May 26, 2024

Columbus Post

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The Boeing Whistleblower: 200 Defects and Attempts to Cover Up

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Flight defectsThe Boeing whistleblower reports up to 200 defects per aircraft

In a BBC interview, a former Boeing factory inspector talks about manufacturing defects and cover-ups.

Simon Misteli
Van
  • Incidents of defects at Boeing have been on the rise since the Boeing plane lost its door in January.

  • US authorities are investigating the company and one of its manufacturers, Spirit AeroSystem.

  • A whistleblower who worked for Spirit Aero Systems recounts his experiences in an interview with the BBC.

In an interview with the BBC, a whistleblower, Santiago Paredes, describes how aircraft parts for Boeing approved and shipped by the manufacturing site were often shipped with 200 defects.

Paredes worked for twelve years at Spirit Aerosystems in Kansas, which was formerly owned by Boeing and received many Boeing orders after the breakup.

Quotas are more important than security

Paredes led an inspection team at the end of the 737 Max production line, and according to his own reports, he sometimes found 200 defects in the fuselage of a plane. But his employers don’t want to know anything about it.

“They were always upset about why I found it, why I saw it,” Paredes said in the interview. “They wanted the product to be delivered. They didn’t care about the consequences of delivering bad hulls. They were only focused on meeting quotas, schedule and budget. “If the numbers are good, the condition of the hulls doesn’t matter,” he further accused the company’s management.

Attempts at a deliberate cover-up

His boss advised him to change the reporting system to reduce the number of grievances. Paredes protested and was assigned to another part of the factory. “I felt threatened and there was a sense that they wanted to take revenge on me because I raised concerns,” she said.

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He was reinstated to his original job only after an ethics complaint with the company’s HR department and a letter to the CEO. After some time, he left the company.

Boeing and its maker are under investigation

Spirit Aerosystems and Boeing have both come under questionable scrutiny since a door on a brand-new 737 Max plane came loose during a flight in January. The incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate manufacturing practices at both companies.

Paredes made the allegations during testimony in a lawsuit filed against the company by disgruntled shareholders. The suit alleges that the company deliberately tried to cover up serious and widespread quality defects.

Former Boeing employees die mysteriously again and again. John Barnett worked in quality control at Boeing. He testified in court against his former employer. He was found dead a short time later.

Joshua Dean, known for his revelations about the manufacturing defects of the Boeing 737 Max, died a few weeks ago after a severe infection.

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