Boeing Leaders Blamed For Culture That Led To Crashes

Boeing Leaders Blamed For Culture That Led To Crashes

On Friday, a senior US House Democrat who oversaw a massive investigation into the Boeing 737 MAX said the indictment of a former chief technical pilot should not be the end of accountability in the airline’s two fatal crashes.

Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that Boeing senior leaders are responsible for the culture of concealment that led to the 737 MAX crashes and the loss of 346 lives. 

Former pilot Mark Forkner was set to be arraigned after being indicted by a grand jury in Texas on six counts of scheming to defraud Boeing customers to obtain tens of millions of dollars. DeFazio said that the pilot’s indictment should not be the end of accountability for Boeing’s colossal failure. Robert Clifford, a lawyer representing families of relatives killed in the crash, has called the Forkner indictment “a corporate whitewash.” 

Congress has approved legislation to reform how the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies new airlines. DeFazio has called on the FAA to work urgently to implement the bipartisan legislation. In his September 2020 report, DeFazio said a “grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA” contributed to the fatal crashes. 

The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 following the fatal crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight. In January of this year, Boeing agreed to pay over $2.5 billion in fines and compensation after reaching a deferred prosecution agreement over the MAX crashes. 

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