Crashed jet had bro­ken air­speed in­di­ca­tor

The New Paper - - NEWS -

JAKARTA/WASH­ING­TON In­done­sian ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tors said an air­speed in­di­ca­tor of a Boe­ing 737 MAX plane that crashed last week was dam­aged for its last four flights, but US au­thor­i­ties re­sponded cau­tiously to sug­ges­tions of fleet-wide checks.

The dam­age on a Lion Air jet that crashed into the sea, killing all 189 aboard, was re­vealed af­ter data had been down­loaded from the plane’s flight data recorder, In­done­sia’s Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Com­mit­tee (KNKT) chief So­er­janto Tjahjono told re­porters on Mon­day.

His agency was ask­ing Boe­ing and US au­thor­i­ties what ac­tion to take to pre­vent sim­i­lar prob­lems on this type of plane around the world, he added.

“We are for­mu­lat­ing, with NTSB and Boe­ing, de­tailed in­spec­tions re­gard­ing the air­speed in­di­ca­tor,” he said, re­fer­ring to the US Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board.

The act­ing ad­min­is­tra­tor of the US Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FAA), Mr Dan El­well, said the FAA and NTSB had teams of ex­perts in In­done­sia at the gov­ern­ment’s re­quest.

“Any ac­tion the FAA would take re­gard­ing that in­ci­dent would have to wait un­til we have find­ings, un­til we have in­for­ma­tion,” Mr El­well said in Wash­ing­ton.

In­done­sia has not for­mally re­quested fleet-wide checks on 737 MAX jets and none are planned, a per­son fa­mil­iar with mat­ter said, on con­di­tion of anonymity.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have not dis­closed any re­ports of other air­speed fail­ures on the air­craft.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear whether the prob­lem with the crashed jet was from a me­chan­i­cal or main­te­nance is­sue.

Safety ex­perts say it is too early to de­ter­mine the cause of the crash last Mon­day of the flight from Jakarta to the tin­min­ing town of Pangkal Pi­nang.

Au­thor­i­ties have not re­cov­ered the cock­pit voice recorder from the sea floor, north-east of Jakarta, where the plane crashed 13 min­utes into its flight.

Boe­ing de­clined to com­ment. The US man­u­fac­turer has de­liv­ered 219 737 MAX jets to cus­tomers glob­ally, its web­site shows, with 4,564 or­ders for jets yet to be de­liv­ered.

The Lion Air crash was the first in­volv­ing the type of plane, which air­lines in­tro­duced into ser­vice last year. – REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Fam­i­lies and col­leagues of pas­sen­gers and crew of the crashed Lion Air jet throw­ing flow­ers and petals yes­ter­day from the deck of an In­done­sia Navy ship near the site of the crash, which hap­pened last Mon­day.

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