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A line of Southwest Air Boeing 737 jets are parked earlier this year in Everett, Wash.
Boeing Pilots Detected 737 Max Flight Control Glitch 2 Years Before Deadly Crash
Prosecutors said that because of Forkner’s «alleged deception,» the system was not mentioned in key FAA documents, pilot manuals or pilot-training material supplied to airlines.
The flight-control system automatically pushed down the noses of Max jets that crashed in 2018 in Indonesia and 2019 in Ethiopia. The pilots tried unsuccessfully to regain control, but both planes went into nosedives minutes after taking off. Most pilots were unaware of the system, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, until after the first crash.
Forkner, 49, was charged with two counts of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce and four counts of wire fraud. Federal prosecutors said he is expected to make his first appearance in court on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas. If convicted on all counts, he could face a sentence of up to 100 years in prison.