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Letter: Boeing aircraft troubles documented prior to crash

A 68-page preliminary report of a multi-national investigation was released on Nov. 28, 2018 that describes the crash of the Lion Airlines Boeing 737-8 (MAX) on Oct. 29, 2018. All 189 people on board were killed.

This report details the history of the flight, personnel information (pilot training, hours of flight, etc.), aircraft information, aircraft flight and maintenance log, in-flight communications, stall alerts, digital flight data recorder, operation manual, investigation process, wreckage and impact information, tests and research, safety action and recommendations, and other topics.

Multiple defects of the aircraft were identified. Only a few defects will be addressed here, for illustration, due to space constraints.

In this report, a table is presented that is: “The summary of the aircraft defect.” “On the day of the crash, and on each of the two preceding days, the “defect description” was that the “captain primary flight display” presented “no speed and altitude indication.”

On each of the two days prior to the crash, “A self-test result failed” in the evaluation of a “stall warning system L.”

On the day prior to the crash, a “defect description” stated: “Auto-throttle Arm disconnect, during aircraft takeoff roll.”

Troubleshooting was undertaken for a repetitive problem with the angle of attack sensor.

While operating the plane manually, the pilot in command declared 45 seconds before the crash: “…that the altitude of the aircraft could not be determined due to all aircraft instruments indicating different altitudes.”

Summarily, the above referenced report documents diverse and repetitive problems with the Boeing 737-8 (MAX) on the day of the crash, and on each of the two prior days.

The above referenced report, however, has escaped the attention by the mainstream media (TV, print and radio).

John L. Pauly

Amherst

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