Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead after Exposing Safety Standards

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Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead after Exposing Safety Standards

John Barnett, the Boeing whistleblower who testified about how the production standards were compromising the safety of 787 Dreamliner jets, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Barnett, 62, was cross-examined by Boeing’s lawyers just days before he was found dead.

He was secluded from appearing in court to answer more questions on Saturday but failed to turn up.

Barnett was found dead in his s truck, which was parked in a hotel parking garage, the BBC reported.

His lawyer said he and his co-counsel had been calling Barnett’s phone, but he did not answer.

“We then asked the hotel to check on him,” he said.

“They found him in his truck dead from an ‘alleged’ self-inflicted gunshot. We drove to the hotel and spoke with the police and the coroner.”

He was employed by Boeing for over thirty years and worked as a quality control engineer before retiring in 2017.

Barennet told the BBC in 2019 that Boeing rushed to get 787 Dreamliner jets off the production line, compromising the safety of the aircraft in the process.

He alleged that the 787 Dreamliner’s emergency oxygen systems had a 25% failure rate, meaning that 25 percent of the 787 Dreamliners had the potential to rapidly lose oxygen if their cabins were suddenly decompressed.

According to Barnett, he discovered the issue while working at Boeing’s North Charleston plant in 2010 and reported it to his managers, who ignored his concerns.

In 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration reviewed Boeing and ordered the company to take action, which supported some of Barnett’s allegations.

Boeing said the company was saddened by Barnett’s death.

Boeing’s statement read, “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

What did John Barnett reveal about Boeing?

Barnett alleged faulty parts were deliberately fitted to planes at one of the Boeing factories, compromising safety.

NDTV reported:

He uncovered some serious problems with the oxygen systems, which could even mean that one in four breathing masks wouldn’t work during an emergency.

Barnett reportedly claimed that passengers on its 787 Dreamliner could be left without oxygen when the cabin suffered a sudden decompression.

Referring to a few tests, Barnett said that a quarter of the oxygen systems could be faulty and might not work when needed.

After a test on emergency oxygen systems, Barnett found that the 787 Dreamliner showed a failure rate of 25 per cent.

He said that in a bid to get a new aircraft built the assembly process in South Carolina was rushed, leading to compromised safety.

Not only this but the workers also failed to keep track of components in the factory, allowing the defective components to go missing.

He even accused the firm of using sub-standard parts from the scrap bins and fitting it to the planes, in a bid to prevent delays on the production line.

While he informed the managers about his concerns, no actions were taken. However, in 2017, a review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US regulator, did uphold some of Barnett’s concerns.

Denying Barnett’s accusations, Boeing said that all its aircraft were built to the highest levels of safety and quality. The company insisted that “safety, quality, and integrity are at the core of Boeing’s values.”

WATCH: Boeing 747 Engine Catches Fire Minutes after Takeoff

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