A Boeing pilot warned about problems with the flight-control program on the 737 Max that was implicated in two fatal crashes, said he “unknowingly” lied to regulators, and told the Federal Aviation Administration not to include the system in pilot manuals before regulators deemed the plane safe for the public in 2017, according to messages released Friday.
CNBC reports that these messages deepened the manufacturer’s crisis over the bestselling jets, which have been grounded worldwide since March in the wake of the crashes, sending the stock to an eight-week low.
The Boeing lead pilot complained in one of the messages that a flight-control system, known as MCAS, was difficult to control, according to the messages, which were obtained by NBC News.
That system and pilots’ ability to recover from its failure in flight are at the heart of investigations into the crashes. Investigators have implicated the system in both crashes — a Lion Air 737 Max that went down in Indonesia in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the same model that crashed in March.
MCAS malfunctioned on both flights, repeatedly pushing the planes’ noses down until their final, fatal dives. All 346 people on both flights were killed.
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