Details have emerged surrounding the final moments of last year’s deadly Lion Air Flight JT 160 crash that claimed the lives of all 189 on board. According to a report from Reuters, the pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX searched in vain for a solution in the aircraft’s handbook, while struggling to keep their aircraft from its rapid descent.
Lion Air Flight JT 160 crashed offshore northeast of Jakarta roughly 13 minutes into the flight.
It has also come to light that a similar malfunction was experienced by another Lion Air crew operating the aircraft a day before. According to a report from Bloomberg, an off-duty pilot who happened to be on the flight quickly searched the aircraft’s handbook and identified the issue and solution.
The off-duty pilot instructed the flight crew to deactivate the malfunctioning flight-control system, which in turn saved the aircraft from a potentially fatal dive.
It is not yet clear why this key information was not passed on to the crew of Lion Air Flight JT 160.
Insights into the final moments of the doomed flight are the latest development into the 737 Max saga, which has seen the grounding of Boeing’s narrow-body aircraft.
On 10 March 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 crashed roughly six minutes after take-off, killing all 157 people on board. Following initial reports that the crash bore similarities to last year’s Lion Air crash, countries around the world began to ground the aircraft from operating within their respective airspace.
After the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it would be grounding 737 MAX aircraft operating in the US, Boeing revealed that it was grounding the entirety of its global 737 MAX fleet that comprises of more than 350 jets.