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Boeing Whistleblower: Our Dreamliners Are Compromised

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]

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13 Comments
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chrisboote May 1, 2019

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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cebootsw April 24, 2019

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.

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meditek April 24, 2019

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.

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macs4us April 24, 2019

@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.

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MrGood April 24, 2019

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.