Boeing Whistleblower Says Flaws in 777 & 787

Daniel Fowkes
10 Apr 2024
· Aircraft 
A Boeing whistleblower has identified several new safety concerns on the 777 and 787 jets amid production shortcuts undertaken.

Boeing has re-entered the headlines for the worst possible reason following a former employee’s expression of concerns about the integrity of several other aircraft types.

The Whistleblower, who helped build the aircraft, said that sections of the 787’s fuselage had been allegedly improperly fastened. He claimed this could easily lead to weakening of the aircraft over time.

The New York Times first reported the claims, identifying the Whistleblower as a crucial source of information and insight into the continued quality issues that run deep at Boeing. Boeing’s stock has continued to tumble this year, dropping considerably.

While substantial focus has rested on the improper fastening of the fuselage, the Whistleblower also raised visible concerns that the maintenance of aircraft was conducted incorrectly.

Boeing has firmly denied such claims outlined by the Whistleblower, saying that the claims regarding 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 work.”

While unproven at this stage, these claims are the latest in a string of quality concerns plaguing Boeing and come at the worst possible time for the under-pressure manufacturer that seemingly can’t do anything right.

According to the reports, these allegations at Boeing would impact over a thousand in-service Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The report also highlights that the new allegations would impact 400 777s. The specific focus area rests on the joint areas that help connect large fuselage barrels and are an essential part of the aircraft.

Additionally, not on Boeing’s side is the proven time and time again untrue nature of their words. As a result, onlookers struggle to believe the rejection of quality issues on the 787, even if they are to be the case, as Boeing doesn’t have a lot of backing behind it.

A Culture Of Cash Not Safety

During the production process, lawyers say shortcuts were conducted not just during the critical engineering stages but also during the testing stage of repairs. The engineer claims that these were detrimental to the structural integrity of the aircraft type in question.

Additionally, during production, the Whistleblower observed problems across aircraft programs, including the Boeing 777, forcing employees to overlook concerns. The priority is to focus on the schedule rather than the safety of the aircraft being put out.

A cash-over-safety culture hasn’t been unknown when discussing recent history at Boeing. Several former and current employees have spoken out about the pressures they were put under to meet deadlines. Often, these employees would highlight the disconnect between those on the floor and those in the offices, with executives not being equipped to run a company that produces planes and has such an importance on safety.

Several executives have departed the manufacturer in response to these concerns over time. However, time and time again, those incoming have been proven incapable of turning around the manufacturer’s culture. The door blowout incident at the top of the 2024 calendar year appeared to be the final nail in the coffin and has led to a substantial focus by regulators, airlines, and others on the manufacturer.

Allegations Not On The MAX

Over the years, much focus has been on the 737 MAX. However, the popular widebody, the 787, hasn’t been immune to niggles that have impacted production and delivery rates over a persistent period. Ultimately, however, these niggles haven’t made the headlines and, thankfully, have resulted in a significant incident such as what has occurred with the 737 MAX.

Boeing 777 Concerns Present

While the 787 occupies the bulk of the headlines, the manufacturer also sees its 777 under fire. This plane has largely proved reliable and hasn’t encountered significant difficulties. However, the latest comments raised concerns about the redesign of the assembly process.

As per these observations, the speeding up of production used unlimited but also, as quoted, an unmeasured force for the fuselage to fit together. As a result, this presents concerns about the integrity of the production process and not for the first time.

The FAA is investigating these comments and will thoroughly examine the matter. As a result, the FAA has yet another prospective fault, which occurs at the worst possible time for all involved parties.

Boeing’s problem is that despite its persistent denial of these claims, it has also denied quality concerns on several occasions and has been proven time and time again to be the opposite of what the manufacturer says.

Leave a Reply

  1. First I am glad that Calhoun and others are being to be removed/fired.
    But there is definitely a high probability that there is now sabotage going on. The customer airlines appear to have their own maintenance issues.

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