Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Lion Air Investigation Continues

Lion Air Investigation Continues

The head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, Soerjanto Tjahjono, said in the meeting that the data retrieved from flight data recorder found last week confirms reports that the altitude and the speed of the plane had been erratic.

Indonesian accident investigators said an airspeed indicator of a Boeing Co 737 MAX plane that crashed last week was damaged for its last four flights, but USA authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks.

According to people familiar with the matter, in the wake of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia - where 189 people were killed - the plane maker is sending a bulletin that warns incorrect readings from a flight-monitoring system can result in the jets abruptly diving. It was not immediately clear whether the problem with the crashed jet stemmed from a mechanical or maintenance issue, and US authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks.

Airspeed indicators have been around for decades to tell pilots how fast they are flying.

"Data from the black box showed that two flights before Denpasar-Jakarta also experienced the same problem", he said.

Alan Diehl, a pilot and safety consultant, said the report that the same problem happened four times and was never fixed suggests that the problem may have been intermittent, making it harder to pin down. Lion Air declined to comment.

Now, based on the flight data recorder, investigators were able to identify two earlier flights that experienced the same problem - in every case tied to the airspeed indicator.

Meanwhile, authorities have extended their search as they collect more body parts and shattered debris from the spot where the plane crashed during a routine one-hour flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang.

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Divers are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder, which is also often called a black box. "But we can't find the CVR yet", Muhammad Syaugi said.

Founder and owner of Lion Air Rusdi Kirana bows in front of relatives of the victims in the crashed Lion Air jet during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 5, 2018.

After 10 minutes in the air, the plane dropped as it lost power.

Lion Air's admission that the doomed jet had a technical issue on a previous flight - and the captain's request to turn back to the airport minutes before its fatal dive - have raised questions about whether it had faults specific to one of the world's newest and most advanced commercial passenger planes.

Recent rumors arising among the public say that the fallen Lion Air flight JT 610 that crashed into the waters of Tanjung Karawang on October 29 was due to technical failure.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations.

The Lion Air investigation comes after Indonesia's government ordered an inspection of all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in the country.

"The plane was intact when it plunged to the sea, it did not explode in the air, and the aircraft engine was running when it touched the water at high RPM it's marked by the loss of all blades of the turbine", he said.

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