Indonesian Boeing jet crashed after losing key sensor

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

Boeing said in a statement received at China's largest air show in Zhuhai that its bulletin to airlines underscored "existing flight crew procedures" created to address circumstances where information coming into the cockpit from the sensors was wrong.

The warning prompted the US Federal Aviation Administration to issue its own emergency airworthiness directive, telling airlines with Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to follow correct procedures if pilots receive erroneous information from an AOA sensor.

This measures at what angle an aircraft is flying and air is passing over the wings. If the angle of attack is too high, then its speed decreases and the aircraft could enter an aerodynamic stall.

United said: "We are in receipt of a Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin, issued by Boeing, which applies to the 16 737 Max 8 aircraft now in our fleet".

"If the nose is trimmed down on an aircraft, it becomes hard for the crew to hold it", said a person briefed on Boeing's bulletin, SeattleTimes reported.

Boeing says that the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in the company's history, with over 4,700 orders to date.

Boeing said the action was taken after the Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee indicated that the Lion Air jet experienced erroneous input from one of those sensors.

(BA.N) on how pilots should handle false readings from a plane sensor that authorities say occurred on a 737 Max jet that crashed off the Indonesian coast last week.

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The plane plummeted into the Java Sea on Oct 29 en route to Pangkal Pinang from Jakarta, killing all 189 aboard.

Boeing added that issuing bulletins or recommendations regarding the operation of its planes is a "usual process". If pilots aren't careful, they can cause severe nose-down trim settings that make it impossible to level a plane. The committee said the pilots were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.

The 737 MAX now operates with 40 airlines around the world.

This warning extends to both Air Canada and WestJet pilots, since both the airlines use 737-Max planes regularly. A misreading in the sensor can cause a plane to dive suddenly.

The newspaper said the findings suggest investigators could be looking at a software problem or a mistaken interpretation by flight crew as having played key roles in the Lion Air crash.

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

Divers have recovered one of the two "black boxes" - the flight data recorder - but are still looking for the cockpit voice recorder, in the hope it will shed more light on the cause of the accident.

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

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