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Aviation

Lion Air crash: Boeing promises to reveal findings of investigation into technical issues

  • Last month’s crash killed 189 people when the Lion Air flight plunged into the Java Sea, less than 20 minutes after leaving Jakarta on a routine flight to Pangkal Pinang
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2018, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2018, 2:18pm

Boeing on Tuesday insisted it would share any information to emerge from an investigation into the crash of one of its newest planes in Indonesia last month, amid reports a telephone conference with its customers had been cancelled.

US media reported that the cancelled conference between Boeing and client companies was meant to address questions surrounding control systems on the Lion Air 737-MAX.

“Boeing has been – and continues to – engage with our customers,” a spokesman for the US aircraft manufacturer said. “We continue to schedule meetings to share information.”

Last month’s crash killed 189 people when Lion Air flight JT 610 plunged into the Java Sea on October 29, less than 20 minutes after leaving Jakarta on a routine flight to Pangkal Pinang. There were no survivors.

Why does Indonesia have such a notorious air safety record?

Media reports said Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg had sent a message to staff on Monday insisting that the company leadership had not concealed any information relating to the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which was designed to prevent the aircraft stalling.

“The problem of the MAX is linked to its hybrid design,” an aeronautics expert, who asked not to be identified, said. “Boeing had to make a number of choices, and above all compromises in the area of avionics and the flight command system during development of this plane,” he said.

The expert added the main problem with the MAX was the marriage of older and newer control systems which were installed to make it competitive with rival manufacturers.

“That could have been a not insignificant factor in the response of the crew,” who seem not to have understood the role of the MCAS in the chain of events that led up to the crash.

Last week, a US airline pilots union, the APA, said that companies and pilots had not been informed of certain changes in the aircraft control system.

It said it had passed on new piloting directives to flight crews regarding possible erroneous information about a so-called “Angle of Attack” sensor that could have been linked to the Lion Air crash.