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A convenient death for Boeing: whistleblower dead by apparent suicide

Decades ago, Sen. Henry Scoop” Jackson (D-WA) had the nickname of being the Senator from Boeing.” Boeing then had an enormous aircraft manufacturing plant in Washington State where the workers were unionized.

Not too many years ago, Boeing built a very large plant at Charleston, SC. One of the reasons for moving there was the workforce would be largely non-union. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had a large part in attracting Boeing to locate there.

Aircraft malfunctions—such as a door coming off in mid-flight and a tire coming off on take-off being recent examples—have begun to alarm and make many people wary of flying lately.

Now, most curiously, a man who had worked 30 years at Boeing and had a lawsuit against Boeing over aircraft safety issues was found dead of an apparent” suicide—on the day his court case was to begin! Uh-huh, if you believe that, we’ve got some waterfront property in Death Valley to sell you.

This story by Caden Pearson broke just today in the Epoch Times. Here are a few excerpts with all emphasis and comments in [brackets] mine.

QUOTE: John Barnett, a whistleblower who had been involved in a lawsuit against Boeing, died of an apparent suicide, according to officials in South Carolina.

The 62-year-old was found dead from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the Charleston County Coroner’s office told The Epoch Times in a statement…

Mr. Barnett, who had served over 30 years at Boeing until 2017, had become a vocal critic of the company’s safety and production quality practices. At the time of his death, he was a key witness in a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing, in which he claimed the company retaliated against him for repeatedly reporting defects.

His body was discovered in a vehicle on the same day he was scheduled to appear in court… The aircraft manufacturer did not comment on the allegations made by Mr. Barnett.

In a recent live-streamed interview on TMZ, Mr. Barnett, who carried out safety checks and oversaw aircraft production, raised concerns about Boeing’s quality control issues, specifically within the 737 and 787 aircraft programs. He claimed that the removal of inspection operations from jobs had led to defects and safety problems.

Mr. Barnett pointed to a recent high-profile incident involving a door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight, asserting that this may not be an isolated occurrence and that the entire airplane could have quality control issues.

This is not a 737 problem; it’s a Boeing problem,” Mr. Barnett said.

The door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 while mid-air on Jan. 5 forced an emergency landing and led to the temporary grounding of such aircraft and intense scrutiny of Boeing by federal regulators.

According to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the panel covering an unused door came off during flight because four bolts that were supposed to be holding it in place were missing.

Boeing admitted in mid-January that its 737 Max production quality wasn’t up to standard and soon after ousted Ed Clark, who headed the 737 Max program. The company said the ousting comes as part of an increased focus on safety.

The incident led the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground all 737 Max 9s, order enhanced inspections” on the planes, and launch an investigation into Boeing to see if the company failed to ensure proper production safety standards.

Boeing stated in January that it was cooperating fully with the probe.

However, Mr. Barnett said his concerns were greater than the door plug blowout, expanding to the overall condition of Boeing airplanes due to the elimination of inspection operations. He alleged that Boeing had removed these operations, leaving mechanics to handle their own work, resulting in incomplete and improperly inspected jobs

The whistleblower recounted an experience in 2012 when he claimed to have identified roughly 300 defects at a supplier, Spirit Aerosystems, only to discover later that inspectors sent after him were given limited time and were lauded for finding fewer issues. This raised questions about the integrity of Boeing’s quality control procedures, according to Mr. Barnett.

As investigations continue into Mr. Barnett’s death, the aviation industry and federal authorities have ramped up scrutiny of Boeing.

Earlier this month, the FAA said that its audit of Boeing found multiple instances” where the company allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.

The FAA identified non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control,” the aviation regulate stated.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has said that Boeing is under rigorous scrutiny. END QUOTE

Good thing we have Mayor Pothole” Pete on the job, huh?

Frankly, we do not expect things to improve until DJT is back in the White House and replaces the incompetent and worse who inhabit the deep swamp” of regulators who are supposed to assure that all modes of national transportation are safe.

The article in the Epoch Times is linked here. The full story is archived here.

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