Black box data from the doomed Lion Air flight that crashed in Indonesia last month, killing all 189 on board, shows the pilots struggled mightily to regain control of the Boeing 737, the New York Times reports.
"In our view, the plane was not airworthy and should not have kept flying". He also expressed concern that the plane had not been repaired after those flights. The findings were part of a preliminary report prepared by investigators looking into what caused a Boeing 737 Max passenger jet to crash minutes after takeoff on October 29. It is flown or is on order by close to 40 airlines, with Lion Air in the process of receiving more than 200 of the jets. Both the pilot and co-pilot of Flight 610 were experienced, the airline has said, with 6,000 and 5,000 flight hours respectively.
"What they were focused on was keeping the airplane in the air", said Clint R. Balog, a pilot and aeronautics expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
'Too Early'Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator at KNKT, said on Wednesday that it was too early to say whether issues with an updated Boeing 737 anti-stall system contributed to the crash.
This was an "un-airworthy condition" and the flight should not have continued, it said.
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After landing safely the night before the crash, the Captain informed Lion Air's maintenance about the flight condition and the aircraft problem.
New details of Flight JT610's final moments were also included in the report.
The plane's flight data recorder has been retrieved but authorities are yet to locate the cockpit voice recorder which could provide more information about how the pilots reacted.
They ask the arrivals controller to block the air space 3,000 ft above and below them so they can avoid other traffic. An automated Boeing anti-stall system pushed the nose down, while pilots tried to use their controls to bring it back up. The flight crew correct this by manually pointing the plane's nose up.
There was a discrepancy of 20 degrees between the angle of attack readings on the side of the pilot and that of the co-pilot.
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.
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Pilots flying the same plane a day earlier had experienced a similar problem until they used switches to shut off the system, KNKT said in its statement today.
Utomo, in contrast, pointed to multiple problems, including the "severe" issue of stall warnings occurring in tandem on the Bali-Jakarta flight that were enough for the KNKT to determine the flight should not have continued.
Investigators did not definitively say what they believe caused the aircraft to crash, with a crash report expected next year.
Boeing's statement did not make any reference to a revised anti-stall system introduced on the 737 MAX which USA pilots say and Indonesian investigators say was missing from the operating manual.
It also stressed that operational documents should be properly filled in - pointing out that the JT610 weight and balance sheet said five flight attendants were on board, when actually there were six.
According to the preliminary report, this is what happened after the plane took off. We are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. However, the report "does not state that he communicated that fact in the maintenance documentation following that flight".
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