Text messages between two Boeing employees implying they “lied to the regulators” about problems with the safety software of 737 MAX passenger jets have been reportedly given to investigators, as the planes grounded.
The uncovered communication exchanges from 2016 between MAX chief technical pilot Mark Forkner and another unnamed pilot at Boeing are now with the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Seattle Times reported last month that he repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination to avoid turning over documents subpoenaed by the Department of Justice.
The MCAS anti-stall system has been blamed for causing the crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jets, which claimed 346 lives.
All 737 MAX planes were grounded after the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019, and remain out of service the world over, pending investigations by US regulators.
The 737 MAX was Boeing’s most popular narrow-body passenger jet, used by major US airlines and around the world. With new, bigger engines added to the body originally designed in the 1960’s, it required complex software controls to keep the plane balanced.
Multiple revelations about software problems and procedural flaws over the past six months have raised doubts that the planes would ever come back into service, as both passengers and pilots appear to have lost all confidence in the model.
ABC Flash Point News 2019.