However, the same MCAS system was implicated in the October crash of a 737 MAX 8 airliner off Indonesia which left 189 people dead.
The Ethiopian Airlines jet took off from Addis Ababa on March 10 and ran into trouble nearly immediately, the Journal reported.
In Vietnam, Bamboo Airways agreed to buy as many as 26 narrow-body jets from Airbus SE, just a month after saying it was considering ordering as many as 25 Boeing 737 Max planes.
Authorities in Ethiopia have already said there are "clear similarities" between the Lion Air incident and the Ethiopian Airlines crash.More news: Bringing back Luke Walton isn’t the worst idea
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Leaks this week from the crash investigation in Ethiopia and in the USA suggest an automatic anti-stall system was activated at the time of the disaster.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing recently announced software upgrades to its 737 Max planes.
"It makes no sense for Boeing - or any company for that matter - to be involved in an active investigation surrounding questions of safety while also retaining "membership" on a federal committee that recommends airline industry regulations", the New York Democrat said on Sunday.
The angle of attack sensor, at bottom center, is seen on a 737 Max aircraft at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 27, 2019. Boeing hopes a software fix that it plans to introduce may address a problem common to both accidents that killed a total of 346 people, as investigators into the two accidents focus on new anti-stall software known as MCAS.
Boeing is also revising pilot training to provide "enhanced understanding of the 737 Max" flight system and crew procedures.
The aircraft update is created to ensure the MCAS will no longer repeatedly make corrections when a pilot tries to regain control.