Ex-Boeing 737 Max Chief Technical Pilot Charged With Fraud - Justice Dept.

© REUTERS / Matt McKnightA Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A former chief technical pilot for Boeing has been charged for deceiving the US Federal Aviation Administration during the evaluation and certification process for the 737 Max airplane, the Justice Department said in a press release.
"A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas returned an indictment today charging a former Chief Technical Pilot for The Boeing Company (Boeing) with deceiving the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) in connection with the FAA AEG’s evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane, and scheming to defraud Boeing’s US‑based airline customers to obtain tens of millions of dollars for Boeing," the release said on Thursday.
The Justice Department said Mark Forkner, 49, allegedly provided US federal regulators with materially false, inaccurate, and incomplete information about a new system of the flight controls of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Pilots received no training about the new system used in the 737 MAX flight controls because of Forkner's actions, the release said.
An Aeromexico Boeing 737 MAX 9 cockpit, part of the new airplanes incorporated to its fleet, is pictured at the Benito Juarez International airport, in Mexico City, Mexico, July 14, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.08.2021
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As a result, the 737 MAX aircraft was grounded worldwide between March 2019 and December 2020 due to the deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
According to investigations, the reason for both incidents was an error in the aircraft's flight control software (MCAS).
Forkner is charged with two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud.
He faces up to 100 years in prison if convicted, the release said.
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