Boeing Whistleblowers Take Their Allegations To The Senate

  • Two Boeing jets crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people.
  • Whistleblowers have repeatedly accused the aircraft manufacturer of ignoring safety problems.
  • The Senate held two hearings allowing whistleblowers to speak out about the issues. 
  • One whistleblower accused the company and federal regulators of a “criminal cover-up.” 

( – Boeing planes have experienced serious safety issues over the last several years. In 2018 and 2019, there were two plane crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX planes resulting in the deaths of more than 300 people overseas. Then earlier this year, a door plug blew out of another of the manufacturer’s planes during an Alaska Airlines flight. Nobody died, but the incident ignited a firestorm.

Multiple Boeing whistleblowers recently spoke to senators and accused the company of wrongdoing.

Engineer’s Damning Testimony

On April 17, two Senate hearings took place about the safety issues plaguing Boeing. During a hearing held by a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee, Sam Salehpour, a Boeing engineer, told the senators there were hooded safety problems with the 777 widebody jets and 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing has been accused of rushing the Dreamliner production even though there were documented problems with the plane. The company has denied those allegations. Salehpour provided documents to the Senate, including his own emails and other assessments sent to managers detailing problems with the 787 jets. He also said parts of the 777 didn’t align. To correct the problem, he said the company had workers use an “unmeasured and unlimited amount of force to correct the misalignment.” He said he saw people “jumping on pieces of the plane” to try to make them align.

A Criminal Cover-Up?

Ed Pierson, a former Boeing manager, also testified at the hearing and accused the company of a “criminal cover-up” regarding the investigation into the incident with Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. In that accident, the door plug blew out while it was thousands of feet in the air. Nobody was seriously hurt but there was a massive hole in the side of the plane and the force ripped a shirt from a teenager’s body.

According to Pierson’s testimony, he oversaw the production of the MAX jets at one of the company’s plants. He told the Senate that before the 2018 Lion Air crash, he spoke with management about concerns that the production was going too quickly and was unsafe. Nothing changed, even after the two crashes, he said.

Pierson accused government regulators of ignoring the issues at Boeing until the Alaska Airlines incident. He said the agencies that are supposed to protect passengers “have become lazy [and] complacent.” He stressed that the American people “shouldn’t have to rely on whistleblowers to provide the truth.”

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