In the Cockpit of Doomed Lion Air Jet, Confusion, Then Prayer – The New York Times

In the first sign of trouble on Oct. 29, the plane dipped around 700 feet, and in the subsequent minutes, MCAS appears to have kept dragging the plane’s nose down, prompting the pilots to try to push the plane back up by using switches that control stabilizers on the tail.

The flight crew radioed back to the air traffic control tower in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, to request permission to return to the airport, which was granted. The pilot also asked for the plane to be given a 3,000-foot clearance above and below as it continued to roller coaster through the air.

Flight 610 never turned back to the airport.

In the cockpit voice recording, the pilots discussed unreliable airspeed and altitude readings they were getting, national transportation safety officials said.

They consulted the manual to deal with these anomalies. But they did not seem to know about the MCAS system, nor did they speak about what was causing the plane to repeatedly push downward.

Shortly after Mr. Harvino’s prayer, the plane disappeared from radar, and the cockpit voice recorder stopped. The plane plummeted 5,000 feet, crashing into the Java Sea with such force that parts of the fuselage turned into powder.

Mr. Harvino’s remains are missing to this day.

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