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Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The day before a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 aboard, an off-duty pilot riding in the flight deck jumpseat of the same aircraft played a pivotal role in averting a similar crash, Bloomberg reports. On the flight that landed safely, the third pilot helped disable a malfunctioning flight-control system using an available checklist and saved the plane from crashing,

Details: The pilot disabled the plane's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) from forcing the aircraft's nose down toward the ground, according to sources familiar who spoke with Bloomberg. The report adds that according to the Indonesia safety committee report, the plane had "multiple failures on previous flights and hadn't been properly repaired." One of the failures, it is widely thought, was a malfunctioning angle of attack sensor that was feeding erroneous information to the software system.

Our thought bubble: Per Axios' Andrew Freedman: This story makes it more clear that Lion Air should not have flown the plane on the day of the crash without maintenance first, since a previous flight hit such a severe problem. It also shows that not all pilots in a flight deck would correctly diagnosed what the MCAS system was doing and how to shut it off. However, the presence of a third pilot in the flight deck is not unusual, as that routinely occurs when pilots are commuting and flights are full. However, it's extremely rare that an off duty pilot plays such a pivotal role in preventing an accident.

Go deeper: Transportation secretary asks for internal probe of Boeing certification

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Ransomware attack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of a ransomware attack, Colonial Pipeline said Saturday.

Why it matters: It's a significant breach of critical infrastructure and comes on the heels of multiple other major cyberattacks on both U.S. companies and the federal government.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The wealthy exodus from superstar cities

Pandemic-induced remote work is chipping away at a recent trend of Americans staying put — but only for the well-off.

Why it matters: Telework has been lauded as a geographic equalizer, allowing talented people from all over the country to go for jobs in superstar coastal metros. But the benefits have largely been limited to wealthier workers — so far.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The end of quarantine — CDC updates guidance on airborne COVID-19.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surge.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.