This article is from the source 'bbc' and was first published or seen on . The next check for changes will be

You can find the current article at its original source at

The article has changed 6 times. There is an RSS feed of changes available.

Version 1 Version 2
Whistleblower 'would not' put family on Boeing 787 jet Boeing whistleblower airs concerns on 787
(about 4 hours later)
Boeing is expected to face criticism at a US Senate hearing from a whistleblower who says he feared its planes could fall apart mid-air. A Boeing engineer has told US lawmakers that he was harassed and threatened after he raised concerns about the safety of the company's planes.
Engineer Sam Salehpour told NBC News he had raised concerns about the 787 Dreamliner, which Boeing dismissed. Whistleblower Sam Salehpour said Wednesday that his boss berated him in a 40-minute call and his tyre was punctured by a nail.
The company is under scrutiny after a number of safety incidents, including a mid-air panel blow-out in January. His claims will be considered as part of a congressional investigation into safety at the manufacturing giant.
But it has sought to defend its practices, and says it is co-operating with the Senate inquiry. Boeing has said it is co-operating with the investigation.
LIVE COVERAGE: Boeing whistleblower testifies at US hearing It did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the whistleblower hearing, one of two in Washington on Wednesday that focused on problems at the company.
Salehpour discussed the alleged safety issues with the 787 Dreamliner in an interview with NBC ahead of Wednesday's hearing. The company has been in crisis since part of the body of a new Boeing 737 Max 9 being flown by Alaska Airlines broke off after take-off in January.
He said he feared the plane could simply "drop to the ground" unless manufacturing issues were addressed. He referred to gaps between components that emerged during the plane's assembly. Passengers escaped serious injury, but the incident led to thousands of flight cancellations and renewed scrutiny of Boeing - which previously had to ground the 737 Max 8 after deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019 killed 346 people.
Asked if he would put his own family on one of 787s, he responded: "Right now, I would not." The hearing brought together three whistleblowers who have emerged as some of the company's most high-profile critics, including a former safety official at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating Salehpour's claims, which were first reported last week by the New York Times. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who led the hearing, said his committee would be investigating the safety culture at the company. Just the announcement of the hearing had prompted other whistleblowers to step forward, he said.
Boeing, one of the world's two major producers of commercial planes, has again insisted its jets are safe, and disputed the engineer's assertions. "This story is serious, even shocking," he said. "There are mounting serious allegations that Boeing has a broken safety culture and set of practices that are unacceptable."
It told NBC: "These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate. The issues raised have been subject to rigorous engineering examination under FAA oversight." He said it was a "moment of reckoning" for Boeing and pledged further hearings that would involve Boeing itself.
At an earlier event on Monday, the company said 99% of gaps conformed to the standard, and that testing showed "zero fatigue". A preliminary government investigation of what happened on the Alaska Airlines flight found that bolts were missing on the piece that blew off. The company is now facing criminal investigation, among other lawsuits.
Concerns also have been raised in recent years about the safety of Boeing's 737 Max jets. The head of the National Transportation Safety Board has criticised Boeing and accused it of failing to cooperate fully with the inquiry.
In January, a 737 Max 9 was forced to return to its point of departure in Portland, Oregon, making an emergency landing after a door panel blew out in mid-air. Another witness at the hearing, former Boeing manager Ed Pierson, now the executive director for the Foundation for Aviation Safety, accused Boeing of a "criminal cover-up", saying he had personally shared documents related to the missing bolts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Passengers escaped serious injury, but the incident led to thousands of flight cancellations and renewed scrutiny of Boeing - which previously had grounded the 737 Max 8 after deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019. "There are some real problems at Boeing that have to get fixed," said Senator Ron Johnson, while noting the pressure from all corners to keep jets flying.
Salehpour's allegations were labelled "deeply serious" by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who will chair Wednesday's hearing. "We all want Boeing to succeed," he said. "People don't want to take the actions that might be required here. I think that's just an awful reality."
Others expected to testify on Wednesday include a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Mr Salehpour, who has worked at Boeing for 17 years, reported his concerns to the FAA in January and went public with them earlier this month.
Boeing representatives will not join them, but the firm says it is co-operating with proceedings by offering to provide "documents, testimony and technical briefings". They are focused on the Boeing's 787, a wider aircraft that was not the one involved in the Alaska Airlines flight or the earlier deadly crashes but has been plagued by manufacturing issues.
He has claimed that the pieces making up the body of the plane were not being properly joined, which could raise the risk of failure over time.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said it is investigating the claims, which Boeing has disputed.
Mr Salehpour, who teared up at one point, said he felt compelled to speak out, mindful of a carpool buddy who had worked on the Challenger shuttle and had his concerns ignored. The shuttle exploded in flight in 1986.
He said Boeing had transferred him to a different role and made it more difficult for him to attend things like doctor appointments.
Salehpour said he had "no proof" that the nail in his tyre was related to Boeing but believed it happened while he was at work.
"This is hell that I was subjected to," he said.
Related TopicsRelated Topics
Aviation safetyAviation safety
Air travelAir travel