FAA says Boeing will fix 737 Max 8 system
BEIJING (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration says it expects Boeing will soon complete improvements to an automated anti-stall system that is suspected of contributing to a deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 in October.
The FAA said Monday that Boeing will also update training requirements and flight crew manuals related to the system.
The system automatically points the plane's nose down if sensors indicate the plane could be in danger of losing lift, or stalling. Sensors on the plane operated by Indonesia's Lion Air gave out faulty readings on its last four flights.
On the fatal October flight, pilots apparently struggled in vain to fight against the automated nose-down commands.
The FAA tried to discourage comparisons between the Lion Air crash and Sunday's deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8. Both performed erratically shortly after takeoff, then went into nosedives. Weather did not appear to be a factor in either one.
"External reports are drawing similarities between (the Ethiopian) accident and the Lion Air Flight 610 accident," the FAA said. "However, this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions."
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State-run carrier Oman Air says it is in close contact with Boeing after the crash of an Ethiopian jetliner, the same model that it uses widely.
Oman Air tweeted Monday that is talking to Boeing "to understand if there are any implications" for other airlines operating Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
It added: "Oman Air's primary and overriding consideration is the safety and well-being of its staff and guests."
Oman Air operates five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Oman is a sultanate on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula.
The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 on Sunday killed 157 people. A similar Lion Air plane crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.
Chinese and Indonesian regulators ordered their airlines to temporarily ground their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.