Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Sensor Cited as Potential Factor in Boeing Crashes Draws Scrutiny

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
An angle-of-attack sensor recovered from the Lion Air crash off Indonesia last October.

Aviation experts say the angle-of-attack sensor on Boeing jets will get fresh scrutiny after two Boeing 737 Max airplanes crashed, in Ethiopia last week and in Indonesia in October.

Credit: Timothy McLaughlin/The Washington Post

Angle-of-attack sensors that Boeing was ordered to replace following the near-crash of an Airbus A321 in 2014 are drawing fresh scrutiny after two recent Boeing 737 disasters, including last week's deadly crash in Ethiopia.

Experts say the risks posed by a defective angle-of-attack sensor are exacerbated by the increasing role of cockpit software.

According to the experts, errors in how software interprets sensor readings can lead to unpredictable complications.

The angle-of-attack sensor measures the amount of lift generated by the wings, and its chief purpose is to warn pilots when the plane could stall from deficient lift, causing a loss of control.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Airbus A320 planes with certain sensors manufactured by United Technologies and Sextant/Thomson "appear to have a greater susceptibility to adverse environmental conditions" than sensors made by a third company.

From The Washington Post
View Full Article - May Require Paid Subscription


Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


No entries found