Lion Air plane hits lamp post trying to takeoff

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CBS News reported on Wednesday that Boeing's 737 Max 8 planes are used across the USA, including by Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines.

"This condition, if not addressed, 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", the FAA wrote in its alert.

Indonesian authorities have downloaded information from the flight data recorder that showed a cockpit indicator on the Lion Air jet was damaged for its last four flights.

Representatives of 737 MAX operators, Singapore Airlines Ltd SIAL.SI offshoot SilkAir, Garuda Indonesia GIAA.JK and Canada's WestJet Ltd WJA.TO , said they had not yet received a bulletin from Boeing.

"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.

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The US planemaker said investigators probing the Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia, in which all 189 on board were killed, had found that one of the "angle of attack" sensors on the Boeing 737 Max jet had provided erroneous data.

The next day, during the deadly crash, the plane hit the water at very high speed just 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta.

"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".

He said the pilot had landed the plane safely on that occasion.

The angle of attack readings are fed into a computer that in some cases will attempt to push down the nose using the elevator trim system. The full investigation could take a year. Indonesian officials say that all 11 such aircraft have been tested and declared safe to fly. The National Transportation Safety Board later faulted Boeing as well as its battery supplier, GS Yuasa, for its approach to safety and quality control. The company has sought to increase its production from 47 jets per month to 52 per month.

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Experts have been puzzled about what could have caused the jet to go down in clear skies, unlike other major airplane disasters in which weather or older jets were major factors.

The new details - gleaned from the flight data recorder - came after the government said it was launching a "special audit" of Lion Air's operations. Body parts are still being recovered and searchers continue to hunt for the cockpit voice recorder. If the AOA is too low, the aircraft won't climb out fast enough.

"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 KNKT sub-committee head for air accidents.

Still, Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the commercial passengers should not be nervous about getting on a 737 Max 8.

Some modern aircraft have systems created to correct the posture of the aircraft automatically to keep flying safely.

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