The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a Boeing whistleblower’s claims that the company dismissed safety and quality concerns in the production of the planemaker’s 787 and 777 jets, an agency spokesperson said Tuesday.

Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour identified engineering problems that affect the structural integrity of the jets and claimed Boeing employed shortcuts to reduce bottlenecks during the 787 assembly process, his attorneys said in a release.

Boeing has faced quality problems and manufacturing flaws with the 787 that prompted it to halt deliveries for more than a year until August 2022 as the FAA investigated the concerns. The company is already grappling with a safety crisis following a January mid-air panel blowout on a 737 MAX plane that resulted in the resignation of both its board chair and CEO.

In 2021, Boeing said some 787 airplanes had shims that were not the proper size and some aircraft had areas that did not meet skin-flatness specifications. A shim is a thin piece of material used to fill tiny gaps in a manufactured product.

In a statement, Boeing said it was fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner, adding that the claims “are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.”

Boeing shares fell 2% after the FAA confirmed the investigation, which was first reported by The New York Times.

An agency source said the FAA has met with the whistleblower.

Salehpour’s attorneys say workers used shortcuts during the 787 assembly process that added on major airplane joints. In a Jan. 19 letter to FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker, the lawyers said Salehpour made these observations while working on the 787 program in 2021.

“Rather than heeding his warnings, Boeing prioritized getting the planes to market as quickly as possible, despite the known, well-substantiated issues he raised,” said attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks in a Tuesday statement.

The FAA in August 2022 approved the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for delivery since 2021 after the manufacturer made inspection and retrofit changes needed to meet certification standards.

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.