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Sensor cited as a potential factor in Boeing crashes is reviewing



In 2014, Lufthansa Flight 1829 took off from Bilbao in Spain and was rising normally when the planet's nose unexpectedly dropped. The aircraft – an Airbus A321 with 109 passengers on board – began to fall. The co-pilot tried to lift his nose with his controls. The aircraft pointed even further ahead. He tried again. Nothing, according to a report from German investigators.

When the Lufthansa plane fell from 31,000 feet, the captain pulled back on his stick as hard as possible. The nose finally responded. But he struggled to keep the plane.

A call to a ground crew determined the planet's angular angle sensors – which detect if the wings have enough lift to continue flying – must have malfunction, causing the Airbus anti-theft software to force the plane nose down. The pilots shut down the problematic unit and continued the flight. Aviation authorities in Europe and the United States ultimately ordered the exchange of attack sensors on many Airbus models.

Today, flight experts say the attack sensor on the Boeing rays will be re-examined after two Boeing 737 Max aircraft crashed, in Ethiopia last week and in Indonesia in October.

Accident Investigators have raised concerns about the role of the sensor – a device used on almost all commercial flights – in the October crash of Lion Air Flight 610. There is concern that it may have sent hide signals to new software on the flight that automatically suppresses the planet's nose to prevent a boat.

It is not clear whether the attack sensor played a role in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said on Sunday that his company is completing software updates and pilot training protocols to resolve issues that have arisen "in response to incorrect sensor assets. "He did not specify which sensors.

Muilenberg's comments followed a statement by Ethiopia's transport secretary earlier Sunday that the planet's black boxes showed "clear similarities" between the Indonesian and Ethiopian crashes. Aviation authorities around the world founded Boeing 737 Max last week of concern over aviation safety.

In interviews at the end of last week, aviation experts said there was no reason for a wide alarm about the sensors. But six experts said the risks of an incorrect attack sensor are enhanced by the increasing role of cockpit automation. It is an example of how the same technology that makes aircraft safer – automated software – can be undone by a seemingly small problem.

"The sensor goes out is serious," says Clint Balog, test pilot and associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "But it can become critical of software."

Most commercial pilots know today how to respond to a faulty sensor, said Shem Malmquist, a Boeing 777 captain and a visiting professor at the Florida Institute of Technology.

But potential complications arise with how the software interprets what the sensor tells it.

"When you introduce computer controls, you get interactions that are difficult to predict," Malmquist said.

Undo attack sensors have been flagged as problems more than 50 times on US commercial aircraft over the past five years, although no accidents have occurred over millions of miles flying, according to reports submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration's Service Problem Reporting Database. It makes it a relatively unusual problem, experts say – but also one with a magnified significance because of its prominent role in aviation programs.

"It's remarkable," said David Soucie, a former FAA maintenance inspector.

The sensor is especially useful for night flying, Soucie said, but the loss alone should not create problems that pilots cannot handle.

The FAA reports contain 19 reported cases of sensor problems on the Boeing aircraft, such as a flight from American Airlines last year explaining an emergency when the aircraft stall warning system expired, despite normal flight speed. Boeing 737-800 landed safely. Maintenance personnel replaced three parts, including the angle-of-attack sensor, according to the FAA database.

In 2017, an American Airlines-operated Boeing 767, which led to Zurich, declared an emergency and returned to New York. Another attack sensor was replaced. And an American Airlines 767 was forced to return to Miami in 2014 following an emergency due to an incorrect attack sensor.

A spokesman from Boeing refused to comment on this report. The FAA did not respond to a request for comment.

The sensors for the angles of the lethal Lion Air flight were made by Minnesota-based Rosemount Aerospace according to a photograph of the part that Indonesian officials showed reporters after the recovery of the wreck. It is a model commonly used on commercial aircraft.

A spokesman for Rosemount's parent company, United Technologies, declined to comment.

The angle-of-attack sensor measures the amount of lift generated by the wings. The name refers to the angle between the wing and the coming air. The main purpose is to warn pilots when the plane can be stolen from too little lift, which leads to loss of control.

Many of the sensors include a small vane attached to the outside of a commercial aircraft. Most aircraft have two or three blades as part of a redundant system. But they are not complicated machines. Wright brothers used a version on their first flight.

Too much confidence in the sensors can also cause problems. One of the most serious casualties associated with attack sensors occurred in 2008, when XL Airways Germany Flight 888T crashed into the Mediterranean and killed seven people. The French authorities blamed the watertight angles on the Airbus 320 plane and said they generated erroneous readings and set up a chain of events that resulted in a boat.

According to investigators, the lower aircraft's sensors were made by Rosemount, the same company that made the sensors on the Lion Air crash. At that time, Rosemount was also called Goodrich, the company that took place to the space manufacturer at that time.

In the Lion Air crash, pilots fought for control with 737 Max's automatic flight controls – Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS. Incorrect readings from the sensors for the angles can lead to the MCAS believing that the aircraft was in danger of remaining, just as it did from Indonesia, according to the Indonesian investigator's preliminary report. Getting speed with diving can prevent a boat.

After the crash, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive in November for 737 Max 8 and 9 models that warned of an incorrect high reading from an attack sensor "may cause flight crew to have trouble controlling the aircraft."

Less is known about it Ethiopian airline crash. But it involves the same type of aircraft and crashed at a similar point in its flight path as the Lion Air planet, according to investigators.

Both planes were equipped with MCAS, which uses angle-of-attack sensors to determine if an aircraft is approaching a stall.

Airbus equips many of its commercial headlights with its own anti-stall software based on an automated process.

During the Lufthansa flight in 2014, incorrect information from the angle of attack sensors triggered the software and pulled down the planet's nose, according to German aviation scientists. The program believed that the plane reached a stall. The captain could eventually override the automated system, and the pilots, after talking to a maintenance crew, identified the probable problem and continued the flight to Munich.

Investigators later found that two of the angle-of-attack sensors were

The European authorities and the FAA have issued airworthiness directives for several years to address sensor problems on airbuses.

Aircraft A320 plan with some sensors made by two companies – United Technologies, parent company Rosemount, making Boeing sensors; and Sextant / Thomson – "seems to have greater sensitivity to negative environmental conditions" than sensors manufactured by a third company, the FAA said.

An important difference between the Lufthansa incident and the two 737 Max accidents, aviation experts said, was where they occurred.

The Lufthansa plane swung at 31,000 feet when launched in a steep dive. It dropped 4000 feet in less than a minute before the pilots returned the control.

If the sensor's problem had hit shortly after the departure, as investigators suspect it did with the Lion Air crash, that event could have ended in disaster. [19659039] was thirdPartyFunctions = []; window.addEventListener ("DOMContentLoaded", function () {});
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