Mystery deepens on Lion Air crash after Boeing bulletin

Pauline Gross
November 8, 2018

United said: "We are in receipt of a Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin, issued by Boeing, which applies to the 16 737 Max 8 aircraft now in our fleet".

The FAA said erroneous data from the "angle of attack" sensor, which helps prevent the plane from stalling and diving, could cause flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane and lead to "excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with the terrain".

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a safety alert to flight crews about potential erroneous readings from a sensor in its latest 737 Max 8 aircraft, following last month's Lion Air crash in Indonesia.

Attempts to fix the issues were unsuccessful, NTSC chairman Soerjanto Tjahjono has said, with the pilots of the 737's second-to-last flight experiencing conflicting information despite an AOA sensor being replaced.

An overview of the 737 MAX flight manual revision being issued by the FAA.

Airline safety experts said pilots are trained to handle a plane safely even if those crucial sensors fail.

Boeing will caution its customers of "erroneous readings" from a flight-monitoring system can cause the planes to abruptly dive, Bloomberg quoted an anonymous source as saying.

Moments earlier, the pilots radioed a request to return to Jakarta to land, but never turned back toward the airport, according to Indonesia's safety commission and flight-tracking data.

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The Lion Air jetliner plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from Jakarta airport, nosing downward so suddenly that it may have hit speeds of 600 miles an hour before slamming into the water.

"Lion Air apologizes to all passengers for the inconvenience caused by the incident", Danang said.

Indonesian officials said on Wednesday they would extend the search by three days.

Indonesian investigators said Wednesday that an AOA sensor on the jet was replaced the day before the doomed flight, on October 28, when a pilot flying the same aircraft on a different route, from Bali to Jakarta, reported problems with it.

Boeing said it is cooperating fully and providing technical assistance as the investigation continues. It is estimated that the global market will need 1,200 cargo carriers modified from standard aircrafts in the next 20 years, and the demand from Chinese carriers would account for about 33 percent of the global demand, according to a report issued by Boeing in September.

Some modern aircraft have systems created to correct the posture of the aircraft automatically to keep flying safely.

The advice from the Federal Aviation Authority would be binding on all United States carriers flying Boeing 737 Max 8 versions.

Meanwhile, the search operation to recover the passengers, crew and the airplane's cockpit voice recorder is ongoing. "What will have to be found is, is Boeing pushing itself too hard?"

Other reports by GizPress

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