Diving Boeing 737 MAX saved by off-duty pilot

According to a source in contact with Bloomberg, one day prior to the loss of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating flight JT610, the aircraft entered a rapid decent on its own, however was recovered thanks to an off-duty pilot.

Positioned in the jumpseat when the incident unfolded, the off-duty pilot reportedly informed the crew in command how to disable the flight control system in trouble and safely bring the aircraft back to a safe state.

The process involved was cutting power to the motor controlling the trim runway, which involves the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Diving Boeing 737 MAX saved by off-duty pilot

Boeing 737 MAX Trim Control (The Air Current – Jon Ostrower)

Under a different crew the following day, no one was there to potentially save the aircraft when it entered the dive again killing 189 people immediately on impact with the Java Sea.

This new information adds to the list of details that are being gathered by investigators working on the Lion Air crash and the recent Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crash. The details potentially uncover more information about the training involved with transitioning to the aircraft – something that’s being looked at closely by the appropriate authorities.

Boeing is currently working hard on a fix to ensure the system does not activate in unnecessary conditions and will work to release the software update to airlines in the near future. Despite this, an unknown amount of time is still required to verify and test the system and then roll it out around the world.

For more on the software updates for the 737 MAX, check out the following article:

Boeing to upgrade 737 MAX flight control software

Further readings into the flight data and cockpit voice recorders are underway and will be used to determine how the crew responded to the events that occurred in the final moments of Lion Air flight JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302.