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Former Boeing 737 Max technical pilot charged with fraud

The US Justice Department has charged the former Boeing chief technical pilot with fraud for deceiving federal regulators who have evaluated the 737 MAX, and obstructing the ability to protect passengers.

The department said that a Texas grand jury has charged Mark Forkner, 49, with six charges of plotting to defraud Boeing customers in the United States to obtain tens of millions of dollars for the company.

According to the indictment, Forkner provided the FAA’s Aircraft Assessment Group with “false, inaccurate, and incomplete information” about a new part of the flight controls for the Boeing 737 Max, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

MCAS has been linked to two fatal 737 MAX crashes over a five-month period that killed 346 people and grounded that model of aircraft for 19 months. That measure was lifted in November 2020.

“In an effort to provide funds for Boeing, Forkner withheld critical information from the regulators,” said Chad Meacham, acting US attorney general for North Texas. “His choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect passengers and left the pilots reeling, due to their lack of information. About some of the flight controls of the 737 Max.

Source: “Reuters”

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