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Aviation

Family of Lion Air co-pilot sue Boeing over Indonesia disaster, claiming new jet was dangerous

  • Co-pilot Harvino was among 189 people who died when Flight JT610 plunged into the Java Sea in October
  • Lawyers for his family say Boeing is to blame, because of faulty sensors on the new 737 MAX 8 aircraft
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 December, 2018, 7:31am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 December, 2018, 8:59am

The family of the Indonesian co-pilot of a Lion Air flight that crashed in October, killing all 189 on board, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Boeing in Chicago, adding to litigation piling up against the manufacturer in its hometown.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleges that a Lion Air-operated Boeing 737 MAX 8 was unreasonably dangerous because its sensors provided inconsistent information to both the pilots and the aircraft.

Boeing declined to comment on pending litigation.

Lion Air Flight JT610 crashed into the Java Sea after take-off from Jakarta on October 29.

Doomed Lion Air jet was no longer airworthy and should not have kept flying, say crash investigators

The complaint was filed on behalf of pilot Harvino’s widow and three children, who are all from Jakarta.

It also alleges that the instruction manuals provided by Boeing with the two-month-old plane were insufficient, leading to the death of the pilots, crew and passengers. Harvino went by a single name.

In a statement, law firm Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona said Harvino and Flight 610 Captain Bhayve Suneja were both experienced pilots, having logged more than 5,000 and 6,000 flight hours respectively before the disaster.

At least two other lawsuits have been filed against Boeing in Chicago by the Lion Air victims.

A preliminary report by Indonesian investigators focused on airline maintenance and training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor but did not give a cause for the crash.

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One of the investigators, Nurcahyo Utomo, told reporters it was too early to determine whether a new version of the anti-stall system, which was not explained to pilots in manuals, was a contributing factor.