A whistleblower claims the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is defective. The FAA is investigating

A whistleblower claims the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is defective.  The FAA is investigating

Juliette Michel/AFP/Getty Images

Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the airline's assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina.



CNN

Federal authorities say they are investigating the matter Boeing After a whistleblower repeatedly raised concerns about two wide-body jets, he claimed the company retaliated against him.

Whistleblower Sam Salehpour, a Boeing engineer, claims that Boeing took shortcuts when manufacturing its 777 and 787 Dreamliners, and that the risks could become catastrophic as the planes age. New York times He was the first to report the whistleblower complaint.

His formal complaint to the FAA, filed in January and made public Tuesday, is not related to the newer 737 MAX plane that has been grounded twice by the FAA.

Salehpour said on Tuesday that his complaint raises “two quality issues that may significantly reduce the life of the aircraft.”

“I am doing this not because I want Boeing to fail, but because I want it to succeed and prevent accidents,” Salehpour told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. “The reality is that Boeing cannot continue like this. I think it needs to do a little better.”

In response to the complaint, the FAA said it investigates all whistleblower complaints.

His attorney, Lisa Banks, said the FAA interviewed Salehpour as part of its investigation. The FAA said it is investigating all whistleblower complaints.

“Voluntary reporting without fear of retaliation is a critical component of aviation safety,” the FAA said. “We strongly encourage everyone in the aviation industry to share information.”

A Senate subcommittee will address those concerns at a hearing next week.

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Boeing did not immediately comment on the allegations regarding the 777, but questioned Salehpour's concerns about the 787.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

The company says the Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes, which entered service in 2011, can have a lifespan of up to 50 years, or about 44,000 flights each.

But Salehpour's complaint alleges that crews failed to properly fill small gaps when attaching separately manufactured parts of the fuselage. Salehpour's lawyers claimed that this increases the plane's wear and tear, shortens its lifespan and risks a “catastrophic” failure.

These claims aren't exactly new: For nearly two years starting in 2021, the FAA and Boeing Deliveries of new Dreamliner aircraft have been halted While he looked into the loopholes. Boeing said it made changes to the manufacturing process, and deliveries eventually resumed.

“We have integrated joint inspection and verification activity into our production system so that aircraft coming off the production line meet these specifications,” Boeing said.

The 787 Dreamliners have not been grounded, but the FAA has twice investigated questions about quality control during the plane's assembly process. The company confirmed that the aircraft were and remain safe to fly.

Salehpour's lawyers said the FAA was surprised to discover through his complaint that the loopholes were still a problem.

“I literally saw people jumping on pieces of the plane to get them in line,” Salehpour said. “By jumping up and down, you distort the parts so that the holes temporarily line up…and that's not how you make an airplane.”

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Salehpour said Boeing retaliated against him after he raised other concerns about the 787 and a different model of the plane.

The whistleblower's complaint said he indicated to management that there were pothole problems with the 787, which were then “ignored and eventually transferred from the 787 program to the 777 program.”

In his new position, Saleh Pour said he discovered substandard work regarding the alignment of body parts, and pressured engineers to give the green light to work they had not yet examined.

In total, the problems involve more than 400 777s and 1,000 787s, Salehpour said.

boeing (Bachelor's) Shares fell 2% on Tuesday.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

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