United said: "We are in receipt of a Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin, issued by Boeing, which applies to the 16 737 Max 8 aircraft now in our fleet".
"The plane and the pilot have been grounded for investigation", said Pramintohadi Sukarno, a senior ministry official.
The AD followed Boeing's issuing of an operations manual bulletin (OMB), asking 737 MAX operators to remind pilots of how to handle "erroneous" information from the aircraft's angle of attack sensors.
The FAA emergency directive warns that the "erroneous inputs can potentially make the horizontal stabilizers repeatedly pitch the nose of the airplane downward, making the aircraft hard to control".
A Lion Air plane clipped a pole as it taxied to the runway at Bengkulu airport on Sumatra island on Wednesday (Nov 7), causing its left wing to tear and forcing all passengers to disembark.
Boeing's safety bulletin also instructs flight crews on the potential malfunction, and the ways in which pilots should respond should the error occur.
"We also plan to conduct a flight reconstruction to see the impact of the AOA sensor damage in the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility in Seattle".
According to The Seattle Times' aerospace reporter, if the AoA sensor falsely indicates that the plane's nose is too high, the automatic system response is to "trim" the plane's horizontal tail to begin putting the nose down. Everyone on board was killed when it plunged into the sea moments after takeoff.
Boeing has delivered 219 Max planes - the latest and most advanced 737 jets - since the models made their commercial debut previous year with a Lion Air subsidiary.
Boeing is involved in the ongoing investigation with the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee and other government authorities into the Lion Air crash and "continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance".
"This is all coming from the Indonesian crash", said the person briefed on the Boeing bulletin. Boeing has more than 4,500 orders for the airliners, which feature larger engines, more aerodynamic wings and an upgraded cockpit with larger glass displays. When the AOA sensor input to the computer is erroneous, it can result in a trim of the stabilizer to a nose down position in increments lasting up to 10 seconds.