Lion Air JT610 was unfit to fly, says KNKT

Lion Air JT610 was unfit to fly, says KNKT

Lion Air JT610 was unfit to fly, says KNKT

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) sub-committee head for air accidents, Nurcahyo Utomo, speaks next to deputy chief of KNKT Haryo Satmiko and KNKT air crash investigator Ony Suryo Wibowo during a news conference on its investigation into a Lion Air plane crash last month, in Jakarta, Indonesia November 28, 2018. The co-pilot says they have a flight control problem and are flying the plane manually.

Concerns have been raised by news that Lion Air kept putting the plane back into service despite repeatedly failing to fix the problem in the days leading up to the fatal flight.

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.

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.

Boeing was accused by some pilots in the United States of not properly documenting the nature of changes made to the MCAS system in the 737 MAX, an aircraft that only entered service in 2017.

The pilots of that flight reported problems to Lion Air's maintenance team, which checked the jet and cleared it for take-off the next morning.

The pilots also faced a difference between left and right angle of attack readings of about 20 degrees that also continued throughout the flight.

CNN aviation analyst David Soucie said that the circumstances created by the plane's automatic correction would have made pilot intervention "impossible". Shortly after the Lion Air crash, the FAA published an emergency AD (PDF) detailing potential fault indications in the AoA, airspeed and control feel systems used on the 737 MAX.

But if the sensors were not sending the correct data to the MCAS system, the software likely calculated that the aircraft was approaching stall conditions while it was well within normal flight conditions during takeoff, pushing the aircraft into a dive.

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The preliminary report by the Indonesian Transport Safety Committee said the airline should ensure the operations manual is followed "in order to improve the safety culture and to enable the pilot to make proper decision to continue the flight". Investigators say the plane hit the water at 450 miles per hour.

As soon as the pilots used manual controls to push up the jet's nose, the automatic system sent commands to push it back down, according to reports about the Indonesian findings.

Searchers have not found the plane's cockpit voice recorder, which would provide more information about the pilots' actions.

"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".

The report is the most detailed look yet from authorities at the 11 minutes the plane was in the air.

The pilot should have discontinued the flight, the National Transport Safety Committee found.

The parents of one passenger is suing Boeing, alleging the 737 MAX 8 had an unsafe design.

"In response to Wednesday's report, Boeing said: "(The company) is taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the US National Transportation Safety Board as technical advisors to support the NTSC as the investigation continues".

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