- Boeing issued a safety bulletin on Tuesday for airlines operating its new 737 Max airliner in the wake of the crash of Lion Air Flight 610.
- The bulletin cautions operators of the 737 Max that erroneous readings from one of the plane’s sensors can cause the aircraft to enter into a sudden dive.
- The aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia says that since the bulletin doesn’t reflect poorly on the 737 Max’s design, Boeing’s business is unlikely to be harmed by the news.
The bulletin cautions operators of the 737 Max that erroneous readings from one of the plane’s sensors can cause the aircraft to enter into a sudden dive, Bloomberg reported.
“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 Chicago-based planemaker said in a statement. “Whenever appropriate, Boeing, as part of its usual processes, issues bulletins or makes recommendations regarding the operation of its aircraft.”
Boeing’s bulletin advises pilots to use existing procedures to recover from such an abrupt dive.
“On November 6, 2018, 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,” the company’s statement said.
But according to the veteran aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, fallout from the crash won’t have much of an effect on Boeing’s business.
“If this is the cause, it’s nothing the system hasn’t dealt with before and it’s extremely discreet and manageable,” Aboulafia said in an interview with Business Insider.
“This is a tragedy, but it says absolutely nothing about the design of the plane and its major subsystems.”
In addition, the analyst explained that such bulletins were quite common, though they seldom follow such a tragedy.
Shares of Boeing stock were trading up Wednesday morning.
Aboulafia, the vice president of analysis at the consulting firm Teal Group, argues that it’s more important to emphasise how pilots react to failures such as incorrect sensor readings than the failures themselves.
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“Bad information can happen, and it’s best that the emphasis is on training in the event of contingencies such as these,” Aboulafia said.
Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 28. All 189 people on board the flight were killed. Flight JT610 marked the first fatal crash involving Boeing’s next-generation 737 Max aircraft.
The 737 Max, the fastest-selling plane in Boeing history, is the latest version of the company’s 737 family of jets. Boeing has more than 4,500 unfilled orders for the 737 Max on its books.