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Aircraft

Boeing Whistleblower: Our Dreamliners Are Compromised

Boeing Whistleblower: Our Dreamliners Are Compromised
Jackie Reddy

Boeing has been subjected to scrutiny since the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 last October and, more recently, since the demise of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March. A report by The New York Times alleges that poor production practices are common at the manufacturer, which is denied by Boeing.

According to a report published on Saturday by The New York Times, a Boeing factory in South Carolina “has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.”

The site, which is located close to Charleston, opened in 2009 and produces the manufacturer’s 787 Dreamliner craft.

The company is currently being subjected to intense scrutiny due to the recent crashes of two of its 737 MAX aircraft. Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Java Sea in October of 2018 while Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after departure from Addis Ababa in March.

The outlet reports that it has reviewed a substantial amount of documentation as part of its investigation and has conducted interviews with both former and current employees of Boeing. These interviews, states the outlet, have revealed “a culture that often valued production speed over quality.”

A number of concerns have been raised regarding safety lapses at the facility, with multiple employees coming forward to file formal complaints with regulatory authorities. These, the outlet says, include concerns over, “…defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations.”

Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s 787 program, issued an official statement to employees regarding the allegations made by the outlet.

“This article features distorted information, rehashing old stories and rumors that have long ago been put to rest,” he said, adding, “The allegations of poor quality are especially offensive to me because I know the pride in workmanship that each of you pours into your work every day.”

[Image Source: Boeing]

View Comments (13)

13 Comments

  1. sfoeuroflyer

    April 22, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    A little common sense goes a long way. Boeing’s union has long been attacking the S. Carolina plant. These attacks are blatantly political and designed to move work back to Seattle. So before writing screaming headlines, let’s understand the real source….the union and the union’s agenda. The claims are bunk. Bogus.

  2. PepeBorja

    April 24, 2019 at 4:24 am

    +1… The NYT is not exactly a bastion of credibility. We have grown to be weary of news outlets with agendas. Will be interesting to see where this goes.

  3. wreednelson

    April 24, 2019 at 4:39 am

    This article is misleading and all the information is hearsay.

  4. alexmyboy

    April 24, 2019 at 4:43 am

    South Carolina! pay me less, give me crappy benefits. so stupid

  5. sassafrasnewport

    April 24, 2019 at 5:13 am

    Maybe. But airlines have been paying attention to this as well. It happens that they don’t like planes falling out of the sky and have bought the dreamliner, from other plants. I prefer to go beyond “a screaming headline” to understand the problem. This is has been written about before. As a consumer who flies regularly, until Boeing gets its act together to my satisfaction, I pay close attention to the planes connected to the flights that I choose. Hint, they aren’t Boeing these days.

  6. lem144

    April 24, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Your proof, sfoeuroflyer?

  7. skidooman

    April 24, 2019 at 8:03 am

    @sfoeuroflyer

    Perhaps. But Boeing open that particular can of crab when they rushed the 737 MAX into production, and we now know they did so by keeping the review of their system per safety standard lower that what it needed to be. If they did not do so, MCAS would never have depended on one sensor, and hundreds would be alive today.

    That was in the article by the Seattle Times. They aren’t any union rep.

    So, again, they opened the door. They lost some public trust, and rightfully so. They must now gain it back.

  8. tourswag

    April 24, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Boeing is at fault in one case we know that.

    Denials by the executives has caused a lack of faith Boring should never experience.
    2 crashes and the Boeing energy to keep the 737Max flying in the US while grounded world-wide.
    Hubris

    The leadership failed, FAA failed us.

    Aside from worker reports ( Union or not they are the ones crawling inside the aircraft), yesterdays news showed military personnel testifying of similar issues with “junk” left behind after manufacture

    Mike

  9. MrGood

    April 24, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Too little too late. It’s like UA’s “drag off plane” situation; the stigma’s not going to wash off for a long, long time. I’m all for US-made, but Airbus is now the ideal/safe choice which apparently makes overall sound quality aircraft which companies can better rely on.

  10. macs4us

    April 24, 2019 at 9:15 am

    @sfoeuroflyer @PepeBorja – wow, who has the agenda? Talk about not having an open mind…did either of you read the actual article or do any research?

    Boeing has admitted to having similar problems on other production lines in the past, and touted that they have changed. This is clearly a problem if there are airlines, workers and regulators reporting issues.

  11. meditek

    April 24, 2019 at 9:39 am

    I am sure the workers follow the plans exactly. My understanding of the recent disasters was that selling them left out the required retraining of pilots in order to overcome successfully the result of engine position design inadequacies.

  12. cebootsw

    April 24, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Boeing tried to cut corners by souping up a 737 instead of redesigning the plane. That’s the bottom line. It needs a complete redesign. These petty blame-casting jabs simply ignore the real problem.

  13. chrisboote

    May 1, 2019 at 3:00 am

    Don’t forget this is the *same team* that wrote the Chinook FADEC software, that result in multiple crashes and multiple deaths
    Boeing denied all blame then, as well
    It took 12 years and an independent journalistic investigation to prove it was the FADEC software at fault

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