FAA issues emergency directive on Boeing 737 Max after Lion Air crash


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.

Boeing has delivered 219 Max planes - the latest and most advanced 737 jets - since the new models made their commercial debut past year with a Lion Air subsidiary. Boeing's bulletin said it was directing flight crews to existing guidelines.

Anugrah Satria, one of the passengers on the flight from Denpasar to Jakarta on the night before the crash, said that it was obvious that the plane was experiencing some problems as the flight kept getting delayed. The company didn't response to requests for comment.

There are a total of 49 Boeing 737 Max planes in service across the US, including 26 737 Max 8 planes in service at Southwest Airlines, 16 at American Airlines and seven Max 9 planes at United Airlines.

The Lion Air jetliner plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from Jakarta airport, nosing downward so suddenly that it may have hit speeds of 600 miles an hour before slamming into the water.

"When you see recurring problems, it says the normal easy fixes aren't solving it", he said.

The airworthiness directive covers all 737-8 and 737-9 aircraft and is similar to a service bulletin issued by Boeing, after the manufacturer conducted an analysis in the wake of the fatal Lion Air crash on October 29.

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But more importantly, the investigation-led by Indonesian authorities with the cooperation of Boeing and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board-will determine what changes should happen to not only prevent the sensor failure from reoccurring, but hopefully also prevent such a failure from spiraling so horribly out of control even when it does happen. The committee said the pilots were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.

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

The Boeing 737 MAX has three such sensors, but erroneous readings could in some circumstances cause the Boeing 737 MAX to point the nose down sharply in order to keep air under the wings and avoid a stall, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Experts have been puzzled about what could have caused the jet to go down in clear skies, unlike other major airplane disasters in which weather or older jets were major factors. "Data from the black box showed that the two flights before Denpasar-Jakarta also experienced the same problem".

But he stood and bowed his head after angry and distraught family members demanded that Kirana - who with his brother Kusnan Kirana founded Lion Air in 1999 - identify himself. "This is what we do not know yet and we will find it out, ' he said".

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

A DJPU statement said the audit will include a review of Lion Air's operating procedures, flight crew qualifications, and institutional cooperation. One of the pilots had trimmed the plane to push the nose down while trying to climb after aborting a landing, the report said.