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Lion Air: Plane involved in tarmac accident after 189 killed in tragedy

08 November 2018

Boeing has signalled there could be a problem with the flight control system of its 737 Max 8 jet after one of the new airliners crashed, killing 189 passengers.

Boeing said its bulletin underscored "existing flight crew procedures" created to address circumstances where the information coming into the cockpit from the sensors was wrong.

Boeing says it has issued an operations manual bulletin to address concerns about erroneous readings from a sensor that has been implicated in last week's fatal crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8.

Indonesian investigators said Wednesday that an AOA sensor on the jet was replaced the day before the doomed flight, on October 28, when a pilot flying the same aircraft on a different route, from Bali to Jakarta, reported problems with it.

"We will.conduct a special audit of the crews' qualifications and staff communication", transportation minister Budi Karya Sumadi told reporters Monday as he announced the probe into Lion's operations.

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Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said it had agreed with Boeing on procedures that the airplane manufacturer should distribute globally on how flight crews can deal with "angle of attack" sensor problems.

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

Based on the preliminary data recovered from the wreckage of PK-LQP (msn 43000), the DJPU said that the aircraft's airspeed indicator malfunctioned during four flights prior to the doomed flight JT610 from Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta to Pangkalpinang.

A winglet on the first Boeing 737 MAX airliner is pictured at the company's manufacturing plant in Renton, Washington, on December 8, 2015. The Boeing bulletin only reminds operators of the plane to follow the procedure and doesn't require any physical fixes that could take the aircraft out of service.

Chairman Soerjanto Tjahjono said the airspeed indicator and sensor problems were related. If the problem isn't fixed, it can cause planes to simply fall out of the sky.

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The 737 MAX is Boeing's newest and most advanced aircraft series, as well as the company's bestseller. The error erroneously tells pilots that there's a stall in airflow, triggering an automated system that points the plane downward in an effort to regain speed.

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.

Indonesia's search and rescue agency extended the search effort on Wednesday for a second time, saying it would continue until Sunday.

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

Divers have recovered one of the two "black boxes" - the flight data recorder - but are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder, in the hope that it will shed more light on the cause of the disaster.

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Lion Air: Plane involved in tarmac accident after 189 killed in tragedy