Lion Air crash: Doomed jet was not 'airworthy', investigators say

The Boeing 737 Max plane crashed 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on 29 October

Cathy Adams
Wednesday 28 November 2018 15:07 GMT
Investigators' report faults Indonesian airline's safety measures in crash

The Lion Air jet that crashed last month killing 189 people was not fit to fly, according to Indonesian investigators.

Indonesia’s transport safety committee (KNKT) said that the plane was not “airworthy” and had suffered similar technical issues on previous flights, in a preliminary report into the crash.

“This is the basis of our recommendation to Lion Air. In our view, the plane was not airworthy,” Nurcahyo Utomo, head of Indonesia’s national transport safety committee, told a news conference in Jakarta.

While the report did not give a cause for the fatal crash, it did show that the pilots struggled with an anti-stall system, which was pushing the plane’s nose down. The captain was using manual controls to bring the nose back up.

The Boeing 737 Max plane crashed into the Java Sea just minutes after take-off from Jakarta on 29 October, with 189 people on board. Lion Air flight JT 610 was flying to the city of Pangkal Pinang, just north of Sumatra.

At the start of November, the black box was recovered from the sea off the coast of Jakarta, which revealed that the jet had experienced airspeed indicator malfunctions on its four previous flights. The cockpit voice recorder has yet to be located by divers.

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The remains of 125 people have so far been identified, says Lion Air.

Following the crash, Indonesian authorities will inspect all Boeing 737 Max planes that belong to the country’s commercial airlines.

In a statement released today, aircraft manufacturer Boeing said that safety is a “core value” for everyone at the company, and the safety of “our airplanes, our customers’ passengers and their crews is always our top priority”.

“As our customers and their passengers continue to fly the 737 Max to hundreds of destinations around the world every day, they have our assurance that the 737 Max is as safe as any airplane that has ever flown the skies.”

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