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Indonesian Boeing jet crashed after losing key sensor

08 November, 2018, 08:53 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • An Indonesian rescue team lift a pair tires from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 off Karawang in the Java Se

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.

Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea off of Indonesia's northern coast in October, likely causing the deaths of all 189 people on board.

"The bulletin reinforces existing procedures which all Air Canada crews are now trained on", Fitzpatrick said.

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.

One of the critical ways a plane determines if a stall is imminent is a measurement known as angle of attack, which senses the angle at which the wind is passing over the wings.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a modern jet like the Boeing Max 8 that crashed, readings from airspeed sensors are processed by a computerized "flight management system" and sent to displays in the cockpit.

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.

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

Schiavo said it's clear from flight-tracking data that the pilots fought to keep the plane up.

Boeing Co. said on Wednesday it had issued a safety bulletin reminding pilots how to handle erroneous data from a key sensor in the wake of last week's crash in Indonesia.

Indonesian authorities would provide Boeing with information from the pilot who flew with the problematic sensor so it could be shared with other airlines, said Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Committee. CNN said Indonesian officials are working with Boeing and safety experts to further investigate the airspeed indicator issue.

"I'm still of the opinion that losing airspeed on the airplane shouldn't result in losing the airplane", Cox said.

United Technologies Corp. supplies the angle-of-attack sensors and indicator for the 737 Max, according to Airframers.net. That sensor is meant to maintain airflow over a plane's wings but if it malfunctions can lead to an aerodynamic stall - which can cause aircraft to abruptly dive. The cause of the crash is still unclear.

"We don't know yet where the problem lies, what fix has been done, what their reference books are, what components have been removed", said Nurcahyo Utomo, the KNKT subcommittee head for air accidents. The data from the flight recorder and Boeing's statement have provided the first clues, but rescuers are still searching for the device that records voices in the plane's cockpit. Lion Air owner, Rusdi Kirana, was also present at the meeting.

Divers have been retrieving bodies for days, and the search efforts continue. This issue is said to arise only during manual flight. Once that happens, it may try to right itself by pushing the nose down, reports the Straight Times.

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