Federal regulators on Friday demanded Boeing explain why it withheld documentation of employees’ concerns with a software system which investigators have linked to two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX.
The instant messages, obtained by CNN from a congressional source, show internal concerns that the MCAS stabilization system was “running rampant” and more powerful than the company had told the Federal Aviation Administration.
“[T]he plane is trimming itself like craxy,” one pilot wrote in a message, several of which contain misspellings, later adding, “granted, I suck at flying, but even this was egregious.”
He wrote the plane had “some real fundamental issues that they claim they’re aware of.”
“I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),” the pilot wrote.
His colleague responded: “It wasnt a lie, no one told us that was the case.”
In the messages, the pilot refers to his job as “insane” and commiserates with the colleague about internal pressure and feeling out of the loop on developments such as MCAS.
“I’d ask for a job in sales where I can just get paid to drink with customers and lie about how awesome our airplanes are,” he wrote.
About four months after these messages are timestamped, the Federal Aviation Administration would approve the 737 MAX for flight, and the MCAS system was left out of the pilot manual.
Those decisions by Boeing and the FAA are now under scrutiny in multiple investigations and reviews.
A copy of the instant messages was obtained by CNN from a congressional source. Reuters first reported on the messages.