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US News Messages from former Boeing test pilot reveal 737 Max concerns

14:00  19 october  2019
14:00  19 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system. Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience

A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system.

Employees walk by the end of a 737 Max aircraft at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington. © Reuters Employees walk by the end of a 737 Max aircraft at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington.

A former senior test pilot for Boeing told a colleague he "unknowingly" misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system.

The system was later found to be at fault in two fatal crashes involving the company's 737 Max aircraft.

Pilot Mark Forkner told another Boeing employee in 2016 that the flight system, called MCAS, was "egregious" and "running rampant" while he tested it in a flight simulator.

"So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)," wrote Mr Forkner, then Boeing's chief technical pilot for the 737, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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A former senior test pilot for Boeing told a colleague he "unknowingly" misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system. The system was later found to be at fault in two fatal crashes involving the company's 737 Max aircraft. Pilot Mark Forkner told another Boeing employee in 2016

A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system. Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience

The exchange of messages, first reported by the Reuters news agency, appears to be the first publicly known observations that the system showed signs of erratic behaviour during testing.

The exchange occurred as Boeing was trying to persuade the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that MCAS was safe. The FFA certified the plane without fully understanding MCAS, a panel of international safety regulators said.

Dennis Muilenburg wearing a suit and tie: The FAA is demanding answers from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg © Sky News Screen Grab The FAA is demanding answers from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

Mr Forkner also lobbied the FAA to remove mention of MCAS from the operating manual and pilot training for the Max, and said the system would only operate in rare circumstances.

The FAA allowed Boeing to do so, and most pilots did not know about MCAS until after the first crash in October 2018 in Indonesia.

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A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system. Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience

A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system. Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience

The plane was grounded worldwide in March after a second crash, in Ethiopia.

Boeing submitted a transcript of the messages to Congress and the Transportation Department on Thursday.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio said this was the first time Boeing had submitted the transcript.

  Messages from former Boeing test pilot reveal 737 Max concerns © Reuters

He said: "We have received hundreds of thousands of pages of documents from Boeing, but not this one.

"This was intentionally withheld from us, which is absolutely outrageous."

He called it a smoking gun of Boeing wrongdoing.

FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson demanded an explanation from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg as to why the company waited several months before telling the FAA about the exchange of messages.

He said in a letter to the airline: "I expect your explanation immediately regarding the content of this document and Boeing's delay in disclosing the document to its safety regulator."

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A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that he unknowingly misled safety regulators about problems with a flight-control system. Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience

Messages reveal a top Boeing pilot knew about problems with the 737 Max 's 'egregious' behavior Boeing said it found the internal instant messages sent by the pilot , Mark Forkner, "some months ago The FAA told Reuters that it found the messages " concerning " and that it was "reviewing this

The FAA said in a statement that it "finds the substance of the document concerning" and is deciding what action to take.

Boeing sent the transcript to the Justice Department earlier this year but gave it to Congress only this week in anticipation of Mr Muilenburg's testimony before the transport committee, due on 30 October.

Boeing said the transcript contained the communications of a former employee.

Mr Forkner's lawyer, David Gerger, said the pilot was indicating in messages to a colleague that the flight simulator was not working like the plane.

Mr Gerger said: "If you read the whole chat, it is obvious that there was no 'lie'.

"Mark's career - at Air Force, at FAA, and at Boeing - was about safety. And based on everything he knew, he absolutely thought this plane was safe."

The disclosure of the internal Boeing communications comes just a week after international regulators implicated the company for not doing more to keep the FAA informed about MCAS, a new automated flight system that was not included in previous versions of the 737.

Before crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, MCAS was activated by a single faulty sensor and pushed the nose of each plane down and pilots were unable to regain control.

The idea that a plane could crash because of one bad sensor - with no backup - is emerging as a key criticism of Boeing's design of the Max and FAA's certification of the plane.

Boeing is updating software and computers to tie MCAS to two sensors instead of one, and to make the nose-down command less powerful and easier for pilots to overcome.

It said its CEO had contacted Mr Dickson to respond to his concerns.

"Mr Muilenburg assured the Administrator that we are taking every step possible to safely return the MAX to service," the company said in a statement.

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