- The crew who flew the doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 the day before it crashed figured out how to stop it malfunctioning.
- But the problem came back the next day, and the new crew were not able to save the plane, which crashed and killed all 189 people on board.
- A voice recording recovered from the wreckage shows the pilots desperately reading the flight manual for a solution before it crashed into the sea.
The crew who flew a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 plane the day before it crashed figured out how to stop a malfunction and save the flight.
But that information was not passed on to the next crew, who died along with everyone else on board when the plane crashed into the sea.
The crew on board the plane on October 28, 2018 – the day before the crash – found that the plane’s nose kept veering downward during the flight, the same issue that the pilots were battling with on the doomed flight the next day”
According to a preliminary report by crash investigators, they managed to solve it by running through three checklists of likely issues.
A separate account of the crash, from a report by Bloomberg citing unnamed investigative sources, said that an off-duty pilot riding in the cockpit diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to fix it, also citing a checklist.
The following day, the same plane experienced an identical problem, according to both Bloomberg and Reuters.
However, the pilots that time did not know what to do.
Cockpit voice recordings, which Reuters reported on Wednesday, showed that they turned to an emergency handbook to attempt to right the nose-diving plane, and spent their final minutes looking through the book for the right advice.
Boeing declined to comment to Reuters, citing the ongoing investigation.
Lion Air spokesman Danang Prihantoro told Bloomberg: “All the data and information that we have on the flight and the aircraft have been submitted to the Indonesian NTSC. We can’t provide additional comment at this stage due the ongoing investigation on the accident.”
The investigation has taken on new significance after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed on March 10, killing all 157 on board.
The investigation into both crashes are still ongoing, but French air accident investigation agency BEA – which has been sent the black box from the Ethiopian crash – said the two showed “clear similarities.”
Boeing is introducing a software upgrade to its flight control system on the plane model, which may be what caused planes to nosedive.
Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, many countries have grounded the 737 Max.