Pilots says Boeing didn't disclose jet's new control feature

General Manager of Lion Air's Angkasa Training Center Captain Dibyo Soesilo gestures as he explains the general training curriculum to the media at the airline group's training center near Jakarta Indonesia

The pilots say they were not trained in new features of an anti-stall system in the plane that differ from previous models of the 737.

"It is not very unlikely" that Boeing knew about the problem, he said, warning that "more than 200 planes are concerned and this could happen tomorrow again".

The brand new Boeing 737 went down just minutes after take-off from Jakarta on Monday, killing all 189 people on board.

Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu says the firm's estimate "assumes deliveries of the 737 reach an average rate of 70/month in Nov. -Dec., which appears feasible, but rather hard".

That's become a subject of debate in the wake of last month's fatal Lion Air crash in Indonesia and the potential role played by an automatic control system that Boeing added to new-model 737s.

Stalls are one of the most common causes of airplanes crashes.

The MCAS system relies on readings from sensors on the plane, including devices that monitor how air is flowing over the wings.

Preliminary findings from investigators looking into the October 29 crash of the Lion Air 737 MAX 8 suggest that faulty angle-of-attack data contributed to the drastic ups and downs that preceded the loss of the plane and all 189 people who were aboard.

Even though this problem was-according to investigators-not covered in the operating manual, pilots did have access to a checklist created to turn off errant systems when the plane started nosing downwards at the wrong time, said Soejono, a Lion Air instructor who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

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Normally, you must document the aircraft manufacturer such Changes in the Software in the flight manual for the type for the pilots and a failure of such a system for the retraining exercise.

That is critical information for pilots, which the association says was never communicated to them.

Boeing on Saturday issued a safety bulletin to airlines, about a week after the crash, that such an event can result in a steep dive or a crash even when the crew is flying manually and do not expect the automated system to take control of the aircraft. At three different airports, Lion Air maintenance crews tried to fix various problems concerning erroneous airspeed and other data, declaring the plane fit to fly.

Soerjanto said on Tuesday that the pilot of that flight, which was travelling from Bali to Jakarta, reacted quickly to the data discrepancy and switched off the tail trim mechanism that might have caused the plane to nose-dive.

Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American, said his airline, which flies the smaller 737 Max 8, has given similar advice to its pilots.

Feinstein said American updated its pilot manuals on Friday.

Although attention is now centred on whether Boeing may have left carriers around the world in the dark about an important modification to the Max 8, Indonesian investigators have also focused on Lion Air's many safety lapses, which have led to at least 15 major incidents since the carrier began operations at the turn of the century.

The oversight has since been corrected by Boeing - but not in time to potentially help the pilots of the ill-fated Lion Air flight. "The pilots have not done any training for this manoeuvre because the DGCA has permitted them to do training on B737NG simulators which are not programmed for this manoeuvre".

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