Downed Lion Air B737 MAX 8 in "un-airworthy" condition

Reports: Readings show Lion Air pilots struggled with Boeing 737 system before crash

Pilot of doomed Lion Air flight 'fought continuously' against malfunctioning computers

The preliminary report into the loss of Lion Air Flight JT610, published by Indonesia's National Transport Safety Committee (KNKT) on November 28, 2018, revolves around data recovered from the first and so far, the only found "black box", which indicated a malfunction in the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Concerns have been raised by news that Lion Air kept putting the plane back into service despite repeatedly failing to fix the problem in the days leading up to the fatal flight.

However, Lion Air's safety record does come into question in the 78-page report, which says the plane was not airworthy.

The pilots appeared to struggle with an automated system created to keep the plane from stalling - a new feature in the 737 Max family.

The model of plane involved in the crash, a Boeing Max 8 jet, was only rolled out globally previous year.

Shortly after the catastrophe, the airline issued a notice to pilots urging them to be more proactive in reporting problems.

Boeing says the remedy for the sensor problems is to switch off the automatic flight control system, but the Lion Air pilots didn't take that step.

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Therefore the "angle-of-attack" sensor, which contributes to those readings, had been changed the day before the crash.

If the automatic system kicked in and "the pilot didn't know what was happening", there was a risk it would confuse the pilots, he added.

There were other issues pervading the aircraft, pertaining to its airspeed and altitude sensors, the report noted.

However, after three attempts by the aircraft to automatically put its nose down, he discontinued the system and took manual control, landing the plane safely in Jakarta.

The KNKT said MCAS was not described in the Lion Air flight manual before the crash, nor in those used by American airlines according to U.S. pilot unions.

Black box data released by Indonesian investigators showed that the pilots were pulling back on the control column, attempting to raise the plane's nose, with nearly 100 pounds of pressure before they crashed.

Analysis of the flight data recorder showed the anti-stall system pushed the plane's nose down, and pilots wrestled with the flight stick more than a dozen times in the 11-minute flight.

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He added that the plane experienced similar problems during its previous flight from Denpasar in Bali to Jakarta.

The parents of one passenger is suing Boeing, alleging the 737 MAX 8 had an unsafe design.

"The flight from Denpasar to Jakarta experienced stick shaker activation during the takeoff rotation and remained active throughout the flight", the report said.

Nurcahyo Utomo, head of the Indonesia transportation safety committee, said it's clear the aircraft shouldn't have been permitted to leave the tarmac.

Although it's not implicated as a crash cause, pilot unions in the USA have complained that Boeing provided no detailed documentation on MCAS and the system wasn't covered in differences training for crews transitioning from earlier 737 models.

The preliminary report said Flight 610 reported a issues minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital on October 29 en route to the city of Pangkal Pinang, on the island of Bangka.

The investigation into the crash is in its early stages and is hampered by the lack of evidence from the cockpit voice recorder, which remains lost on the seabed.

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The company now faces lawsuits from victim's families, while Indonesian authorities will continue to work with US agencies as part of an ongoing joint investigation.

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