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    DGCA asks Jet Airways, SpiceJet to take corrective action on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

    DGCA asks Jet Airways, SpiceJet to take corrective action on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

    DGCA asks Jet Airways, SpiceJet to take corrective action on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
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    By Anu Sharma   IST (Updated)


    The latest directive follows advisories issued by US watchdog Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing regarding the B 737 MAX planes after the crash of a Lion Air aircraft in Indonesia last month.

    In light of the latest findings in Lion Air plane crash, Indian aviation regulator DGCA has asked Jet Airways and SpiceJet to undertake corrective action proposed by Boeing and the US aviation regulator on their Boeing 737 MAX planes.
    Currently, Jet Airways and SpiceJet fly Boeing 737 MAX planes in India. Together, there are at least six such aircraft with the two carriers and over 400 are yet to be delivered.
    "Based on the initial investigation of Lion Air Aircraft Accident, US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) on November 7," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a statement. "Boeing released a bulletin about the issue on November 6. Both the documents address erroneous high Angle Of Attack sensor input and corrective action for the same as it has a  potential for repeated nose-down trim commands of horizontal stabiliser,"
    The condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain, DGCA added.
    The emergency airworthiness directive from FAA and Boeing comes after the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee, the agency probing the cause of Lion Air flight 610 crash, indicated in its initial findings that the plane, a Boeing 737 MAX, experienced erroneous input from one of its Angle of Attack sensors.
    An angle of attack sensor controls the angle of the nose of the plane with respect to the oncoming air, which means, any faulty signal received from this sensor, if left unaddressed, can cause the plane to go out of control after significant loss in altitude.
    "On November 6, 2018, Boeing issued an Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB) directing operators to existing flight crew procedures to address circumstances where there is erroneous input from an AOA sensor," the aircraft manufacturer said in a statement.
    Taking note of the safety bulletin issued by FAA and Boeing, DGCA on Thursday said that it has ensured that all Indian operators are aware of the directive and have taken appropriate corrective action. It has also said that within three days of the receipt of this directive, airplane flight manual have to be changed for procedures which have to be followed in case of such a faulty input.
    While SpiceJet did not comment on the matter, Jet Airways said that safety at the airline is of paramount importance.
    "Jet Airways' Max aircraft continue to fly in compliance with the Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the manufacturer and the regulatory authorities. The airline is in contact with them and committed to implementing 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 Mumbai-based airline said.
    Now, there are two points which need immediate answers. Experts say that this safety directive is basically telling pilots to be alert and that eventually, there will have to be a technical fix but when will that take place is a question that Boeing, FAA and DGCA has to answer soon.
    Another question is whether such a major finding can impact the order book of Boeing 737 MAX planes across the world, and especially in India.
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