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Lion Air’s Crashed Boeing 737 MAX Determined Unairworthy by Investigators

Posted on in Aviation Litigation

Chicago plane crash attorney Boeing 737 MAXBy Tim Tomasik

Recurring technical issues and Indonesian carrier Lion Air’s failure to ground its Boeing 737 MAX led to pilots' battle for control over their jet as it plunged into the Java Sea on October 28, investigators said on Wednesday. Stopping short of saying what exactly caused the plane to crash, investigators cited multiple contributing factors centered on the plane’s anti-stall system, faulty sensors, and Lion Air’s inferior safety culture.  

One day before the crash, pilots flying from Bali to Jakarta experienced similar issues and manually shut down the plane’s anti-stall system to adjust the plane’s pitch, regain control, and land safely. The flight crew immediately reported the occurrence to Lion Air maintenance, who deemed the plane airworthy for the next morning’s flight.  Mechanics certified the Boeing but failed to check sensors that measured whether the nose of the plane pointed up or down.

Throughout the flight, pilots battled a faulty “angle of attack” sensor, triggering a system that automatically corrected the direction of the nose of the plane. A 10-minute tug of war ensued where Boeing’s anti-stall system relentlessly pushed the plane’s nose down 26 times while two pilots manually pulled it back up. 

“The plane was no longer airworthy and it should not have kept flying,” Nurcahyo Utomo, aviation head at the National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC), told reporters. Lion Air contests the preliminary reports, stating that the plane was airworthy. Boeing released a statement declaring its newest 737 MAX 8 model the safest and most advanced. The manufacturer noted the flight crew's successful landing the day before and suggested pilot error. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing experts are working with Indonesian investigators determine the cause of the crash. 

If you have been injured in an aircraft, or if someone you know lost a life due to airline negligence, it is critical to work with trustworthy legal representation to thoroughly investigate the accident. TKK understands complex aviation regulations, and our experienced litigation team will prove liability. Our lawyers are experienced Chicago aviation attorneys and have won cases nationwide.  For more information, call us at 312-605-8800 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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