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Boeing to plead guilty in US probe of 737 MAX fatal crashes

Boeing has agreed to a plea deal to avoid criminal proceedings in the 737 Max crash case, the US Justice Department said.

The company is pleading guilty to fraud charges related to two fatal crashes of 737 Max jetliners after the government found that Boeing violated an agreement that shielded it from prosecution for more than three years.

Last week, federal prosecutors gave the company a choice: plead guilty and pay a fine as part of its punishment or face criminal charges of conspiracy to defraud the US.

The plea deal, which still must be approved by a federal judge to take effect, calls for Boeing to pay an additional fine of $243.6 million. That’s the same amount it paid as part of the 2021 agreement that the Justice Department believes the company violated. An independent monitor will be appointed for three years to oversee Boeing’s compliance with safety and quality procedures.

A Boeing 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia in 2018. Later, in 2019, a Boeing 737 Max crashed in Indonesia, killing about 1,000 people in the two disasters.

The company believes that the cause of the disasters was the failure of some systems in the design of the aircraft.

Richard Cuevas, a mechanic for a Boeing subcontractor, was reported to have discovered that holes had been improperly drilled in the 787’s nose bulkheads. The specialist complained to the contractor and the customer, but was fired.

It also emerged that some aircraft of aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus are equipped with titanium components with forged certificates of conformity of the metal. An investigation has been launched in the US.


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