Lion Air Pilots Had Tried To Counteract Faulty Feature Before Fatal Crash

Reports: Readings show Lion Air pilots struggled with Boeing 737 system before crash

Pilot of doomed Lion Air flight 'fought continuously' against malfunctioning computers

The Boeing 737 Max plane crashed into the Java Sea shortly after departing from Jakarta on 29 October.

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".

As for the potentially malfunctioning sensor, the doomed plane had experienced incorrect data readings on its three previous flights-even after the sensor was replaced, CBS News reports.

The report also appears to confirm that the pilots in the fatal crash of the doomed plane did not follow the same procedures as a Lion Air crew that landed the same plane safely the night before after experiencing a similar problem.

Sensors that measure speed were flushed and checked, and an electrical plug was cleaned before the fatal flight. Its angle of attack sensors had also shown a difference of 20 degrees.

At one stage, the captain advised air traffic control that the aircraft's altitude could not be determined because all the instruments were giving different readings.

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. The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling plane in Boeing history, with almost 4700 planes sold or on order, and it is flown by nearly 40 airlines worldwide.

Manufacturer Boeing noted in a statement the report did not include records as to the installation or calibration of the new sensor nor whether it was new or refurbished.

A preliminary report has found technical problems had been reported on previous flights.

Boeing has said that the procedure to correct an automatic nose-down pitch is in the plane's operating manual and pilots should have known about it.

An AOA sensor provides data about the angle at which air is passing over the wings and tells pilots how much lift a plane is getting.

MCAS was not described in the Lion Air flight manual before the crash, KNKT has said, nor in those used by American airlines according to USA pilot unions.

"I don't think the airplane was ready for passenger service because they had not validated that they had fixed the problem", he said.

The report by Indonesia's safety commission did not draw conclusions about why the crew lost control of the plane, but it repeated earlier recommendations that pilots be better versed in emergency procedures and aware of past aircraft problems.

It also said the carrier must ensure "all operations documents are properly filled and documented".

Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the preliminary report offered a road map of final recommendations that are likely to emerge from the investigation.

He said investigators were trying to understand what maintenance workers had done to try to fix the problems and if there were other steps that should have been taken.

As soon as the October 28 flight from Bali to Jakarta lifted off, a device known as a "stick shaker" - which is created to alert pilots to an imminent aerodynamic stall - activated with its unmistakable vibrations on the control column and loud thumping noise.

While KNKT acknowledged that Lion Air, along with other parties like Boeing, have taken actions to boost safety since the crash, it urged the low-priced carrier to do more to improve its safety culture.

Indonesian investigators expect to fly to the USA later this week to gather more information about the Boeing aircraft and its components, including discussing the MCAS safety feature with Boeing engineers to understand how it may have contributed to the accident, Utomo said.

Boeing has a great deal at stake in defending its plane.

Questions surrounding the crash have turned a harsh spotlight on Boeing's latest update to its workhorse 737 line, the world's most popular commercial airliner. USA pilot unions also have raised concerns that they weren't told about this new feature on the Max models.

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