Boeing Issues Alert to Pilots About Angle of Attack Sensor

With a faulty sensor suspected of being one of the primary reasons why Lion Air Flight JT610 crashed off the coast of Java in Indonesia on October 29, Boeing has issued an alert to all pilots of its 737 Max aircrafts regarding to how to handle potentially erroneous data from the “angle of attack” sensors on board this model of aircraft. There are three sensors on an aircraft, and they let the pilot know how likely it is to stall while in flight by relaying information about the height of the nose in relation to the flow of air under the aircraft. If the nose is pointed up too high, relative to the flow of air, and the aircraft is attempting stable flight as opposed to climbing or descending with the corresponding amount of acceleration or deceleration, it will likely staff and begin to fall out of its altitude in a manner that could put a large jet-engine aircraft out of the control of the pilot and co-pilot.


The aircraft is a relatively new model, having been introduced last year, and the company has said that it will investigate on its own, as well as assist ongoing investigations into the possibility of technical difficulties like the faulty sensor causing such accidents in future. The 737 Max 8 aircraft that crashed in Indonesia was not even six months into its service, but had previously developed a fault with one of its angle of attack sensors, which was then duly replaced.

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