Lion Air Pilots Were Flipping Through A Manual Moments Before The Plane Crashed

They were searching for solutions to why the plane kept facing downwards.

Cover image via AFP/Ulet Ifansasti/Getty

Recent investigations revealed that Lion Air pilots scrambled to read through a flight manual minutes before the Boeing 737 Max plunged into the ocean

In a Reuters report yesterday, 20 March, cockpit recordings revealed that the pilots were searching the manual for solutions to why the plane kept facing downwards – out of their control.

The black box revealed the chaos during the plane's final moments.

Image via AP News

Authorities continue to investigate why the ill-fated flight crashed into the Java sea near Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board in October.

According to head of Indonesia's transportation safety committee of crash investigators (KNKT) Soerjanto Tjahjono, the manual did not cover how to handle a situation like the one which occurred in the crash.

It is believed that the pilots remained calm for most of the flight

Only towards the final moments, did the captain ask the first officer to check the plane's handbook that contained checklists for abnormal events, while he struggled to control the plane.

Right before the crash, the 31-year-old Indian-born captain remained silent, while the Indonesian first officer said "Allahu Akbar", which is an Arabic expression meaning, "God is greatest".

Image via Bisniswisata

A spokesperson revealed that pilots who were certified to fly the older Boeing 737-800 models were prepared for the Max 8 with "an iPad lesson for an hour"

In a statement to Quartz on 18 March, spokesman Dennis Tajer from the American Airlines pilot union, said that US pilots already trained to fly the 737-800 aircraft were given an extra hour of lessons on an iPad on how to use the Boeing's new Max 8 aircraft prior to the crash.

Before flying a new airplane model, pilots generally train for hours in simulators mimicking the actual aircraft together with its new features.

As the 737-800 and MAX 8 aircrafts had the same type of certification, additional training was not required.

Image via Routes Online

Within the past six months, there have been two deadly plane crashes involving the same aircraft model

Last week, 10 March, an Ethopian Airlines flight crashed minutes after take-off killing 157 people on board.

Following both plane crashes, Tajer said US pilots now train with an instructor and pilots have "requested, if not demanded, simulators", Quartz reported.

40 countries, including Malaysia, have since decided to suspend all Boeing 737 MAX airplanes

According to The New York Times, preliminary evidence revealed that there were potential similarities between both plane crashes.

China was the first country to suspend the Boeing 737 Max 8 following the two fatal crashes:

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