Boeing to Issue Alert Its Planes Can Abruptly Dive During Flight

07 November, 2018, 10:00 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Rusdi Kirana

The data recorder from the Lion Air jetliner that crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people aboard, shows that the plane's airspeed indicator malfunctioned on its last four flights, investigators said Monday.

Indonesian accident investigators said on Tuesday that an airspeed indicator of the doomed Boeing Co 737 MAX plane was damaged for its last four flights.

Lion - always been dogged by safety problems - has said the Boeing 737-Max 8 suffered a technical issue on the flight just prior to its deadly crash Monday and that it was fixed.

At the meeting, Tjahjono said information downloaded from the flight data recorder is consistent with reports the plane's speed and altitude were erratic.

"We are formulating, with NTSB and Boeing, detailed inspections regarding the airspeed indicator", he said, according to Reuters. It was not immediately clear whether the problem with the crashed jet stemmed from a mechanical or maintenance issue, and US authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks.

Boeing is planning to write to airlines using its 737 MAX jet about how to deal with erroneous cockpit readings that could cause the airliner to dive, according to reports.

"I'm still of the opinion that losing airspeed on the airplane shouldn't result in losing the airplane", Cox said.

Passengers who were on the plane's last flight before it crashed said the plane was climbing and dropping so wildly that people onboard were panicking, and some vomited.

Lion Air owner, Rusdi Kirana, right, stands up during the conference.

The ministry had previously removed several Lion Air executives and technicians, saying they were needed to help authorities in the investigation.

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"They need to find that cockpit voice recorder", Waldock said, "because that is going to tell us what the crew did in response to whatever situation they had".

Now, based on the flight data recorder, investigators were able to identify two earlier flights that experienced the same problem - in every case tied to the airspeed indicator.

Well over 100 body bags have been retrieved, and each body bag could contain remains from more than one individual.

Pilots had reported a problem with one of the plane's instruments on a flight the day before the crash.

That included three flights that landed safely, as well as the deadly crash on October 29, when flight JT610 crashed minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, with 189 people on board.

"The aircraft broke apart under the impact of hitting the water at high speed and it didn't break apart mid-air", Tjahjono said.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations.

In addition, aviation regulators such as the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency often follow such actions by mandating that carriers follow the bulletins.

He said, "The plane was intact when it plunged to the sea, it did not explode in the air, and the aircraft engine was running when it touched the water at high RPM - it's marked by the loss of all blades of the turbine".

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