This past October, an off-duty pilot that was in the the cockpit jump seat on a Lion Air flight was able to avert disaster, Bloomberg News reports.
Citing two sources familiar with the investigation into the incident, the publication detailed that the off-duty pilot advised the crew to disable the malfunctioning flight system after control of the plane was lost. The pilot also reportedly instructed the crew to cut power to a motor to stop the aircraft from diving. The flight, which was on a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, was headed to Jakarta, Indonesia from Bali.
Lion Air pilot who hitched a ride saved doomed 737 Max on its next-to-last flight https://t.co/TnhpOEsqak— Bloomberg (@business) March 20, 2019
"All the data and information that we have on the flight and the aircraft have been submitted to the Indonesian NTSC. We can’t provide additional comment at this stage due the ongoing investigation on the accident," Danang Prihantoro, a spokesman for Lion Air, said, per Bloomberg.
For some reason, just one day later, on Oct. 29, the same plane (but with a different crew) was allowed to take off. The plane faced the problem again and crashed into Indonesia's Java Sea. All of the 189 people on board of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft died.
Then, on March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 traveling from Addis Ababa to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya crashed, killing 157 people. The plane was also a Boeing 737 Max 8.
Since the Ethiopian Airlines crash occurred, multiple countries have temporarily halted the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.