But as the Boeing Max emerged from the crisis, it was faced with another: The coronavirus pandemic brought aviation to a standstill, crippled airlines around the world and forced many to reconsider, or at least delay, new Planned to buy planes. Boeing has also slowed production and halted deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner In the face of quality concerns.
The FAA and Boeing declined to comment.
MCAS, the flight control software implicated in the crash, was designed to counteract the tendency of MAX in certain situations. It will only work at some speed, Boeing and Mr Forkner told the FAA in June 2015, according to the indictment.
At the time, Forkner was Boeing’s chief technical pilot, a senior position responsible for the company’s negotiations with the FAA group, which determined what kind of training pilots would need before the Max could be flown.
During a simulated test flight in November 2016, Mr Forkner found that the software could be triggered by slow speeds, including those commonly experienced during takeoff and landing. Soon after, he shared his finding with a colleague, saying in an instant message, “I basically lied to regulators (unintentionally),” according to the filing.
Mr Forkner did not share the finding with the agency and on several occasions recommended that it be dropped from an upcoming FAA report on Max because it was “way out of the normal operating envelope”, according to the indictment. Based on that information, the agency removed the mention of software from the report and the MCAS was subsequently excluded from the manual and training material.
The software was working in Indonesia and Ethiopia in the moments before the accidents.
Before the MAX was allowed to fly again, the FAA required that Boeing update the MCAS to avoid erroneous activation and, among other changes, to alert pilots when data relating to aircraft angle from sensors conflicted. Update the display software to alert.