Boeing 737 Max safety alert issued after Lion Air crash

Lion Air jet had damaged airspeed indicator on last 4 flights Report

Boeing has signalled there could be a problem with the flight control system of its 737 Max 8 jet after one of the new airliners crashed, killing 189 passengers.

The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive on Wednesday to address how to handle erroneous data from a sensor on the new Boeing 737 MAX jet in the wake of last week's Indonesian jetliner crash.

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.

False readings from the sensor can cause the aircraft to pitch downward in an attempt to avoid a stall when the plane is not being flown on autopilot. Under some circumstances, such as when pilots are manually flying, the Max jets will automatically try to push down the nose if they detect that an aerodynamic stall is possible, the person said.

It's unclear what's in the Boeing OMB and how it might address the AOA issue. In short they have to accommodate everyone from the best trained pilots in the world to the worst.

He added that the broken sensor from the Bali-Jakarta flight would be sent to the manufacturer in Chicago for further examination.

It seems patently obvious to say that such situations shouldn't happen in this day and age-and clearly the investigation is still in its earliest stage-but it is troubling to see something so deadly transpire in the most modern aircraft in the Boeing fleet.

The newspaper said the findings suggest investigators could be looking at a software problem or a mistaken interpretation by flight crew as having played key roles in the Lion Air crash.

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A preliminary report on the cause of the accident is expected at the end of the month.

Investigators are likely focused on how a single sensor's failure resulted in a faulty command that didn't take into account information from a second sensor, said John Cox, CEO of Safety Operating Systems.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, said on Monday that the flight data recorder from the crashed plane shows that the problem occurred in its last four flights, including the fatal flight on October 29.

He said the pilot had landed the plane safely on that occasion.

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

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and worldwide destinations.

Authorities were still searching for the cockpit voice recorder, the second so-called "black box".

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