Daily Management Review

Boeing Knew About Warning About 737 Max By Pilot Before The Two Crashes, Says CEO


Boeing Knew About Warning About 737 Max By Pilot Before The Two Crashes, Says CEO
There were warnings issued by a Boeing pilot that the Boeing 737 Max plane was was “running rampant” in simulator tests. This was conveyed by the plane’s chief technical to a colleague in November 2016, much before the aircraft was certified to be safe for flying by the United States Federal Aviation Administration.
Later on the pilot, Mark Forkner, said that he had unknowingly lied to regulators about the incident and the plane.
The FAA was pushed for removal of the system, known as MCAS, from pilot training materials, in a January 2017 email by Forkner just two months after he had acknowledged that he “unknowingly” lied to regulators.
“Delete MCAS,” Forkner wrote.
He described the system as “way outside the normal operating envelope,” according to aerospace speak which meant that the system would get activated only under rare circumstances which would almost never be encountered by pilots during regular passenger flights.
However, the recently emerged instant messages from to his colleague shows that the pilot had apparently come to realize by November that year that issues in the  simulator were being caused by the MCAS and which was in turn making it difficult for him to gain control of the plane.
Serious new questions about the knowledge that Boeing had related to the new system, known as MCAS, which is believed to have been responsible for two fatal crashes – the Lion Air and Ethiopian airline crashes involving 737 Max planes, had been raised by the revelation of the messages.
It had not been possible for the company to speak to Forkner about the messages because he is now employed with Southwest Airlines, said Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, during the hearing before US Congress.
However, Muilenburg said: “I believe it was prior to the second crash”, when he was asked about the time when he had come to know of the messages from Forkner.
Muilenburg was also questioned by US lawmakers about why the company had taken such a long time to inform the Congress and the FAA about the messages even though the company had knowledge of the messages for months.
“Boeing should have notified the FAA about that conversation upon its discovery immediately,” Sen. Roger Wicker, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in his opening statement.
Accountability from Boeing was demanded by the families of crash victims.
Nadia Milleron, mother of Samya Stumo, a victim of the crash in Ethiopia, asked Muilenburg while he was leaving the room after the testimony, to “turn and look at people when you say you’re sorry.” He turned around, looked her in the eye, and said “I’m sorry.”
Milleron demanded resignation of Muilenburg. During the hearing, posters of their loved ones were held up by Milleron and other family members of victims.  “He needs to resign, I will say that to his face,” said Milleron, before Muilenburg began his testimony. “I think he’s very bad for Boeing, he’s very bad for the U.S., he’s very bad for safety. He should resign, the whole board should resign.”
Muilenberg admitted “we made some mistakes.”