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techkenyot.com February 20, 2019


Lion Air: Sensor was replaced day before crash but problems persisted

08 November 2018, 03:38 | Glen Norman

The sister of Hizkia Jorry Saroinsong a passenger on the Lion Air flight carries her brother's portrait during his funeral in Jakarta

The sister of Hizkia Jorry Saroinsong a passenger on the Lion Air flight carries her brother's portrait during his funeral in Jakarta

The US planemaker said investigators probing the Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia, in which all 189 on board were killed, had found that one of the "angle of attack" sensors on the Boeing 737 Max jet had provided erroneous data.

The Lion Air flight with 189 people on board crashed into the sea off Jakarta's coast October 29, marking the first crash involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Aviation regulator DGCA has asked Jet Airways and SpiceJet to take corrective action to address possible issues with their Boeing 737 MAX planes that could lead to "significant altitude loss" of the aircraft, a senior official said Thursday.

Airplane manufacturer Boeing and the FAA issued a safety alert on Tuesday, saying a sensor issue on one of their models could cause the planes to nose dive and crash.

Indonesian investigators on Monday said an airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on the plane's last four flights.

A US aviation regulator plans to mandate that airlines follow an advisory issued by Boeing Co. "I can't even recall the number of accidents I've worked where the accident happened the first flight after maintenance".

"When there was a problem, the pilot would write it down and the mechanic would do (a repair).Then the plane would be declared airworthy".

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Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia last week, Boeing has issued a warning to airlines operating its new 737 MAX about what to do in the event of an "angle-of-attack" sensor failure and avoid a unsafe nose-dive.

It wasn't immediately clear if the airspeed issue had any connection with the angle-of-attack matter. The company didn't response to requests for comment.

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

"The pilots had a battle on their hands for a few minutes", she said. They called to turn back to the airport, but they didn't call mayday, which means they didn't have time. "They were fighting something".

Air Canada announced last December that its 737 Max aircraft had just started operating and was carrying passengers between Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. As of November 7, the DJPU has conducted in-situ ramp checks of aircraft that belong to Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, NAM Air, Wings Air (Indonesia), and Indonesia AirAsia. If the angle is too high as a plane climbs, that would cause a stall.

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.

Officials have now said that the incident will be thoroughly investigated. The full investigation could take a year.

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The pilots union at Southwest Airlines Co., the biggest customer of the 737 Max, hasn't received any reports from its members of problems with faulty sensor readings, said Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

According to a company statement as of September 30, Boeing had 4,783 firm orders from 98 identified customers for the 737 Max.

The FAA grounded Boeing's entire 787 fleet in 2013 after lithium-ion batteries overheated and caught fire.

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

A week after the disaster, there is still no answer as to what caused the crash.

Meanwhile, the search operation to recover the passengers, crew and the airplane's cockpit voice recorder is ongoing.

Boeing's statement suggested that further steps lie ahead. If the AOA is too low, the aircraft won't climb out fast enough.

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