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Data from the Flight Data Recorder of crashed Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 indicates autothrottle system was not operating properly on one engine at some point during the climb away from the aircraft, says the investigators.
Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 on flight 182 crashed just 4 minutes after departure from Jakarta, on Jan. 9, killing all 62 people of Board.
National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) downloaded 27-hour-long flight recording, which was filled with 370 flight parameters, consisting of 18 flights in total including the catastrophic event from the Flight Data Recorders (FDR)
Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) investigator Nurcayho Utomo told Reuters “There was a report of malfunction on the autothrottle a couple of days before to the technician in the maintenance log, but we do not know what kind of problem,”..“If we find the CVR (cockpit voice recorder) we can hear the discussion between the pilots, what they talked about and we will know what is the problem.”
Malfunctions of Autothrottle system which automatically adjusts fuel flow and thrust to maintain set path, can create significant differences in power between engines, making it hard for the pilots to control the aircraft from maintaining a safe flight.
According to Investigators, one engine was producing more thrust than the other causing the plane to deviate from its flight path.
Still, it remains unclear whether a problem with the autothrottle system contributed to the crash, as the pilots can control the engine power manually. However, instead of shutting off the system, the FDR indicated the pilots tried to get the stuck throttle to function, the WSJ said.
A preliminary report is expected to be issued within 30 days of the crash, in line with international standards.