More Boeing Whistleblowers Step Forward After Suspicious Deaths

( – This year, Boeing has experienced a series of mishaps with its planes. First, a rear door plug blew off in the middle of a flight. Then, a flight was canceled after finding a cracked window in the cockpit, followed by flames coming out of a plane, an engine failure, a nose wheel falling off, and a wheel breaking off. In between these incidents, Boeing whistleblowers started dying — two of them. Now, more whistleblowers are coming forward.

What Happened?

At least three people have reportedly come forward since the unexpected deaths to talk about their concerns regarding both military and civilian planes produced by the company. Two of them are Santiago Paredes from Spirit AeroSystems and Roy Irvin from Boeing. There are reportedly about 20 other whistleblowers in the process of speaking out about the safety and quality of Boeing’s aircraft.

Paredes, a former quality manager, claimed he saw hundreds of defects during production, but was pressured by his bosses to keep quiet or underreport. He said while working at the end of the line, he saw missing and incomplete parts, “damaged parts,” pieces with “temporary clamps and missing fasteners,” and more. He described the planes as “ticking time bomb[s].” He alleged that his bosses said there was no “time to fix the mistakes” because of deadlines and just pushed them through.

Irvin was one of Boeing’s quality investigators for six years. He claimed to have seen safety and quality issues nearly every single day. The former employee said the issues were so serious that they could affect the pilot’s ability to “control the plane.” He worked with one of the whistleblowers who died — John Barnett.

The Deaths and Moving Forward

Although speculation spread like wildfire after the original whistleblowers’ deaths about the timing and possible foul play, both men died in unrelated incidents. Barnett gave a deposition against Boeing for a lawsuit before committing suicide. While his cause of death was clear, Barnett was reportedly retaliated against by the company and harassed at work.

The second whistleblower, Joshua Dean, died in May after contracting an infection that attacked his lungs. He worked for Spirit AeroSystems. He was fired in 2023 in alleged retaliation for reporting faulty components that went into Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft.

A Spirit AeroSystems spokesperson recently stated that the company “encourages people to come forward with concerns.” Boeing spoke out as well, stating the company takes “any allegation of improper work or unethical behavior” seriously. The federal government has now stepped in to assess the situation, hear testimony, and determine what changes need to happen going forward.

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