Indonesia plane crash: Victim’s father files first US lawsuit against airline manufacturer Boeing

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One of the family members of the passengers of the Lion Air flight that crashed on October 29 has sued the airlines’ manufacturer, Boeing Co. in state court in Chicago. H. Irianto, the father of Dr. Rio Nanda Pratama claims a new flight-control system incorporated in the Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner caused the crash, Bloomberg reported.

He’s seeking unspecified damages. According to investigators, 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, the report stated.

According to the Bloomberg report, Boeing and U.S. aviation regulators are considering whether to add a software fix to the 737 Max. Three U.S. pilots’ unions have raised concern about what they say is a lack of information provided by Boeing on the safety system.

Boeing spokesperson Chaz Bickers declined to comment on the lawsuit or the crash investigation, but reiterated an earlier statement that the company is “taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this incident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved”, the report quoted him as having said.

He added, “We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX.”

Southwest Airlines Co., the biggest operator of the 737 Max 8, replaced two malfunctioning flight-control sensors of the same type during the three weeks before the Lion Air craft, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a summary of the U.S. carrier’s maintenance record it reviewed.

Southwest pilots reported that they couldn’t engage throttle settings, it said.

“The removal and replacement of four sensors on a single fleet type with more than 60,000 hours of service is not statistically significant,” Southwest said in an emailed response to the report.

Boeing said it provided two updates to operators around the world, re-emphasizing existing procedures for these situations. Safety remains its top priority, it said.

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