Confusion, Then Prayer, in Cockpit of Doomed Lion Air Jet
JAKARTA, Indonesia — As the seconds ticked by on the doomed Indonesian flight, the pilot handed the controls to his co-pilot and flipped through the pages of a technical manual, trying to figure out what was happening.
Then, as the nose of Lion Air Flight 610 repeatedly bucked downward, Harvino, the co-pilot, began to pray.
The supplication was caught on the final seconds of audio in the cockpit voice recorder.
“God is great,” Mr. Harvino, an experienced Indonesian aviator, said, then recited a verse asking God to grant a miracle.
But there was no miracle on Oct. 29, when the brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 dived into the Java Sea in Indonesia, amid good weather, after 12 minutes in the air.
但10月29日那天没有发生奇迹。这架全新的波音737 Max 8坠入了印尼爪哇海，当时天气晴朗，时值飞机升空12分钟之后。
“I think he knew it was unrecoverable,” said Nurcahyo Utomo, the head of the air accident subcommittee of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee, who listened to and described the contents of the cockpit voice recorder that was retrieved from the ocean floor in January.
“我想他知道已无法扭转，”印尼交通安全委员会(Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee)飞机事故小组委员会负责人纽尔卡约·乌托莫(Nurcahyo Utomo)说，他听过并描述了1月从海底寻获的驾驶舱语音记录仪的内容。
Until that point, he said, the pilots had sounded in control and calm.
With the crash of a second nearly brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 this month, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 slammed into the ground near Addis Ababa, there has been a renewed focus on the investigation into what caused Flight 610 to crash in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
随着本月埃塞俄比亚航空302号班机撞到亚的斯亚贝巴附近地面，第二架近乎全新的波音737 Max 8坠毁，对于导致610班机在印尼坠毁、机上189人全部遇难的事故原因调查已再度引起关注。
Indonesian transportation officials say they do not expect to publish a final report on the accident until July or August at the earliest. A preliminary report, based on the contents of the flight data recorder — one of the two so-called black boxes that give investigators clues to what happened in aviation accidents — was released in November.
The cockpit voice recorder was not found until after the preliminary report was released, so the conversations between Bhavye Suneja, an Indian national who was piloting the plane, and Mr. Harvino were not included in the initial investigative account.
The report noted that the plane’s nose suddenly shifted downward more than 20 times, a motion that investigators think may have been caused by the incorrect triggering of a new automated anti-stall system on the Boeing Max model.
Since the Lion Air crash, pilots certified to fly the Max have complained that they were not briefed on the new system or on how to counter it should incorrect data force the nose down.
Indonesian aviation regulations bar the public release of a transcript of the audio in a cockpit voice recorder. But investigators from the National Transportation Safety Committee who listened to the recording described the sounds emanating from the cockpit as the flight crew fought to take control of a plane that seemed almost magnetically propelled toward earth.
Throughout the brief flight, an ominous rattle could be heard on the voice recorder, evidence that a device called a stick shaker was clattering to alert the pilots of a potential stall that could lead to a crash, said Ony Soerjo Wibowo, an air safety investigator. A stall can occur when a plane ascends too sharply. 纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com
航空安全调查员奥尼·苏尔约·维博沃(Ony Soerjo Wibowo)说，在整个短暂的飞行中，语音记录仪中能听到一种令人不安的嗒嗒声，这表明名为自动震杆器的设备在发出咔嗒声，警告飞行员可能会失速，而失速可能会导致坠毁。飞机爬升过于迅猛可能引发失速。
Investigators have speculated that incorrect data — including a 20-degree differential between readings from two sensors designed to measure, essentially, the difference between the pitch of the plane and the direction it is moving through the air — could have mistakenly triggered both the stick shaker and the anti-stall system, which is called MCAS.
The plane had recorded days of questionable data related to air speed, altitude and the angle of the plane’s climb.
In the first sign of trouble in its doomed flight 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.