Indonesia further extends search for bodies from Lion Air crash

08 November, 2018, 08:50 | Author: Donnie King
  • An Indonesian rescue team lift a pair tires from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 off Karawang in the Java Se

A crucial sensor that's the subject of a Boeing Co safety bulletin was replaced on a Lion Air jet the day before it plunged into the Java Sea, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said Wednesday.

Boeing is now warning pilots that if they experience inaccurate or erroneous readings from the sensor to follow standard flight procedures, though it's not clear what those are. Under some circumstances, such as when pilots are flying manually, the Max jets will automatically try to push down the nose if they detect that an aerodynamic stall is possible, a person familiar with the matter said.

This measures at what angle an aircraft is flying and air is passing over the wings. The NTSB, which conducts accident investigations and is assisting Indonesia in the probe, didn't respond to a request for comment. The US manufacturer has delivered 219 737 MAX jets to customers globally, its website shows, with 4,564 orders for jets yet to be delivered.

A separate procedure involving a specific sequence of actions can be used to disengage the sensor from feeding information to the plane's computer system to address the issue for the duration of a flight. The year before, the U.S. Air Force said moisture in sensors caused the 2008 crash of a B-2 stealth bomber on Guam; both pilots ejected safely.

Boeing is planning to write to airlines using its 737 MAX jet about how to deal with erroneous cockpit readings that could cause the airliner to dive, according to reports.

Indonesian investigators on Monday said an airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on the plane's last four flights. The committee said they were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.

Aboulafia, the vice president of analysis at the consulting firm Teal Group, argues that it's more important to emphasize how pilots react to failures such as incorrect sensor readings than the failures themselves. That sensor is meant to maintain air flow over a plane's wings but if it malfunctions it can cause the plane's computers to erroneously think it is in a aerodynamic stall - which can then cause aircraft to abruptly dive.




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

The findings from the data recorder were announced just hours after distraught relatives confronted Lion Air's co-founder, Rusdi Kirana, during a meeting with investigators.

"We don't know what the crew knew and didn't know yet", Cox said.

"We are formulating, with NTSB (US National Transportation safety board) and Boeing, detailed inspections regarding the airspeed indicator", he said.

Indonesian authorities on Sunday extended the search for another three days and a second black box recorder from wreckage of a brand new Boeing 737 MAX that slammed into the sea a week ago only minutes after it took off from Jakarta.

"Lion Air has failed", said a man who identified himself as the father of passenger Shandy Johan Ramadhan, a prosecutor in a district on the island where the flight was headed.

Alan Diehl, a pilot and safety consultant, said the report that the same problem happened four times and was never fixed suggests that the problem may have been intermittent, making it harder to pin down.

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