Airlines alerted on Boeing MAX
Sequel to Indonesian plane crash last week
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.