Boeing to issue safety warning to pilots for 737 Max jets

The bulletin warns operators that erroneous readings from a flight-monitoring system can cause the new 737 Max models to aggressively dive

The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive on how to handle erroneous data from a sensor that investigators believe malfunctioned on a new Boeing jet that plunged into the sea in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

The angle of attack sensor keeps track of the angle of the aircraft nose relative to oncoming air to prevent the plane from stalling and diving.

The FAA emergency directive warns that the "erroneous inputs can potentially make the horizontal stabilizers repeatedly pitch the nose of the airplane downward, making the aircraft hard to control".

Boeing issued a special bulletin Wednesday addressing a sensor problem flagged by Indonesian safety officials investigating the crash of a Lion Air 737 that killed 189 people last week.

On Tuesday, Boeing issued a bulletin to all airlines and pilots who operate the 737 MAX.

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Indonesian crash investigators have confirmed the 737 in the crash had technical faults on four flights previous to the one in which it plummeted into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta.

But a Boeing statement said a safety bulletin, sent to airlines this week, directs flight crews to existing guidelines on how they should respond to erroneous "angle of attack" data.

The Boeing 737-900 plane was on its way to the runway at Fatmawati airport in Bengkulu, Indonesia, when its left wing collided with a metal post.

Boeing said it is continuing to work with the Indonesian investigation.

"The aircraft and pilot are grounded for investigation goal", said Pramintohadi in a written statement on Wednesday, November 7.

Boeing issues advice over sensors after Lion Air plane crash
Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and worldwide destinations. The Lion Air crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan.

Boeing will caution its customers of "erroneous readings" from a flight-monitoring system can cause the planes to abruptly dive, Bloomberg quoted an anonymous source as saying.

The pilots union at Southwest Airlines Co., the biggest customer of the 737 Max, hasn't received any reports from its members of problems with faulty sensor readings, said Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

Boeing says in the bulletin that if this failure arises, "initially, higher control forces may be needed to overcome any nose-down stabilizer trim".

According to a company statement as of September 30, Boeing had 4,783 firm orders from 98 identified customers for the 737 Max.

As details have trickled out following the tragic Lion Air Flight 610 crash in Indonesia last week, one thing has become clear: the crew likely had an unbelievably confusing and desperate situation on their hands. They are now combing the seas for the voice recorder.

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