Indonesia to Soon Release First Report on Deadly Lion Air Crash

Reports: Readings show Lion Air pilots struggled with Boeing 737 system before crash

Pilot of doomed Lion Air flight 'fought continuously' against malfunctioning computers

The budget airline should ensure that a pilot can make proper decisions to continue a flight, KNKT said in a statement ahead of the release of its first report since the October 29 crash.

Sensors that measure speed were flushed and checked, and an electrical plug was cleaned before the fatal flight.

The report suggests the MCAS acted as though the plane was stalling because it was receiving incorrect information from the faulty sensor.

The malfunctions and warnings from the plane's control system appeared to overwhelm the pilots nearly as soon as the jet became airborne, said another investigator, Ony Suryo Wibowo.

Utomo, in contrast, pointed to multiple problems, including the "severe" issue of stall warnings occurring in tandem on the Bali-Jakarta flight that were enough for the KNKT to determine the flight should not have continued.

Boeing has sent urgent updates re-emphasize "existing procedures" since the crash, as NPR's David Schaper has reported.

Boeing said in a statement that it's working closely with investigators, and referred all questions about the crash to the NTSC.

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However, investigators have now turned their attention to the plane's anti-stall system, which is responsible for changing the direction of the plane's nose when an "angle of attack" sensor reveals that the plane may be incapable of maintaining lift, the aerodynamic force produced by an airplane as it moves through the air.

Furthermore, the KNKT will conduct further analysis based on the Lion Air jet's quick access recorder (QAR) they obtained, which has recorded 385 flights that will be further evaluated to see if similar problems were experienced by previous flights.

"We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX", the company said.

The plane's automatic safety system repeatedly pushed the plane's nose down, according to a draft of a preliminary report by Indonesian authorities.

The pilots on Flight 610 didn't take that step - which is part of a long-standing emergency procedure.

When they reached Jakarta that night, they logged various problems with the plane, but didn't say the shaker had been activated.

Searchers have not found the plane's cockpit voice recorder, which would provide more information about the pilots' actions. The co-pilot, just 90 seconds after take-off, asked air traffic control to confirm the plane's altitude, later adding that there was a "flight control problem".

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Despite a dubious safety record and an avalanche of complaints over shoddy service, the budget carrier's parent Lion Air Group, which also operates Batik Air and Wings Air, has captured half the domestic market in less than 20 years of operation to become Southeast Asia's biggest airline.

Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the preliminary report offered a road map of final recommendations that are likely to emerge from the investigation.

As soon as the October 28 flight from Bali to Jakarta lifted off, a device known as a "stick shaker" - which is created to alert pilots to an imminent aerodynamic stall - activated with its unmistakable vibrations on the control column and loud thumping noise.

The preliminary report did not assign blame, but did list new safety recommendations to Lion Air - "on top of earlier recommendations about the flight manual that have already been implemented by Boeing", Reuters reports. They said they had an unspecified "flight control problem", according to the report.

Indonesian investigators expect to fly to the US later this week to gather more information about the Boeing aircraft and its components, including discussing the MCAS safety feature with Boeing engineers to understand how it may have contributed to the accident, Utomo said.

Indonesia's aviation safety record has improved since its airlines, including national carrier Garuda, were subject to years-long bans from United States and European airspace for safety violations, although the country has still recorded 40 fatal accidents over the past 15 years.

Boeing has a great deal at stake in defending its plane.

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