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Behind the Lion Air Crash, a Trail of Decisions Kept Pilots in the Dark

The causes of the crash, which killed 189 people, are still under investigation. Indonesian authorities are studying the cockpit voice recorder for insights into how the pilots handled the emergency, and are examining Lion Air’s long history of maintenance problems. But the tragedy has become a focus of intense interest and debate in aviation circles because of another factor: the determination by Boeing and the F.A.A. that pilots did not need to be informed about a change introduced to the… ( More...

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Highflyer1950 8
I agree with CoyoteHunter, the previous crew had an issue, identified it, applied the remedy in order to get the aircraft on the ground safely. The last crew went on a wild ride and probably never understood what was happening to them and neither did maintenance, who in my opinion was the weakest link. One would think on a 2 month old aircraft there would have been be a more indepth conversation with Boeing maint and flight ops given the write ups in the logbook.
Let's take a step back and think about some of the things we know from previous articles.

*Previous crews had a similar problem.
*Other crews turned off the offending system and hand flew that aircraft to an airport.
*Other crews wrote up the offending system and the company did work on the aircraft, but did not fix the offending system. Hmmm...
*The crew on the fatal flight had a re-occurrence of the same problem.

In spite of all the finger pointing, last time I checked, Boeings can still be flown the old fashioned way, "Push, Pull, and Kick".
Over simplification can be said, but we must remember, during an emergency, just turn off all the fancy stuff and "FLY THE AIRPLANE".
I am not talking about pretty approaches and landings, I am talking about walking away from an aircraft.
I'll get off my soap box now...
bentwing60 7
And an informed soap box it appears to be. But the omission of the human factors issue deserves as much attention. HF and Bill are both accurate in their assessments of the new system/maintenance issues M.C.A.S. created, and Boeing sorta hid. HF mentions the fact that one crew did the right thing, follow the checklist, and the other apparently didn't. It is intrinsic that config., power changes affect different equipment in different ways vis. a vis. pitch response and learning that was part of transitioning to a new airplane. Some new ab initio guys would have never passed a tough 135 ride, have never transitioned at all in many cases, are penalized for turning off the automation in training, and never learned to "Push, Pull, and Kick". AF447/Asiana 214 are seldom acknowledged examples that a crew with infinite automation and limited/relevant experience and knowledge continue to prove why "pilot error" remains at the top list.
Highflyer1950 1
Well said.
bbabis 7
Pretty cut and dried. If MCAS is not on the plane, it doesn't crash. If an engineer felt that a system such as this was needed on an aircraft, then that aircraft had design issues and flight characteristics that any operator should have been made aware of.
gerardo godoy 1
Agree 100%


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