The test pilot is accused of misleading the U.S. air traffic controller during the certification process. He faces up to 100 years in prison.
A former Boeing test pilot was indicted by a U.S. court on Thursday, Oct. 14, on charges of misleading a U.S. air traffic controller during the certification process of the 737 Max. Mark Forkner “Provides false, inaccurate and incomplete information to the company about the new Boeing 737 Max flight control system”The Ministry of Justice explains in a press release the origin of the two accidents, known as the MCAS.
According to case documents, the officer found information about a significant change made to the software in 2016. The latter does not include a reference to MCAS in an essential document and implicitly in training manuals for pilots. Mark Forkner, 49, is accused of conspiring to lose essential information of Boeing customers who bought the 737 Max. He boasted that he could trick his FAA intermediaries into getting certification for the MCAS anti-stall organization, according to documents released in early 2020.
737 Max was formally approved in March 2017. In October 2018 and March 2019, two accidents involving Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes killed 346 people, respectively. In both cases, the flight control software, MCAS, was taken away based on false information sent by one of the aircraft’s two inspections. The other 737 Max all hit the ground running for twenty months, after changing software and being allowed to fly again by the end of 2020.
Boeing has acknowledged its responsibility in dealing with the authorities and has agreed to pay more than $ 2.5 billion to settle some cases. Mark Forkner, 49, has filed two fraud cases involving four cases of aircraft parts and electronic communications fraud by a grand arbitral tribunal in Texas. If convicted, he could theoretically face up to 100 years in prison.
“Mark Forkner withheld essential information from regulator in an attempt to save money for Boeing.”Texas federal attorney Chad Remain said in the statement. “The judiciary cannot tolerate such scams, especially in a sector where stocks are high.”, He added.
When asked by AFP, Boeing declined to comment.
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