Boeing whistleblower calls for 'criminal investigation' into firm (2024)

A Boeing whistleblower has called for a criminal investigation to be opened into the beleaguered company because their 'planes are not safe'.

The troubled jet firm has been set a deadline of today to present its plans to federal regulators Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on how it will fix the safety problems that has plagued some of its aircraft.

Former senior manager at Boeing Ed Pierson says there have been too many faults with the planes.

The executive director of the Foundation of Aviation Safety has called for authorities to open up a criminal investigation as he fired a disturbing warning: 'These airplanes are not safe. They are still not safe.'

The FAA told Boeing to present its turnaround plan after an Alaska Airlines jet had a door blowout mid-flight at 16,000 feet in January.

Former senior manager at Boeing Ed Pierson (pictured)has called for a criminal investigation to be opened into the beleaguered company because their 'planes are not safe'

The company has been pushed into crisis mode since a door-plug panel blew off a 737 Max jetliners during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, seen here

The missing emergency door of Alaska Airlines N704AL, which made an emergency landing at Portland International Airport on January 5

Nobody was hurt during the midair incident. Accident investigators determined that bolts that helped secure the panel to the frame of the Boeing 737 Max 9 were missing before the piece blew off.

The mishap has further battered Boeing's reputation and led to multiple civil and criminal investigations.

Read More Full timeline of Boeing problems in 2024, from whistleblowers' deaths to turbulence horrors

Now, Mr Pierson has suggested Boeing may have failed to meet the FAA's deadline and requested an extension after it was told to produce a turnaround plan following the blowout.

Mr Peirson told BBC Radio 4 this morning there needs to be action rather than words.

He said: 'What really needs to happen, as we have said before, is there needs to be a full criminal investigation because these airplanes are not safe. They are still not safe.'

The whistleblower is yet to be convinced by the FAA's promise that it 'won't be back to business as usual for Boeing' as it vowed to have a 'continuing aggressive oversight of the company'.

In late February, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker gave Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan to improve quality and ease the agency's safety concerns. Whitaker described the plan as the beginning, not the end, of a process to improve Boeing.

'It's going to be a long road to get Boeing back to where they need to be, making safe airplanes,' he told ABC News last week.

This picture taken at the Tanjung Priok Jakarta port on October 30, 2018 shows Indonesian people examining debris of the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 in Jakarta which killed 189

Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight of a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 11, 2019, which took the lives of 157 people

A photo shows debris of the crashed airplane of Ethiopia Airlines, near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 11, 2019

Indonesian Navy divers hold wreckage from Sriwijaya Air flight SJY182 during a search and rescue operation at sea near Lancang island on January 10, 2021

Rescuers bring up one of the engines recovered from the crash site of the Sriwijaya Air flight at the port in Jakarta on January 10, 2021

Asked whether he felt like he would be listened to in the future if he were to raise any issues about the firm, Mr Pierson said: 'It's going to take a lot of work and I've heard lots of broken promises, so until we see action that actually matches the words.

'We had an emergency just last week another Max Air plane had an emergency landing in Denver because of an electrical motor failure. We've seen many of those. We need to stop and do the job properly.'

Read MoreBREAKING NEWS Boeing could face criminal prosecution over 737 Max crashes as Justice Department finds aviation giant breached 2021 immunity deal

A new inquiry was opened by the regulator earlier this month following Boeing's astonishing admission staff may have skipped some inspections of its 787 Dreamliner planes.

The FAA added that it was investigating 'whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records'.

The Wall Street Journal obtained internal communications sent by Boeing's 787 program chief, Scott Stock, on April 29. Stock said the company found no 'immediate safety of flight issue' for any of the Dreamliners currently in use.

Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour testified on Capitol Hill in April about the safety issues present in the company's planes, specifically the 787 models.

Salehpour claimed prior to his testimony that he 'literally saw people jumping on the pieces of the airplane to get them to align.'

A Boeing 737 Max operated by United Airlines veered off the tarmac into the grass when exiting the runway at George Bush Airport in Houston in March

CEO David Calhoun, who will step down at the end of the year, has said many times that Boeing is taking steps to improve its manufacturing quality and safety culture

Boeing has categorically denied Salehpour's claims regarding people jumping on airplanes.

Steve Chisholm, Boeing's chief engineer, defended the planes in April, saying investigators have not found fatigue cracks on in-service 787 jets that have gone through heavy maintenance.

Still, the 787 jet has a history of serious problems, even if Boeing is confident in their structural integrity at this current moment.

Read More Former senior Boeing staff would NOT fly on killer 737 Max planes

Boeing halted deliveries of the 787 widebody jet for more than a year until August 2022 as the FAA investigated quality problems and manufacturing flaws.

In 2021, Boeing said the planes had shims that were not the proper size and some aircraft had areas that did not meet skin-flatness specifications. A shim is a thin piece of material used to fill tiny gaps in a manufactured product.

The 737 Max, a narrow-body jet, has also had its fair share of close calls in the air.

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 was forced to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after part of the engine blew off in early April.

In March, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 landed in Portland with its cargo door slightly open. Passengers' luggage and pets were down below but Boeing said no harm came to the animals.

It also could facecriminal prosecution over two fatal 737 Max crashes after Boeing was accused of violating a settlement which allowed them to avoid earlier charges.

Pictured: Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour testifies before the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations on April 17

The Justice Department is to decide whether to pursue charges, amid increasing scrutiny over the safety of the company's planes, by July 7.

Boeing reached a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department in January 2021 after two 737 Max jets crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people.

Mr Pierson told the LA Times earlier this year he 'would absolutely not flya Max airplane' following the Alaska Airlines blowout.

'I've worked in the factory where they were built, and I saw the pressure employees were under to rush the planes out the door,' he explained at the time.

Adding: 'I tried to get them to shut down before the first crash.'

Boeing whistleblower calls for 'criminal investigation' into firm (2024)
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