MD-82's recorders sent to USA for analysis after fatal accident in Indonesia

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the Lion Air Boeing MD-82 that crashed on landing in Indonesia last week are to be sent to the USA for analysis, as early attention by investigators focuses on the aircraft's spoilers.

The 30 November crash of the twinjet on landing at an airport in central Java left 25 people dead and 56 others "seriously injured", say investigators. Lion Air says 163 people were on board.

An investigator with Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) told Flight International from Solo city's Adi Sumarmo airport, where the crash occurred, that the recorders would be taken to US National Transportation Safety Board facilities in the USA for decoding.

Investigators will be focusing on why the MD-82 skidded off the airport's single runway and crashed into a fence, tree and cemetery at around 18:00 during a thunderstorm. There was visibility of 2km (1.1nm), says the investigator.

He says one focus of attention is on whether the spoiler system was working or set properly. Spoilers on the wing are extended when the aircraft touches down to dump lift, and can be armed to extend automatically. The investigator says the spoilers were retracted when found.

"It was closed [and] the spoiler should be opened. We don't know if the system is unreliable or whether the pilot activated the position to be closed," he says, adding that investigators are examining the spoiler actuators in relation to this.

The investigator also says the airport's drainage system was functioning normally. "It seems to be normal," he says. "There was water on the runway at the time of the accident, but I wouldn't say there was a lot of water."

The 20-year-old aircraft was owned by GE Capital Aviation Services, according to AvSoft's ACAS database. Solo airport's single runway is equipped only with non-precision navaids.


Source: Flight International