Posts tagged with "Crashes"

Former Boeing pilot is indicted in probe of 737 MAX crashes

October 18, 2021

A federal grand jury in Texas has indicted a former Boeing  pilot—alleging that he deceived air-safety regulators about a flight-control system that later was blamed for sending two 737 MAX jets into fatal nosedives, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Mark A. Forkner, 49 years old, was charged with six counts of fraud related to his alleged role in persuading the Federal Aviation Administration to approve pilot-trai

The crashes occurred in late 2018 and early 2019 and took 346 lives.

David Gerger, an attorney for Forkner, did not respond to requests for comment late Thursday, the Journal notes. Gerger has previously said that Forkner, a pilot and Air Force veteran, wouldn’t endanger pilots or passengers and that his communications with regulators were honest.

However, prosecutors allege that Forkner, in his role as Boeing’s 737 MAX chief technical pilot, withheld crucial information from the FAA about the flight-control system known as MCAS. As a result of his alleged deception, a key FAA report, pilot manuals and training materials lacked references to the system, defrauding Boeing’s airline customers, prosecutors said.

Forkner “abused his position of trust by intentionally withholding critical information about MCAS,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. said in a statement.

Forkner was expected to make an initial court appearance on Friday in Fort Worth, prosecutors said. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, and 10 years in prison for each count of fraud involving aircraft parts in interstate commerce.

Boeing and the FAA declined to comment. The case against Forkner is the first time an individual has faced charges related to the dual MAX crashes, the first of which occurred three years ago this month. Boeing reached a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department earlier this year.

Research contact: @WSJ

AA flight attendants are ‘begging’ not to work on the Boeing 737 Max when it returns, union boss says

November 18, 2019

As Popular Science reminds us, flying is actually the safest way to travel, statistically speaking—but now, even airline flight crews are worried about boarding the Boeing 737 Max when it is finally cleared to take off again next March.

By that time, fleets of Boeing aircraft worldwide will have been grounded for a year, following two crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

But that’s not long enough, the head of the pilots union for Southwest Airlines, Jon Weaks, wrote in a letter last week. He accused the aircraft manufacturer of rushing the  plane back into service and of “arrogance, ignorance, and greed,” in its approach to the 737 Max, Business Insider reported.

What’s more, American Airlines flight attendants are “begging” not to have to work on the 737 Max when it returns to service after its grounding, the head of the union representing them said on Thursday, November 14, according to a report by the same news outlet.

“I will tell you that I hear from flight attendants every day, and they’re begging me not to make them go back up in that plane,” Lori Bassani, the president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

In fact, earlier this month, Bassani warned that many of the airlines’ 28,000 flight attendants could refuse to board the 737 Max once it is cleared for takeoff, if they do not believe it is safe.

American Airlines has 24 737 Max planes in its fleet, with 76 yet to be delivered by Boeing.

In separate comments Thursday, Bassani said that despite her worries about the Max’s return, her union would not join the scores of airlines, pilots, and victims’ families taking legal action against Boeing over the 737 Max crashes and its subsequent grounding.

Airlines and staff are suing the plane manufacturer over lost wages from the plane’s grounding.

“It’s not our only aircraft, so our people didn’t really lose wages,” she told the Dallas Business Journal. “Their schedules were changed and they were impacted, but they could always get another flight on another airplane.”

Research contact: @businessinsider

More than half of Americans are avoiding Amtrak

February 15, 2018

More than half of Americans (68%) feel safer either driving or taking a commercial flight (66%) than taking an Amtrak train, based on findings of a Harris Poll conducted early in February among 1,003 adults nationwide.

Crashes, derailments and other safety issues have discouraged customers from traveling by train, the polling organization reports: On February 6, a Boston-bound Amtrak Acela train came apart after leaving D.C.’s Union Station and; only two days before, a Miami-bound Amtrak train collided with a freight train, killing two crew members—the fourth deadly crash in only two months.

Indeed, 70% of those familiar with the accidents believe they are safer driving their own vehicle than taking to the rails; while nearly half (48%) of them feel safer taking a bus than an Amtrak train.

“Trains are safer than cars or buses, statistically speaking,” said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. “But when a string of accidents occurs, people tend to throw the records out the window…. [About 39% of respondents] say they are actively avoiding taking Amtrak trains, based on their current safety record.”

The data also showed that one-third of Americans (33%) feel less safe taking an Amtrak train today than in the past; and those familiar with the latest accidents are more than four times more likely than those who are not/not very familiar to feel this way (41% versus 9%).

Research contact: Hellonyc@harrisinsights.com