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Boeing : FAA Was Informed Multiple Times About Flight-control Software Expansion

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Boeing said Sunday that it had informed the Federal Aviation Administration and international regulators on multiple occasions about the expanded role of the flight-control software in 737 MAX, which was linked to two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.

The FAA personnel also observed the operation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System in its low-speed configuration during certification flight testing, beginning in August 2016 and continuing through January 2017, Boeing said.

Boeing said it regrets the concern caused by the release Friday of a November 15, 2016 instant message involving a former Boeing pilot Mark Forkner, who involved in the development of training and manuals.

The Boeing pilot had exchanged instant messages with his colleague that a key flight handling system was "running rampant" during simulator tests, according to documents provided by Boeing to lawmakers. He "unknowingly" lied to regulators.

Boeing said, "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."

Boeing said it was not able to speak to Forkner directly about his understanding of the document, but he has stated through his attorney that his comments reflected a reaction to a simulator program that was not functioning properly, while it was still undergoing testing.

"We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of this exchange, and are committed to identifying all the available facts relating to it, and to sharing those facts with the appropriate investigating and regulatory authorities," Boeing said.

All Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration from March 13 following crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

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