The cockpit talks before the crash of Lion-Air in October are now known for the first time.
The crash of the Lion Air machine in Indonesia in October now appears in a new light. Apparently, the reason why the Boeing 737-MAX8 had not crashed on the previous flight was that an out-of-service pilot also happened to be flying on an additional seat (jumpseat) in the cockpit. He apparently advised the crew to turn off parts of the flight control system. So the jet could still be saved. The flight the following day finally crashed after an eleven-minute fight by the pilot – 189 people died in the violent impact.
Just two minutes after takeoff, the JT610 flight pilot reported an acute “flight problem,” reports Reuters, citing three sources. At around 400 meters above the ground, the problems began – practically at the same time as later in Ethiopia. At this altitude, the MCAS stability program is briefly active before the autopilot is turned on.
Something else is identical in the two accidents: The pilot reported an inaccurate speed (“Unreliable Speed”). As the KURIER reported the day after the crash, this was later the case with Ethiopian Air. There are many indications in both cases that the two pilots did not recognize the exact problem. For Boeing that would legally be a relief, because that could mean that the crash might have been avoided.
In any case, in the Lion Air plane, the pilots were flipping through the manuals, which was now to be done. For the next nine minutes, there were always warnings about a threatening stall. If this so-called “stable” passes, the plane crashes unchecked into the depths. This trim problem should actually prevent the stability program MCAS, which is now in the criticism.
According to the agency report, the pilots apparently tried to gain in height. Apparently, the cockpit team (the 31-year-old captain and the 41-year-old first officer) focused primarily on speed and altitude, but not so-called trim – whether the nose is too high or too low. Although they changed the attitude, but apparently only to reach the right speed.
Slowly then panic broke out. “It’s like a test when the time is up and you’ve only answered 75 out of 100 questions,” says one of the insiders who heard the recording. In the end, the Indian pilot, desperate for a solution in the manual, was completely silent. His co-pilot, who had recently taken the wheel, said “Allah Akhbar” (“God is great”) – then the Boeing crashed into the sea.