Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Indonesia safety agency recommends Lion Air improve safety culture

Reports: Readings show Lion Air pilots struggled with Boeing 737 system before crash Pilot of doomed Lion Air flight 'fought continuously' against malfunctioning computers
Andrew Cummings | 01 December, 2018, 06:48

Investigators say a sensor that indicates a plane's pitch malfunctioned, telling onboard computers that the nose was pointed up much higher than it actually was.

More than 200 MAX jets have been delivered to airlines around the world. Boeing's stock is down almost 12 percent since the October 29 crash, even after a slight uptick on Wednesday amid a broad market upswing.

It is unclear why the pilots did not employ procedures to disable the automated system. Dennis Tajer, a spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association at American Airlines Group Inc., also expressed that his union's members were troubled by Boeing's directive.

The main intent of MCAS is to make the MAX respond to a stall in a way pilots would find consistent with other 737 models.

The probe into the crash has mainly focused on whether faulty information from sensors caused the accident.

The company now faces lawsuits from victim's families, while Indonesian authorities will continue to work with US agencies as part of an ongoing joint investigation.

The Boeing 737 aircraft first flew in 1967 and - with several iterations and upgrades - quickly became the mainstay of worldwide short-haul aviation.

In a statement following release of the report, US -based Boeing declared that the MAX, its newest plane, is safe.

28 showed the pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 struggled to maintain control as an automatic safety system repeatedly forced the plane's nose down.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the Java Sea less than 15 minutes after its October 29 takeoff, killing 189 people.

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Pilots of previous flights had reported problems with control systems on the brand-new jet.

Correcting the path of the plane would have required a multistep process, something that pilots and other aeronautics experts said may have been hard to remember and execute during a life-threatening emergency.

The report provided new recommendations to Lion Air on safety on top of earlier recommendations about the flight manual that have already been implemented by Boeing. He reported there was a flight control problem.

PETER LEMME: As soon as the wheels left the ground and the airplane became airborne, the captain, the person in the left seat, their column, the wheel that they're holding to fly the airplane, started to shake. "That's always your first priority".

"You've got an airline here that in 2000 had no aircraft and in 2018 have over 300 with 500 on order".

Black box data showed the plane had an airspeed indicator issue on multiple earlier flights, investigators said.

"I think pilots can judge for themselves whether to continue", said Lion Air managing director Daniel Putut, a former pilot.

Before Wednesday's preliminary report, the three largest USA pilot unions had voiced concern over what they said was a lack of information about MCAS, the little-known anti-stall feature, which in limited circumstances, lowers the jet's nose without any input from pilots.Boeing has maintained that pilots already had been trained to respond to that behavior by the plane.

"All those systems failed the crew and passengers", said Moss, of AeroPacific Consulting. The pilot had handed control of the plane to the co-pilot just before the plane went into its final dive. The malfunctioning sensor is key to correct operation of the MCAS, which is charged with detecting and correcting unsafe stalls. 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. Every time the flight crew pulled the nose back to level, within seconds, the MCAS tipped it back downward.

The pilots' concerns echoed a broader debate over how commercial jets can be automated safely. A mechanic had worked on other sensors and equipment overnight once the plane reached Jakarta, before the plane took off again in the morning, but not on the angle-of-attack vane that was replaced the previous day, according to the NTSC. Experts say automation has made airlines safer.

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