Lion Air jet had damaged airspeed indicator on last four flights: Official
Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said on Monday (Nov 5) an airspeed indicator of a Boeing Co 737 MAX plane that crashed last week killing all 189 people on board was damaged for its last four flights.
Families of passengers of Lion Air flight JT610 stand as they look at the belongings of the passengers at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Oct 31, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Beawiharta)
The damage was revealed after data had been downloaded from the plane's flight data recorder, KNKT chief Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters, adding that it was asking Boeing and U.S. authorities what action to take to prevent similar problems on this type of plane around the world.
"We are formulating, with NTSB and Boeing, detailed inspections regarding the airspeed indicator," he said, referring to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
Families of passengers of Lion Air flight JT610. (Photo: AFP/Ran Raphael)
It was not immediately clear whether the reported problem stemmed from a mechanical or maintenance issue, nor whether U.S. authorities would order any checks.
"We don't know yet where the problem lies, what repair has been done, what their reference books are, what components have been removed," said Nurcahyo Utomo, the KNKT sub-committee head for air accidents.
"These are the things we are trying to find out: what was the damage and how it was fixed."
Safety experts say it is too early to determine the cause of the crash on Monday last week of the Lion Air flight from Jakarta to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.
Authorities have yet to recover the jet's cockpit voice recorder from the sea floor, just northeast of Jakarta, where the plane crashed 13 minutes into its flight.
The Indonesian navy and members of a search and rescue team lift the wheels of the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT610 after they were recovered from the sea on Nov 2, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Adek Berry)
Boeing declined to comment. The U.S. manufacturer has delivered 219 737 MAX jets to customers globally, according to Boeing's website, and it has 4,564 orders for jets that have yet to be delivered.
The Boeing 737 MAX is a more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer's popular single-aisle jet.
The Lion Air crash was the first involving the type of plane, which airlines introduced into service last year./.