FAA Announces New Probe Into Boeing 787 Defects; Senate Invites Whistleblower & CEO To ‘Broken Safety Culture’ Hearing

By U Cast Studios
April 9, 2024

FAA Announces New Probe Into Boeing 787 Defects; Senate Invites Whistleblower & CEO To 'Broken Safety Culture' Hearing
Image Courtesy Of ZeroHedge

Update (1700ET): The situation has escalated during the day to say the least.

US officials confirmed that The FAA has announced it is launching an investigation into the whistleblower’s allegations that the 787 Dreamliner suffers from assembly defects that threaten safety.

This article was originally published by ZeroHedge.

“Rather than heeding his warnings, Boeing prioritized getting the planes to market as quickly as possible, despite the known, well-substantiated issues Mr. Salehpour raised,” said attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, who pointed to “critical defects” on nearly 1,500 Boeing planes.

A Boeing spokesperson told The Hill there have been changes made to the 787-manufacturing process over the years, but maintained these did not cause the issues alleged by Salehpour.

“This continuous improvement has resulted in higher quality and has had no impact on durability or safe longevity of the airframe,” the spokesperson said.

“Our team’s work has included exhaustive testing and analysis to ensure the manufacturing process updates maintain the performance, full projected lifespan and strength of the airplane.”

Additionally, a Senate investigative committee has scheduled a hearing for April 17 titled “Examining Boeing’s Broken Safety Culture: Firsthand Accounts,” said a spokesperson for Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has reportedly been invited, along with Sam Salehpour – the whistleblower.

Boeing shares extended losses on the news…

*  *  *

Shares of Boeing are moving lower in early afternoon trade following a report from The New York Times of an engineer at the airplane manufacturer turned whistle-blower, revealing that sections of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage are improperly fastened together, posing structural integrity risks.

Sam Salehpour, who worked on the 787 Dreamliner fuselage for more than a decade, detailed to NYT in a series of interviews that were packaged into documents and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration that the widebody plane is produced in several large sections by different manufacturers, and not all pieces were the same shape when they were fitted together. He said this could create structural issues over time.

On April 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee, will hold a hearing featuring Salehpour to address his concerns about the 787 Dreamliner.

“Repeated, shocking allegations about Boeing’s manufacturing failings point to an appalling absence of safety culture and practices — where profit is prioritized over everything else,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

Recall, in 2014, an Al Jazeera undercover report found that workers at the 787 factory in South Carolina were not confident in the plane’s manufacturing quality, with at least one worker calling it “f**king sh*t.”

“This is the culture that Boeing has allowed to exist,” Katz said, adding, “This is a culture that prioritizes production of planes and pushes them off the line even when there are serious concerns about the structural integrity of those planes and their production process.”

Boeing responded to the NYT report and said it was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner,” adding, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.”

Investors were spooked by the report, which is yet another issue for Boeing. Shares in New York tumbled 2% around noon.

Salehpour’s allegations are yet more problems for Boeing after a door plug ripped off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max in early January. Since then, other issues have plagued Boeing jets across US carriers. The Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation into Boeing jets, and the CEO, Dave Calhoun, recently announced that he will step down later this year.

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