World News

Lion Air to be audited; B737 MAX 10 order talks deferred

Lion Air to be audited; B737 MAX 10 order talks deferred

A brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 jet operated by the Indonesian budget carrier plunged into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from the nation's capital on October 29, killing 189 people.

Boeing's warning came in the form of an Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB) directing operators to existing flight crew procedures to address circumstances where there is erroneous input from an AoA sensor.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency airworthiness directive for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 after one crashed in Indonesia last month killing all 189 people on board.

Signs appear to point to an instrument failure in the brand-new Boeing 737 Max, specifically the angle-of-attack sensor, which is critical to determining the amount of lift generated by the wings.

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.

A DJPU statement said the audit will include a review of Lion Air's operating procedures, flight crew qualifications, and institutional cooperation.

Through September, Boeing has taken orders for 4,783 737 MAX aircraft with 219 delivered to customers.

Preliminary investigations into the Indonesia Lion Air flight 610 Boeing 737 MAX crash have indicated a problem with a sensor that alerts pilots about the possibility of aircraft stalling, especially when the nose is up post lift-off.

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The issue only occurs when a plane's autopilot is switched off, Boeing said.

A Lion Air 737 Max 8 carrying 189 people dove into the Java Sea at high speed on Oct 29 minutes after takeoff.

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. If pilots aren't careful, they can cause severe nose-down trim settings that make it impossible to level a plane.

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

In the United States, Southwest Airlines now has 26 737 MAX planes in operation; American Airlines has 16. However, if the sensor malfunctions, it can cause the plane's computers to erroneously think it is in a stall - which can then command the aircraft to abruptly dive. About 15 minutes into the flight, which took off from Jakarta, the plane plunged into the sea.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest and largest airlines, flying to dozens of destinations at home and internationally.

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

Meanwhile, the search operation to recover the passengers, crew and the airplane's cockpit voice recorder is ongoing.