Then the story changed. Lion Air threatened to sue the safety committee member who made the not airworthy comment. So the story changed from not-airworthy, to 'never said it was not air-worthy', after the threat to sue.
Let me explain what happened.
1.1. I heard the recording of the investigator statement, he specifically said that once the aircraft had become airborne and suffered those problems, the aircraft was deemed to no longer be airworthy and should have returned.
1.2. The local media, loving to jump to conclusion especially with their blood thirst to find a scape goat, immediately put on the headlines "aircraft was not airworthy". Yes, I received countless calls from the local media, asking for comments to their question of "how could Lion let an unairworthy aircraft depart?"
1.3. A local journalist working for a foreign media played the recording (mentioned in point 1 above), to ask exactly what it meant.
1.4. Lion Air's management was shocked to see the flood of allegation with the media claiming the NTSC had made the statement of "The aircraft was not airworthy", implying it was not airworthy prior to departure and forced it to depart.
1.5. Lion Air did make a call to NTSC. Evidence of the statement was given to Lion Air by NTSC and several credible journalists (eg: using the recording given in #3).
1.6. Lion Air agreed that NTSC did not make an erroneous statement but asked NTSC to clarify what it said. NTSC did so.
1.7. Once the aircraft was not airworthy in the air, normal convention states that it is up to the pilot on whether to continue or not. Armchair pilot syndrome has unfortunately hit mainstream media.
1.8. The aircraft kept reporting different problems. If they had 3 identical faults within 7 days, they would have grounded the aircraft. This is the "repetitive problem" methodology used after QZ8501 in 2014. Unfortunately, JT610 was the 3rd flight reporting the same problem. The engineer onboard was there to ground the aircraft at the destination or back at CGK if it had the same problem (3rd in 7 days = grounded, no matter what). Same like AF447,it was the last flight prior to having the pitot tubes changed/replaced.
1.9. How did the foreign media get it wrong? Simple, based on eyewitness statement to me: The foreign media was confused on what the NTSC said, and asked a local journo, what it meant. Of course the local journo would say, "airplane unairworthy, should not fly"... and the snowball started.
1.10. I did call one of LionAir's most senior management on points 1.4 to 1.5, which confirmed what various sources independently told me.
Pending confirmation from Mandala, was there anything wrong with the AFML extracts I gave to you 7 hours ago, detailing exactly what was done in Jakarta?
2.1. Am not an engineer.
2.2. I've asked several of my credible engineer and engineering analysis friends within LionAir and LionAir Group, they did what they needed to do according to the troubleshooting manual and repairs manual. There are other more detailed reports, but that is not for public disclosure (by order of the investigators), and I have not seen those either.
2.3. After several past mis-repairs (in the 737 classics days), I am told by an engineer in Lion that Boeing wanted Lion Air engineers to just follow specific instructions in the TSM and Repairs Manual, and not "get creative" on the field. I can understand why, but this limits the ability to problem solve in the field. The Engineering analysts in the office are the ones who should get creative. BUT, after QZ8501, a strict "repetitive defect" procedure is followed before you get creative. Again, pluses and minuses on each alternative.
Does he mean that the previous flight should not have continued when it had the same issues? Or does he mean this particular aircraft should have been grounded until it has been fixed? It was never clear for me whether it was meant that the airline missed that the aircraft itself was not safe to fly again. This was a view that was stated on this thread as well.
Then the next question was, when is it airworthy again? Who decides this? We will have to wait for the investigation if they find that the work done by the engineer on the aircraft was not to the procedure of the OEM. Either way this would have been another hole in the Swiss cheese that aligned for this flight to crash whereas the previous flight was able to continue safely.
3.1.OK, read my reply #3119 above... or hang on... let me quote it below:
You misunderstood what the investigators said. Your dispatch airworthiness is only valid up to the point of the aircraft taking off. Once you develop problems in the air, to that extent, the aircraft was no longer airworthy (after it got airborne). Once you land, you can fix it to make it airworthy again.
Gotta love how all this got lost in translations (especially by non-aviations savvy journalists.
3.2. It is airworthy again once you've conducted the proper troubleshooting and repairs required on the aircraft. Then an engineer signs it off, and another engineer determines whether it should be deemed airworthy again for revenue flight.
3.3. Swiss Cheese? see 2.3. above. You can't win everything, however, you gotta continuously asses the situation to see what policies and procedures need to be changed to ensure you don't become a hostage to a previous policy decision.