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Cockpit voice recorder of doomed Lion Air jet depicts pilots' franticsearch for fix, sources say



 
 
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Old March 22nd 19, 09:46 AM posted to rec.travel.air, rec.aviation.piloting, rec.arts.tv,alt.politics.republicans, sac.politics
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Default Cockpit voice recorder of doomed Lion Air jet depicts pilots' franticsearch for fix, sources say

It is the first time the voice recorder contents from the Lion
Air flight have been made public. The three sources discussed
them on condition of anonymity.

Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a
“flight control problem” to air traffic control and said the
pilots intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the
November report said.

The first officer did not specify the problem, but one source
said airspeed was mentioned on the cockpit voice recording, and
a second source said an indicator showed a problem on the
captain’s display but not the first officer’s.

The pilots of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 Max scoured a
handbook as they struggled to understand why the jet was
lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water,
three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder
contents said.

The investigation into the crash, which killed all 189 people on
board in October, has taken on new relevance as the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators grounded the
model last week after a second deadly accident in Ethiopia.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash are considering how
a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a
faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to
respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

It is the first time the voice recorder contents from the Lion
Air flight have been made public. The three sources discussed
them on condition of anonymity.

Reuters did not have access to the recording or transcript.

A Lion Air spokesman said all data and information had been
given to investigators and declined to comment further.

The captain was at the controls of Lion Air flight JT610 when
the nearly new jet took off from Jakarta, and the first officer
was handling the radio, according to a preliminary report issued
in November.

Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a
“flight control problem” to air traffic control and said the
pilots intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the
November report said.

The first officer did not specify the problem, but one source
said airspeed was mentioned on the cockpit voice recording, and
a second source said an indicator showed a problem on the
captain’s display but not the first officer’s.

The captain asked the first officer to check the quick reference
handbook, which contains checklists for abnormal events, the
first source said.

For the next nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a
stall and pushed the nose down in response, the report showed. A
stall is when the airflow over a plane’s wings is too weak to
generate lift and keep it flying.

The captain fought to climb, but the computer, still incorrectly
sensing a stall, continued to push the nose down using the
plane’s trim system. Normally, trim adjusts an aircraft’s
control surfaces to ensure it flies straight and level.

“They didn’t seem to know the trim was moving down,” the third
source said. “They thought only about airspeed and altitude.
That was the only thing they talked about.”

Boeing declined to comment on Wednesday because the
investigation was ongoing.

The manufacturer has said there is a documented procedure to
handle the situation. A different crew on the same plane the
evening before encountered the same problem but solved it after
running through three checklists, according to the November
report.

But they did not pass on all of the information about the
problems they encountered to the next crew, the report said.

The pilots of JT610 remained calm for most of the flight, the
three sources said. Near the end, the captain asked the first
officer to fly while he checked the manual for a solution.

About one minute before the plane disappeared from radar, the
captain asked air traffic control to clear other traffic below
3,000 feet and requested an altitude of “five thou”, or 5,000
feet, which was approved, the preliminary report said.

As the 31-year-old captain tried in vain to find the right
procedure in the handbook, the 41-year-old first officer was
unable to control the plane, two of the sources said.

The flight data recorder shows the final control column inputs
from the first officer were weaker than the ones made earlier by
the captain.

“It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the
time is up you have only answered 75,” the third source said.
“So you panic. It is a time-out condition.”

The Indian-born captain was silent at the end, all three sources
said, while the Indonesian first officer said “Allahu Akbar”, or
“God is greatest”, a common Arabic phrase in the majority-Muslim
country that can be used to express excitement, shock, praise or
distress.

The plane then hit the water, killing all 189 people on board.

French air accident investigation agency BEA said on Tuesday the
flight data recorder in the Ethiopian crash that killed 157
people showed “clear similarities” to the Lion Air disaster.
Since the Lion Air crash, Boeing has been pursuing a software
upgrade to change how much authority is given to the Maneuvering
Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, a new anti-stall
system developed for the 737 Max.

The cause of the Lion Air crash has not been determined, but the
preliminary report mentioned the Boeing system, a faulty,
recently replaced sensor and the airline’s maintenance and
training.

On the same aircraft the evening before the crash, a captain at
Lion Air’s full-service sister carrier, Batik Air, was riding
along in the cockpit and solved the similar flight control
problems, two of the sources said. His presence on that flight,
first reported by Bloomberg, was not disclosed in the
preliminary report.

The report also did not include data from the cockpit voice
recorder, which was not recovered from the ocean floor until
January.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesian investigation agency
KNKT, said last week the report could be released in July or
August as authorities attempted to speed up the inquiry in the
wake of the Ethiopian crash.

On Wednesday, he declined to comment on the cockpit voice
recorder contents, saying they had not been made public.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/20/cock...der-of-doomed-
lion-air-jet-depicts-pilots-frantic-search-for-fix-sources-
say.html?recirc=taboolainternal

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