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Photo: Stephen Brashear via Getty Images

In the wake of a Lion Air crash that left 189 people dead off the coast of Indonesia last week, Boeing has issued a bulletin to airlines warning that erroneous readings by a key sensor could cause 737 MAX airplanes to suddenly nosedive, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Per Axios science editor Andrew Freedman, the Lion Air crash is the first to involve the 737 MAX, which is a more powerful and efficient version of the popular 737. The aircraft is used on trans-Atlantic routes, and more than 4,700 are on order worldwide, Boeing says on its website. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to issue a directive requiring pilots to follow Boeing's safety bulletin, per Reuters.

The details: The preliminary findings of the Lion Air investigation have focused on erroneous input from one of the plane's angle of attack indicators. Such indicators feed instruments and pilots information about whether the nose is pointed up or down, and by how much. Erroneous readings could cause the plane's computers to detect an impending stall, or loss of lift, and force the nose down, overriding the pilot's inputs.

Boeing has sent 737-MAX operators instructions on how to control the plane in the event this should occur.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

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