Boeing Whistleblower Alleges Shortcutting on Dreamliner Jets, Stresses Safety MotiveBoeing Whistleblower Alleges Shortcutting on Dreamliner Jets, Stresses Safety Motive

Boeing Faces Additional Safety Scrutiny Amid Allegations of Prioritizing Schedule Over Safety:

Boeing is under further safety investigation following allegations from a former engineer that the company adopts a “schedule over safety” mindset, potentially leading to defects on its 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is already conducting an investigation into Boeing after a door plug detached from an Alaska Airlines aircraft during a flight on January 5.

Boeing Faces Increased Safety Scrutiny Following Whistleblower Allegations

Boeing, the embattled airplane manufacturer, is under heightened safety investigation after former engineer Sam Salehpour raised concerns about a “schedule over safety” mentality at the company, particularly affecting the 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) disclosed in a March update that it had uncovered “non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control,” aligning with Salehpour’s assertions. Salehpour’s complaint, which was initially submitted to the FAA in January and made public recently, highlights his motive: “I am doing this not because I want Boeing to fail, but because I want it to succeed and prevent crashes from happening.”

According to Salehpour’s complaint, which was reported by Fortune, Boeing allegedly took “shortcuts” in the manufacturing of its 787 jets and pressured engineers working on the 777 jets to overlook critical issues. Salehpour identified concerns such as debris in “interfaces” and deformities in composite materials during construction, issues that could lead to unforeseen failures without warning.

Boeing has vehemently denied these claims, asserting confidence in the structural integrity and safety of the 787 and 777 aircraft. The company stated that thorough engineering examinations, under FAA oversight, confirmed that the reported issues do not pose safety concerns and will not compromise the aircraft’s service life.

Salehpour’s complaint also highlighted problems with the rollout of a new assembly process for the 777, alleging misalignment of parts due to inadequate redesign efforts.

Boeing’s response to Salehpour’s allegations emphasized their confidence in the safety and durability of the 777 family, dismissing the claims as inaccurate.

Salehpour’s lawyers indicated that the FAA has assembled a substantial team to investigate the claims, leading to a notable decline in Boeing’s share value after the FAA confirmed the investigation.

Regarding alleged retaliation against Salehpour for raising safety concerns, Boeing stated that retaliation is strictly prohibited and affirmed its commitment to addressing employee concerns through established protocols.

In response to these developments, the U.S. Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations announced plans to examine the allegations, with Boeing CEO David Calhoun called to testify. This investigation underscores broader concerns about Boeing’s engineering and assembly processes raised by the subcommittee.

The whistleblowing incident and subsequent investigations have sparked discussions about safety culture within Boeing and the oversight role of regulatory bodies like the FAA.

By Tom Brokaw

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