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SilkAir sticks to Boeing safety advice

SilkAir is complying with a global safety warning from Boeing on its 737 Max 8 aircraft, which the regional carrier uses to fly to Australia and across the region, as investigations continue into the fatal crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia.

Boeing and US aviation authorities have issued safety warnings to all airlines with 737 Max 8 aircraft after a Lion Air plane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board on October 29.

Indonesian investigators believe the crash could be linked to problems with a sensor.

A spokesman for SilkAir, which began using 737 Max 8 aircraft for flights to Cairns and Darwin in January, said the airline was following Boeing's advice for pilots to follow its operational manual if they believed there were problems with a plane's sensors.

"SilkAir is in full compliance with the flight crew Operations Manual Bulletin issued by Boeing," he said on Thursday.

SilkAir currently uses the 737 Max 8 to fly passengers on 11 flights a week between Singapore, Darwin and Cairns.

Virgin Australia has also ordered 30 of the fuel-efficient 737 Max 8 aircraft, which are due for delivery in November 2019 and will replace its existing 737-700/800 planes.

Virgin won't be changing its order in reaction to the Lion Air crash but will adhere to any new safety recommendations from Boeing or aviation authorities if they are issued once the airline takes ownership of the new aircraft.

Indonesian investigators on Wednesday said a crucial sensor was replaced on the Lion Air jet the day before it crashed, possibly exacerbating other problems with the plane.

The "angle of attack" sensor was designed to monitor the angle of the aircraft nose to stop it from stalling and diving.

But the sensor was replaced on the doomed plane after Lion Air workers tried to fix problems with its airspeed indicator.

Boeing said it was co-operating with Indonesian authorities as they investigate the crash and that all 737 Max 8 flight crew should follow the aircraft's operations manual to help resolve any potential equipment problems.

"The investigation into Lion Air flight 610 is ongoing and Boeing continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident," Boeing said.

The warning prompted the US Federal Aviation Administration to issue its own emergency airworthiness directive, telling all airlines around the world with Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to follow correct procedures if pilots receive erroneous information from an AOA sensor.

The FAA directive has been posted on Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority's website.

"This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain," the FAA said.

© AAP 2018