Home World No-fly, loopholes and 189 people’s lost vitality: the second anniversary of the Indonesian Lion Air disaster
No-fly loopholes and 189 people's lost vitality: the second anniversary of the Indonesian Lion Air disaster

No-fly, loopholes and 189 people’s lost vitality: the second anniversary of the Indonesian Lion Air disaster

by YCPress

Source: China News Network

China News Service, October 29 (Chen Shuang) Two years ago today, a Boeing 737 MAX passenger plane from Lion Air in Indonesia began to fall two minutes after takeoff. Flight records show that after more than 20 ups and downs, the aircraft fell into the sea 13 minutes after liftoff. Of the 189 people on board, none survived.

Condolences, accountability, reflection… After two years of precipitation, more details about the tragic air crash were revealed. At the same time, 19 months after the 737 MAX model was banned from flying, Boeing, whose reputation has plummeted due to technical defects, is working hard to promote the aircraft’s return to the world.

Data map: On November 1, 2018, local time, in Jakarta, Indonesia, the remains of the Indonesian Lion Airlines crashed into the sea were all over the place.

13 minutes of despair,

All 189 people were killed!

In the early morning of October 29, 2018, the weather in the Java Sea in Indonesia was fine and it was a good seaworthy weather. At 6:20 local time, Lion Air’s JT610 flight took off from Jakarta to Penang Port in Belitung, Bangka.

The captain who flew the flight has more than 6000 hours of flying experience. For him, this flight could not be more ordinary.

But what he didn’t expect was that the plane had an unknown failure only 2 minutes after it took off.

In the next few minutes, a scene of “human-machine fighting” appeared in the cockpit: the on-board electronic system warned the pilot to “stall the aircraft,” and the nose continued to droop automatically. The captain asked the ground control center about the altitude and speed of the aircraft, while pulling up the nose again and again, hoping to regain control of the aircraft.

The flight data chart of the Lion Air crashed plane showed that the altitude of the plane fluctuated significantly before the fall. Image source: Indonesian National Traffic Safety Commission.

As time passed by, the situation became more and more critical.

In order to find out what happened to the plane, the captain handed over the task of piloting the plane to the co-pilot, and he began to read the safety instruction manual page by page. But he did not find the answer.

In the last minute before falling into the sea, the captain did not say a word, and the deputy captain began to pray for God’s blessing in despair. Unfortunately, the miracle did not happen.

Soon after, the plane disappeared from the radar and the cockpit voice recorder stopped. The plane full of passengers fell vertically from an altitude of 5,000 feet and plunged into the Java Sea. The momentum was so great that certain parts of the fuselage were broken into powder. All 189 people on board were killed.

From takeoff to the crash, the people on the JT610 flight experienced a desperate 13 minutes. What’s even more sad is that after a series of investigations, this tragedy could have been avoided.

Data map: The Indonesian Lion Air crashed into the sea, and the remains of the victims floated on the sea.

If any of the 9 things can be avoided,

The accident may not happen

On October 25, 2019, on the eve of the first anniversary of the air crash, Indonesian investigators released the final investigation report on the Lion Air accident.

The 300-page report summarizes the 9 major causes of the accident, including:

1. Design defects of automatic lifting operating system;

2. There is a problem with a sensor;

3. The system makes wrong adjustments based on the wrong sensor;

4. The pilot is overwhelmed by problems and communicates improperly with the ground;

5. Pilots have no training on relevant knowledge beforehand, and there is no technical guide on board;

6. The replaced sensor is not suitable for the model of this aircraft;

7. The sensor is not tested;

8. The pilot did not perform manual operations in time;

9. The ground tower is not effectively managed.

According to the report, the direct cause of the crash was the newly added “Maneuvering Characteristics Enhancement System (MCAS)” on the 737 MAX model. According to the design, once the 737 MAX aircraft shows signs of stalling, the MCAS system can take over the operation of the aircraft without the intervention of the pilot, and make the nose down suddenly to eliminate the risk of stall.

An investigation report issued by Indonesia showed that a sensor installed on the crashed plane was not calibrated during the maintenance period, thus erroneously activating the system.

On November 1, 2018, the first black box of the Indonesian Lion Air passenger plane was salvaged from the water.

Three months after the accident, the cockpit recording of the crashed airliner was finally successfully recovered. Indonesian official Utomo who heard the last recording said that during most of the time before the crash, the two drivers sounded calm, trying to find a solution to the nose drop. Reluctantly, the safety instruction manual provided by Boeing did not contain the answers they needed.

In addition, the report also disclosed that the day before the crash, the crashed plane had encountered the same problem while flying another flight. It was a free-riding pilot who rescued the plane. He instructed the crew to successfully shut down the automatic flight control system, turning the danger out of danger.

However, such a dangerous situation failed to attract attention. When the plane took off again the next day and broke down again, no one could help.

From the pilot’s driving level, to the loopholes in safety management, to the flaws in the design of the Boeing aircraft system… the “survival doors” of the 189 victims were closed one by one. The accident investigator couldn’t help sighing: “If any of the above 9 things are avoided, the accident may not happen.”

After the accident, Indonesia’s Civil Aviation Administration Director Polana Pramesti has been waiting to talk to officials from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But she said that these people never looked for her until another tragedy happened.

On March 21, 2019, the Ethiopian Airlines flight 737 MAX crashed near Addis Ababa, killing another 157 people.

Within 5 months, two crashes occurred on the 737 MAX model, which raised questions about the safety of the model. Nearly 50 countries and regions around the world have successively announced grounding bans for the Boeing 737 MAX.

On October 29, 2019, on the first anniversary of the Lion Air disaster, Boeing’s then CEO Muilenberg finally apologized for the first time and admitted that “we made some mistakes.”

October 29, 2019 is the first anniversary of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia. The U.S. Senate held a hearing and Boeing’s then CEO Dennis Muilenberg attended the testimony. Before the hearing began, Muilenberg admitted that Boeing made a mistake on the 737MAX. On the same day, the families of the victims stood behind Muilenberg holding pictures of their loved ones.

However, to the civil aviation regulatory authorities of various countries, Boeing’s apology cannot solve their safety concerns: Why did the Federal Aviation Administration, known as the “most stringent regulatory agency in the world”, have not reviewed the safety vulnerabilities of the 737 MAX? And why didn’t we find out the cause of the accident in time and make improvements after the Lion Air disaster?

How does the “problem system” obtain an airworthiness certificate?

Investigation report exposes regulatory ills in U.S. aviation industry

In fact, according to the “New York Times” report, after the Lion Air crash, FAA engineers fell into a certain collective anxiety: they did not fully understand the “fatal” of the MCAS system. When they issued the airworthiness certificate to the aircraft in 2017, they never independently assessed the hidden risks of the MCAS system.

The report believes that the reason for the lack of supervision is that the FAA, which was supposed to be responsible for airworthiness certification, has entrusted a large number of certification projects to Boeing employees due to “lack of sufficient manpower and funding.” In other words, Boeing is both an athlete and a referee, censoring itself.

According to US media reports, in order to compete with Airbus Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Boeing hopes that the 737 MAX can be put into use as soon as possible. In this case, the degree of lenient review can be imagined.

In September 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives severely condemned the FAA’s “serious lack of approval and supervision of Boeing 737 MAX series aircraft” in its investigation report released in September 2020, and even “made a bet on the safety of the public during the critical period between the two accidents. “, and called for “a thorough reform” of the FAA’s regulatory model.

On April 3, 2019, local time, Seattle, United States, Boeing’s then CEO Muilenberg and Boeing test pilots participated in a test flight to verify the MCAS software upgrade.

The 737 MAX is one step closer to returning to flight,

Can Boeing get rid of the haze of the air crash?

So far, Boeing 737 MAX models have been grounded globally for 19 months. During this period, Boeing carried out a series of operations such as replacing the CEO, upgrading the operating system, and returning to the flight test, in an effort to restore the reputation of the industry.

On October 16, local time, EU Aviation Safety Agency Executive Director Patrick (Patrick Ky) said that Boeing’s changes to the aircraft were “satisfactory” and added that the model is expected to return “before the end of 2020”. European Union”.

On the other hand, airlines including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines all hope that the 737 MAX can resume flights because it saves about 25% of fuel compared to the previous generation of 737 NG models.

Last week, American Airlines chief operating officer Seymour seemed to be unable to conceal his expectations for the resumption of the 737 MAX at a meeting. He told employees that the FAA will most likely lift the ban on Boeing 737 MAX models in mid-November, and American Airlines will become the world’s first batch of airlines to resume flights of Boeing 737 Max models after Thanksgiving.

Data map: Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

At present, it seems that it is only a matter of time before the resumption of the 737 MAX model. However, can Boeing really get rid of the haze caused by the two air crashes?