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U.S. Probed Boeing 737 Max Software and Pilot Manuals Last Year

  • Agents began investigating MCAS weeks after Lion Air crash
  • Inquiry has taken on new urgency after Ethiopian disaster
Investigators inspect the wreckage from flight JT610 in Jakarta on Nov. 4.
Investigators inspect the wreckage from flight JT610 in Jakarta on Nov. 4.Photographer: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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U.S. investigators began an inquiry into a stall-prevention feature in Boeing Co.’s 737 Max jets just weeks after a Lion Air jet plunged into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia, people familiar with the matter said.

A law enforcement agent with the Transportation Department Inspector General’s office contacted at least one Federal Aviation Administration official a few weeks after the crash to ask about how the system was certified, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the probe is confidential.