Boeing to Issue Alert Its Planes Can Abruptly Dive During Flight

The Boeing 737 MAX 8

The Boeing 737 MAX 8

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee 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.

But Boeing said in its statement Wednesday that it was directing airlines to "existing" flight crew procedures to address angle of attack sensor problems.

The Lion Air plane was en route from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang city on Sumatra island 10 days ago when it plunged into the water, killing all 189 people onboard.

According to the report, the warning is based on the investigation of the Lion Air Flight 610 crash in Indonesia.

"We don't know yet where the problem lies, what fix has been done, what their reference books are, what components have been removed", said Nurcahyo Utomo, the agency's sub-committee head for air accidents.

A spokeswoman for Boeing in Singapore declined to comment.

The revelation came after data was downloaded from the plane's flight data recorder (an orange device known as a black box), said Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT).

Cox said that once investigators have all the data, they will work backward to determine if there was a problem with one of the plane's systems or if pilot decisions put the plane in peril.

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"If there are urgent findings to be delivered, we will convey them to the operators and to the manufacturer", he said.

Flight JT610 sped up as it suddenly lost altitude and then vanished from radar 12 minutes after take-off, with witnesses saying the single-aisle jet plunged into the water.

Lion Air owner, Rusdi Kirana, right, stands up during the conference.

Indonesian accident investigators said on Monday that an airspeed indicator on the crashed jet was damaged for its last four flights, but USA authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks. "Imagine if you were in our position", said Najib Fuquoni, a relative of a victim, demanding an independent investigation into the crash.

According to Bloomberg there are over 200 737 Max jets already in use in commercial aviation.

Tjahjono said that the KNKT has asked the United States' National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Boeing to take the necessary measures to deal with issues with the speed indicator. This far, police have been able to identify 14 victims from the nearly 140 body bags of human remains retrieved from the Java Sea.

Meanwhile, divers continued to search for the aircraft's missing cockpit voice recorder, or "black box", which could help investigators piece together the doomed flight's final moments.

Budget airline Lion Air confirmed that there had been issues, but said they'd been fixed. In 2015, a wasp nest plugged the sensors on an Allegiant Air jet leaving St. Petersburg, Florida, forcing pilots to cut the flight short and land in Orlando.

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