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Boeing Faces 10 New Whistleblowers After sudden Deaths of Two Colleagues

The aviation giant Boeing is facing a growing number of whistleblowers coming forward with safety concerns following the recent deaths of two previous whistleblowers, the New York Post reported.

The first whistleblower, John Barnett, a 62-year-old former Boeing quality control manager, was found dead in March in an apparent suicide. Barnett had been in the midst of giving depositions, alleging Boeing retaliated against him for complaints about quality lapses.

Barnett was found in his truck “suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.” A suicide note was reportedly found next to Boeing whistleblower John Barnett. However, his lawyers are questioning whether he took his own life.

According to the New York Post, police dusted the inside of John Barnett’s vehicle, which is an unusual move in a suicide investigation. Also, according to The Post, hotel workers who saw Barnett the night before he committed suicide say he seemed totally fine.

Barnett’s lawyers are asking for a thorough probe because they don’t believe he committed suicide.

“John was in the midst of a deposition in his whistleblower case, which finally was nearing the end,” Barnett’s lawyers said. “He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on.”

Less than two months, a second Boeing-linked whistleblower, Joshua Dean, died at the age of 45 after a sudden and severe illness. Dean, a former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, was one of the first to raise the alarm about potentially dangerous manufacturing defects on the 737 Max jets.

According to reports by the Seattle Times, Dean succumbed to a fast-spreading infection that led to multiple complications, ending his life at the age of 45. Dean, a resident of Wichita, Kansas—where Spirit AeroSystems is based—was previously in good health and known for his healthy lifestyle.

Both their attorneys, Robert Turkewitz and Brian Knowles, are pushing for an in-depth investigation into their deaths.

“It’s an absolute tragedy when a whistleblower dies under suspicious circumstances,” Turkewitz stated.

Last month, Quality Engineer Sam Salehpour, Ed Pierson, Executive Director of The Foundation for Aviation Safety and former Boeing Engineer, Joe Jacobsen, Aerospace Engineer, Technical Advisor to the Foundation for Aviation Safety, and former FAA Engineer, along with Shawn Pruchnicki, Ph.D., Professional Practice Assistant Professor for Integrated Systems Engineering at Ohio State University, testified before the Senate.

One whistleblower, Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour, testified before Congress that he had faced “physical threats” from his boss after raising concerns about structural issues with the 787 Dreamliner. He claimed that debris was found in the unfilled gaps between aircraft parts “80% of the time.”

“I have analyzed Boeing’s own data to conclude that the company is taking manufacturing shortcuts on the 787 program that may significantly reduce the airplane safety and the life cycle,” said Salehpour during the hearing. “Since 2013, there have been serious issues on the 787 program not properly closing thousands of gaps in its assembly of the fuselage on major joints.”

Another whistleblower, former Boeing engineer and senior manager Pierson, alleged there was a “criminal cover-up” at the company, claiming records related to a door blowout incident on a 737 Max plane did in fact exist, contrary to Boeing’s claims.

“Records do in fact exist. I know this because I personally passed them to the FBI,” Pierson said during the hearing, adding, “For the last couple months, there’s been talk that there’s no records, and that’s obviously not the case. It has been available for months.”

​Now, it appears that at least 10 more whistleblowers have come forward with safety concerns about Boeing’s aircraft.

The whistleblowers have painted a troubling picture of Boeing, alleging the company prioritized profits over safety, ignored problems, and retaliated against employees who spoke up.

New York Post reported:

The attorneys for both men hope their deaths don’t scare away the at least 10 other whistleblowers who want the company to clean up its act.

Brian Knowles, a Charleston, South Carolina, attorney who represented both Barnett and Dean hope their deaths were not in vain.

“These men were heroes. So are all the whistleblowers. They loved the company and wanted to help the company do better,” Knowles told The Post.

“They didn’t speak out to be aggravating or for fame. They’re raising concerns because people’s lives are at stake.”

Knowles and others inside the Boeing scandals are hesitant to speculate about conspiracy theories swirling around the two whistleblower deaths.

Knowles pointed out that the Charleston, SC police are still wrapping up their investigation of Barnett’s death — and that it may take some weeks for tests to reveal more about Dean’s passing.

READ 30 COMMENTS
  • nomdeplume420 says:

    There are two sides to Boeing. The civilian aircraft side and the military applications side. We are probably, in all honesty, only hearing half of this story.

  • Susan says:

    I have a friend who works for Boeing. I fear for his life.

    I have talked to him about Quality Control at Boeing. He says it’s a JOKE. He told me that no one cares about their work, if it’s safe or not. They only care about getting done and getting paid.

    No more whistleblowers will die Boeing.

  • Lippy says:

    It was nice knowing them…

  • Grant says:

    YOU don’t fuck with big business lest you learn your lesson the hard way, bunch of sheep, do you know just one snap of my finger and you go KAPUTSKI, getting it now, STFU people or you’re next, facts!!! I’d be careful if I were you, even on this we can find you, don’t believe it? TRY ME!!!

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