Indonesia plane crash: Jet had airspeed problems on final four flights

An Indonesian rescue team lift a pair tires from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 off Karawang in the Java Se

The damage was revealed after data had been downloaded from the plane's flight data recorder, KNKT chief Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters, adding that it was asking Boeing and USA authorities what action to take to prevent similar problems on this type of plane around the world.

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 U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday said it "will take further appropriate actions depending on the results of the investigation".

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source told Reuters that the Boeing bulletin related only to the 737 MAX, of which there are just over 200 in service.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal characterized Boeing's bulletin as a "safety alert" covering "potentially suspect flight-control software that can confuse pilots and lead to a steep descent of the affected aircraft model". The company didn't response to requests for comment. The committee said they were dealing with an erroneous airspeed indication. After all, even if pilot reactions are proven to be contributing factors in this tragedy-responding inappropriately to the situation, for instance-that doesn't absolve aircraft manufacturers and the airlines of their responsibility to design systems that can minimize as much as possible precisely that risk of human error.

Lion Air has said a technical problem with the jet was fixed after problems were reported the night before the crash.

Boeing is now warning pilots that if they experience inaccurate or erroneous readings from the sensor to follow standard flight procedures, though it's not clear what those are.

"We will tighten up our monitoring and inspections and wait for final report on the investigation", Garuda Indonesia's President Director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra wrote in a text message. "Is this fatal? NTSC (National Transportation Safety Committee) wants to explore this", he said. "Cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder are both important to reveal the truth in this case". (The crash) happened at a very benign stage of the flight, while the weather was good.

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The plane's altitude was mostly about 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), but rose and fell repeatedly within a range of a few hundred feet, according to flight-tracking data from FlightRadar24.

Utomo confirmed to CNN that there were two airspeed indicators in the cockpit.

Lion Air owner, Rusdi Kirana, right, stands up during the conference.

Speed-measuring systems consist of tubes and sensors that measure air pressure generated by the plane's movement and compare it with surrounding air pressure. To determine airspeed - which can vary substantially compared to the speed over the ground due to winds - aircraft rely on Pitot tubes which measure the air rushing into them.

Investigators have not disclosed any reports of other airspeed failures on the aircraft.

On a flight from Bali to Jakarta on Oct 28 - the plane's penultimate journey before it crashed the next morning - there was a difference between angle of attack readings on the side of the pilot and that of the co-pilot, Mr Soerjanto said.

Earlier this week, the Indonesian authorities extended by three days search and rescue operations in search for the victims and the second black box of the jet.

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