Boeing's Chinese Plant to Deliver First 737 Max

Frederick Owens
November 8, 2018

Lion Air flight JT610 crashed into the sea off Indonesia's island of Java on October 29, minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all the 189 on board.

Experts say the Boeing notice could be about the "angle of attack", which is the angle of the wing relative to oncoming air stream, a measure that indicates if a plane is likely to stall.

Indonesian authorities would provide Boeing with information from the pilot who flew with the problematic sensor so it could be shared with other airlines, said Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Committee.

Prior to the accident, Daniel said that Lion Air had held daily meetings with Boeing representatives in Indonesia and said that several announcements will be made in due course all of which is based on these meetings.

Boeing is preparing to send a warning to all the operators that have taken delivery of its new 737 Max aircraft, according to an anonymous source cited by Bloomberg.

"Over the last 40 years, Boeing and Chinese partners have built deep relations in all industrial chains, including the research of new technologies, parts manufacturing as well as flight maintenance and modification", the statement said. A preliminary report is expected at the end of the month.

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The agency said it would probe what caused the indicator problem and whether proper repairs were done - including replacing the faulty component, he added. The error erroneously tells pilots that there's a stall in airflow, triggering an automated system that points the plane downward in an effort to regain speed.

The angle of attack readings are fed into a computer that in some cases will attempt to push down the nose using the elevator trim system.

Moments earlier, the pilots radioed a request to return to Jakarta to land, but never turned back toward the airport, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee and flight-track data. Boeing released a bulletin about the issue on November 6. The angle of attack sensor replaced in Bali would be analyzed at its place of manufacture in Chicago, the accident investigator said. If it proves true that the AoA sensor was indeed at fault, the investigation will reveal much about what the pilots knew and suspected when confronted with the situation, what their training was like, and what their responses to the incident not only were, but also should have been.

Some modern aircraft have systems created to correct the posture of the wings automatically to keep flying safely.

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

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal characterized Boeing's bulletin as a "safety alert" covering "potentially suspect flight-control software that can confuse pilots and lead to a steep descent of the affected aircraft model".

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