WASHINGTON - A former Boeing official who was subpoeaned to testify about his role in the development of the 737 Max has refused to provide documents sought by federal prosecutors, according to the Seattle Times, citing his Fifth Amendment right against forcible self-incrimination. Mark Forkner who was Boeing's chief technical pilot on the 737 Max project during the development of the plane, was responding to a grand jury subpoena. The US Justice Department is investigating two fatal crashes of the Boeing jet, and is looking into the design and certification of the plane, according to a person familiar with the matter cited by the Seattle Times, writes David Slotnick for BusinessInsider.com. Continue reading original article
The Intelligent Aerospace take:
September 10, 2019- Forkner, who currently serves as a first officer flying for Southwest Airlines, left Boeing in 2018, according to BusinessInsider.com. At Boeing, Forkner served as the chief technical pilot on the 737 MAX during the development of the modernized, higher-powered update of the 50-year-old legacy design. In late 2018 and early 2019, a pair of MAX jets crashed, resulting in hundreds of fatalities, with the aircraft's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) a likely factor in the disasters. According to earlier reporting, Forkner recommended that the MCAS not be included in the pilots manual as it was intended to operate in the background. The pilot invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he resisted the subpoena from federal prosecutors for a grand jury weighing evidence.
Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor