Crashed Lion Air jet flew four times with damaged airspeed gauge


The data recorder from the Lion Air jetliner that crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people aboard, shows that the plane's airspeed indicator malfunctioned on its last four flights, investigators said Monday.

Exhibiting similar problems, a recently delivered Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta, Indonesia nearly two weeks ago with 189 people onboard.

The stunning revelation came after angry relatives confronted the airline's co-founder at a meeting organised by Indonesian officials.

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

The confirmation of Flight 610's condition comes as divers continue to search for the aircraft's missing cockpit voice recorder (CVR), commonly known as a black box, which could help investigators piece together the plane's final moments before it crashed.

Frozen pitot tubes were blamed for the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, which killed all 228 people on board.

Meanwhile, around 137 body bags containing remains of the victims have been taken to the funeral home of the National Police hospital in Jakarta. "Cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder are both important to reveal the truth in this case".

CNN said Indonesian officials are working with Boeing and safety experts to further investigate the airspeed indicator issue.

The warning is based on preliminary findings from last week's crash of one of the planes off the coast of Indonesia, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing details that are still confidential.

The head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, Soerjanto Tjahjono, told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that he was discussing the options for wider inspections with Boeing and his USA counterparts.

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Lion Air reportedly knew that the plane - a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8, which the low-priced carrier had been using for only a few months - had malfunctioned on its second-to-last flight.

"When there was a problem, the pilot would write it down and the mechanic would do (a repair) ..."

A week after the disaster, there is still no answer as to what caused the crash.

Cox said that once investigators have all the data, they will work backward to determine if there was a problem with one of the plane's systems or if pilot decisions put the plane in peril.

Alon Soetanto told TVOne the plane dropped suddenly several times in the first few minutes of its flight.

Lion has been a regular target of complaints about poor service, unreliable scheduling and safety issues, including a fatal 2004 crash.

Indonesia's transport ministry has scheduled a briefing at 12:30 Jakarta on Wednesday to share updated information on the Lion Air accident, Bloomberg reports.

The KNKT added that the FDR's recordings were 69 hours from 19 flights and the last date of recording was from the date of the crash and corresponded with public data available on flight-tracking websites.

Police medical experts have received almost 140 body bags of human remains and have identified 14 victims.