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Boeing Issues Bulletin for 737 Max After Indonesia Jet Crash

08 November 2018

A Lion Air passenger plane that crashed last week with 189 people on board experienced airspeed indicator problems on its last four flights, Indonesian investigators announced on Monday.

The angle of attack sensor keeps track of the angle of the aircraft nose relative to oncoming air to prevent the plane from stalling and diving.

The probe into what happened with the Lion Air plane "is ongoing and Boeing continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident", the company said in the statement.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee told reporters that after one flight from Bali to Jakarta - the last flight before the crash - the left and right AOA sensors were found to disagree by 20 degrees.

"I want Mr Rusdi Kirana and his team to pay attention", he said.

Tjahjono said Flight 610 was intact with its engines running when it slammed into the sea 13 minutes after takeoff.

An angle of attack sensor had been changed by mechanics on the ground in Bali the day before the crash, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has said.

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Lion Air President Director Edward Sirait said the carrier hadn't yet received any bulletins from Boeing.

Boeing has delivered 219 Max planes - the latest and most advanced 737 jets - since the new models made their commercial debut a year ago with a Lion Air subsidiary.

"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".

A spokeswoman for Boeing in Singapore declined to comment. Of course, this is something they already overwhelmingly do, as we can see from the generally incredible recent safety record in global aviation, but clearly something went very wrong here that shouldn't have.

Boeing Co. said on Wednesday it had issued a safety bulletin reminding pilots how to handle erroneous data from a key sensor in the wake of last week's crash in Indonesia.

Logs obtained by the BBC have already shown that on the Boeing 737 Max's penultimate flight, airspeed readings were unreliable.

"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.

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In a statement, the FAA said that it would soon issue an airworthiness directive that will compel all airlines to follow an Operations Manual Bulletin Boeing announced on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg, which obtained a copy of the statement.

Boeing has delivered 219 737 MAX jets to customers globally, with 4,564 orders for jets yet to be delivered.

Indonesian officials said on Wednesday they would extend by three days the search for bodies.

The warning comes as Indonesia's transport ministry has scheduled a briefing to share the latest information on the Lion Air tragedy.

The Boeing bulletin only reminds operators of the plane to emphasize procedures outlined in a checklist pilots are given to help navigate stabilizer issues.

Divers have retrieved the plane's engines, wheels and one of its two black boxes - the flight data recorder - but are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder.

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Boeing Issues Bulletin for 737 Max After Indonesia Jet Crash