The grieving families of those killed when a Lion Air flight plunged into the sea last month are suing Boeing over an alleged fault with the jet’s design.
Aviation specialists Wisner Law Firm filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court on behalf of the families of passengers, referring to a sensor in the Lion Air plan that may have played a role in the crash.
189 people were killed when the 737 Max Jetliner crashed into the sea off Jakarta just minutes after takeoff.
The New Daily reports the court documents state “One or more of the sensors on the accident aircraft failed and provided erroneous information to the accident aircraft’s flight control system as to the accident aircraft’s angle of attack.”
“The flight control system of the accident aircraft failed to filter out this erroneous information and commanded the accident aircraft to go into a dangerous downward dive.”
The anti-stall feature or, ‘angle of attack’ sensor, has reportedly been the focal point for investigators trying to pinpoint the cause of the crash.
Flight data retrieved from the aircraft showed airspeed indicator malfunctions on the jet’s last four flights, which Transport safety committee chairman Soerjanto Tjahjono said would have been intertwined with the sensor issue.
“The point is that after the AOA [sensor] is replaced the problem is not solved, but the problem might even increase. Is this fatal? NTSC wants to explore this,” he said, according to the ABC.
Tjahjono said the airline’s first two attempts to fix problems with the sensor failed, so they replaced it on the aircraft’s second-last flight.
During the second-last flight, the plane went into a sudden dive minutes after take-off which the pilots were able to recover from.
Boeing has since provided Lion Air with draft procedure recommendations based on how the flight crew responded to the problems on the second last flight.
The planemaker allegedly hadn’t widely disclosed that the sensor could, in some circumstances, lower the jet’s nose without input from pilots.
The exact cause of the crash is not yet known, but investigations are expected to be wrapped up later this month.
Featured image source: Sky News