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The Life and Untimely Death of a Boeing Whistleblower

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the story of Mitch Barnett, a Boeing whistleblower who catalogued dangerous flaws in the company's aircraft before his death in March. It also mentions another Boeing whistleblower, Josh Dean, who was fired from Spirit AeroSystems for discovering manufacturing defects. The article explores Mitch's background, his work at Boeing, and the challenges he faced as a whistleblower.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Mitch Barnett's Background

1. What was Mitch Barnett's official first name, and how did he prefer to be called?

  • Mitch Barnett's official first name was John, but he preferred to be called Mitch, after his middle name Mitchell.

2. What were some of Mitch's personal interests and hobbies?

  • Mitch had a fondness for swamp puppies (alligators) and collected alligator heads, figurines, and decals. He had an alligator tattoo and would paint his race cars to look like alligators.

3. How did Mitch's Louisiana roots influence his life and identity?

  • Even though Mitch lived half his life far from Louisiana, he never really left the state completely. His Louisiana roots and connection to the Cocodrie Swamp were a significant part of his identity.

[02] Mitch Barnett's Work at Boeing

1. What was Mitch's role and experience at Boeing?

  • Mitch worked at Boeing's facility in Everett, Washington for many years. He was initially excited about working on groundbreaking projects at Boeing's Charleston facility, but became disillusioned as production issues arose.

2. What happened after Mitch left Boeing?

  • After leaving Boeing, Mitch never held another job. He struggled with chronic anxiety and panic attacks, making it difficult for him to work for a manager or in a traditional job setting.

3. What was the impact of Mitch's whistleblowing efforts on his personal life?

  • Mitch's partner, Diane, started experiencing awful headaches around the time Mitch filed his whistleblower complaint. Studies suggest whistleblowers suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety, similar to terminal cancer patients.

[03] The Boeing Whistleblower Incidents

1. Who was the other Boeing whistleblower mentioned in the article, and what were the circumstances around their case?

  • The other Boeing whistleblower mentioned was Josh Dean, a former quality inspector at Spirit AeroSystems, which makes fuselages for Boeing's 737 Max. Josh was fired in April 2023 after he claimed to have discovered manufacturing defects that his managers preferred not to fix.

2. What were the key issues and concerns raised by the Boeing whistleblowers?

  • Mitch Barnett catalogued dangerous flaws in Boeing's aircraft, while Josh Dean claimed to have discovered manufacturing defects in the 737 Max fuselages that his managers wanted to ignore.
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