- The Lion Air plane that crashed into the sea was “no longer airworthy,” Indonesian officials said.
- It experienced problems that meant it was out of control on its previous flight, but it was cleared for take-off the next morning, the aviation head at Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee said.
- It then crashed into the sea and killed all 189 people on board.
- A preliminary report did not conclude why the plane had crashed, and officials say it is too early to say if an issue with the plane’s anti-stall system was a contributing factor in the crash.
The Lion Air Boeing 737 flight that crashed into the sea and killed all 189 people on board “was no longer airworthy”, the aviation head at Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee said.
Nurcahyo Utomo told reporters at the launch of a preliminary report into the crash that Lion Air should never have let it fly.
He said “in our opinion, the plane was no longer airworthy and it should not have continued” after problems on its last flight the day before, the BBC reported.
The plane experienced out-of-control conditions on that – its final complete journey – which left passengers vomiting and panicking.
Utomo said that Lion Air’s maintenance team checked the jet and cleared it for take-off the next morning. Several maintenance procedures were also carried out in response to the problems, the report said.
The report itself does not state that the plane was not airworthy, but it did outline technical problems with the plane, including an issue with the plane’s automated anti-stall system.
Utomo has previously said that this issue may have been why the pilot had to wrestle with the controls as the plane started to nosedive into the sea.
But Utomo said that it was still “too early to conclude” whether this issue with the system was a contributing factor to the fatal crash, Reuters reported.
All 189 people on board flight JT610 were killed when the plane crashed into the sea in what is, thus far, the worst airliner accident of 2018.
US aviation groups, including the Federal Aviation Authority, say Boeing didn’t tell them about new sensors in the automated anti-stall system that were added to their 737 MAX aircraft.