2 more Boeing whistleblowers go public, exposing big secret over plane safety: ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ - Hindustan Times
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2 more Boeing whistleblowers go public, exposing big secret over plane safety: ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

ByAditi Srivastava
Jun 05, 2024 09:35 PM IST

Boeing whistleblowers reveal alarming safety concerns in manufacturing process, following tragic deaths of predecessors.

Boeing's safety woes just won't seem to land. Two more whistleblowers have stepped out shedding light on potentially dire issues related to plane safety. Their brave choice to speak out follows the tragic deaths of two whistleblowers who had attempted to expose important secrets but met mysterious ends. New individuals with direct experience of Boeing's production methods are now claiming major defects that might put the safety of passengers at risk.

Nobody was hurt during January's incident on a relatively new Boeing 737 Max 9 as the plane flew above Oregon. (Reuters/File)
Nobody was hurt during January's incident on a relatively new Boeing 737 Max 9 as the plane flew above Oregon. (Reuters/File)

2 more Boeing whistleblowers speak out

A recent New York Post article, dated June 5th, features two whistleblowers raising red flags about Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and manufacturing defects. Roy Irvin, a Boeing quality investigator from 2009 to 2017, and Santiago Paredes, who worked at a Boeing supplier (Spirit AeroSystems) both detailed "troubling" issues with the plane's safety.

Irvin, tasked with guaranteeing the multi-million dollar Dreamliners were ready for takeoff, asserts that he and his colleagues encountered demands to give the planes the green light, even though there were ongoing safety issues. Irvin reportedly worked with Boeing’s first whistleblower John Barnett, 62, who was found dead in March. His death was ruled out as suicide after a “silver pistol” was found in his hand with a gunshot to his head.

More Boeing workers are ‘willing to speak out’ after deaths

Stating that "they are more determined to speak out the truth now," Irvin describes repeatedly raising concerns but being forced to "push back" and even act "insubordinate" to address them. "Missing safety devices on hardware or untightened hardware means that you’re not going to be able to control the airplane if those fail," he told the Post.

“The safety device is on there. If the fastener is not secured correctly, it’s going to fall off and you’re not gonna be able to control the airplane," he added.

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Following Barnett, another Boeing whistleblower, Joshua Dean was found dead in early May from a fast-growing infection. The deaths have reportedly led to a surge of more employees speaking out about the company's alleged ill practices. Some of them are even currently working with the aviation giant.

Fourth Boeing whistleblower speaks out

Santiago Paredes, who worked as a production inspector for the company for 12 years, shared his astonishment with the outlet upon his initial arrival, claiming to have witnessed hundreds of defects on the production line. He expressed even greater dismay when he was coerced into remaining silent about what he saw. “I saw missing parts, incomplete parts, frames that had temporary clamps and missing fasteners, dents in the parts, damaged parts, cut rivets, issues that might occur but should be fixed before they got to me,” he said.

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"Everything I was seeing was like a ticking time bomb," Paredes added, citing how his superiors would pressure him to limit his reports. They nicknamed him "Showstopper" because his detailed notes on defects often caused delivery delays.

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