Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Boeing signals flight control system problem may have contributed to 737 crash

Boeing signals flight control system problem may have contributed to 737 crash

Lion Air's first two attempts to address the airspeed indicator problem didn't work, and for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane's second-to-last flight on October 28, the angle of attack sensors were replaced, Tjahjono said.

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 draft of what will be conveyed by Boeing this morning has been presented to us", said air accident investigator Nurcahyo Utomo.

The operations-manual bulletin was issued Tuesday, Boeing said in a statement posted to Twitter, and tells flight crews to use existing guidelines when dealing with erroneous inputs from the so-called angle of attack sensor.

Airline safety experts said pilots are trained to handle a plane safely if those crucial sensors fail and backup systems are generally in place as well. This angle between the wing and the oncoming airflow is called the "Angle of Attack" (AOA). He said a team had been deployed to examine the plane. Something happened three to four minutes into the flight. If they can't figure out what's going on with their aircraft instantly and without uncertainty, and if the aircraft itself can't do so, then we still have a very long way to go. "They were fighting something".

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For a safe climb-out, the aircraft's nose is pitched up at a small angle.

The problem with the planes is in the "angle of attack" sensor which calculates the position of the plane relative to the air current.

A spokesperson for Boeing wouldn't disclose whether the directive was issued to operators of all Boeing aircraft, or just those who fly 737 MAX 8 planes - the same model as Flight 610.

A week after the disaster, there is still no answer as to what caused the crash. The full investigation could take a year. If it proves true that the AoA sensor was indeed at fault, the investigation will reveal much about what the pilots knew and suspected when confronted with the situation, what their training was like, and what their responses to the incident not only were, but also should have been.

Boeing's statement suggested that further steps lie ahead.

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The FAA grounded Boeing's entire 787 fleet in 2013 after lithium-ion batteries overheated and caught fire. The company has sought to increase its production from 47 jets per month to 52 per month.

KNKT is planning to simulate a flight to assess the impact of sensor damage at Boeing's engineering simulator facility in Seattle.

Body parts are still being recovered and searchers continue to hunt for the cockpit voice recorder. That recorder is expected to provide a clearer picture to investigators of the Lion Air flight's final moments. It is estimated that the global market will need 1,200 cargo carriers modified from standard aircrafts in the next 20 years, and the demand from Chinese carriers would account for about 33 percent of the global demand, according to a report issued by Boeing in September.

Pilots raise and lower the nose of Boeing jetliners by pushing and pulling on a yoke in the cockpit, which controls panels at the tail known as elevators.

Nick Cunningham, an aerospace analyst at Agency Partner, said these types of warnings are not unusual.

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"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. "The big picture is the system keeps getting safer and safer, and it's still the safest form of transportation ever designed by humans", he said.

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