Boeing jet crashed in Indonesia after key sensor replaced

Rusdi Kirana

Rusdi Kirana

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

Boeing said it issued an "Operations Manual Bulletin" that addresses flight crew procedures in cases when there is "erroneous input from an [Angle of Attack] sensor".

Relatives weep as they pray for victims of the Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 5, 2018.

An aerodynamic stall is when the wings of an aircraft can't produce enough lift and the plane starts to dive.

According to a technical log the Lion Air plane, which had only been in service a few months, suffered instrument problems the day before because of an "unreliable" airspeed reading.

"This is all coming from the Indonesian crash", said the person briefed on the Boeing bulletin.

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Cox said that once investigators have all the data, they will work backward to determine if there was a problem with one of the plane's systems or if pilot decisions put the plane in peril.

Indonesia's transport ministry has scheduled a briefing at 12:30 Jakarta on Wednesday to share updated information on the Lion Air accident, Bloomberg reports. That failure caused the aircraft's systems to think the airplane was in danger of stalling, causing the computer to steadily adjust the trim tabs on the horizontal stabilizer to nose the aircraft downward, thereby picking up speed.

Tjahjono said Flight 610 was intact with its engines running when it slammed into the sea 13 minutes after takeoff.

"It is to prevent a similar accident from happening again especially on the Boeing 737 Max, which has sold more than 200 units around the world", Tjahjono said.

But Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee now says there were also problems on the previous two flights, as well as the final, fatal journey.

That angle-of-attack sensor is meant to measure the direction of air flow over wings so that they maintain lift.

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USA aviation regulators said they are drafting an order requiring that airlines follow Boeing's instructions. The single-aisle family is Boeing's biggest source of profit.

Indonesian accident investigators said on Monday that an airspeed indicator on the crashed jet was damaged for its last four flights, but US authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks.

The FAA, which regulates the U.S. aviation industry, has not received any reports of airspeed issues with the model in the United States, said a person familiar with its reviews, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak.

Pilots raise and lower the nose of Boeing jetliners by pushing and pulling on a yoke in the cockpit, which controls panels at the tail known as elevators. Reuters spoke to a pilot and an airport authority official who confirmed that a problem with the plane had been indicated in a radio alert. The angle of attack sensor replaced in Bali would be analyzed at its place of manufacture in Chicago, the accident investigator said.

The incident which took place on October 29 resulted in the death of all 189 people on board.

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