Lion Air Crash: Investigators Say 737 Was Airworthy

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At a follow-up press conference in Indonesia Thursday, accident investigators said they did not claim that a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 was unairworthy before it crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29. The investigators said the unairworthy comment applied to the aircraft’s previous flight, during which the 737’s stick shaker activated constantly because of a sensor failure.

"This condition is considered as an unairworthy condition and the flight shall not be continued," the report said of that flight, which occurred the day before the accident flight. At the second press conference, investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said that based on maintenance records, technicians had made repairs and run tests as required and corrected the faults the previous crew experienced the day before the accident flight. "The NTSC and the head of aviation communication never stated that Lion Air, Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft registered PK-LQP, was not airworthy," said Utomo.

The 737 MAX 8 crashed about 11 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people aboard. Investigators have recovered the airplane’s flight data recorder, but are still searching the sea floor the cockpit voice recorder. The Wednesday press conference summarized a preliminary report issued a month after the accident. It explained that the previous crew experienced unreliable airspeed indications and evidence of an angle-of-attack sensor failure. Because this apparently caused the aircraft autotrim system—called MCAS—to begin uncommanded nose-down stabilizer trimming, the pilots used the aircraft’s stabilizer trim cutout switches to retain manual trim control.  

Comments (3)

Obviously airworthy 737-8's are not falling from the skies.
If it was airworthy, then the crew is at fault.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 30, 2018 8:19 AM    Report this comment

As a result of this accident, subsequently many professionals in aviation have become aware that the MCAS was introduced as a new feature in the 737 Max without detailed system knowledge or operational training in normal and abnormal states from the manufacturer (allegedly). What is far more important, that we as aviation professionals circle around this tragic accident to wait for the facts, supported by a careful investigation based on evidence and data. Only then can we fully understand the scope of the causal factors, and implement change, if required. At this very preliminary stage of investigation, to place blame on any party, such as the flight crew is pure conjecture that accomplishes little.

Posted by: B N | November 30, 2018 11:35 AM    Report this comment

Fact: Airworthy planes don't just fall out of the sky.
That leaves weather or flight crew or terrorism.
The weather was ruled out and no one is claiming terrorism.
That leaves the aviation "professionals" on this cur-rate airline as the probable cause.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 30, 2018 5:03 PM    Report this comment

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