Lion Air flight JT610 from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang crashed 13 minutes after takeoff on October 29. 189 passengers and crew were killed in the disaster.
Since this occurred it’s been noted that the aircraft had issues on its previous flights, and also that pilots may not have fully understand the auto-correcting nature of the systems they were working with (the autotrim and anti-stall measures).
It’s imperative that we work to understand what went wrong when there’s an aviation disaster. That’s how we prevent future occurrences. Air travel is incredibly safe in large measure because of the commitment of the world’s airlines to safety even in the toughest of financial times, and because of the understanding of past incidents that have led to changes in procedures. When something goes wrong now it’s almost always something we’ve never faced before, precisely because investigation and procedural followup has worked well.
The aircraft’s flight data recorder was recovered last month, and provided useful information to allow for a preliminary report. The cockpit voice recorder has not yet been recovered.
Unfortunately investigation of the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crash is stalled. And the reason is lack of money.
Thanks to budget constraints and bureaucratic wrangling, investigators still haven’t recovered the cockpit voice recorder from a Lion Air 737 MAX that crashed into the Java Sea off Jakarta six weeks ago. Indonesian investigators told Reuters this week that they need a specialized ship to find the CVR. “We don’t have further funds to rent the ship,” a source told the news agency.
The government may ask Lion Air to pay for the ship. To my mind it’s important to secure the voice recorder and do so quickly. Figure out how to pay for it later. While there are legal issues of liability between Lion Air and Boeing, and political issues surrounding Indonesia’s safety oversight, it’s the world’s airlines and air passengers that benefit from a greater understanding of any safety failure.