Boeing says optional 737 Max alert was ‘not activated as intended’

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However, CNN reported that one of the complaints is a new issue: A "foreign object" that damaged wiring attached to the sensor.

Some of the problems reportedly forced pilots into emergency landings or abandoned take-offs.

Boeing's statement comes in response to those reports. An AOA sensor was then replaced.

Meanwhile, one of Australia's largest airlines, Virgin, announced plans to delay delivery of its order of 48 Boeing 737 MAX jets, citing safety concerns.

"Every day 5.3 million people fly safely on Boeing airplanes".

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"Safety is always the number one priority for Virgin Australia", said the company's chief executive Paul Scurrah. "That's important because Boeing made the decision to rely on them as single sources for streams of data".

Daniel Johnson, a Boeing shareholder on and off since 1984, said it had been "a great investment, better than anything else".

The preliminary report into the Ethiopian disaster showed the plane began to dive after faulty data had been fed into the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) via AOA sensor, activating the system without the pilots' inputs.

"We want the airplane to behave in the air similar to the previous generation of 737s - that's a preferred pilot feel for the airplane, how it feels as they're flying it, and MCAS is created to provide those kind of handling qualities at high angle of attack". All told, the accidents killed 346 people.

She said after the accident, Boeing told Southwest the signals were "turned off unless they were specifically designated as being turned on" - prompting the airline to choose that option for all its aircraft. Critics question why the airplane's system wasn't originally designed that way.

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"Overall, our talented test pilots have made 146 737 MAX flights totaling roughly 246 hours of air time with the updated software, and almost 90 percent of our 50-plus MAX operators around the globe have experienced the software update themselves during one of our simulator sessions", Muilenburg said.

Last year, before the Lion crash, inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration discovered that the manufacturer had de-activated a signal created to advise the cockpit crew of a malfunctioning of the MCAS system, the source said. It met Boeing's design and safety criteria, and adhered to certification protocols, the CEO added.

The airframe manufacturer argues there are no pilot actions or procedures during flight which require knowledge of angle of attack and says flight crew instead focus on roll, pitch, altitude, heading and vertical speed.

But it has defended the design of the MAX saying multiple factors can contribute to catastrophic accidents. Boeing has said such a situation can be mitigated by deactivating the system, but reports have suggested that did not work before the Ethiopian crash, as the system re-engaged itself.

The AOA sensor is believed to have played a role in the crashes of two 737 Max 8s in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Boeing CEO and Chairman Dennis Muilenburg promised on Monday to win back the public's trust after facing tough questions following the two crashes.

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