Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Loved ones farewelled in emotional service at Lion Air crash site

Indonesia to probe Lion Air after deadly plane crash Lion Air jet's airspeed indicator malfunctioned on four flights
Ellis Copeland | 07 November, 2018, 18:16

The Lion Air plane that crashed in the Java Sea last week had faulty airspeed readings during its last four flights and Indonesian investigators called on planemaker Boeing Co. and USA authorities to ensure there aren't fleet-wide issues.

The operations-manual bulletin was issued Tuesday, Boeing said in a statement posted to Twitter, and tells flight crews to use existing guidelines when dealing with erroneous inputs from the so-called angle of attack sensor.

Muhammad Bambang Sukandar, the father of another victim, said Lion Air technicians needed to take "full responsibility" if it was proved they had not properly attended to technical issues following the jet's previous flight from Bali to Jakarta.

"The pilot's success became our reference to give a recommendation to Boeing so they could issue an advice for other airlines to follow the same procedures if the same situation occurs", Soerjanto said.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lion - always been dogged by safety problems - has said the Boeing 737-Max 8 suffered a technical issue on the flight just prior to its deadly crash Monday and that it was fixed.

Cox said that once investigators have all the data, they will work backward to determine if there was a problem with one of the plane's systems or if pilot decisions put the plane in peril.

Boeing has delivered 219 MAX planes - the latest and most advanced 737 jets - since the models made their commercial debut past year with a Lion Air subsidiary.

Indonesian accident investigators said on Monday that an airspeed indicator on the crashed jet was damaged for its last four flights, but US authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks.

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Lion Air owner, Rusdi Kirana, right, stands up during the conference.

The committee is charged with finding the cause of the crash.

A source said on condition of anonymity that the Boeing bulletin related only to the 737 MAX, of which there are just over 200 in service.

"We are formulating, with NTSB and Boeing, detailed inspections regarding the airspeed indicator", he said, referring to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

At least 105 body bags containing body parts of the passengers have been handed to the disaster victim identification unit of the national police hospital in Jakarta.

According to reports, the initial investigation into the flight pattern of JT610 has suggested that the sensor was producing incorrect data which the flight computer processed to trigger further errors.

At a meeting on Monday, to address the grieving families of the victims, Tjahjono said that the plane did not explode mid-air and was intact when it plunged into the sea, with its engine's turbines running at high speed.

Divers have retrieved the plane's engines, wheels and one of its two black boxes - the flight data recorder - but are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder.

Distraught and angry relatives of those killed when a Lion Air jet crashed last week have confronted the airline's co-founder during a meeting Monday arranged by Indonesian officials.

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