Boeing to issue safety advice on 737 MAX after Indonesia crash

Rusdi Kirana

The Lion Air plane that crashed in the Java Sea last week had faulty airspeed readings during its last four flights and Indonesian investigators called on planemaker Boeing Co. and USA authorities to ensure there aren't fleet-wide issues.

The Lion Air crash was the first involving the type of plane, which airlines introduced into service past year.

The notice refers to the "angle of attack", which is the angle of the wing relative to oncoming air stream, a measure that indicates if a plane is likely to stall.

Boeing issued a safety warning today about its new 737 Max jets which could have a fault that causes them to nose-dive. The head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, Soerjanto Tjahjono, told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that he was discussing the options for wider inspections with Boeing and his us counterparts.

One of the puzzling things about the accident is that the plane was flying in clear skies during daylight, so pilots should have been able to handle the issues they faced with airspeed and erroneous sensors, Cox said.

Boeing declined to comment.

Indonesian investigators, the plane's manufacturer, Boeing, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board are formulating a more specific inspection for Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes related to the airspeed problem, Mr. Tjahjono said. The agency said the pilots were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.

On Monday, November 5, Indonesian officials arranged for a meeting between the families of the victims of downed Lion Air flight JT-610 as well as the search and rescue officials investigating the accident.

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Boeing's newly issued bulletin focuses on the 737 MAX's angle-of-attack sensors, or AOA sensors, which are supposed to provide data about the angle at which wind is passing over the airplane's wings.

"If the nose is trimmed down on an aircraft, it becomes hard for the crew to hold it", said a person briefed on Boeing's bulletin, SeattleTimes reported.

"Data from the black box showed that two flights before Denpasar-Jakarta also experienced the same problem", he said.

The person, who wished to remain unnamed, noted that when pilots are manually flying Boeing 737 Maxes, the jet is prone to automatically push down the nose if the plane determines that an aerodynamic stall is imminent. According to NBC News, the warning revolves around what pilots should do if the plane gives an erroneous reading from a sensor.

While victims' relatives are desperate to know what happened, the first crash of a Boeing 737 MAX is also the focus of scrutiny by the global aviation industry.

Divers have pulled the plane's flight data recorder from the water, but are still hunting for the cockpit voice recorder- a key device that could provide clues to what caused the nearly brand-new plane to plunge into the sea.

Aviation regulators such as the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency often follow such actions by mandating that carriers follow the bulletins. "I think the problem was with the angle of attack, which controls the stability of the aircraft".

All 189 on board were killed.

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