Published 6:01 pm ET November 5, 2018 |
New information about the previous flight of the crashed Lion Air-Jet cast doubt on the Indonesian airline's claim to have resolved technical issues, as hundreds of employees raided the sea for victims and the fuselage of the plane for a fifth day of Friday , (November 2)
JAKARTA, Indonesia – The "black box" data recorder of a downed Lion Air jet shows its airspeed indicator was malfunctioning on its last four flights, investigators said Monday.
The chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, Soerjanto Tjahjono, said the problem was similar on each of the four flights, including the fatal flight on October 29, when the plane crashed into the Java Sea after launching in Jakarta and all 189 people on board killed.
Irregular speed and altitude were reported on the last flight of the aircraft, from Denpasar on Bali to Jakarta, and "when we opened the black box, the technical problem was actually the speed or the speed of the aircraft," Tjahjono said at a press conference.
"Data from the black box showed that two flights off Denpasar-Jakarta had the same problem," he said. "There were four flights in the black box that had problems with the airspeed indicator."
The Indonesian investigators, the aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the US National Safety Board for the transport sector formulate a more specific inspection for Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in connection with the airspeed problem, said Tjahjono.
"If there is urgent evidence, we will communicate it to the operators and the manufacturer," he said.
Lion Air said a technical problem with the jet had been resolved after problems with the flight from Bali to Jakarta.
Investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said the investigators needed to review the maintenance records, including the issues encountered, the repairs made, and whether components were replaced and how the repairs were tested before the 2-month-old aircraft was declared airworthy.
"We are currently looking for the cause of the problem," he said. "Whether the problem came from his indicator, his meter or sensor, or a problem with his computer. We do not know yet and we will find out, "he said.
At the meeting with family members, Tjahjono said that the information downloaded from the jets' flight data recorder was in line with the reports that the speed and altitude of the aircraft were unpredictable after the last flight started. Seekers are still trying to find the cockpit voice recorder.
Rusdi Kirana, co-founder of Lion Air, was not invited by Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, who hosted the meeting between relatives and officials overseeing the search and accident investigation.
But he got up and bowed his head after he was asked by angry and desperate family members that Kirana, who founded Lion Air in 1999 with his brother Kusnan Kirana, identified himself.
"Lion Air has failed," said a man who identified himself as the father of passenger Shandy Johan Ramadhan, a prosecutor in a district on the island where the flight was headed.
"I want Mr. Rusdi Kirana and his team to be careful," he said. "Lion Air has never contacted me since the crisis. We lost our child, but Lion Air did not show us empathy. "
After the meeting, Kirana was in a hurry and avoided the questions of the reporters.
Many families are faced with a painful wait for the identification of missing relatives. Police experts have obtained nearly 140 corpses with remains of humans and identified 14 victims.
Family members asked why the plane had been released after a flight on Bali to Jakarta on October 28th, which involved a quick descent after takeoff and terrified the passengers.
"Lion Air said the problem has been resolved, is it true that the problem has been resolved?" Asked Bambang Sukandar, whose son was on the flight. "If not, responsible technicians must be responsible," he said. "The law is absolute because they said the plane was released again. These bad technicians must be processed by law to prevent aircraft accidents in Indonesia from continuing. "
Tjahjono said the large amount of small debris and the relatively small area where debris was found showed that the plane hit the water at very high speed.
"The plane was intact when it crashed into the sea, it did not explode in the air and the aircraft engine was running as it hit the water at high revs – it was marked by the loss of all blades of the turbine," he said.
The Lion Air crash is the worst air disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight crashed from Surabaya to Singapore into the sea, killing all 162 on board.
Lion Air is one of the youngest airlines in Indonesia, but has grown rapidly and flies to dozens of domestic and international destinations. In Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region with more than 600 million inhabitants, it is expanding aggressively.
More: The pilot of the previous Lion Air flight asked for a day before the deadly crash to the airport
More: The Indonesian researchers are recovering Black Box from a downed Lion Air Jet, authorities say
More: The passengers of Lion Air began to panic and vomit.
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