Boeing Saga: New Whistleblower Warns of Safety Issues

Boeing, one of the world’s largest commercial aircraft manufacturers, is under scrutiny after another whistleblower disclosed concerns about the safety of some of its jets to US authorities. Engineer Sam Salehpour claimed that Boeing cut corners in building the 787 and 777 planes and was threatened with termination. However, Boeing brushed off the accusations as “inaccurate” and emphasized its unwavering confidence in the safety of its jets.

The New York Times broke the whistleblower allegation, again bringing the company’s jets into the spotlight. In January, the business was embroiled in criminal investigations and other legal issues when a smaller 737 Max 9 aircraft had an unoccupied evacuation door come loose soon after takeoff. This event has caused Boeing to temporarily stop dozens of 737 Max 9 flights, trigger regulatory inquiries, and drastically reduce jet production.

Salehpour’s lawyers claim that over a thousand 787 aircraft were affected by a choice Boeing made during construction that put stress on connections connecting various elements of the planes’ bodies. They claim that these problems are the direct result of Boeing’s decision in recent years to prioritize profits over safety and that a regulator in the FAA has become too deferential to the industry.

The 787 Dreamliner, larger than the 737, has been the subject of quality concerns almost from its inception. To address the concerns voiced, Boeing ultimately reduced production and halted delivery for over two years. In 2022, the FAA gave Boeing the go-ahead to commence delivering. The FAA urged everyone in the aviation sector to share information and added that it had stepped up its monitoring of Boeing after the January door plug rupture.

A joint investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Department of Justice is investigating whether the event violated the conditions of a 2021 settlement that Boeing agreed to avoid criminal prosecution for allegedly manipulating regulators who authorized Max planes for flights.