Boeing knew about 737-Max faults two years before fatal crashes

MplsGopher

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https://www.npr.org/2019/10/18/771451904/boeing-pilots-detected-737-max-flight-control-glitch-two-years-before-deadly-cra

In a transcript obtained by NPR, Forkner writes that "there are still some real fundamental issues" with the system that he says Boeing engineers and test pilots "claim that they are aware of."

As the two pilots banter back and forth in the messages, Forkner says the system is "running rampant in the sim on me," then adding, "I'm leveling off at like 4000 ft, 230 knots and the plane is trimming itself like crazy."

Forkner calls the problem "egregious" and writes that he had "basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)" before experiencing the glitch, when he had told the FAA that MCAS was safe and did not need to be included in pilot manuals.

Later emails, also newly disclosed, show Forkner still telling the FAA that MCAS didn't need to be covered in the manuals.

"If you read the whole chat, it is obvious that there was no 'lie,' " Forkner's lawyer, David Gerger, told news services by email on Friday. "The simulator was not reading right and had to be fixed to fly like the real plane. 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."

Neither Forkner nor Gerger has responded to NPR requests for comment.

"I'm outraged," said House transportation committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who is leading a congressional investigation into how the 737 Max was developed and certified by the FAA. He sharply criticized Boeing for turning over thousands of pages of other documents related to the plane's design and certification process to the committee but not this one, even though the company acknowledges it discovered it in June.

"Somehow they saw fit, even though they've had it four months, not to provide us this document, which in my mind is the smoking gun," DeFazio told NPR.

Boeing turned over the instant message exchange and other documents to the FAA Thursday night.

In a statement, the FAA says it "finds the substance of the document concerning" and the agency is considering how to respond.

FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson also wrote a terse letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, demanding to know why the company delayed several months before telling the FAA about the messages.

"I expect your explanation immediately regarding the content of this document and Boeing's delay in disclosing the document to its safety regulator," Dickson wrote.

Disgusting.


I want prison time.

I want ten figures of settlement payments.

I want Boeing bankrupted. I don't give a s___t if they're too big to fail. Start up a new company to make planes.


I want 5-10 years of approvals process to prove that the 737-Max won't murder more people, before we allow those planes back in the sky.
 

Stan

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No doubt there should be prison time. What a f'd up story.
 

stocker08

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Super messed up story. What I don't seem to understand is....why did Boeing push for the approval and the delivery of these jets if they knew about these issues? Was this an issue of gross incompetence? Too much invested in the 737-Max so they just buried the problem and hoped that it wouldn't actually end up occurring? I'd really like to know what their thought process was here.
 

MplsGopher

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Super messed up story. What I don't seem to understand is....why did Boeing push for the approval and the delivery of these jets if they knew about these issues? Was this an issue of gross incompetence? Too much invested in the 737-Max so they just buried the problem and hoped that it wouldn't actually end up occurring? I'd really like to know what their thought process was here.
I’m pulling this completely out of thin air as a wild guess: they didn’t seriously believe this failure mode would ever happen in the real world.

I guess they had testing results showing otherwise and strong armed over them.


They made a huge bet on this path, and they could t afford for it to be delayed.
 

stocker08

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I’m pulling this completely out of thin air as a wild guess: they didn’t seriously believe this failure mode would ever happen in the real world.

I guess they had testing results showing otherwise and strong armed over them.


They made a huge bet on this path, and they could t afford for it to be delayed.
That's the only thing that I can think of. They made a really nefarious gamble.
 
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