Boeing 737 Max safety alert issued after Lion Air crash

Parts of an engine of the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 are recovered from the sea during search operations in the Java Sea

Parts of an engine of the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 are recovered from the sea during search operations in the Java Sea

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday issued an emergency notice to all operators of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes.

On Monday Nov. 5, CNN published an update on the crash investigation from Capt. Nurcahyo Utomo of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) noting that the FDR review also concluded that the aircraft's airspeed indicator had been malfunctioning on four consecutive flights prior to the crash. Aviation regulators such as the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency often follow such actions by mandating that carriers follow the bulletins - something the FAA says it will do in this case.

Flight JT610, which killed all 189 people on board, was the first major accident involving the 737 MAX. That sensor is meant to maintain air flow over a plane's wings but if it malfunctions can lead to an aerodynamic stall - which can cause aircraft to abruptly dive. The plane went into a sudden dive minutes after takeoff, from which the pilots were able to recover.

The planemaker said local aviation officials believed pilots may have been given wrong information by the plane's automated systems before the fatal crash.

Experts have said the angle of attack is a crucial parameter that helps the aircraft's computers understand whether its nose is too high relative to the current of air - a phenomenon that can throw the plane into an aerodynamic stall and make it fall. Pilots flying with an AOA sensor generating erroneous inputs to the system can experience the inability to engage the aircraft's autopilot system, among other problems.

"They should have been completely engaged in what was going on inside that cockpit, and any kind of warning that came up, they would have been wise to pay attention to it", Curtis said.

Investigators are expected to focus on how a single sensor's failure resulted in a faulty command that didn't take into account information from a second sensor, said John Cox, CEO of Safety Operating Systems.

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The FAA directive ordered operators to revise the airplane flight manual to give flight crews horizontal stabiliser trim procedures to follow under certain conditions.

The FAA says the AD is an interim action, and "if final action is later identified, we might consider further rulemaking then".

Lion Air said it attended to the problem in accordance with Boeing procedures.

"There are some things that we ask for explanation and some that we ask to be removed, and there has been an agreement between the NTSC and Boeing to release a new procedure to all Boeing 737 MAX users in the world", he said.

"We have extended the operation for three more days", Muhammad Syaugi, the head of the national search and rescue agency (Basarnas), told Reuters.

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 it will shed more light on the cause of the disaster.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations.

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