Did faulty sensor cause Indonesia air crash?

The Boeing 737 MAX 8

The Boeing 737 MAX 8

"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", Boeing said in a statement.

"Angle of attack" refers to the angle between relative wind and a reference line on the plane - the sensors' goal is to ensure that air flows over an aircraft's wings, Bloomberg reported.

Indonesia is to launch a "special audit" of Lion Air's operations in the wake of last week's deadly crash that killed 189 people, the government said on Monday.

The "black box" data recorder from a crashed Lion Air jet shows its airspeed indicator malfunctioned on its last four flights, investigators said on Monday, just hours after distraught relatives of victims confronted the airline's co-founder at a meeting organised by officials.

The pilots union at Southwest Airlines Co., the biggest customer of the 737 Max, hasn't received any reports from its members of problems with faulty sensor readings, said Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

Personnel from National Transportation Safety Board examine debris from Lion Air flight JT610 at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on November 1, 2018.

The new information about Lion Air Flight 610 raises multiple questions investigators will want to examine on the pilots' actions, how flight crews were trained and whether the maintenance performed on the system was adequate, said Roger Cox, a former NTSB investigator.

Boeing has issued a warning to airlines using its 737 MAX planes after a sensor failure was identified as a potential cause of the crash of a passenger flight near Indonesia.

The pilot of the flight requested a return to Denpasar but the situation corrected itself and he elected to continue to Jakarta.

Rescuers inspect part of the landing gears of the crashed Lion Air jet they retrieved from the sea floor in the waters of Tanjung Karawang, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018.

"When there was a problem, the pilot would write it down and the mechanic would do (a repair).Then the plane would be declared airworthy". A spokesman for Chicago-based Boeing couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

"They should have been completely engaged in what was going on inside that cockpit, and any kind of warning that came up, they would have been wise to pay attention to it", Curtis said.

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.

Bloomberg News reported the planned bulletin from Boeing earlier on Tuesday and said the manufacturer would alert pilots to follow existing procedures to address the issue.

Boeing says only 200 of its latest 737 MAX jets are in service around the world.

A search for the cockpit voice recorder, the second so-called black box, remains underway.

An artist's conception shows the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet. Officials from the navy, search and rescue agency and Lion Air threw wreaths into the sea.

The committee said the pilots were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication.

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) chief Muhammad Syaugi told reporters yesterday morning: "We chose to extend our evacuation operation by another three days, specifically for Basarnas".

PREMIUM Indonesia has been shocked by the plane crash involving Lion Air flight JT610.

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