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Former Boeing chief test pilot indicted for fraud over 737 Max crashes

Two 737 Max jets crashed in late 2018 and early 2019, killing 346 people and prompting airlines to ground the plane while authorities investigated how an automated flight control system may have led to the crashes.

The Justice Department announced the indictment Thursday of Mark A. Forkner, 49, charging that he withheld vital safety information and “affirmatively deceived” the Federal Aviation Administration during the agency’s certification of the 737 Max.

The two 737 Max jets crashed in late 2018 and early 2019, killing 346 people and prompting airlines to ground the plane while authorities investigated how an automated flight control system may have led to the crashes.

“In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,” said Chad E. Meacham, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. “His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737 MAX flight controls.”

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