Test Pilot for Boeing’s 737 MAX Will Be Hit With Federal Charges Within Weeks, Says Report
A test pilot for Boeing’s 737 MAX is reportedly facing federal charges over allegations that he misled aviation regulators about critical safety issues blamed for two plane crashes that killed a total of 346 people. On Thursday night, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mark Forkner—the chief technical pilot during the development of the 737 MAX—will face prosecution “in the coming weeks.” A U.S. House investigation previously found that Forkner told regulators that the faulty MCAS flight control system was safe despite telling colleagues that the system was “egregious” following simulator tests. Forkner allegedly told one colleague in the messages: “I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly).” The MCAS system was blamed for the October 2018 Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 passengers, as well as a March 2019 crash in Ethiopia that killed 157. Neither Boeing nor Forkner commented on the Journal’s report.