The aerospace industry awaits the preliminary report into JT610, the crashed Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8, while the search continues for the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Committee, the national search and rescue agency Basarnas, and the country's meteorological agency have briefed government leaders about the investigation so far, according to a statement on the transport ministry's web site.
The officials reported that the flight data recorder of the aircraft (PK-LQP), which crashed on 29 October and killed 189 aboard, has yielded 1,790 flight parameters for 69 hours, comprising 19 flights.
The search for the cockpit voice recorder continues on the floor of the Java Sea, where the aircraft crashed while operating the Jakarta-Pangkal Pinang route.
The preliminary report into the disaster is expected on 28 November. The JT610 disaster has developed into a story of global interest to the aerospace industry.
Investigations are specifically looking at any role that a new automated stability system may have played. The Max is the first 737 to be equipped with the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System. This is a form of “flight-envelope protection” that automatically counters certain handling “characteristics” caused by design changes on the 737 Max. Specifically, this is a pitch-up in certain configurations because of the more powerful and repositioned engines.
While the transport ministry statement strikes a neutral tone, local media reports suggest that lawmakers urged the government to take a tough line with Lion Air, which has suffered a spate of safety incidents in its history.
Industry concerns revolve around 737 Max pilots’ level of knowledge about the system. This prompted Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenberg to state that reports that the company may have withheld information about the system are untrue.
While Boeing cannot comment publicly on an ongoing crash investigation, media reports indicate that it will host a series of regional calls for 737 Max operators.