Report Blames Equipment and Safety Failures for Lion Air Crash

Indonesia says Lion Air jet that crashed was not airworthy

The data supported the theory that a computerized system Boeing installed on its latest generation of 737 to prevent the plane's nose from getting too high and causing a stall, instead forced the nose down because of incorrect information from sensors.

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Commission's (KNKT) deputy head Haryo Satmiko (2nd right) reads the preliminary report on Lion Air flight JT 610 during a press conference in Jakarta on November 28, 2018.

The Lion Air plane that crashed into the sea last month - killing all 189 on board - was not airworthy on its previous flight, investigators have found.

The preliminary report does not assign responsibility for the crash but confirms that it occurred after faulty measurements of airflow by instruments mounted on the wings...

'The pilots fought continuously until the end of the flight, ' said Captain Nurcahyo Utomo, the air accident investigator who is leading the probe.

Boeing shares fell 14 percent in the last three weeks through Tuesday, as investigators focused on the possible role of faulty sensor readings on the new plane.

From nearly the moment it took off, "the pilots fought continuously until the end of the flight", says an official with the crash investigation.

A crash investigator said that pilots seemed unsure about which problem to deal with first.

Boeing, in a statement released after the report's publication, said the company appreciates KNKT's efforts to investigate the cause of the accident, and is "taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident".

The investigators recommended that Lion Air ensure it follows proper operating procedures to improve its "safety culture and to enable the pilot to make proper decisions" and that it ensure it keeps proper, full documentation on flights and maintenance issues.

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They ask the arrivals controller to block the air space 3,000 ft above and below them so they can avoid other traffic.

On 28 October, the day before the fatal crash, the same plane experienced technical difficulties as it flew from Bali to Jakarta.

The plane that crashed is the newest type of Boeing's popular 737 jetliner. The system, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, automatically pushes the plane's nose down if it detects a potential stall.

It noted the airline's maintenance work and procedures had failed to fix repeated problems with the aircraft.

As our customers and their passengers continue to fly the 737 MAX to hundreds of destinations around the world every day, they have our assurance that the 737 MAX is as safe as any airplane that has ever flown the skies.

Data showed the 737's pilots managed to pull the jet's nose back a total of 26 times from takeoff until its plummet into the sea in what Lemme has called a "deadly game of tag".

Utomo said that Lion Air's maintenance team checked the jet and cleared it for take-off the next morning.

"But we don't know yet whether it's a Boeing or airline issue", said aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman.

While authorities were able to locate the flight data recorder, they are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder.

Boeing, which made the Lion Air plane, issued a warning for its 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 airliners after the crash and the US Government issued an emergency airworthiness directive. Because the MAX aircraft have heavier engines, the center of gravity is biased more forward than on previous models and MCAS is meant to improve pitch feel and provide stall protection. 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.

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