Boeing issues operational update to 737 operators after Lion Air crash

Leroy Wright
November 7, 2018

The search for the Lion Air 737 that crashed last Monday killing 189 people has been extended after divers lost contact with the aircraft's second black box.

Utomo confirmed to CNN that there were two airspeed indicators in the cockpit. They are paired with separate indicators measuring the degree to which the nose is pointed up, down or level.

The technical log shows the airliner had reported an "unreliable" airspeed reading on four of the prior flights, investigators said.

Speed-measuring systems consist of tubes and sensors that measure air pressure generated by the plane's movement and compare it with surrounding air pressure. One of the critical ways a plane determines if a stall is imminent is a measurement known as angle of attack, which senses the angle at which the wind is passing over the wings.

The new details - gleaned from the flight data recorder - came after the government said it was launching a "special audit" of Lion Air's operations.

Pilots can override the nose-down movement by pushing a switch on their control yoke, but the plane's computers will resume trying to dive as soon as they release the switch, the manufacturer said.

Pilots train in simulators to learn how to notice potentially faulty readings and work around them.

"A broken airplane is a normal occurrence", said Ony at his office in Central Jakarta on Sunday, November 4.

Malfunctioning airspeed indicators have factored in several high-profile crashes, including two more than 20 years ago involving Boeing 757s.

"If you were driving down the interstate and the speedometer failed, would you expect to crash the vehicle?" said John Cox, a former airline pilot and now a safety consultant.

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"We are still focusing on handling the families of the victims, including returning their remains to their home", Sirait said by phone.

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.

The bulletin is based on preliminary findings from the Lion Air disaster.

The pilots' actions will also be studied.

"The plane disintegrated or broke up after hitting the water, the debris of the plane was found scattered within a 250-metre radius on the sea floor", he said.

The rapid loss in altitude on that previous flight was also reported by a flight-tracking website.

All 189 passengers and crew for the Boeing 737 are feared dead after the plane crashed shortly after takeoff as investigators and agencies from around the world continue its week-long search for the main wreckage and cockpit voice recorder which might solve the mystery.

Investigators who analyzed the flight data recorder after the October 29 crash uncovered the fault, the committee said.

So far, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which certificated the 737 Max, hasn't taken any steps to require inspections of the plane.

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