Indonesian authorities investigating the recent crash of a passenger plane that killed 189 people on board have announced that the pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX had not been provided with adequate training by the aircraft manufacturer.
“We know, because this incident happened, we know we need additional training,” said the head of Indonesia’s transportation safety committee of crash investigators (KNKT), Soerjanto Tjahjono, said in a press briefing on Monday.
Soerjanto emphasized that the aircraft’s flight manual lacked instructions on how to handle a situation like the one that occurred in the crash.
He said Indonesian regulators would tighten training requirements as a result of their findings during the probe so far.
A Boeing 737 MAX, operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air, crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off on October 29.
Moreover, Lion Air authorities announced on Monday that they had followed a training regime approved by both American and European regulators.
The October 29 crash was the first accident involving the 737 MAX, an updated version of Boeing’s workhorse narrow-body jet that entered service last year.
The remarks by Soerjanto shed new light on the areas under scrutiny as the investigators prepare to release their preliminary report by November 29, a month after the passenger plane crashed, killing all aboard.
Prior to the announcement, public attention was mainly focused on potential maintenance issues, including a faulty sensor for the “angle of attack,” a vital piece of data needed to help the aircraft fly at the right angle to the currents of air and prevent a stall.
Meanwhile, two US-based pilot unions confirmed that American pilots, too, were unaware of the potential risks that the Indonesian pilots faced during the ill-fated Lion Air flight since those risks were not explained in the aircraft’s flight manual, Reuters reported.