Doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 was “Roller Coaster” Ride Day Before Crash
It’s been two days since the tragic death of 189 people onboard a Lion Air flight from Jakarta. Yesterday, a flight log showed an instrument error with the same Boeing 737 MAX that crashed on Monday morning into the Java Sea. Today, there are reports being put out from passengers who recall the flight the day before that seemed to have its own mechanical issues.
JT43, the flight on Sunday that used the same doomed aircraft, supposedly experienced trouble shortly after takeoff. According to Alon Soetanto, who was on that flight, “About three to eight minutes after it took off, I felt like the plane was losing power and unable to rise. That happened several times. We felt like in a roller coaster. Some passengers began to panic and vomit.”
The data from that flight seems to match the account of that passenger. It also seems to match similar data from JT610, the flight that plunged into the sea 13 minutes after takeoff. Indonesia National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) deputy chief Haryo Satmiko confirmed that unreliable airspeed readings were reported on Sunday’s flight.
Another passenger onboard the Sunday flight, Conchita Caroline, said the flight returned to the gate before takeoff because of a mechanical issue. Passengers sat in the hot plane for over an hour as they awaited a maintenance check. The issue was supposedly fixed and the plane continued on its flight.
The President of Lion Air said in a statement that the problem associated from Sunday’s flight was fixed and the plane was cleared for flying the following day.
Instrument Error in Log
BBC is reporting that a maintenance log that they obtained and reviewed found that an instrument error occurred on a Sunday flight on the same Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX that crashed off the coast of Indonesia on Monday morning. The report suggested it was an issue with the altimeter and an unreliable airspeed indicator. Control was handed over to the first officer the day before during a flight en route to Jakarta.
Lion Air JT 610 lost contact with air traffic control 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on a short one-hour flight. The plane reportedly asked for permission to return to the airport before the plane with 189 passengers and crew members crashed into the sea. All 189 people onboard are believed to be dead.
Photos have been released of wreckage by the head of Indonesia’s disaster agency:
Beberapa serpihan pesawat Lion Air JT 610 yang jatuh di perairan Karawang. Pesawat membawa 178 penumpang dewasa, 1 penumpang anak-anak dan 2 bayi dengan 2 Pilot dan 5 FA. Basarnas dan Kementerian Perhubungan terus melakukan penanganan. Beberapa kapal tug boad berada di lokasi. pic.twitter.com/Gb6P4zjCQF
— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) October 29, 2018
The pilot and first officer of the flight had over 11,000 combined flight hours. The aircraft was put into service August 15, 2018 and only had 800 hours of flight time.
It is not known if this instrument error had anything to do with the tragic crash that happened Monday morning. The investigation into the incident will likely be lengthy, and it will be sometime whether we know the cause of the accident for sure.