Boeing to issue safety advice on 737 MAX after Indonesia crash: Report

JAKARTA Boeing issued a special bulletin yesterday addressing a sensor problem flagged by Indonesian safety officials investigating the crash of a Lion Air 737 that killed 189 people last week.

The planemaker said local aviation officials believed pilots may have been given wrong information by the plane's automated systems before the fatal crash.

"The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air flight 610 experienced erroneous input from one of its AOA (angle of attack) sensors," the warning said.

"Boeing issued an Operations manual bulletin (OMB) directing operators to existing flight crew procedures to address circumstances where there is erroneous input from an AOA sensor."

An AOA sensor provides data about the angle at which wind is passing over the wings and tells pilots how much lift a plane is getting.

Lion Air JT610 plunged into the Java Sea less than half an hour after taking off from Jakarta on a flight to Pangkal Pinang city. There were no survivors.

Search teams have filled 186 body bags with remains found after the crash, but only 44 victims have been identified so far.

Divers have recovered one of the two "black boxes" - the flight data recorder - but are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder, in the hope that it will shed more light on the cause of the disaster.

Indonesian investigators said this week the plane had an air-speed indicator problem on the doomed flight and on three previous journeys.

In a related development, Indonesia said it will extend by three days its search for the bodies of passengers from the ill-fated plane, an official said, as the authorities struggle to identify victims of the crash.

But the navy, police and volunteers that have been involved in the search will be stood down, he added. Only the National Search and Rescue Agency will press on with the task.

A preliminary report on the cause of the accident is expected at the end of the month. - AFP