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US Court dismisses two charges against former Boeing test pilot

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Two accusations in a criminal prosecution against Mark Forkner, a former chief technical pilot for American aerospace manufacturer Boeing, have been dismissed by a United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

The announcement was made on February 8, 2022.

During the evaluation of a crucial flight stabilizing software component called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, the former employee was accused of giving fraudulent information to air safety authorities (MCAS).

The software, which is installed on Boeing 737 Max planes to improve plane handling characteristics and reduce pitch-up tendency at high angles of attack, was a key factor in the two 737 MAX tragedies that killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019.

According to Reuters, US District Judge Reed O’Connor partially granted Forkner’s lawyers’ request and dismissed two charges, arguing that “MCAS is intangible computer code in the aircraft’s flight control software […], not an aircraft part,” and that two specific charges must involve a tangible component of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

The judge, on the other hand, opted to pursue the remaining four counts filed against the former technical pilot.

In March 2022, the case of Mark Forkner will be revisited.


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