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Boeing Under Fire: Blames the Simulators and Regrets Ex-Pilot’s Messages

Boeing 737 Max Pilot Training May Come with ‘Startle Factors’, Regulators Weigh In

It seems that Boeing Co has its work cut out for it with the latest controversies surrounding it. On Sunday, Boeing has released a statement expressing its understanding of the outcry that followed leaked messages. These messages came from a former test pilot, commenting over the 737 MAX jet’s erratic software. This comment is two years before the new plane came out. Boeing, of course, stated that they were investigating what these messages meant.

Boeing needs no introductions. It’s the largest plan maker in the world. However, they’re under increased pressure to offer up an explanation over what it knew about the 737 MAX problems before it entered service. They stated that they haven’t been able to speak to a former employee, Mark Forkner, directly. However, they repeated his lawyer’s claim that the problem was linked to the faulty simulator.

The simulator’s role has come out as a critical issue since the messages of 2016 leaked out on Friday. Since then, investigators have been really keen on wanting to know whether the erratic movements reported by the pilot meant Boeing was aware of the problems. Be it on the aircraft itself, or just in the artificial cockpit.

On Friday, the FAA ordered Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg to give an immediate explanation. Specifically, in its delay in turning over these documents, something Boeing discovered several months ago.

In the messages, dated November 2016, the then-Chief Technical Pilot Forker told a colleague that the MCAS Anti-Stall system was running rampant in a flight simulator session. This same anti-stall system was the one linked to the deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

At one point, he stated that he lied to the regulators, albeit unknowingly.

The messages, when it was leaked, forced a new call in Congress. They demanded Boeing shake up its management, while the company scrambles to rebuild trust and lift the eight-month safety band on its bestselling plane.

Boeing gave the obligatory statement of compliance on Sunday. They explained they understood the scrutiny they were receiving. Not only that, they are willing to work with investigative authorities and the US Congress to continue investigations.

Boeing stated that it had informed the FAA about the company’s decision to expand MCAS to low speeds. The FAA had already observed MCAS operations with low-speed configurations during certification flight testing. According to Boeing, this happened from August 2015 to January 2017

Blaming the Simulators

Boeing had released a statement on Sunday, commenting they cannot speak to Forkner directly. They explained that, via an attorney, Forkner’s comments reflected on the simulator program that wasn’t functioning correctly. A simulator that Boeing states was still under testing.

The simulator had several software problems, according to a former Boeing test pilot. Said test pilot had analyzed the transcript, and they had direct knowledge of the flight simulator at that time.

A former engineer and pilot of Boeing, Rick Ludtke, stated that these calibration problems could be at fault. He says that the software issues could have contributed to Forkner’s observations and the conclusion of MCas’s behavior.

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Ali Raza

A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.