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Boeing Under Investigation For Alleged Manufacturing Shortcuts

Boeing under federal investigation for manufacturing concerns raised by whistleblower.

Federal authorities have launched an investigation into Boeing after a whistleblower, identified as a Boeing engineer named Sam Salehpour, raised concerns about the manufacturing processes of the company's 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets. Salehpour alleges that shortcuts taken during the manufacturing of these widebody jet models could pose significant risks as the airplanes age, potentially leading to catastrophic consequences.

The whistleblower's formal complaint to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in January highlighted two quality issues that he believes could significantly reduce the lifespan of the planes. Salehpour emphasized that his intention is not to see Boeing fail but rather to ensure the company's success and prevent potential crashes.

The FAA has taken Salehpour's concerns seriously and has initiated an investigation into the matter. The agency stressed the importance of voluntary reporting without fear of reprisal in maintaining aviation safety.

Concerns About Boeing's 787 Dreamliner

One of the key issues raised by Salehpour pertains to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner planes, which have an expected lifespan of 50 years or approximately 44,000 flights. The whistleblower's complaint alleges that improper assembly practices, specifically the failure to fill tiny gaps when joining fuselage parts, could lead to accelerated wear and potential structural failures.

Boeing previously halted deliveries of the Dreamliner for nearly two years to address concerns related to these gaps. The company made adjustments to its manufacturing processes and resumed deliveries after implementing join inspection and verification activities to ensure compliance with specifications.

Allegations of Retaliation and Subpar Work

Salehpour also claimed that Boeing retaliated against him after he raised concerns about drilling issues with the 787 and a different plane model. Following his complaints, Salehpour was transferred to the 777 program where he discovered subpar work practices, including improper alignment of body pieces and pressure on engineers to approve uninspected work.

The whistleblower's allegations extend to more than 400 777s and 1,000 787s, raising significant concerns about the quality control processes within Boeing's manufacturing operations.

Boeing shares experienced a 2% decline following the news of the investigation and whistleblower allegations.

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