‘Situation in Lion Air tragedy not in manual’

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JAKARTA: Indonesian investigators said more training was needed for Boeing 737 MAX pilots after discovering the situation believed to have faced the crew of the doomed Lion Air jet was not contained in the aircraft’s flight manual.

US pilots were also not aware of potential risks, two US pilot unions said.

The comments shed further light on the areas under scrutiny as investigators prepare to publish their preliminary report on Nov 28 or 29, one month after the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX dived into the Java Sea, killing all 189 on board.

Until now, public attention has focused mainly on potential maintenance problems, including a faulty sensor for the “angle of attack”, a vital piece of data needed to help the aircraft fly at the right angle to the currents of air and prevent a stall.

Now, the investigation’s focus appears to be expanding to the clarity of US-approved procedures to help pilots prevent the 737 MAX over-reacting to such a data loss, and methods for training them.

Dennis Tajer, a 737 captain and spokesman for Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents American Airlines Group Inc pilots, said his union was informed after the crash about a new system Boeing had installed on 737 MAX jets that could command the plane’s nose down in certain situations to prevent a stall.

“It is information that we were not privy to in training or in any other manuals or materials,” he said. — Reuters