The Federal Aviation Administration has questions for Boeing after learning that it had not turned over a message exchange about problems with the 737 Maxes for months after they discovered it, USA Today reported.
“I expect your explanation immediately,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Friday about the messages from a test pilot that said he may have unknowingly lied to the FAA about the problems with the jets.
Two 737s crashed in a five-month span, and the jets have been grounded ever since. The problems seemed to come from the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MACS), which would come on automatically and push the nose of the plane down more than was really needed.
MCAS was not mentioned in the flight manuals for the planes because chief test pilot Mark Fortner said it was unnecessary. The system was automatic and would rarely be triggered, Fortner reasoned, before learning of the crashes.
According to the messages, Fortner came to feel that he had lied in his characterization of the MCAS, although it was not intentional. A co-worker argued that he had not lied because “no one told us” about the problem.
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