Indonesia jet had damaged airspeed indicator on last four flights, says official

Indonesia jet had damaged airspeed indicator on last four flights, says official

Rusdi Kirana, Lion Air's co-founder, was not invited to speak by Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, who moderated the meeting between relatives and the officials who are overseeing the search effort and accident investigation.

The U.S. plane maker said investigators probing the Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia that killed all 189 people aboard found that one of the "angle of attack" sensors on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft had provided erroneous data.

The Lion Air flight with 189 people on board crashed into the sea off Jakarta's coast October 29, marking the first crash involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. The flight was set to carry passengers from Bali to Jakarta on the new Boeing 737 Max 8. The FAA, which regulates the USA aviation industry, hasn't received any reports of airspeed issues occurring on the model in the US, said a person familiar with the agency's reviews. A spokesman for Chicago-based Boeing couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Both Boeing and the FAA are continuing to assist Indonesian officials in investigating the accident.

"I'm still of the opinion that losing airspeed on the airplane shouldn't result in losing the airplane", Cox said.

And in this case the procedure for dealing with the problem it is what is called a "memory item" - pilot's commit them to memory. The only way to prevent this, is for the pilot to intervene and manually deactivate the system.

Indonesian investigators on Wednesday said a crucial sensor was replaced on the Lion Air jet the day before it crashed, possibly exacerbating other problems with the plane.

American said it was issuing similar communications to its pilots to emphasize the existing protocols.

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"Lion Air said the problem was fixed, is it true the problem was cleared?" asked Bambang Sukandar, whose son was on the flight. He maintained that the agency is now studying it based on the pieces of evidence they managed to recover so far that includes the plane's flight data recorder (FDR).

"Currently we are looking for the cause of problem", said investigator Nurcahyo Utomo, Associated Press reported. Audio recorded in the cockpit of each flight showed that the pilots were confused by conflicting instrument reports.

The plane's altitude was mostly about 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), but rose and fell repeatedly within a range of a few hundred feet, according to flight-tracking data from FlightRadar24. 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. If a plane isn't in the right position in the air, the aerodynamics will be completely thrown off.

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. Such instances can cause erratic airspeed readings, which in turn can confuse pilots and affect the way in which the aircraft is flown, possibly leading to accidents.

Modern jetliners have redundant measurements to help pilots spot and disregard a single reading that looks unlikely and possibly erroneous.

The head of Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency, Basarnas, said Sunday that after initially hearing a "ping" from the CVR on Saturday, diving teams could no longer hear a signal from the device.

A search operation soon found the debris of the plane in the waters off Tanjung Pakis in Karawang, about 70 kilometers east of Jakarta.

Airlines using the 737 MAX include the Singapore Airlines offshoot SilkAir, Garuda Indonesia and Canada's WestJet, but none had received a bulletin from Boeing.

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