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Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee investigators looking at the crash of Lion Air Flight JT610 have found that one of the brand new plane's "angle of attack" sensors had malfunctioned and provided inaccurate data, according to Boeing.
A crucial sensor was replaced on a Lion Air jet the day before it plunged into the Java Sea, and that sensor replacement may have exacerbated other problems with the plane, Indonesian investigators said Wednesday.
Downloaded information from the recovered flight data recorder found that there was a "different [reading] on the angle-of-attack indicator" during a Denpasar-Jakarta flight on 28 October.
It adds that this was related to the faulty airspeed indication, which was first raised at a 5 November press conference by NTSC chief Soerjanto Tjahjono.
After the replacement, however, pilots that flew a Denpasar-Jakarta flight still found a 20° difference on the left-hand angle-of-attack sensor. During this flight, the pilots implemented "a number of procedures" to rectify the issues, and the jet subsequently landed in Jakarta safely.
Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of the safety agency, said during a Wednesday briefing that it was not clear if there was a systemic problem with this type of aircraft.
“We cannot yet say that there is a design flaw with the plane,” he said, adding that the Max 8 appeared to have developed a problem with the angle of attack sensor only after technicians had changed it the day before the doomed flight.