FAA issues 737 MAX emergency AD

09 November, 2018, 07:35 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Boeing’s first 737 MAX 8 rolls out of the final assembly building in Renton in December 2015. More than 200 MAXs are in service around the world

KNKT said that there was a problem with the sensor on the last flight taken by the doomed plane, from the island of Bali to Jakarta, even though one sensor had been replaced in Bali.

When the angle of attack sensors - which detect how wind is meeting the wing - perceive incorrect readings the plane may think it is experiencing an aerodynamic stall, causing it to dive.

The FAA said the "erroneous inputs can potentially make the horizontal stabilisers repeatedly pitch the nose of the airplane downward, making the aircraft hard to control".

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said it had agreed with Boeing on procedures that the airplane manufacturer should distribute globally on how flight crews can deal with "angle of attack" sensor problems following the October 29 crash that killed all 189 people on board.

Over 200 737 Max jets are already in use in commercial aviation, Bloomberg added, though Boeing has orders for 4,500 more.

The announcement follows analysis that Boeing has done since the crash of Lion Air flight JT610 last week into the sea off Java.

A Lion Air plane's left wing crashed into a pole on the runway at Fatmawati Airport in Indonesia's Bengkulu city on Nov 7.


Soerjanto Tjahjono, chairman of the transport safety committee, said Wednesday that airspeed indicator malfunctions on the jet's last four flights, which were revealed by analysis of the flight data recorder, were intertwined with the sensor issue.

However, it's unclear whether the warning is being issued because investigators have conclusively determined that a flight-monitoring system error was the cause of the crash.

Boeing's safety bulletin also instructs flight crews on the potential malfunction, and the ways in which pilots should respond should the error occur. According to NBC News, the warning revolves around what pilots should do if the plane gives an erroneous reading from a sensor.

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.

A spokesperson for Boeing wouldn't disclose whether the directive was issued to operators of all Boeing aircraft, or just those who fly 737 MAX 8 planes - the same model as Flight 610.

This issue is said to arise only during manual flight. If there is an "uncommanded nose-down stabilizer trim" on the Max, pilots can counteract it by pushing a switch on their control yoke.

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