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Lion Air ends search; lawsuit filed against Boeing

January 7, 2019 Headline News No Comments

After eight weeks, Lion Air has ended its search for the “second black box”  – the voice recorder from its Boeing 737 Max jet that crashed into the Java Sea – while in a separate action, relatives of a victim killed in the crash have lodged a lawsuit against Boeing in the US.

The Lion Air plane crashed on 29 October 2018, killing all 189 people aboard.

Searchers retrieved the flight recorder (the so-called “first black box”) but have failed to find the cockpit voice recorder (“second black box”) which could have provided additional clues about what caused the crash.

Singapore’s Straits Times quoted Lion Air Group spokesman Danang Mandala confirming last Thursday that the search using the offshore supply ship MPV Everest had ended on 29 December 2018.

The crash was the world’s first of a B737 Max jet, a fuel-efficient new type of Boeing 737, widely used and ordered by many airlines (including in Australia) making it the fastest-selling aircraft in Boeing history. Orders for the 737 MAX stand at 4800, placed by more than 100 customers worldwide, including Virgin Australia, which has a firm order for 23 of the planes with options for four more.

Lion Air said in December that it was funding a search costing IDR 38 billion (AUD 3.72 million) for the second black box, using the offshore supply ship MPV Everest.

The largest single piece of the aircraft recovered. Photo from Basarnas (the National Search and Rescue Agency of the Republic of Indonesia)

MEANWHILE in the US, a lawsuit has been filed against Boeing over the crash, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The wrongful death suit was filed on Christmas Eve in Cook County (the county in which Chicago is located) in the name of passenger Sudibyo Onggo Wardoyo, 40, of Jakarta, who was killed in the crash. The writ was filed on behalf of Sudibyo’s parents and three siblings.

The suit alleges that the sensors on Boeing’s 737 MAX provided inaccurate data to its flight control system, causing its anti-stall system to improperly engage, leading to the crash.

Wikipedia has identified this as Lion Air aircraft PK-LQP, the plane which crashed as flight JT610

The suit also claims that Boeing failed to provide adequate instructions to pilots on how to respond to and disengage the anti-stall system.

Written by Peter Needham

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