China Asks 737 Max Operators to Update Manuals After Lion Crash

(Bloomberg) -- China’s aviation regulator ordered the nation’s airlines operating Boeing Co.’s 737 Max planes to update their flight manuals after a potential safety issue linked to the crash last month in Indonesia.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China issued directives and specific operational requirements for flight crews on Nov. 9, a day after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a similar emergency airworthiness warning, Zhang Sen, a deputy director at the Chinese regulator told reporters on Friday in Beijing.

Investigators probing the Lion Air accident that killed 189 people off Jakarta believe an erroneous sensor prompted a computerized safety system to aggressively push the jet into a dive as pilots were trying to deal with multiple malfunctions. While pilots in the U.S. have raised concerns about what they say is a lack of information provided by Boeing, the manufacturer and regulators are considering whether to add a software fix.

Boeing, re-emphasizing existing procedures for these situations, said that it has provided two updates to airlines on the new safety feature and was confident in the safety of the 737 Max family of jets. The company added it is “taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this incident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved.”

Chinese airlines are among the top customers for the Max planes, with more than 60 in service, according to Zhang. Air China Ltd. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. have received 11 each, China Southern Airlines Co. has taken 12 while Xiamen Airlines Co. got eight, according to Boeing’s order book as of October this year.

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