Lion Air 737 Max plane pilots 'scoured handbook' before crash

Lion Air 737 Max plane pilots 'scoured handbook' before crash

Lion Air 737 Max plane pilots 'scoured handbook' before crash

The pilots of the doomed Lion Air flight that crashed into the Java Sea last October frantically searched the aircraft's manual to try to find a way to keep the plane under control before the crash, cockpit voice recordings show.

Concern over the plane's safety caused aviation authorities worldwide to ground the model.

Canada also said it would send a team to help US authorities evaluate proposed design changes and decide if others were needed.

Separately, the Transportation Department confirmed that its watchdog agency will examine how the FAA certified the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the now-grounded plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months.

On the same aircraft the evening before the crash, a captain at Lion Air's full-service sister carrier, Batik Air, was riding along in the cockpit and solved the similar flight control problems, two of the sources said.

Meanwhile, later on Wednesday, Boeing announced that it has delayed, by three months, its first un-crewed flight to the International Space Station under Nasa's human spaceflight program, and pushed its crewed flight until November, industry sources said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

That off-duty pilot correctly identified the problem the crew was facing and guided them to disable the flight control system in order to save the plane, according to the report, which cited two people familiar with the investigation in Indonesia.

Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a "flight control problem" to air traffic control and said the pilots meant to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the November report said.

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The prestige of Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa's most successful companies, and Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker and a massive US exporter, is at stake in the inquiry.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the Justice Department is probing the development of the Max, according to a person briefed on the matter.

In addition to continuing scrutiny of the FAA's decision-making by the Transportation Department's inspector general's office, Secretary Chao on Tuesday also asked the same office to conduct an audit compiling "an objective and detailed factual history of the activities that resulted in the certification of the Boeing 737-MAX".

The aircraft, which was being operated by a different crew the next day, on October 29, 2018, crashed fewer than 15 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the flagship Boeing model meant to be a standard for decades to come, given parallels with the Lion Air calamity off Jakarta in October.

The angle of attack is a fundamental parameter of flight, measuring the degrees between the air flow and the wing.

After Boeing finishes the software, the FAA still must approve it. American, Southwest and United have said the grounding of their Max jets have led to some canceled flights.

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