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Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:45 PM

Boeing's chief test pilot indicted for fraud over 737 Max crashes

Last edited Sat Oct 16, 2021, 05:35 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: Washington Post

National Security

Boeing’s chief test pilot indicted for fraud over 737 Max crashes

By Devlin Barrett and Michael Laris
Today at 6:57 p.m. EDT

A former chief test pilot for Boeing has been charged with allegedly lying to federal authorities about a part of the flight controls on 737 Max airplanes — a model that led to horrific crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed hundreds of people. (1)

The Justice Department announced the indictment Thursday of Mark A. Forkner, 49, charging that he deceived the Federal Aviation Administration during the agency’s evaluation and certification of the 737 Max airplaine.

Two 737 Max jets crashed in late 2018 and early 2019, killing 346 people and prompting airlines to ground that model of plane while authorities investigated how its computer systems may have led to the fatalities.

[Boeing CEO apologizes for lives lost in 737 MAX crashes]
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/04/04/boeing-ceo-dennis-muilenburg-apologizes-lives-lost-ethiopian-indonesian-plane-crashes/

“In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,” said Chad E. Meacham, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. “His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737 MAX flight controls.”

{snip}

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

By Devlin Barrett
Devlin Barrett writes about the FBI and the Justice Department, and is the author of "October Surprise: How the FBI Tried to Save Itself and Crashed an Election." He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for National Reporting, for coverage of Russian interference in the U.S. election. Twitter https://twitter.com/DevlinBarrett

By Michael Laris
Michael Laris writes about the transformation of the U.S. transportation system. He has covered government accountability and was a reporter in Beijing. Twitter https://twitter.com/mikelaris

(1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/text-messages-show-boeing-employees-knew-in-2016-of-problems-that-turned-deadly-on-the-737-max/2019/10/18/8578c990-f1ca-11e9-89eb-ec56cd414732_story.html

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/boeing-indict-mark-forkner-pilot/2021/10/14/166e2dfc-2d3b-11ec-985d-3150f7e106b2_story.html

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Reply Boeing's chief test pilot indicted for fraud over 737 Max crashes (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 14 OP
twin_ghost Oct 14 #1
zipplewrath Oct 14 #2
KT2000 Oct 14 #5
burrowowl Oct 14 #6
groundloop Oct 14 #3
paleotn Oct 14 #4
malthaussen Oct 15 #7
pfitz59 Oct 16 #8
speak easy Oct 16 #9

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 06:50 PM

1. The Fall Guy.

No one above him will be prosecuted.

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:28 PM

2. Sorta

Sorta the guy that "pulled the trigger". Sometime one finds themselves in a position to be the person that has to stand up. When you don't, it's on you as much as the bosses that put you in that position. I was an aerospace engineer for 37 years. There were days I had to say "no". I was often "over ruled" and it was equally as likely that my bosses "got away with it" as not. And when they didn't no one ever said "wow, you were right". But in the long term, I developed the reputation as a person that would stand their ground. It didn't always make me "popular", but it is funny, when someone knows they need the no "bullshit" answer, guess who they come to?

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 08:16 PM

5. Likely true

He was obeying his corporate overlords when he should have quit instead. Like an economist said once - the end of the world will come about because people were just trying to keep their jobs.
The guy does have blood on his hands - 2 aircraft down with everyone killed.

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Response to twin_ghost (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 08:29 PM

6. They should be!

Management set the policies and Boeing has been extremely lax, their QA person quit.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:46 PM

3. This is what happens when you trust oversight of corporations to themselves.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 07:50 PM

4. Exactly!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Oct 15, 2021, 08:55 AM

7. If you can't trust a test pilot, he isn't worth much.

One wonders if he was ordered to lie, and if so, who ordered it.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 16, 2021, 02:01 AM

8. Violated the very purpose of "test" flights

An honest pilot documents all data, good and bad. Only way to verify air worthiness and set allowable limits.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Oct 16, 2021, 02:50 AM

9. Boeing's 'management' should have been indicted for 3rd degree murder.

They were all in on it.

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