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Boeing cancels airline call on 737 MAX systems: sources

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FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight/File Photo

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) has canceled a conference call it had scheduled for Tuesday morning with airlines to discuss systems on the 737 MAX model that crashed in Indonesia last month, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Boeing was not immediately available to comment and it was not clear whether the call was being rescheduled.

The U.S. aircraft manufacturer has faced scrutiny by regulators and pilots over the first major accident involving the 737 MAX, the latest version of its popular narrow-body plane.

All 189 people on board a 737 MAX operated by Lion Air died when the jet crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29.

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An investigation is still underway, but questions have arisen about the role that a new emergency system on the jet, designed to prevent the 737 MAX from stalling, may have played in the crash.

After the crash, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration warned airlines that erroneous inputs from the anti-stall system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control the aircraft.

Boeing has already provided two updates for operators around the world that re-emphasize existing procedures to deal with situations relating to the system. The company has also held individual meetings with some airlines to address their concerns, sources have said.

A preliminary report on the Lion Air crash will be released on Nov. 28 or 29, according to Indonesian investigators who have analyzed the doomed jet’s flight data recorder.

Divers have yet to locate the airline’s cockpit voice recorder, which would shed light on pilot interactions, important for gaining a fuller picture of the circumstances of the crash.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski, Editing by Franklin Paul and Steve Orlofsky

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