Another Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead

( – A second Boeing whistleblower who worked as a quality auditor for Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems died on April 30th.

Joshua Dean, 44, died after becoming critically ill following his hospital admission two weeks before his death, contracting a fast-spreading, antibiotic-resistant staph infection known as MRSA, according to his aunt, Carol Parsons. Parsons said it was “heartbreaking” what Dean endured while “fighting for his life.” In a post on Facebook, she said, “his absence will be deeply felt.”

Dean was one of the first employees to report safety concerns with the manufacturing process of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes. In October 2022, Dean reported safety concerns to supervisors at a Wichita, Kansas, manufacturing plant regarding improperly drilled holes in the fuselage of the jets and what he described as “an excessive amount of defects.” He was fired in April 2023 when Spirit said he failed to flag a defect with the tail fin.

Dean filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which completed its investigation in November 2023, finding that Dean’s allegations had substance.

Ten months after Dean flagged the safety concerns of the improperly drilled holes, the company acknowledged the issue, causing the shareholders to sue the company for allegedly “concealing” the defect. Dean was deposed in December 2023 as part of the lawsuit.

Dean also filed a complaint, alleging that he was fired as retaliation for speaking out about the defects. His attorney, Brian Knowles, also represented Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, 62, who, in March, was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound outside his hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. At the time of his death, Barnett, who alleged he was fired after exposing safety issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, was giving depositions in connection with his retaliation lawsuit against Boeing. His death remains under investigation by police.

Dean’s death comes amidst the FAA investigation into Boeing, which began when a door plug flew off an Alaska Airlines flight at 16,000 feet on January 5th. A March update from the FAA said it had found “non-compliance issues” in the manufacturing process at Boeing.

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