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Design faults and staff errors to be blamed for Boeing fatal crash: report

THE final report by Indonesian investigators into the crash of a Boeing 737 Max plane flown by Indonesia's Lion Air that left 189 people dead has found that problems with Boeing's design, the airline's maintenance of the jet and pilot errors contributed to the disaster

27 October 2019 - 19:00

THE final report by Indonesian investigators into the crash of a Boeing 737 Max plane flown by Indonesia's Lion Air that left 189 people dead has found that problems with Boeing's design, the airline's maintenance of the jet and pilot errors contributed to the disaster.

The report into the October 2018 crash criticised the US planemaker's new anti-stall system, MCAS, that automatically pushed the plane's nose down, leaving pilots fighting for control.



The 737 Max's MCAS system is also at the centre of separate investigations into an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March that killed 159 people. Boeing's 737 Max planes were grounded worldwide following the crashes.



The final report published by the investigators said the MCAS should be redesigned to include a backup and all systems that can take over flight control should receive closer scrutiny during certification, reports The Guardian.



The report also found that Boeing failed to detect a software error resulting in a warning light not working and failed to provide pilots with information about the flight control system.



Boeing has already said it plans to remake the system and provide more information about it in pilot manuals. The company still expects the troubled 737 Max jet to return to service by the end of the year.



The final report said the first officer onboard was unfamiliar with procedures and had shown issues handling the aircraft during training. It also found that a critical sensor providing data to an anti-stall system had been mis-calibrated by a repair shop in Florida and there were strong indications it had not been tested during installation by Lion Air maintenance staff.



Lion Air should have grounded the jet following similar faults on the plane's previous flight, the report said, adding that 31 pages were missing from the airline's October maintenance logs. Lion Air did not respond to a request for comment.



The Indonesian investigators also made recommendations that regulators, including the US Federal Aviation Administration and its counterpart in Indonesia, improve their oversight over certification and maintenance.


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