How Boeing tweaks to 737 MAX slipped U.S. agency's radar

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Boeing Co's chief executive said on Thursday that a software update created to prevent disasters like two recent fatal crashes involving its 737 MAX is working, with about two-thirds of the fast-selling jetliner's customers having seen the fix in simulator sessions. The suit, which seeks damages for alleged securities fraud violations, said Boeing's market value plunged by almost US$20 billion after an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after take off on March 10, killing all 157 on board.

While it was designing its newest jet, Boeing chose to quadruple the power of an automated system that could push down the plane's nose - a movement that made it hard for the pilots on two doomed flights to regain control.

And Boeing released data Tuesday that showed orders for new 737 Max planes have come to a grinding halt: Only 10 of the planes were ordered in the first two months of 2019, and there were no Max orders last month.

However, it's not just victims' families suing Boeing.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg said Thursday that the changes the aircraft manufacturer is working on will make the 737 MAX "even safer by preventing erroneous angle of attack sensor readings" from triggering the MCAS. And aviation officials around the world have continued to ground the aircraft.

It removed all 34 of its Max 8 jets from service on March 13 following two deadly crashes involving other airlines.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A class-action lawsuit accuses the company of covering up safety problems with its 737 MAX.

The Boeing chief, speaking at a George W. Bush Presidential Center leadership forum in Dallas, said the last few weeks have been the most "heart wrenching" of his career.

Dennis Muilenburg, the chairman and chief executive, and Gregory Smith, the chief financial officer, are named as defendants in a case that accuses Boeing of failing to tell investors about safety deficiencies in its most popular aircraft.

Earlier this week, the family of a U.S. man who died as a result of the crash in Ethiopia filed a lawsuit against the corporation, accusing it of "corporate greed" and "serious misconduct".

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