Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Furious crash families confront Lion Air boss. He is silent, then flees

Furious crash families confront Lion Air boss. He is silent, then flees

Data from the plane's flight data recorder, also known as a "black box," showed that the plane experienced issues on several flights prior to the crash, the head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), told reporters.

A Lion Air passenger plane that crashed last week with 189 people on board experienced airspeed indicator problems on its last four flights, Indonesian investigators announced on Monday.

The latest information released by investigators still doesn't answer why the pilots on three previous flights were able to handle the problem while the crew on October 29 ended up diving at high speed into the sea, said John Cox, president of consulting company Safety Operating Systems and a former airline pilot.

"We are formulating, with NTSB and Boeing, detailed inspections regarding the airspeed indicator", he said, according to Reuters.

When contacted by FOX Business, Boeing declined to comment on the report.

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Boeing, the manufacturer of the 737 MAX 8, and USA aviation investigators at the NTSB have been working with Indonesian experts on the analysis of the flight data recorder in Indonesia. The committee said they were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.

The rapid loss in altitude on that previous flight was also reported by a flight-tracking website. The audio device may be crucial to unraveling what happened during the flight's final moments.

Lion Air owner, Rusdi Kirana, right, stands up during the conference. Lion Air said Monday that almost 70 ships have been deployed in the search, with more than 1,000 people involved. All 189 passengers and crew for the Boeing 737 are feared dead after the plane crashed shortly after takeoff as investigators and agencies from around the world continue its week-long search for the main wreckage and cockpit voice recorder which might solve the mystery.

With the data recorder in the hands of investigators, the NTSC has recovered about 69 hours of flying data by the crashed jet during its last 19 trips.

Black box data recovered from the crashed Lion Air jet showed the plane had an airspeed indicator problem on its four flights. "But we can't find the CVR yet", Muhammad Syaugi said.

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Pilots had reported a problem with one of the plane's instruments on a flight the day before the crash.

Relatives weep as they pray for victims of the Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 5, 2018.

Lion Air is one of the youngest airlines in Indonesia but has rapidly grown, expanding its flights in Southeast Asia.

Data transmitted from the plane and captured by flightradar24.com indicates that the plane continued flying at high speed away from the airport to which they meant to return, which Cox said seemed unusual. That followed the discovery of defects on two other Boeing 737 Max 8 planes - both operated by Lion Mentari Airlines - during checks on six aircraft of that type.

Mr Tjahjono said based on initial analysis the "engine was running with fairly high speed" when it hit the water.

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