Boeing Whistleblowers Expose the Truth in Senate Hearings

( – Boeing whistleblowers exposed safety concerns about the company during two April 17th Senate hearings.

Aviation experts, who put together a Federal Aviation Administration report published in February, were questioned during the first heading, held by the Senate Commerce Committee.

After hundreds of interviews with Boeing employees, the report found that employees were unaware of how to report safety concerns. The report found Boeing has not made enough progress since the 2018 crash that killed 246 people in “improving its safety culture.” Witness Javier de Luis, a lecturer at MIT and an aerospace engineer, testified during the hearing that there is a “disconnect” between what Boeing employees experience and what Boeing management says.

The second hearing featured two whistleblowers, including Boeing quality engineer Sam Salehpour and former Boeing engineer Ed Pierson.

Salehpour said he was testifying because he believes Boeing is “putting out defective airplanes.” In his opening statement, Salehpour said that his concerns about the safety of Boeing’s 787 and 777 jets were “ignored,” adding that he “was told not to create delays.” He noted that Boeing has “a very negative attitude toward the safety culture.” During the hearing, he talked about how an “unmeasured and unlimited” amount of force was used to correct misalignment between sections of the planes, with a gap that was still over Boeing’s own standard of 5/1000th of an inch, noting that at 35,000 feet, that “can be a matter of life and death.”

Pierson, the executive director of The Foundation for Aviation Safety, testified about the lack of paperwork provided to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board following a January incident where a door plug blew out of a Boeing 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight, calling it “a criminal cover-up.” He noted that the “records do exist,” which provide details about “the hectic work done on the Alaska Airlines” aircraft.

Both Democrat and Republican senators found the testimony concerning, with Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, calling the story “serious, even shocking.”

No witnesses testified on Boeing’s behalf at either hearing.

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