These new bombshell allegations from Boeing whistleblowers about what happens to faulty plane parts are pretty horrifying

    A Boeing 737 plane landing in Australia.

    James D. Morgan/Getty Images

    A new report from the Senate subcommittee contains fresh allegations from a Boeing whistleblower.Sam Mohawk, a quality assurance investigator, says the 737 program lost track of hundreds of bad parts.Boeing’s CEO, however, said on Capitol Hill he remains “proud” of the company’s safety record.

    The Senate subcommittee investigating Boeing’s safety and quality practices on Monday released a new report — and it contains new allegations from company whistleblowers about what happens to faulty plane parts.

    The sprawling 204-page report contained several new allegations from whistleblowers familiar with the company’s practices at its Washington facilities. The allegations “paint a troubling picture of a company that prioritizes speed of manufacturing and cutting costs over ensuring the quality and safety of aircraft,” the subcommittee wrote.

    A new slate of accusations came from Sam Mohawk, a Boeing quality assurance investigator in Renton, Washington.

    Mohawk, per the committee’s report, wrote a June 11 complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging that the 737 program was losing “hundreds” of “non-conforming” parts.

    Mohawk further alleged that at the Renton factory, the company ordered staff to move “improperly stored” aircraft parts to “intentionally hide” them from FAA inspectors.

    “There were approximately 60 parts being stored outdoors, including 42 rudders alone, plus flaps, winglets, ailerons, stabilizers, and vertical fins,” Mohawk’s OSHA complaint read.

    “Since then, those parts that were hidden from the FAA inspection have been moved back to the outside area or lost completely,” Mohawk added.

    The Senate subcommittee also highlighted allegations from former Boeing quality manager Merle Meyers.

    Meyers, a former Boeing quality manager, said staff at Boeing’s manufacturing team regularly tried to retrieve bad parts from a “reclamation” area even after they were sent there for disposal.

    Meyers further alleged that Boeing’s manufacturing staff had forms that helped them justify moving parts from reclamation back into the production line.

    “The example forms reviewed by the Subcommittee, some dating as far back as 2002, appeared to relate to a variety of small and large aircraft parts, including “787 leading edge slats”, “landing gear fitting”, “787 nacelle forgings”, and “wire bundles,” the subcommittee wrote.

    The fresh slate of accusations from Boeing whistleblowers adds to the existing allegations against the company from other Boeing whistleblowers.

    Notably, two Boeing whistleblowers died before the Senate subcommittee’s report came out on Monday. Former Spirit AeroSystems employee Joshua Dean, 45, died in May after contracting a sudden illness. Dean had testified against Spirit in a shareholder lawsuit, and accused it of poor quality control when producing the Boeing 737-Max.

    Another Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, 62, died in March, in the middle of his deposition against Boeing. The Charleston County coroner’s office told BI in a statement that the former Boeing manager died from “what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

    The Senate’s new document did drop before Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun faced a Senate panel on Tuesday. Lawmakers grilled Calhoun on the series of high-profile safety incidents that have beleaguered the planemaker,

    During his testimony, Calhoun said that he was “proud” of the company’s safety record.

    “I am proud of every action we’ve taken,” Calhoun said during a tense exchange with Sen. Josh Hawley.

    For its part, Boeing told BI that it’s reviewing the whistleblowers’ claims after receiving the document late on Monday evening.

    “We continuously encourage employees to report all concerns as our priority is to ensure the safety of our airplanes and the flying public,” a Boeing spokesperson said in a statement to BI.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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