Extra pilot jumps in to avert disaster on previous Boeing 737 Max 8 flight
The next day, with a different crew, the same plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
On doomed Lion Air Flight 610, pilots searched in a handbook for a way to stop the plane from nosediving, according to an exclusive Reuters report.
Reuters cites the information from three people with knowledge of the contents of the cockpit voice recorder that has never been made public.
The pilots of a Boeing 737 MAX frantically scoured a manual before their plane crashed into the Java Sea in October, killing all 189 people on board.
Recordings from the cockpit of the Lion Air plane suggest that the pilots were struggling to understand why the jet was lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water.
Two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a "flight control problem" to air traffic control and said that they intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000ft.
The captain was at the controls of the nearly new plane when it took off from Jakarta, and as an indicator showed a problem on his display, he asked the first officer to consult a handbook containing checklists for abnormal events.
For nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a stall - meaning it could not generate lift and keep flying - and pushed the nose down in response.
Although the captain fought to continue climbing, the computer incorrectly sensed a stall and continued to push the nose down.
Investigators are examining how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor, and whether the pilots were adequately trained to respond to the emergency. ■