Boeing has said it understands the clamour over leaked messages from a former test pilot over erratic software behavior on its 737 Max jet two years before recent crashes.
US regulator the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday ordered Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg to give an “immediate” explanation for the delay in turning over the “concerning” document, which Boeing discovered some months ago.
In the messages from November 2016, then-chief technical pilot Forkner told a colleague the so-called MCAS anti-stall system – the same one linked to deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia – was “running rampant” in a flight simulator session.
At another point he says: “I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly).”
The messages, first reported by Reuters, prompted a new call in Congress for Boeing to shake up its management as it scrambles to rebuild trust and lift an eight-month safety ban of its fastest-selling plane.
“We understand entirely the scrutiny this matter is receiving, and are committed to working with investigative authorities and the US Congress as they continue their investigations,” Boeing said in its statement.
Muilenburg, who was stripped of his chairman title by the company’s board nine days ago, is set to testify before the US House Transportation Committee on 30 October.
“It is unfortunate that this document, which was provided early this year to government investigators, could not be released in a manner that would have allowed for meaningful explanation,” the company said.
CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: “Boeing remains in the news for all the wrong reasons.
“When you take into consideration the aircraft were at the centre of two catastrophic events, and that it appears the group were aware of some issues, its’ incredible that the stock hasn’t lost further ground.”