Pilots struggled to control Lion Air jet before it crashed into sea

Pilots struggled to control Lion Air jet before it crashed into sea

On that flight, the pilots shut off the MCAS system and manually stabilized the jet after the system pushed its nose down too far.

Such punishment is unlikely given the size of the Lion Air Group, a major employer that has ballooned as Indonesia's growing economy and rising incomes have given more of its 260 million people access to air travel.

Accident investigators often speak of the "Swiss cheese" theory of airline accidents.

"We haven't found the information in the manual relevant to the new feature to the 737- MAX, related to the feature for the stall prevention system", he said. All it takes to prevent a crash is to block the hole at any point.

Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator for Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Commission, told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday that four of the crashed aircraft's previous flights had experienced technical problems, with two showing no such difficulties. They revolve around maintenance, pilots' response to the malfunctions and a small software change by Boeing that reacted to a faulty sensor by repeatedly trying to dive the plane.

Preliminary reports deal with facts surrounding an accident and an analysis will not come until the full report.

There appeared to be particularly serious problems with the anti-stall system.

There is no suggestion the the angle of attack sensor from the October 28 flight was replaced or repaired.

It was that angle-of-attack sensor that triggered multiple other issues on the fatal flight. One safety system pushes the nose of the plane down if it senses the nose is pointed too high and the plane is in danger.

The report also raises questions about how the problems on the flight the night before the crash were reported to mechanics.

Former Boeing flight control engineer Peter Lemme said stick shaker activation was "very distracting and unnerving". So this automated system was taking over and forcing the nose of the plane down when it should not have. And.

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Nurcahyo said that the MCAS system had been activated and that it was a central focus of the investigation.

Nevertheless, the pilots completed the 90-minute flight. Experts say automation has made airlines safer. This plane had trouble before, this exact problem with this sensor. While maintenance workers checked various sensors, they didn't work on the angle-of-attack system, which would have been an obvious item to examine because it had been replaced in work on October 27 and could have been related to the plane's failures.

"Unlike as is stated with respect to the prior flight, the report does not state whether the pilots performed the runaway stabilizer procedure or cut out the stabilizer trim switch". They include bringing in more seasoned mechanics or conducting a test flight before a plane carries passengers. But hours before the plane took off on its final flight, it had also recorded problems with an angle of attack sensor as it traveled from the resort island of Bali to Jakarta.

INSKEEP:.Pushing the plane down.

Recorder data showed that the plane's nose was forced down by an automated anti-stall system, meant to protect the plane against a perceived stall, over two dozen times.

The preliminary report does not fully unravel the mystery behind the crash.

"You have to create a safety culture ... and in all the reports I've seen the owners of this airline (their culture was) just keep the show on the road, do what you're told, if you don't you'll get sacked".

This was an "un-airworthy condition" and the flight should not have continued, it said. "Is this true? If it's like that, it seems that the report is finished". "Every accident is a combination of events, so there is disappointment all around here", he said. Boeing, for its part, updated its safety bulletin with information on how to disengage the system. That makes it more prone to failure, he said.

The preliminary report did not assign blame, but did list new safety recommendations to Lion Air - "on top of earlier recommendations about the flight manual that have already been implemented by Boeing", Reuters reports.

"Safety is a core value for everyone" at the company, it said.

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