Monday, 23 May 2022

Were Boeing and Southwest Airlines conspiring to deceive the Federal Aviation Administration?

The Seattle Times newspaper is reporting that legal papers filed recently indicate that Southwest Airlines manager Bill Lusk asked officials at Boeing, including the 737 MAX chief technical pilot Mark Forkner, if engineers could install the then-new 'Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System' flight-control safety alert required for the MAX on a single one of Southwest’s older 737s — and then deactivate it once the MAX was certified.  According to the papers, the only reason for this proposal was for Boeing to tell the FAA that the alert was not new on the MAX so that it wouldn’t trigger costly additional pilot training that Southwest was focused on avoiding. 

“It’s hard to come up with any reason for that other than to deceive the FAA,” said Mary Schiavo, former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General and advocate for airline safety. “It’s really appalling.”

Southwest and Boeing seem to have colluded in pilot training and the low-cost carrier got its way according to the report.  It 737 NG pilots were able to upgrade to fly the 737 MAX jets after doing a simple three-hour course on a tablet computer. 

Southwest has been the biggest customer of Boeing 737 models, including the MAX and is said to have a much higher spehere of influence at the manufacturer than any other airline. 

 Southwest Airlines proposed a ploy to deceive FAA on Boeing 737 MAX, legal filing alleges | The Seattle Times

Did Southwest Ask For A Modification To A 737 MAX To Deceive The FAA? (

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