Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Boeing warns pilots about 'angle of attack' sensors after 737 MAX crash

Boeing warns pilots about 'angle of attack' sensors after 737 MAX crash

The plane plummeted into the sea a day after having a critical sensor replaced.

It did not give more details and did not speculate on how the indicator problem may have played a role in the crash, as it continues to mine the flight recorder - seen as key to answering why a almost brand new plane fell out of the sky.

"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", the warning said.

They were all moved to a second plane on Wednesday night, which eventually brought them to their destination, Jakarta, with a four-hour delay. All of this appears to have transpired in just 12 minutes, meaning the crew had very little time to assess the situation, figure out what was happening, and then taken the appropriate steps to correct it.

A problem would occur if the AOA sensor input is erroneous.

An Indonesian official said both the plane and the two pilots aboard have been grounded while an investigation is underway.

There are audio signals and physical warnings that can alert the pilot to malfunctioning equipment or other dangers, said Todd Curtis, director of the Airsafe.com Foundation.

"We also plan to conduct a flight reconstruction to see the impact of the AOA sensor damage in the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility in Seattle".

"I would definitely be looking at the man-machine interface and how pilots respond", said Cox, a former airline pilot who flew earlier versions of the 737 and specialized at the NTSB in cockpit actions.

The probe into what happened with the Lion Air plane "is ongoing and Boeing continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident", the company said in its statement.

Indonesia's 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 the sensor problems.

Boeing said in a statement received at China's largest air show in Zhuhai that its bulletin to airlines underscored "existing flight crew procedures" created to address circumstances where information coming into the cockpit from the sensors was wrong.

American said it was issuing similar communications to its pilots to emphasize the existing protocols. He said a team had been deployed to examine the plane.

An artist's conception shows the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet.

Indonesia's search and rescue agency has extended the search until Sunday. They are now combing the seas for the voice recorder.

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