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Former Boeing chief test pilot charged with fraud beyond the safety of the 737 Max

U.S. federal grand jury indicts former Boeing Chief test pilot of fraud allegedly fooling aviation regulators assessing the safety of 737 Max jets.

Mark Forkner, 49, currently living in Texas Charged By providing the Federal Aviation Administration with false and incomplete information about the flight control process of an airplane, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

A flight control system that could repeatedly push down the nose of a jet was a key factor in the two crashes of the 737 Max in the five months of 2018 and 2019, killing a total of 346 people.Jets have been grounded around the world for almost two years, Boeing Paid $ 2.5 billion In January as part of a postponed prosecution agreement.

“To save Boeing’s money, Forkner is alleged to have withheld important information from regulators,” said Chad Meecham, acting US lawyer in northern Texas. “His ruthless choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the public in flight, leaving the pilot in a hurry.”

I couldn’t immediately ask Falkner’s lawyer for comment.

A text message sent by Forkner, published two years ago, showed what he said. “Jedi Mind Trick Regulator”.. In one exchange in November 2016, he said the MCAS appeared to be “rampaging” in the simulator and was operating at a slower speed than he had told regulators. He added, “[S]o I basically lied to the regulator (unknowingly). “

According to the indictment, after the simulator flew, Forkner confirmed to Boeing’s senior engineers that the MCAS would operate at low speeds. However, two days after the simulator’s experience, he began urging regulators to remove MCAS from reports “because it is out of normal operation.”

“Falkner knew that, so this expression was practically wrong. [FAA regulators] “I agreed not to refer to MCAS,” the indictment said, based on old and inaccurate information.

Jet flight and pilot training manuals did not mention MCAS. The FAA was unaware that it existed until after the first crash.

Boeing and FAA declined to comment.

Boeing Max The 737NG, the company’s best-selling narrow-body jet early model, to avoid postponing airlines hesitating to bear the cost of pilot retraining.

Aircraft manufacturers, who had previously said that simulator training wasn’t necessary for Max, overturned the policy last January.

According to the indictment, Falkner has robbed US airlines, including Texas-based American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, of important economic information when deciding whether to buy Max. “.

Forkner has been charged with two and four transfer frauds related to aircraft parts in Interstate Commerce. The former imposes a penalty of up to 10 years per count and the latter imposes a penalty of 20 years per count. He will appear in court on Friday.

Former Boeing chief test pilot charged with fraud beyond the safety of the 737 Max

Source link Former Boeing chief test pilot charged with fraud beyond the safety of the 737 Max

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