Indonesia’s Lion Air plane crashes into pole in new accident

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Boeing shares rose less than one per cent to US$368.11 in premarket trading Wednesday in NY.

Indonesian accident investigators said an airspeed indicator of a Boeing Co 737 MAX plane that crashed last week was damaged for its last four flights, but USA authorities responded cautiously to suggestions of fleet-wide checks.

The agency said the order was effective immediately and applies to almost 250 aircraft worldwide, including 45 in the United States operated by carriers including Southwest Airlines Co, United Airlines, and American Airlines Group Inc.

If AOA sensors fail, it can cause the plane's computers to incorrectly show the plane is heading into an aerodynamic stall-which, in turn, can put the jet into a sudden dive to restore airspeed.

A spokesperson for the airline said in a statement that they had received a letter of apology from the airport's air traffic controller.

On a previous flight from Bali to Jakarta, the angle-of-attack sensor feeding the captain's flight displays registered a 20-degree difference from the device on the copilot's side of the cockpit, the committee said.

The two-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the sea 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta.

Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation yesterday said it would be investigating the cause of the incident.

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Airline safety experts said pilots are trained to handle a plane safely even if those crucial sensors fail.

Chairman Soerjanto Tjahjono said the airspeed indicator and sensor problems were related.

"Uncommanded" means an action that isn't initiated by the pilots-that is, an action taken independently by aircraft systems (the stabilizer trim system, in this case).

In a detailed post online, Indonesian TV presenter Conchita Caroline said boarding of Sunday's flight was delayed by more than an hour and when the plane was being towed, a technical problem forced it to return to its parking space.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations. In the early days of the jet age, the pitch trim system was linked to several accidents.

Such an issue arose in 2016 at Rostov-on-Don Airport in Russia when a FlyDubai 737-800 nosed over and slammed into the runway at a steep angle, according to an interim report by Russian investigators. The angle of attack affects the aerodynamics, and the aircraft will pick up airspeed.

But what is disturbing is why Lion Air didn't pull this plane from service after repeated problems. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.