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Whistleblower says Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is flawed

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a probe into the jets. The engineer who raised alarms says Boeing retaliated against him.
Whistleblower says Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is flawed
Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 10, 2024

A whistleblower is speaking out after the Federal Aviation Administration announced a probe into Boeing's Dreamliners. 

Those aircraft are different from three other Boeing models that suffered mid-air incidents this year.

Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour alleges that the 787 jets could have damaged parts, including improperly closed gaps in the bodies, which airlines may not know how to check for.

Salehpour first voiced his concerns to The New York Times Tuesday.

The engineer’s attorney said the FAA was surprised to discover the gaps were still an issue. Boeing disputed the allegations, saying it worked with the FAA to ensure the issues don't cause safety concerns. 

“He has repeatedly reported to Boeing management serious concerns about Boeing's current production and quality control processes, which he believes are creating potentially catastrophic safety risks,” Salehpour’s attorney Debra S. Katz previously said in a letter to Department of Transportation administrator Michael Whitaker. 

"In his work on the 787, he observed shortcuts taken by Boeing in the shimming process during assembly, resulting in drilling debris left in interfaces and deformation of composite material," Katz wrote. "This shortcut has resulted in decreased fatigue performance of the airplanes. He has also observed that Boeing's implementation of a new process in assembling the 777 without the necessary redesign of relevant parts has led to misalignments of parts, which Boeing engineers are pressured to overlook. This too has resulted in serious safety risks."

Salehpour told the Times he was repeatedly retaliated against by Boeing for raising alarms.

A Senate subcommittee is holding a hearing about Boeing concerns next week.

This comes as Boeing continues to come under fire for a series of mishaps.

Most recently, an Air Canada Boeing 737 Max 8 was forced to make an emergency landing in Idaho on Tuesday after pilots received a cargo hold indicator light in the flight deck, according to Scripps News Boise. The flight had been traveling to Canada from Mexico. No injuries were reported. 

Days prior, an engine cover on a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines ripped open after taking off from Denver International Airport Sunday morning. 

Boeing has been under increased scrutiny since a door plug flew off one of its Boeing 737 Max 9 jets operated by Alaska Airlines at the beginning of the year. The plane full of passengers was left with a gaping hole in mid-air, and was forced to make an emergency landing. 

Last month, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced he intends to resign at the end of the year. 

SEE MORE: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to step down in wake of 737 Max crisis


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