(Lion Air crash) US regulator points to deadly outcome of faulty Boeing 737 Max sensorWorld | 8 Nov 2018 2:05 pm
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive on how to handle erroneous data from a sensor that investigators believe malfunctioned on a new Boeing jet that plunged into the sea in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
The directive gives regulatory weight to Boeing’s safety bulletin that it sent to operators of Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 planes based on findings from the ongoing Indonesian investigation into the October 29 crash of a Lion Air jet. FAA directives are usually followed by other airline regulators internationally.
The FAA said erroneous data from the "angle of attack” sensor, which helps prevent the plane from stalling and diving, could cause flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane and lead to "excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with the terrain.”
The directive instructs airlines to make specific changes to flight manual procedures for responding to the problem. Boeing’s bulletin said it was directing flight crews to existing guidelines.
Indonesian investigators said yesterday the sensor was replaced on the Lion Air plane the day before its fatal flight and may have compounded other problems with the aircraft.
The two-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta. Both that flight and its October 28 flight from Bali to Jakarta had erratic speed and altitude shortly after takeoff.
On Wednesday night, Lion Air aborted a flight when one of its planes damaged a wing tip when it struck a lamp pole before takeoff from Bengkulu. The airline faulted the airport’s aircraft movement control personnel who directed the plane from the apron to the taxiway.-AP