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Boeing accepts guilty plea deal over 737 Max crashes

Planes Fly At Sydney Airport As Boeing 737 MAX 8 Operations Are Suspended In Australia
Boeing’s plea deal must receive the approval of a federal judge to take effect. | Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge related to a pair of crashes of its 737 Max planes, as part of a plea deal with the US Department of Justice. Lawyers for the victims’ families plan to object to the deal, which was forged on Sunday just before a midnight deadline and must still be approved by a federal judge.

The two crashes, which happened in 2018 and 2019, killed more than 300 people. The planes malfunctioned because of software that was intended to correct for a design flaw — and that software, called MCAS, relied on just a single external sensor for its data. However, when Boeing launched the 737 Max, it didn’t tell the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines, or pilots about MCAS in order to skirt…

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