Boeing is said to be warning its 737 Max customers about erroneous cockpit readings that could make the passenger jet ‘aggressively dive’

The Boeing test pilot Jim Webb in the cockpit of a 737 Max 7 at Boeing Field in Seattle on March 16 after completing the plane’s first flight. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
  • Boeing is preparing to send a warning to all the operators that have taken delivery of its new 737 Max aircraft, according to an anonymous source cited by Bloomberg.
  • Exhibiting similar problems, a recently delivered Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger plane crashed into the Java Sea off Jakarta, Indonesia, almost two weeks ago with 189 people aboard.
  • Indonesia’s transport ministry has scheduled a briefing to share the latest information on the Lion Air tragedy.

Boeing is preparing a bulletin to all operators of the new 737 model warning that “erroneous readings” from a flight-monitoring system can cause the planes to aggressively dive, Bloomberg quotes an anonymous source as saying.

Boeing will reportedly warn pilots to follow an existing procedure to handle the problem.

The bulletin is being prepared based on preliminary findings from the crash of one of the planes off the coast of Indonesia, the person said, according to Bloomberg.

According to a company statement as of September 30, about a month before the crash, Boeing had 4,783 firm orders from 98 identified customers for the 737 Max.

According to Bloomberg, more than 200 737 Max jets are already in use in commercial aviation.

The aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas told Business Insider that Boeing had about 9,000 737s in the sky at any given time.

Reuters has reported that representatives of the Singapore Airlines offshoot SilkAir, Garuda Indonesia, and Canada’s WestJet, all 737 Max operators, said they had not yet received a bulletin from Boeing.

Data from the black box of the Lion Air 737 Max that fell into the sea with 189 people aboard has confirmed there was an issue with the plane’s airspeed indicator.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, said on Monday that the flight data recorder from the crashed plane shows that the problem occurred in its past four flights, including the fatal flight on October 29.

Without an accurate airspeed reading, planes are at serious risk of crashing. Jets flying too slowly can stall, and ones accelerating too much can tear themselves apart from the force.

A faulty airspeed instrument was a factor in the loss of Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on its way from Brazil to Paris in 2009.

The Lion Air 737 Max 8 speared into the coastal waters off Java just 13 minutes after takeoff.

Bloomberg says the plane’s velocity was uncharacteristically high, possibly touching speeds of 600 mph as it hit the water.

Certainly, Indonesian search-and-rescue officials had trouble locating the wreck, despite encountering a large amount of wreckage in the four days leading up to the discovery of the fuselage.

Flight JT610 had radioed a request to return to Jakarta to land but never turned back toward the airport, according to Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.

The committee has said it is dealing with an “erroneous airspeed indication.”

Indonesia’s transport ministry has scheduled a briefing at 12:30 p.m. in Jakarta on Wednesday to share updated information on the Lion Air accident, Bloomberg reports.