Boeing issues advice over sensors after Indonesia crash

08 November, 2018, 12:38 | Author: Frank Williams
  • An Indonesian rescue team lift a pair tires from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 off Karawang in the Java Se

Indonesian investigators said their flight procedure recommendations to Boeing were based on how the flight crew responded to problems on the Bali-to-Jakarta flight.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee told reporters that after one flight from Bali to Jakarta - the last flight before the crash - the left and right AOA sensors were found to disagree by 20 degrees.

The Boeing 737 MAX is the fastest-selling plane in company history.

JAKARTA, Indonesia-A crucial sensor was replaced on a Lion Air jet the day before it plunged into the Java Sea, and that sensor replacement may have exacerbated other problems with the plane, Indonesian investigators said November 7.

"We are issuing this [airworthiness directive] because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design", the FAA wrote.

The directive comes a little more than a week after Lion Air pilots operating a 737 MAX 8 lost contact with Soekarno-Hatta's air traffic control (ATC) and crashed into the Java Sea, north of Indonesia's Java Island. In those cases, the plane's nose is automatically pointed down to reduce chances of stalling.

"The point is that after the AOA (sensor) is replaced, the problem is not solved but the problem might even increase".

The plane maker said local aviation officials believed pilots might have been given wrong information by the plane's automated systems before the fatal crash.

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Experts have said the angle of attack is a crucial parameter that helps the aircraft's computers understand whether its nose is too high relative to the current of air - a phenomenon that can throw the plane into an aerodynamic stall and make it fall.

"They should have been completely engaged in what was going on inside that cockpit, and any kind of warning that came up, they would have been wise to pay attention to it", Curtis said.

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said it had agreed with Boeing on procedures that the airplane manufacturer should distribute globally on how flight crews can deal with "angle of attack" sensor problems.

American said they had "received the bulletin from Boeing and we are reviewing".

The FAA directive ordered operators to revise the airplane flight manual to give flight crews horizontal stabiliser trim procedures to follow under certain conditions.

Boeing has delivered 219 Max planes - the latest and most advanced 737 jets - since the models made their commercial debut past year with a Lion Air subsidiary.

Divers have recovered one of the two "black boxes" - the flight data recorder - but are still looking for the cockpit voice recorder, in the hope it will shed more light on the cause of the accident.

In a related development, Indonesia said it will extend by three days its search for the bodies of passengers from the ill-fated plane, an official said, as the authorities struggle to identify victims of the crash. Everyone on board was killed when it plunged into the sea moments after takeoff.

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