Ex-Boeing pilot found guilty of 737 MAX crash in U.S.

A federal grand jury in Texas found a former Boeing pilot guilty of giving air safety regulators false information about the flight control system, a failure of which was linked to two crashes of Boeing 737 MAX. It was reported Friday, October 15, by The Wall Street Journal newspaper with reference to the U.S. Department of Justice statement.

Mark Forkner, 49, was charged with six counts of fraud. According to the investigation, he persuaded the FAA to approve pilot training materials that lacked critical information about the flight control system.

Court documents cited by the publication note that Faulkner “abused trust by intentionally withholding critical information.”

Faulkner will testify in court Oct. 15.

Boeing 737 MAH flights were suspended in March 2019 when 157 people died in a crash of that model Ethiopian Airlines plane. Prior to that, in October 2018, 189 people died in the crash of an Indonesian Lion Air Boeing.

Boeing admitted that in both cases there was a malfunction in the maneuverability improvement system. After that, several states suspended the operation of aircraft of this series for safety reasons.

In November 2020, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration allowed to resume the operation of these airliners. In January 2021, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced the approval of the modified Boeing 737 MAX for operation in Europe.

A few months later Boeing recommended 16 of its customers to eliminate a potential problem with the electrical equipment in the 737 MAX. However, the media later reported that potential electrical problems on the aircraft in this series could affect more components than previously thought.

On July 17, the U.S. FAA ordered U.S. airlines to check more than 2,500 Boeing 737s for faulty cabin pressure switches. It was emphasized that such a malfunction could lead to the loss of crew performance due to lack of oxygen. At the same time on August 5 (FAA) also stated the need to check all Boeing 737 MAX for fire safety.