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Investigators are focused on “flight deck seat movement” in the upset episode involving a LATAM Boeing 787-9 on Monday (March 11). A report published by TAC –   The Air Current news outlet – cites information received from “two people briefed on the incident.” The news source also cites a senior airline safety official who said it is understood the seat movement at cruise altitude on the flight from Sydney, Australia, to Aukland, New Zealand, (final destination was Santiago, Chile) was “pilot induced, not intentionally.” The sources also said “the seat movement caused the nose-down” attitude that resulted in the abrupt loss of altitude, causing injuries to dozens of passengers and crew members.

Possible electrical issues are also being explored. The sources told TAC that investigation into the flight crew’s PA announcement to passengers that the “gauges blanked out” is not the main focus of the inquiry.

According to the TAC report, there are two methods of adjusting seat position on the flight deck of a 787. One control is designed to be used by the pilot while seated, and the second is located on a covered panel on the back of the seat under the headrest; primarily meant to be used to reposition the seat from the in-flight position for access by the pilot.

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