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Boeing whistleblower says plane parts had serious defects

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses allegations made by a former quality inspector at Boeing's largest supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, about serious defects in plane parts being shipped to Boeing.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Whistleblower Allegations

1. What were the key allegations made by the whistleblower, Santiago Paredes?

  • Paredes, a former quality inspector at Spirit AeroSystems, claimed he often found up to 200 defects on plane parts being shipped to Boeing, including:
    • Missing fasteners
    • Bent parts
    • Missing parts
  • He was nicknamed "showstopper" for slowing down production when trying to address these concerns.
  • Paredes alleged that Spirit was focused on meeting production quotas and budgets rather than addressing the quality issues.

2. How did Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing respond to the allegations?

  • Spirit AeroSystems "strongly disagreed" with the allegations and said it was "vigorously defending against his claims."
  • Boeing declined to comment on the allegations.
  • U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the government was "putting Boeing under a microscope" through ongoing investigations by the FAA, and that Boeing needs to demonstrate it is meeting quality and safety standards.

[02] Regulatory Investigations

1. What regulatory investigations have been launched related to these issues?

  • The FAA launched an audit of production practices at both Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing after an incident where an unused door came off a brand new 737 Max.
  • The audit found multiple instances where the companies failed to comply with manufacturing control practices.
  • The FAA also launched an investigation earlier this week after Boeing told regulators it might not have properly inspected its 787 Dreamliner planes.

2. What were the consequences of these regulatory actions?

  • Regulators temporarily grounded nearly 200 Boeing 737 Max 9 jets after the incident with the unused door.
  • The FAA said it would look into whether Boeing staff had falsified records related to the 787 Dreamliner inspection issues.

[03] Whistleblower's Experience

1. What were the key details of the whistleblower's experience at Spirit AeroSystems?

  • Paredes claimed he was put under pressure to be less rigorous in his inspections, with Spirit "always making a fuss" about why he was finding so many defects.
  • He alleged that Spirit was focused on meeting production quotas, schedules and budgets, rather than addressing the quality issues.
  • Paredes said he was demoted and removed to another part of the factory after protesting being ordered to change how defects were reported.

2. How did Paredes respond to the issues he encountered?

  • Paredes filed an "ethics complaint" with Spirit's HR department and wrote to the CEO, saying he had "lost faith on the quality organization" and this was his "last cry for help."
  • After his complaint was partially upheld, Paredes was reinstated in his leadership role and given back-pay, but he left the company soon afterwards.
  • Paredes said he would be reluctant to fly on a 737 Max due to the issues he witnessed at the Wichita factory.
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