Apr 18, 2024
3 mins read
3 mins read

At Senate Hearing, Boeing Engineer Says Company is ‘Putting Out Defective Airplanes'

At Senate Hearing, Boeing Engineer Says Company is ‘Putting Out Defective Airplanes'

(NEWSnet/AP) — An engineer at Boeing said Wednesday the aircraft company, in a rush to produce as many planes as possible, is taking manufacturing shortcuts that could lead to jetliner failure.

“They are putting out defective airplanes,” Sam Salehpour told members of a Senate subcommittee.

Salehpour was testifying about Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, hundreds of which are in use by airlines. He testified as a separate subcommittee held a hearing regarding safety culture at Boeing.

Salehpour alleged workers at a Boeing factory used excessive force to jam together sections of fuselage on Dreamliner. The extra force could compromise the carbon-composite material used for the plane’s frame, he said.

He studied Boeing’s data and concluded the company is “taking manufacturing shortcuts on the 787 program that could significantly reduce the airplane’s safety and the life cycle.”

Salehpour said when he raised concern about the matter, his boss asked whether he was “in or out” – part of the team, or not.  “‘Are you going to just shut up?’ ... that’s how i interpreted it,” he said.

The hearing marked the first time Salehpour has described his concern about 787 and another plane, Boeing 777, in public. Senators said they were shocked and appalled by his comments.

The company says claims about Dreamliner’s structural integrity are false. Two Boeing engineering executives said this week that in both design testing and inspection there was no evidence of fatigue or cracking in the composite panels. 

Boeing has been under multiple investigations since a door-plug panel broke from a 737 Max jetliner in January during an Alaska Airlines flight.

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