jet had airspeed and altitude issues in four different flights in three days before the crash, and had erroneous sensor readings several times.

The preliminary report details what is known by authorities about the short time the plane was in the air, but investigators said it did not give a definitive cause for the accident.

In response to initial findings from the jet's flight data recorder, Boeing issued a bulletin to airlines reiterating procedures and advising them to add information on MCAS to flight manuals, which was followed by a US Federal Aviation Administration directive making that mandatory.

The committee's report said the pilot should discontinue any flight where mechanical, electrical or structural problems occur.

The report, however, contains no conclusion on who is at fault.

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Edward Sirait, chief executive of Lion Air, said he had not yet read the KNKT report but will comply with all of the investigators' recommendations.

The MAX aircraft, the latest version of Boeing's popular 737 jetliner, includes an automated system that pushes the nose down if a sensor detects that the nose is pointed so high that the plane could go into an aerodynamic stall.

However, during flight JT610, the plane's automatic anti-stalling system repeatedly forced the plane's nose down, even when the plane was not stalling - possibly due to a faulty sensor. Stabilisers are, essentially, those small wings on either side at the tail end of the plane. Next, they are told, disengage the auto throttle and manually fly the plane.

"This is a situation where they're flying the plane manually, they don't expect this kind of motion, so that definitely threw them off", he said.

A preliminary report did not conclude why the plane had crashed, and officials say it is too early to say if an issue with the plane's anti-stall system was a contributing factor in the crash.

It is unclear why the pilots did not employ procedures to disable the automated system. The airliner was just a few months old.

According to Capt. Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the American Airlines pilot union and a 737 pilot, "in the previous model of the 737, pulling back on the control column, Boeing says, will stop a stabilizer runaway".

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"In the aftermath of the crash, pilots have expressed concern that they had not been fully informed about the new Boeing system. and how it would require them to respond differently in case of the type of emergency encountered by the Lion Air crew".

Indonesian investigators have released the first report into the fatal crash of Lion Air's Boeing 737 MAX 8.

"The flight from Denpasar to Jakarta experienced stick shaker activation during the takeoff rotation and remained active throughout the flight", the committee said.

The pilot of the 28 October flight chose to press on to Jakarta after shutting down the plane's anti-stall system, Utomo said.

Last week, KNKT investigator Nurcahyo Utomo told parliament that the jet's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) - an automated modification new to the model that crashed - activated and directed the jet's nose down to prevent a stall.

Utomo said that Lion Air's maintenance team checked the jet and cleared it for take-off the next morning. The sensor was replaced, but the problem continued.

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