Boeing Co. (BA) fell 1.5% on Tuesday after a published report said the aerospace giant withheld information about potential hazards connected with a new flight-control feature that is suspected of playing a role in last month's fatal Lion Air jet crash in Indonesia.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the automated stall-prevention system on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models, under unusual conditions, can push it down unexpectedly and so strongly that flight crews can't pull it back up. The system is intended to help cockpit crews avoid mistakenly raising a plane's nose dangerously high.
Boeing told airlines in a worldwide safety bulletin roughly a week after the accident that the situation can result in a steep dive or crash even if pilots are manually flying the jetliner and don't expect flight-control computers to kick in.
The Lion Air jet crashed into the Java Sea after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 on board.
In a statement Boeing said it was deeply saddened by the loss of the Lion Air jet, adding that "We are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this incident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved."
"We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX," Boeing said. "Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing."