Boeing is said close to issuing 737 Max warning after crash

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False readings from the sensor can cause the aircraft to pitch downward in an attempt to avoid a stall when the plane is not being flown on autopilot.

"A "ping" has been detected from the second black box but the signal was very weak, possibly because it was encased in mud", said Nurcahyo Utomo, an air accident official at the transportation safety committee (KNKT).

The FAA said the problem "could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain".

Some of the families of the victims aboard Flight 610 were taken by boat to the crash site location on Tuesday to pray for their loved ones and view the recovery process in-person, Muhammad Syaugi, head of Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency said.

Based on initial investigation of Lion Air aircraft accident, the FAA issued emergency airworthiness directive (AD) on November 7. Boeing has more than 4,500 orders for the airliners, which feature larger engines, more aerodynamic wings and an upgraded cockpit with larger glass displays.

Boeing's advisory said the plane experienced "erroneous input from one of its [angle of attack] sensors".

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"I would definitely be looking at the man-machine interface and how pilots respond", said Cox, a former airline pilot who flew earlier versions of the 737 and specialized at the NTSB in cockpit actions.

All 189 people on board were killed and the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has said that flight recorder data has so far revealed the plane's airspeed indicator had not been working properly on its last four journeys, including on the fatal flight. United Technologies supplies the angle-of-attack sensors and indicator for the 737 Max, according to Airframers.net. Honeywell International Inc. provides the air data inertial reference unit.

Indonesia's Garuda airlines said it had not received any bulletins from Boeing, either. 737 MAX passenger plane slammed into the sea on October 29, only minutes after take-off from Jakarta, en route to Bangka Island near Sumatra.

Pilots can counteract this for up to 10 seconds at a time by pushing a switch on the airplane's controls.

Boeing released a statement saying that they are cooperating fully and providing technical assistance to investigators.

But Boeing said in its statement on Wednesday that it was directing airlines to "existing" flight crew procedures to address angle of attack sensor problems. In the early days of the jet age, the elevator trim system was linked to several accidents.

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