The US’ Federal Aviation Administration is warning all airlines that operate the plane model to learn to deal with software glitches.
Lion Air’s Flight JT610 plunged into the Java Sea on October 29 shortly after take-off from Jakarta and killed everyone on board.
FAA experts said a software glitch could include receiving false information from a key sensor that could confuse crew who are manually flying and can force the plane into a steep dive.
Crash investigators suspect faulty software could have contributed to confusing the crew flying the Lion Air plane, according to the FAA.
Data from one of the aircraft’s black boxes showed the jet had problems with its airspeed on its last four flights.
The place crash was the first involving the new Boeing model and is the latest version of the US aircraft company’s best-selling twin-engined plane.
The jet was first delivered to Lion Air in mid-August, which one of the region’s budget airlines.
The US aviation regulator spokesperson said in a statement that air crash investigators had found “erroneous input” from one of the Lion Air’s “angle of attack sensors”.
The sensors monitor the so-called angle of attack of an aircraft, which is the aerodynamic calculation of the angle the wings in relation to the airflow.
The sensors feed information to the cockpit and is used by pilots so they can fly the aircraft manually and it also delivers data directly to the flight computer.
This data helps the plane’s autopilot determine if the plane is about to enter a stall, which can lead to total loss of control of an aircraft.
In some cases the autopilot will override the pilots flying the plane and then try to push down the nose.
The FAA has warned pilots of this happening and said it would “take further appropriate actions depending on the results of the investigation”.
Nick Cunningham, an aerospace analyst at Agency Partner, said these types of warnings are not unusual.
Furthermore, the warning was not directly linked to the Lion Air plane crash, but radar records show the aircraft had trouble maintaining speed before plunging into the sea.