Air­lines alerted on Boe­ing MAX

Se­quel to In­done­sian plane crash last week

Mail Today - - MY BIZ - By Mail To­day Bu­reau in New Delhi

THE DIREC­TORATE Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion (DGCA) has asked Jet Air­ways and SpiceJet to take nec­es­sary ac­tion re­quired to deal with any pos­si­ble tech­ni­cal glitches that may arise in Boe­ing 737 MAX planes in their fleets lead­ing to a sud­den loss in al­ti­tude dur­ing a flight.

The lat­est di­rec­tive fol­lows ad­vi­sories is­sued by the US Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FAA) and Boe­ing af­ter the crash of a Boe­ing 737 MAX plane op­er­ated by In­done­sia's Lion Air last month which had sud­denly lost height and plunged into the sea shortly af­ter take-off.

Both the ad­vi­sories ad­dress er­ro­neous high ``an­gle of at­tack’’ (AOA) sen­sor in­put and cor­rec­tive ac­tion re­quired for the snag as it has the po­ten­tial for re­peated nose-down trim com­mands of the hor­i­zon­tal sta­biliser, a se­nior DGCA of­fi­cial ex­plained.

The of­fi­cial said if the con­di­tion is not ad­dressed, it could cre­ate prob­lems for the pi­lots in con­trol­ling the plane in case of such an even­tu­al­ity. The prob­lem can even lead to ex­ces­sive nose-down at­ti­tude, sig­nif­i­cant al­ti­tude loss, and the pos­si­bil­ity of a crash, the of­fi­cial added.

Based on an ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Lion Air air­craft mishap, the FAA is­sued Emer­gency Air­wor­thi­ness Di­rec­tive on Novem­ber 7. Boe­ing re­leased a bul­letin about the is­sue on Novem­ber 6. The DGCA of­fi­cial said that within three days af­ter re­ceipt of the FAA di­rec­tive, changes to air­plane flight man­ual have to be done, for pro­ce­dures which have to be fol­lowed by the flight crew.

The DGCA has en­sured that all In­dian op­er­a­tors are aware of the FAA di­rec­tive and have taken ap­pro­pri­ate cor­rec­tive ac­tion, he ex­plained.

The Jet Air­ways spokesper­son told Mail

To­day that the air­line’s ``Max air­craft con­tinue to fly in

com­pli­ance with the air­wor­thi­ness di­rec­tive is­sued by the man­u­fac­turer and the reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties. ‘’

``The air­line is in con­tact with them and com­mit­ted to im­ple­ment all di­rec­tives or ad­vi­sories that may be pub­lished by ei­ther the man­u­fac­turer or DGCA as the safety of guests and crew is of para­mount im­por­tance at Jet Air­ways,’’ the spokesper­son added. Spicejet did not re­spond to the Mail To­day re­quest for a com­ment till the

time of gfo­ing to the press.

Jet Air­ways and Spicejet are bet­ting big on the Boe­ing 737 MAX air­craft go­ing ahead and be­tween the two of them have placed or­ders for more than 400 of th­ese air­craft.

Boe­ing had is­sued a state­ment on Novem­ber 6 say­ing it had is­sued an ``op­er­a­tions man­ual bul­letin’’ di­rect­ing op­er­a­tors to ex­ist­ing flight crew pro­ce­dures to ad­dress cir­cum­stances where there is er­ro­neous in­put from an AOA sen­sor.

Civil Avi­a­tion Min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu had also asked the

DGCA to look into the en­gines and other tech­ni­cal is­sues re­lated to air­lines fol­low­ing the plane crash in In­done­sia.

The DGCA had re­viewed the per­for­mance of Boe­ing 737 MAX 8 planes op­er­ated by Jet Air­ways and SpiceJet.

The coun­try’s avi­a­tion watch­dog had also sought de­tails about the plane crash from Boe­ing and FAA. In Septem­ber, the min­is­ter di­rected of­fi­cials con­cerned to pre­pare a com­pre­hen­sive safety au­dit plan, which in­volves as­sess­ment of safety pa­ram­e­ters of all air­lines.

Jet and SpiceJet have around six Boe­ing Max planes

A file photo of a Jet Air­ways air­craft.

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