Boeing issues safety warning for new passenger jets

BOEING has issued safety warnings about its new 737 Max 8 passenger jets, a week after a Lion Air jet plunged into the sea off Indonesia.

It can be revealed the same model of jetliner is regularly flown into northern Australia by an Asian-based budget airline.

Global aircraft manufacturer Boeing has warned airlines over incorrect readings from a flight-monitoring system­ on its 737 Max 8 models­ which it was reported "can cause the planes to ­abruptly dive".

A Boeing spokesman last night said an investigation into the Indonesian crash that killed all 189 people on-board revealed the Lion Air plane had a faulty "angle of attack" sensor, which determines if a plane is about to stall. Boeing said it had warned operators "to address circumstances where there is erroneous input from an angle of attack sensor".

SilkAir, a budget airline owned by Singapore Airlines, regularly flies the 737 Max 8 model into Cairns and Darwin.

Virgin Australia has 30 of the new planes on order. The airline said it would monitor the Lion Air investigation but not cancel the order, which is due in 12 months.

 

A Silk Air Boeing 737 Max 8 lands in Cairns. Picture: Stewart McLean
A Silk Air Boeing 737 Max 8 lands in Cairns. Picture: Stewart McLean

The Lion Air 737 Max 8 nosedived and crashed on October 29 just 12 minutes into a one-hour flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang city.

The Indonesian Nat­ional Transportation Safety Committee said that flight recorder data had so far revealed­ the aircraft's air speed indicator was not working properly on its last four journeys, including the fatal flight.

The glitch had been ­repeatedly serviced and Lion Air's technical team declared the plane to be airworthy.

The 737 Max 8, introduced last year, is Boeing's fastest-selling aircraft.