Indonesia extends search for victims of Lion Air crash

Geneva Stokes
November 9, 2018

Boeing initially issued a safety warning on Tuesday that stated how "erroneous input from an AOA sensor" played a role in the deadly Lion Air crash.

Indonesian investigators said their flight procedure recommendations to Boeing were based on how the flight crew responded to problems on the Bali to Jakarta flight.

The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an "emergency airworthiness directive" warning that problems with the angle-of-attack sensor, which prevents the plane from stalling and diving, could cause pilots to have problems in controlling the aircraft.

The FAA said the "erroneous inputs can potentially make the horizontal stabilisers repeatedly pitch the nose of the airplane downward, making the aircraft hard to control".

Exhibiting similar problems, a recently delivered Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta, Indonesia nearly two weeks ago with 189 people on board.

The advice from the Federal Aviation Authority would be binding on all United States carriers flying Boeing 737 Max 8 versions.

In October, the tragic crash of Lion Air Flight JT610 brought the jet back to the forefront the public consciousness.

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Last night, Boeing issued an "operations-manual bulletin" reminding airlines that their crews should use existing guidelines when dealing with faulty sensor situations such as this one.

While the ultimate cause of the crash is still under investigation, Boeing has previously provided guidance on how pilots should deal with extreme nose down incidents. The head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, Soerjanto Tjahjono, told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that he was discussing the options for wider inspections with Boeing and his us counterparts. Boeing released a bulletin about the issue on November 6.

On that flight, from Bali to Jakarta, the pilot's and co-pilot's sensors disagreed.

The 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta. The incident happened just 10 days after another jet belonging to the low-priced airliner crashed with 189 people on board.

"The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air flight 610 experienced erroneous input from one of its AOA (angle of attack) sensors", Boeing said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

Boeing says that the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in the company's history, with over 4,700 orders to date.

Pilots can counteract this for up to 10 seconds at a time by pushing a switch on the airplane's controls.

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