THE Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX-8 that crashed and killed all 189 passengers went into a nosedive one day earlier and was saved by an off-duty pilot, reports claim.
An extra pilot, hitching a ride in the plane, saved the flight from disaster by telling crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system, Bloomberg reported.
An engine is recovered from a Lion Air jet after it crashed in October[/caption]
But the following day, when a different crew was faced with an identical malfunction on the same plane, the jetliner crashed into the Java Sea killing all on board.
The new details emerged 10 days after an Ethiopian Airlines flight with the same Boeing model crashed near Addis Ababa, claiming 157 lives.
The revelation could explain how some pilots of the 737 MAX planes were able to avoid disaster and others lost control and crashed.
HERO PILOT SAVED LIVES
More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX-8 and MAX-9 passenger jets have been taken out of service worldwide following the two fatal crashes over the past five months.
Bloomberg reported that Lion Air crew struggled to control their nosediving Boeing MAX-8 on 28 October 2018.
A so-called ‘dead-head’ pilot riding with them told the crew to cut power to the motor driving the nose down, sources said.
This is part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorise, the report stated.
The quick-thinking pilot saved the flight, but the following day the jet suffered similar issues and crashed into the sea.
TWO ‘SIMILAR’ BOEING CRASHES
Black box data suggests “clear similarities” between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.
Minister Dagmawit Moges cited preliminary data retrieved from the flight data recorder, or black box.
He said his government plans to release detailed findings of the doomed Flight ET302 within a month, according to Sky News.
Both jets flew with erratic altitude, indicating the pilots struggled to bring the aircraft under control, and in both instances problems occurred almost immediately after take-off.
Preliminary findings suggest the stabiliser of the Ethiopian plane may have been in a position to point the nose of the craft down.
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Airlines around the world have now grounded the Max 8 following the second crash on March 10.
Boeing said in a statement that it continues to have “full confidence” in the plane’s safety, but that it was recommending temporarily suspending operations of the entire global fleet of the 737 Max aircraft, totaling 371 planes.
Reports suggest that a software issue with the Max 8 may have contributed to the Lion Air crash by causing it to dive, with the aircraft manufacturer planning to release advice to airlines on how to spot incorrect readings.
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