The Indonesian accident investigation authority, the KNKT, like the French BEA but unlike our NTSB, does not assign blame for an accident. Commentators, however, did not hesitate to accuse the crew of putting a “perfectly good airplane” into the ocean. Indeed, the crew’s actions, starting with turning off the main computers to solve a minor rudder problem, were at first ill-advised and then, when all hell broke loose, inept. Some writers, including our own Les Abend in a column for CNN online, pointed out that there was enough blame to go around. The airline, on the theory that in an Airbus an upset can never occur, did not provide its
pilots with upset training, and its maintenance crews had failed to remedy a problem — a cracked solder joint — that had persisted for nearly a year.