Boeing’s former Chief Technical Pilot has been criminally charged by a federal grand jury for intentionally “deceiving the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group.” The real story is he’s a sacrificial scapegoat, who got blown like a safety fuse to protect Boeing’s management.
Pilot under the bus
Pilot Mark A. Forkner was the one who signed off on the “evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane.” He gave his employer an awful lot of “plausible deniability” and it is totally inevitable they would throw him under the bus to save their corporate assets.
He faces formal charges in the Northern District of Texas for providing “materially false, inaccurate, and incomplete information” about the new “Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System” they call MCAS for short.
When Forkner learned that the company had made subtle changes to the control software which caused the plane to behave in ways which were different than pilots expected, The 49-year-old pilot in charge of the evaluation promptly covered it up.
At one point, he promised the suits to use “Jedi mind tricks” and convince FAA regulators there was nothing to see. It worked. Management allegedly used his evaluation while “scheming to defraud Boeing’s U.S.based airline customers to obtain tens of millions of dollars for Boeing.”
According to lawmaker Peter DeFazio, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, blaming the pilot is a smokescreen to protect corporate executives. “Senior leaders throughout Boeing are responsible for the culture of concealment that ultimately led to the 737 Max crashes and the death of 346 innocent people.”
They know that regular 737’s all have bogus “half-baked” parts on board but they stuck their heads in the sand and fired the whistleblower. DeFazio is watching over that case as well.
No reference to MCAS
Because Forkner held his tongue, “a key document published by the FAA AEG lacked any reference to MCAS.” Directly because of that, “airplane manuals and pilot-training materials for U.S.-based airlines lacked any reference to MCAS.
What that means, in the real world, is that when Lion Air Flight 610 took off from Jakarta, Indonesia, the captain had no idea what was happening when suddenly his plane began to have a mind of it’s own and fight him for control. That happened “on or about October 29, 2018.”
A similar incident happened March 10, 2019. While the FAA was still doing their homework to figure out how MCAS really worked, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed near Ejere, Ethiopia, right after it left the runway.
Again, “MCAS was operating in the moments before the crash.” After that, they were all grounded. That pilot had no idea why the plane kept fighting him for control either.
As they tied the lying pilot to a stake in preparation for burning, the Department of Justice declared they “will not tolerate fraud – especially in industries where the stakes are so high.” They think that making a big deal by disposing one rat will allow the rest of the pack to scurry for cover. DeFazio is on it.
“Mark Forkner’s indictment should not be the end of the accountability for this colossal and tragic failure.” He also added, the Forkner indictment “is a corporate whitewash. This inexcusable type of corporate greed goes far beyond (Forkner) at the company that haphazardly made these aircraft in an effort to increase profits.” Yet, they think the flying public will let them get away with blaming it all on the pilot.