© A Reuters employee walks past a Boeing 37 Max parked at Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Washington, USA, January 10, 2000. Reuters / Lindsay Wasson / File
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former chief technical pilot at Boeing (NYSE) Co. was accused of fraud by federal regulators who assessed the company’s 737 MaxJet on Thursday, accusing the airline of obstructing passenger safety and “causing trouble to pilots.” The U.S. Department of Justice said.
A grand jury in Texas has indicted Said year-old Mark Faulkner on charges of conspiracy to defraud Boeing’s US-based airline customers of millions of dollars for Boeing.
Boeing declined to comment. A lawyer at Forkner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the complaint, Farconer, in the run-up to the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to approve the 737 MAX in 2017, provided the FAA Aircraft Assessment Group with “new false, inaccurate and incomplete information” on flight control for the Boeing 737 Max, called Managing Characteristics.
MCAS, a software feature designed to automatically push the nose of an aircraft under certain conditions, was linked to two fatal crashes of the 737 Max in five months that killed 346 people and caused the FAA to ground the aircraft for 19 months, an action that Was withdrawn in November 2020.
“In an effort to save Boeing’s money, Farconer has complained that critical information has been withheld from regulators,” said Chad Mecham, acting U.S. attorney for North Texas. “His reckless choice to confuse the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the aircraft’s flying public and left pilots, lacking information about specific 737 MAX flight controls.”
The FAA declined to comment.
In January, Boeing agreed to pay https://www.reuters.com/article/boeing-737max-justice-int/boeing-to-pay-2-5-billion-to-settle-us-criminal-probe-into – 737-max-crashes-idUSKBN29D07Q More than 2.5 2.5 billion in fines and compensation after reaching a delayed prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the Max crash, costing Boeing more than 20 20 billion.
The January deal misrepresented Boeing’s behavior and said it was holding the largest U.S. aircraft manufacturer “accountable for the criminal misconduct of its employees.” https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/boeing-charged-737-max-fraud-conspiracy-and-agrees-pay-over-25-billion
In January, Boeing admitted in court documents that it had defrauded the FAA about MCAS through two former employees.
Prosecutors noted that a key FAA document lacked any reference to MCAS, and consequently a lack of reference to aircraft manuals and pilot-training materials for U.S.-based airlines.
A November 2016 message from Forkner stated that he works at “JADI-Mind Tricking Regulators” which I have received from the FAA for training.
If pilot simulator training is required for FAA MAX pilots, Boeing will have to pay Southwest Airlines (NYSE 🙂 about ০০ 100,000 million to meet the simulator-based pilot training requirements.
In 2019, pilots can start flying MAX before FAA simulator training.
Forkner has been charged with two counts of fraud and four counts of wire fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate trade. He is expected to appear in his primary court in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday.
If convicted, he could face up to several decades in prison.