Boeing Co. has issued a safety warning about flight-control software that might cause pilots problems and could lead to a steep descent of the 737 MAX 8. The FAA will likely add their own directive soon.
This may be an indication that the investigators believe a software issue could lead to misinterpretation in the cockpit. The software is said to measure the angle of attack or how high or low a plane’s nose is pointed.
Discrepancies about the angle of the plane could have led to a warnings in the cockpit. The pilots would have responded accordingly, even if the aircraft’s systems automatically responded to push the nose of the plane downward.
Boeing issued a bulletin to operators on how to deal with occurrences of the issue.
The Boeing statement said:
“Boeing is providing support and technical assistance to the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee and other government authorities responsible for the investigation into Lion Air flight 610.
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.
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 investigation into Lion Air flight 610 is ongoing and Boeing continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident.”