April 29, 2019 / 8:42 PM / a year ago

Boeing says did not intentionally deactivate 737 MAX safety feature

April 29 (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Monday it did not “intentionally or otherwise” deactivate a safety alert for its angle-of-attack sensors on its 737 MAX aircraft, responding to reports the planemaker failed to tell Southwest Airlines Co and the U.S aviation regulator that the safety feature was deactivated before recent crashes.

“The disagree alert was tied or linked into the angle of attack indicator, which is an optional feature on the MAX. Unless an airline opted for the angle of attack indicator, the disagree alert was not operable,” Boeing said in a statement.

It said the disagree alert is not necessary for the safe operation of the airplane.

The company said following software modifications all new MAX aircraft will have an activated and operable disagree alert and an optional angle of attack indicator, while current MAX airplanes will have the ability to activate the disagree alert.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg was grilled at a press conference earlier on Monday, following two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX plane. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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