Crashed Lion Air Flight JT-610 Black Box Recovered

Crashed Lion Air Flight JT-610 Was Flying With a Damaged Airspeed Indicator

Stay tuned as we bring you the latest updates of the crashed Lion Air Flight JT-610.

Updated as of 9 Nov 2018

Following the retrieval of the crashed Lion Air Flight JT-610’s black box, or more specifically a part of the black box called the flight data recorder, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee confirmed that the aircraft had indeed been flying with a damaged airspeed indicator. 

Although this might not be the only glitch that ultimately led to the crash, officials say it could have played a role in the accident, which took the lives of 189 people on board.

A statement from Boeing

Aircraft manufacturing company Boeing, on the other hand, released a statement last 07 Nov 2018, saying that the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee discovered another technical glitch.

In the statement, Boeing said, The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air flight 610 experienced erroneous input from one of its AOA (Angle of Attack) sensors”.

According to reports, erroneous input from an AOA sensor can lead the plane to head downward repeatedly, making the aircraft difficult to stabilise and maneuver.

As its immediate action as well as a precaution, Boeing issued an Operations Manual Bulletin that guides “operators to existing flight crew procedures to address circumstances where there is erroneous input from an AOA sensor.” Boeing is also in the middle of planning simulations and flight reconstructions to test the possible impacts of a failing AOA sensor.

The Lion Air plane that crashed was a Boeing 737 MAX 8. Investigations are also being conducted to see if this glitch is common in this particular model or was an isolated case for the doomed Lion Air Flight JT-610.

More parts found

Meanwhile, an extended search carried out by an elite team of divers has led authorities to recover more parts. Among these were the second engine recovered from the crash site, batteries, tubes, a recorder, and a power supply.

The divers were also able to recover 20 body parts, which were all surrendered to the team in charge of victim identification. The team of expert divers also includes civilian volunteers.

Updated as of 6.30pm, 6 Nov 2

The airspeed indicators of the crashed Lion Air Flight JT-610 had apparently encountered problems before it plunged into the Java sea last 29 Oct 2018. The plane malfunctioned and crashed just 13 minutes after taking off, reports confirmed.

These are the latest findings that were made after the new Boeing plane’s black box was retrieved by divers on 1 Nov 2018,  three days after the crash.

crashed lion air black box

Image credit: PK-REN

But most surprising was that the aircraft was allowed to take off for a fifth flight that would prove fatal despite the fact that its airspeed indicators were already experiencing glitches during its past four flights.  According to authorities, the recent crash is the worst that Indonesia has seen in the past 20 years.

Why finding the black box is crucial

An aeroplane’s black box includes a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder. The device sends out a signal, which makes it easier for authorities to track the aircraft and its flight activity from takeoff to landing. Lion Air Flight JT-610’s flight data recorder was the part that was found last Thursday. Now, an extended search is being carried out by expert teams to retrieve the crashed plane’s cockpit voice recorder. Finding this would allow authorities to extract more data that would ultimately give a more accurate narrative as to what happened to Lion Air Flight JT-610.

While the current data from the retrieved black box sheds light on what could have led Lion Air Flight JT-610 to its untimely demise, the facts this provides are not enough to draw an exact conclusion.

What we know minutes before the crash

There are only a few things we can be sure of now: First, that the pilots manning Lion Air Flight JT-610’s requested to return to the airport just minutes after leaving Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, but the aircraft plummeted into the sea moments later. And second, that the black box data found clearly proves problems with the plane’s airspeed indicators, although this might not be the only technical glitch the plane experienced before crashing.

While the investigation is ongoing, Indonesia’s transportation minister Budi Karya Sumadi ordered the grounding of 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes operated by Lion Air. All aircraft are currently undergoing strict inspection conducted by the country’s Transportation Safety Committee. Lion Air is a privately run Indonesian budget airline that is considered the second largest low-cost fleet in Southeast Asia.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

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