| SINGAPORE, Sept 5
SINGAPORE, Sept 5 Pilot errors, inadequate crew
training and lapses in emergency response procedures led to a
plane operated by fast-growing budget carrier Lion Air crashing
into the sea off Bali in April 2013, according to a final report
into the incident.
None of the 108 passengers and crew died in the incident,
which took place as heavy rain affected visibility for a Boeing
737-800 on a scheduled flight from Bandung. Four people
suffered serious injuries and the aircraft, which had been in
service for less than two months with Lion Air, was written off.
The report comes as Lion Air, one of the fastest-growing
airlines in the world with hundreds of Airbus and
Boeing jets on order, tries to get itself removed from a
European Union safety blacklist. The low-cost carrier has
suffered eight serious accidents, with six aircraft written off,
since January 2002, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
The April 2013 crash occurred as the jet descended rapidly
toward the Indonesian island's Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The 24-year-old first officer flying the plane at that time was
unable to see the runway in the downpour during the descent,
according to the report by Indonesia's National Transportation
The aircraft's pilots disengaged the auto-pilot and flew the
plane manually, but they displayed a lack of "situational
awareness" as they continued to descend, according to the
investigators' report. (here)
By the time the 48-year-old captain decided to order a
go-around for a second approach to the runway, the aircraft was
at an altitude of only 20 feet, the report said. The minimum
altitude for a Boeing 737-800 go-around is 50 feet.
Both men, since fired by Lion Air, also failed to adequately
follow the airline's operating manual which gave clear
instructions on what to do when faced with the situation,
according to the report.
Lion Air has since implemented a new policy when it comes to
go-arounds, and bolstered training programmes to increase the
emphasis on manual flying procedures and pilot monitoring
The report also criticises Lion Air and the flight's cabin
crew for poor evacuation skills.
The first officer initially tried to evacuate passengers
through a cockpit window. He then used a service door on the
right side of the jet when that proved to be unsuccessful,
according to the report.
A flight attendant was also unable to detach a life raft.
Her only training for this procedure was from watching a video,
the report found.
(Additional reporting by Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Kenneth