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Boeing Jet’s Faulty Sensor Wasn’t Fixed Before Lion Air Crash, Report Finds

A malfunctioning sensor at the center of the investigation into the Oct. 29 crash of a Lion Air jetliner into the Java Sea wasn’t repaired before the fatal flight even though it had failed on the plane’s previous trip, according to a preliminary investigative report. ( More...

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While I will first admit to having never flown PIC a glass panel aircraft,
I have to ask a simple question. And add 2 cents worth...
Why, after training, are so many pilots today forgetting to just turn off the whiz-bang stuff and "FLY THE AIRPLANE"
If need be, Needle, Ball and Airspeed. Push/Pull and Kick. Old fashioned, yes...
It seems to me that when you are struggling to maintain control and you have a co-pilot, start PULLING circuit breakers (A-O-A) over-rides and shutting down all non-essential needs.
Control re-established, then declare the emergency and HAND FLY that aircraft to an airport!
I am sorry, but some of the basics seem to be getting lost in our aviation community.
Ok Guys, I'll get off my soap box now.
Merry Christmas to all my fellow "bug smashers"...
Art Pauly 4
You are so right. I've been a pilot for 48 years. I learned to fly in a tail dragger. My instructor taught me that no matter what, FLY THE AIRPLANE. I think we are teaching "system management" and not true pilot skills. I can con still hear him, "kick the ball".
paul gilpin -2
all of those things will be handled when elon gives us pilotless planes.
Art Pauly 3
AI will only make the problem worse.
bbabis 1
True, and others will be created.
A mechanic worked on other sensors and equipment during a night shift before the early morning departure, but not on the so-called angle-of-attack vane, according to Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee. The investigators also asked Lion Air to take corrective steps to improve the safety culture as they released the report in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Highflyer1950 5
Hard to troubleshoot an interrmittent problem, especially when it appears to happen while airborne? Aircraft manufacturers build new planes with newest technology but it takes years for maintenance personnel, especially in foreign countries to get up to speed on all systems.
linbb -3
Since the item which failed was known it should have been changed YOU AS a MECHANIC do not take chances on it failing again by waiting for it to happen. You change the most likely part and monitor the system with a test flight and if all is well then you more than likely found it. One cannot just leave things. I was a bus mechanic for years and followed that method to find an intermitant problem and it worked great. Was an aircraft mechanic before that.
Highflyer1950 3
In a case where there are multiple sensors then ideally you replace all of them except replacement parts may not be readily available and if the squawk cannot be deferred then you ground the aircraft. Generally, the legacy airlines do exactly that, however I’m not so sure these start-up’s or low cost carriers possess the will to do that!
mnrobards 4
Sorry if this post is unpopular. Please read all before giving me the thumbs down. One crew was able to handle multiple issues and land safely. Second crew had multiple issues and crashed. Root cause: Pilot training... Responsible party: AIRLINE ! Pilots need to be trained to deal with multiple computer warnings / issues by turning off automatic flight control systems not needed to control aircraft, fly the plane using basic backup instruments and power settings. Once stable flight is restored, land.

Secondary.... If not already done, Boeing needs to add a master switch that will trip the breakers for systems not necessary of flight control. Once triped, pilots can power up any systems one at a time as wanted. (Example: Breaker reset to enable manual control of trim.)

FYI: My knowledge is limited to light aircraft.
Jim Bergert 2
I'm an ex-US Navy pilot (A4) and we always filled out a yellow sheet after every flight, commenting on any problems and malfunctions. Then, before each flight, we would read the previous yellow sheets on that aircraft to see what had been a problem and what had been done to fix it. Trusting blind faith that everything works will get you killed.....and it did. RIP
matt jensen 2
this is so sad!

if only they checked first and rejected its departure

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

btweston 9
From what I read in another article the system turns itself back on automatically, and the previous crew had to disable it some 26 times while the passengers prayed for their lives.

Speaking of third rate, check your spelling.
belzybob 2
They overrode the action, but never actually disabled the system itself.
David Loh -1
Errr... Geee whiz.... Third rate? Was that why they crashed? Do i smell something? Maybe you should go and wash the filth out of your mouth!
Thomas Cain 3
Now the question is did it fail because of a systemic design failure, or a one off bad part, that wasn't properly maintained and repaired/replaced? Especially since there was a reported failure the previous flight.
linbb -7
Well I think that soon your question will be answered as Usual but do hope you can wait like others will do.
zuluzuluzulu 1
How many AOA vanes are on this aircraft? Two.

How do you determine which one is bad? Why would an aircraft with two sensors rely on data from only one?
Faisal Nahian 1
Cockpit voice recorder will ultimately connect all the dots. Blaming at anything at this time doesn’t really help.
Crash Investigators seem to be going very slow to pick up the 2nd cockpit recorder, I guess Boeing would like it to disappear because it would show issues with the corrections made to the MAX MCAS software trying to correct and override the pilots decision making. Another day, another coverup on its way.
David Beattie -1
Yes. Definitely a plot. But don’t worry, they will soon have the problem fixed, er...a... covered up and they can get back to destroying us all with their chem trails. And don’t forget to wear your tinfoil hat!!
john kilcher 0
I’m not a pilot. But, is this not about pilots lacking the basic skills of flight? The computer game video screens and modern systems are wonderful. Absent a catastrophic loss, if something goes wrong, the pilot still needs the basic skills. Did these pilots lack these basic skills. The pilots from the previous flight with similar problems seemed to overcome the system failures. The pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River has the basic skills to fly.
linbb -2
Sounds like from what was said in the article there government it was a cya report so the airline didn't look too bad. But trying to make Boeing that way.
bbabis -3
Thank you Captain Obvious. Now the investigators can get back to the cause of the faulty sensor.
CtYank66 -1
Agree! YARC! You're Absolutely Right Captain!!!
CtYank66 1
Silence the warnings, turn off automation, Fly the airplane!
bbabis 2
The problem is that turning off automation is getting more and more difficult as the fight as to who can fly the plane better rages on. It is becoming an either or choice between teaching a student to be a pilot or an automation manager, particularly in foreign countries. I myself believe that the push of one big red button should give the pilot ALL basic control. At that point, they had better have an idea of how to fly an airplane. Reengage automation as it is preferred and safe to do so.
Highflyer1950 2
For sure. I remember the old Learjet.....if you had a runaway aileron trim or pitch trim you had the little red button which killed power to everything including a/p. If you took a bird strike on takeoff (and it didn’t go through the engine) and it sheared off the AOA vane, no issue because both AOA’s had to agree to activate the stick pusher. If the pusher fired anyway for any reason you just turned off the “stall warning switches “ and continued on. I’d trust a Lear driver anyday......flogging around at M.080 or handflying at M.78 at FL430 furned out quite a few good Talents. Then when you finally got to hand fly a B727, DC8-63; or L-1011 and the skipper looked over and said,” wow all that and maintaining altitude + or - 50’ or clicking off the A/P every hour or so just to see how the aircraft was trimming itself, them re-engaging it.....that was flying!
was flying
bbabis 1
You bet! The 24D with a MarkII wing was the best aircraft I ever flew bar none. ATC would ask, "how fast are you climbing?" WE would say, "Don't know the VSI is pegged!" What a performer.


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