Lion Air jet in another accident, a week after deadly crash

Lion Air jet in another accident, a week after deadly crash

Lion Air jet in another accident, a week after deadly crash

A Boeing Co. warning to 737 Max operators around the globe provides the first clues about how bad data from an airflow sensor might have contributed to the deadly crash of an Indonesian airliner last week.

The FAA has issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) on the Boeing 737 MAX after Lion Air flight JT610 crash investigators found the aircraft's angle of attack (AOA) sensors are capable of generating erroneous inputs, potentially making the aircraft hard for pilots to control.

The left wing of the Lion Air Boeing 737-900 plane collided with the metal post as the aircraft was heading to the runway at the Fatmawati airport in Bengkulu, Indonesia.

Under some circumstances, a 737 MAX jet could automatically push down its nose if it detects that a stall is possible, based on the angle of attack.

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

However, it's unclear whether the warning is being issued because investigators have conclusively determined that a flight-monitoring system error was the cause of the crash.

Essentially the Boeing bulletin tells the pilots to follow the manual's instructions.

Service bulletins can be followed by airworthiness directives to airlines by the Federal Aviation Administration, giving the recommendations extra weight.

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Aircraft and engine manufacturers routinely send bulletins to air carriers noting safety measures and maintenance actions they should take.

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.

Indonesian authorities have downloaded information from the flight data recorder that showed a cockpit indicator on the Lion Air jet was damaged for its last four flights.

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. Capt Mohan Ranganathan, air safety expert, said, "If all AOA sensors are erroneous, it puts a big question mark on the air-worthiness of the aircraft".

The Lion Air crash was the first involving the new version, which airlines introduced into service a year ago.

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

The new details - gleaned from a recovered flight data recorder - come after the government said it was launching a "special audit" of the budget carrier's operations.

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