Boeing Whistleblower Mysteriously Found Dead

( – John Barnett spent about 35 years at Boeing before retiring in 2017. Two years later, after two crashes killed hundreds, he became a whistleblower. Recently, he was found dead in his truck at a hotel where he was staying in South Carolina.

On Saturday, March 9, Barnett was supposed to appear for a deposition in a lawsuit he filed against his former employer. He didn’t show up to the meeting, and his legal team wasn’t able to get in contact with him over the phone. They called the hotel where he was staying to check on him. Someone at the hotel found him dead in his truck.

Barnett reportedly loved working for Boeing. He worked as a quality control manager in Everett, Washington, for 28 years. However, in 2010, the company asked him to transfer across the country to its new 787 Dreamliner factory in Charleston, South Carolina. Seven years later, he retired and, in 2019, became a whistleblower.

The former Boeing employee claimed that when he worked for the company, he alerted management about concerns that workers were intentionally fitting bad parts onto planes to meet deadlines. He also claimed oxygen masks on the Dreamliner had a 1-in-4 chance of failing. When he spoke to his managers and reported the issues to the FAA, he said nothing happened. The company denied the allegations the 62-year-old made.

In 2019, Barnett told Corporate Crime Reporter that the company’s leadership pressured workers to stop documenting defects, “work outside the procedures […] allow defective material to be installed.” He alleged they just wanted to push the planes out to make money.

After a door plug blew out of an Alaska Airlines flight in January, Barnett started warning about the alleged issues with the company’s planes again. In late January, he told ABC News Australia that when people began to “understand what’s happening inside of Boeing,” they’d see why there were issues at the company.

Charleston authorities said it appeared Barnett died from a self-inflicted bullet wound. The Department of Justice has launched a criminal probe into the Alaska Airlines mishap.

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