10:53 23.02.2020 (updated 10:58 23.02.2020) Short URL
The US Attorney General's Office is investigating whether the Boeing company intentionally misled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the new 737 MAX aircraft stabilization software, writes The New York Times.
The US aeronautical giant said it was cooperating with the US Department of Justice's investigation.
In the past few months, prosecutors have questioned several Boeing employees, focusing on Mark Forkner, a former Boeing test pilot, to see if he had lied to the regulator (the FAA) about the operation of the new flight control software installed on 737 MAX planes.
The pilot's lawyer concerned has not yet provided any clarification on the matter, points Reuters.
Forkner had previously said that he himself could have unwittingly tricked the regulator, according to text messages exchanged between two Boeing employees involved in piloting and testing in 2016.
The messages suggest that they were aware of the main problems related to the Boeing 737 MAX's MCAS software, which made it difficult to control the plane and has been associated with the two air accidents that occurred in Indonesia and Ethiopia, reveals The New York Times.
The automated MCAS stabilization system would have behaved erratically during the tests, before the aircraft entered service.
It is an alarming exchange of views that took place three years ago between the then chief of MAX test pilots, Mark Forkner, and another pilot in the company. At conversation between the two, they commented on the behavior of the MCAS system in the simulator, saying that it was "rampant".
"So I basically lied to regulators (without knowing it)," said Forkner. Then explaining what happened to the aircraft, he said the plane was behaving "like crazy" and having concluded that what he saw "was atrocious".
Recently, engineers at the North American company detected a new software error in the same model of aircraft, related to the performance of the sensor that warns of malfunction in the stabilization system, writes Bloomberg.
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