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The Latest: Lion Air jet had airspeed problem on 4 flights

The head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, Soerjanto Tjahjono, says the "black box" data recorder from the crashed Lion Air jet shows its last four flights all had an airspeed indicator problem. ( Mehr...

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sparkie624 9
My big question is.... Why was this plane even flying after the 2nd squawk.... I would have ferried the a/c to a full service maintenance base and it would not have left until it was fully repaired and certified with a FULL Positive Maintenance Action Performed that I was happy with... I have parked more than one plane that I was not comfortable with and will do it again in a heart beat even if people get upset with me for delayed or canceled flights....
djames225 10
I agree, sparkie, but the 2nd?..I would have yanked it, and parked it the first, and told Boeing to get their butts over here and give the whole thing a go over..2 month old plane should not be having these issues.
If Boeing then discovered it was operator related, get on Lion's butt!
sparkie624 3
My argument for the 2nd is simple... Pilot Error, Mechanic could not find anything wrong. A lot of times the crews especially on a new plane do not understand all the systems as well as they do... That is also why there are 3 totally independent systems so that you have a backup.
djames225 1
Good argument, but if I have 2 flight deck people telling me a same issue, knowing there are backups in place, and they have flown this particular model, if mechanic could not find anything, I don't think I would risk it. I would still want Boeing to go over it, then, like I said, prepare for my own butt kick if it was operator error. There are lemons in everything.
My reasoning is that of a car, for example. I may be new to driving that brand new 3 month old model, don't have it all configured yet, but the check engine light comes on, back to the dealership it goes.
sparkie624 1
Keep in mind that Maintenance only talks with 1 crew member when working on a discrepancy, usually the captain... Sometimes when you are working the desk you have to go with what the Mechanic sees because he is our eyes in the field.... As for having Boeing to go over it... Usually it is the company mechanic that would be working on it... 1 or 2 times does not warrant getting the manufacture involved.
Brian Neuman 2
If this happened on the past 4 flights, then in my opinion, this is a maintenance problem. Its way to early to assume this is a design issue. If American, Southwest, United and any other -MAX operators are not having this issue, then it is likely not a model or design issue. My concern is that the carrier rushed or failed to repair the issue and get the plane in the air. I also have a hard time figuring out how in fair weather the crew managed to possibly stall the aircraft. I am not a 737 pilot by any stretch of the imagination, but I would like to believe in VFR conditions, there should be no reason for the plane to stall and crash unless they failed to disconnect the A/P and that would also be pilot error.
sparkie624 1
I agree, That is why I would have gotten certified people that specialize in the system... You are correct... It is a Maintenance problem... Keep in mind that other countries do not have the same regulations and quality control that we have... As far has figuring out how the crew stalled the plane.... I am thinking lack of CRM or improper CRM... Someone was not following procedures!
Peter Steitz 0
The stick shaker/pusher will activate without the autopilot. We tested the stall warning system on every flight. I could override it with one hand. Disengaging the autopilot will not stop the pusher. However, the pusher can easily be over ridden by the pilot.
This crew should have a basic knowledge of power and performance. Level the aircraft using outside references or the attitude indicator. Set power and ignore all other inputs. This is similar to spatial disorientation. Trust your attitude indicator, VVI and power. You're getting garbage in--garbage out from the automation.
This has to be a difficult procedure but hand flying the jet is the most important task. They were day, VFR and over water. Damn it, do whatever it takes to fly the jet even if it takes both of you to override the pusher. FLY THE JET.
bbabis 1
The way it is mandated and should be done but, unfortunately, $$$ sometimes wins out.
sparkie624 3
Not from MY Desk!! When it is my plane and I say it stays on the ground... It stays on the ground. I have inconvenienced more than one crew member and passenger and will freely do it again... I would rather receive complaints from living souls than to see condolence letters to them.
chalet 2
There are three extremely important elements of aviation technology that are way behind the times and constitute more potential disasters in the offing: (1) Pitot tubes clogging with super cold ice or insects. Good old INS is not affected by these and should be installed as a back up (2) CVRs and DFRs not strong enough as they made us to believe so some investigations of accidents never got to pinpoint the causes; and (3) The so unreliable ELTs regargless whether they are of the garden variety installed on small GA aircraft or more expensive ones mounted on commercial jets. INCREDIBLE
vector4traffic 1
The Pilot & FO have independent pitot systems with independent displays. The AP certainly would disconnect if they don't agree but after you discount the erratic readings of the bad one you should be able to fly the plane and perhaps even force the AP to use the good airspeed indicator.
Ivan Cholakov 1
In dense air and slow speed you should be able to retain control and not let the aircraft stall. unless you ignore all warning signs of a stall. I guess the cockpit recorder may help there.
sparkie624 2
The Stick Shaker should have at least given them a clue that they were a little too slow! I cannot see all 3 Pitot Static systems and the Stall Protection system failing.... I am not sure about the max, but a lot of them have auto slats at slow speeds... Being Avionics I had to perform these tests... When all of this happens all at once it is pretty radical... You cannot miss it unless you are unconscious, and then it would be questionable. I know no human way possible you can stall a 737 and not know it... There are even lights on the glare shield tell you that you are in or about to stall the aircraft....
David Loh 1
From what I read in the news reports about the aircraft hitting at extreme speed, it seems to me the airspeed indicators (all of them?) were Under reading rather than Over reading. So the aircraft did not stall but rather went into CFIT because the pilots think the aircraft was too slow so they kept pushing the nose down. As to why the Horizon Indicator was not consulted we will never know. Sensory cues like aircraft noise and possibly some vibration should have provided some clues that the aircraft was approaching Mach 1. We will never know.
Derek Vaughn 1
Why wasn't this airplane parked?
Jim DeTour 2
Company most likely. Seen it before. 747 cargo flying around the world for weeks with a replacement engine having no instrument indications. Tower having to tell them they have an engine fire didn't even straighten them out.
Jim DeTour 1
I'm thinking with the LCD panel the perceived problem wasn't the root cause. Be it a hard landing from a storm or screw up I have to wonder if a rack mount snapped causing intermittent problems. Things do get worse over time if loose. I'd survey for plastic parts that might be improper for handling stresses like hard landings or handling. Even improper sized screws and blots have lead to disasters. I'm also wondering if the problem seemed to materialize around turns or turbulence. List goes on.
Alan Hume 1
Unbelievable! 189 people dead - paying pax and crew! This amounts to criminal negligence on someone's part - Lion or Boeing ... or both!
john mccoy 0
i'm a technician for a major airline here in Houston, TX. The first airspeed write up wuld have been addressed at the gate b4 passengers boarded with a a pitot-static pump up. Which simulates airspeed and altitude while on the ground. it wuld be corrected if a problem was found. if problem happened again this a/c wuld b grounded and wuld not have flown again until a potential problem was found and corrected by a maintenance action. no questions asked! shame on these foreign countries maintenance and airworthiness procedures.
bbabis 1
Ground checks may have or not have been done. This was most likely an airborne issue and a ground check would say all good. After the second similar issue, the plane should have been grounded until the actual cause was found.
Allan Bowman -4
The "black box" invented in 1953 is still used by airlines. Yes the technology itself is better than in 1953 but so what. The boxes disappear with the downed aircraft. Real time data communications via satellite would obsolete these primitive antique devices and provide instant analysis of who, what, where, why and when incidents occur. But airlines and their regulators don't seem to want modern real time wireless data communications. Why is this allowed to continue?
sparkie624 1
It is not the same data... The FDR captures much much more data and the digital data being sent down to the ground stations are in most cases not real time, but rather delayed by more than you may think.
Cansojr -1
Is it possible that the pitot static system was partially blocked. Another problem could be with a plugged static vent. Both of these situations have brought aircraft down in the Dominican Republic Bergen Air 757. The same model went down in Peru with the no defunct Air Peru Boeing 757. Make sure to tag and flag your vents for safety sake.
SorenTwin 0
I'd think that this would be the first thing that is checked when an airspeed issue is reported to the ground crew. IF it was reported.
Cansojr 1
You would be suprised how many pilots for airliners do sloppy and cursory checks. Looking but not seeing. In tropical nations bugs just love to set up living quarters in the pitot static system and vents. The primary method of preventing their entry is on the tag with the flag.
Cansojr 1
Normally the first thing pilots is a preflight walk-around, they study the snag book for any systems not working but will not ground the flight. This alerts them to potential problems.
bbabis 1
It could also be pressurized cabin air getting into the system through a lose fitting but these are things the investigation and FDR may be able to sort out.
sparkie624 1
I used to be certified in the Boeing Pitot Static System... Very true, and truthfully can be a very leak to find... But being on the ground, you can still find these kinds of leaks... It just takes a little more time.

Do keep in mind that Airspeed uses both Pitot and Static. The airspeed is a product of both, so it could be either a Pitot Leak, or a Static Leak...

One thing that baffles me is that they still have a voting system... Captain and FO both have 1 vote, if they disagree they go to the Stby for the deciding vote.... Brings to mind... I wonder if CRM (or the lack there of) played a role in this accident. Obviously from what we have seen other crews have over come this same issue on this same plane... Why could this crew not over come it.... (Just thinking out loud)
bbabis 1
A hundred years ago on my first flight ever in a pressurized aircraft (CE340), after take-off I watched the airspeed stop moving and then slowly go back to zero. It was a beautiful day and I had no problem returning to land. I didn't trust it, but the airspeed slowly came back on short final. The problem was a hand tightened connection in the static system back in the fuselage that was leaking. Your thought of CRM playing a role in the accident is very valid. Everything I've heard so far only mentions the captain's system. How the crew handled it is the gist of this investigation along with why the plane was on the line in the first place.

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geroldn 4
GPS provides groundspeed. The airplane flies (or stalls) based on its speed through the air. A pitot-static system is still best way to measure airspeed.
Shenghao Han -1
Let’s say the plane still took off with erratic speed and altitude readings (I agree it should never left the ground after 2nd similar report), but why would the pilots lost the ability to fly VFR under almost perfect condition? As far as I understand it was during day time and weather was fair. It doesn’t make sense how they managed to stall or nose dive into the ocean. Just keep wings level, engine 50%-60%, and ask for someone come and intercept them then guide them back to the airport. They can even use GPS speed as a rough guidance to avoid over speeding (Or when the plane started to shake)... in VFR conditions you don’t really look at instruments anyway...

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william baker 1
Hey there’s nothing wrong with Boeing. If you like airbus fine but people have there preference for Boeing.
djames225 1
What has you comment got to do with this squawk? People like Boeing, people like Airbus..and that rhyme has been around a very long time.
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Here's What We Know About The Lion Air Crash That Took 189 Lives

Almost a week since a brand new Boeing Co. jet plummeted into the Java Sea, there are still a lot of questions as to what happened that fateful day as the plane's main wreckage and cockpit voice recorder eluded authorities seeking to unravel the mystery


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