Crashed Indonesian flight’s automated systems had not been working properly for days, reveals preliminary report

Source: Wikimedia/PK-REN/Flickr

The pilots of the crashed Indonesian Lion Air flight that left no survivors onboard struggled to fly the jet due to problems in the aircraft’s automated systems which had not been working properly for days, a preliminary report by investigators revealed, Al Jazeera reported.

According to the report, the airline failed to ground the plane to repair the problem.

In a statement, Indonesia’s transport safety committee (KNKT) recommended that Lion Air improve its safety culture following the crash of the almost-new Boeing 737 MAX 8.

The MAX 8 is the latest version of the Boeing 737, and contains an automated system that pushes the nose down if a sensor detects it is pointed so high the plane is at risk of an aerodynamic stall.

Investigators are putting their focus on whether faulty information from sensors led the plane’s system to force the nose down.

ALSO READ: Indonesia plane crash: Victim’s father files first US lawsuit against airline manufacturer Boeing

According to the AJ report, the plane had been causing problems for pilots for four days previously. The plane also had a lot of technical issues and the main problem was that the so-called ‘angle of attack’ indicator did not appear to be working properly.

In previous flights, the pilots had turned off the indicator and flew manually. However, in the most recent flight, pilots didn’t fly manually.

Keeping in mind the difficulties, the pilots should not have been flying the plane, Nurcahyo Utomo, aviation head of the National Transport Safety Committee, told reporters.

“During the flight from Denpasar to Jakarta (the last flight before the crash), the plane was experiencing a technical problem, but the pilot decided to continue the flight,” he said. “In our opinion, the plane was no longer airworthy and it should not have continued flying.”

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