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One day before Lion Air Flight 610 crashed last October shortly after taking off from Jakarta, a different crew struggled to gain control of the plane as it entered a dive, people familiar with the incident told Bloomberg.
An off-duty pilot was sitting in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet on Oct. 28, and quickly realized that the anti-stalling flight-control system was malfunctioning. He directed the crew to cut the power to the motor that was forcing the nose down, Bloomberg reports, and the plane stabilized. Investigators said the same malfunction happened the next day, Oct. 29, causing the plane to crash into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.
This previously undisclosed detail was not mentioned in the report released by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee. It's believed that a similar issue with the anti-stalling system led to an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 plane crashing on March 10 after taking off from Addis Ababa. Following the Lion Air crash, two U.S. pilots' associations shared their concerns that the possible risks associated with the anti-stalling system were not clearly stated during training and in manuals.