Skip to main content
Tags: boeing | senate | hearing | safety

Boeing's Safety Culture Under Fire at US Senate Hearings

Boeing's Safety Culture Under Fire at US Senate Hearings
Boeing quality engineer Sam Salehpour, left, and former Boeing manager Ed Pierson testify during a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Capitol Hill April 17, 2024. (Francis Chung/AP)

Wednesday, 17 April 2024 03:17 PM EDT

Boeing's safety culture and manufacturing quality, both at the center of a full-blown crisis following a Jan mid-air panel blowout, faced scrutiny Wednesday in two U.S. Senate hearings.

Boeing has been grappling with a safety crisis after the door plug panel blew off an Alaska Airlines flight that took off from Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 5. The planemaker has undergone a management shakeup, U.S. regulators have put curbs on its production, and deliveries fell by half in March.

Testimony at the U.S. senate permanent subcommittee on investigations raised questions about missing records surrounding the panel, along with production concerns over two separate Boeing widebody jets.

Former Boeing engineer Ed Pierson said he turned over records, sent to him from an internal whistleblower, to the FBI that he said provided information about the plug.

Boeing has said it believed that required documents detailing the removal of the door plug were never created.

Boeing directed questions to the National Transportation Safety Board, which was not immediately available for comment.

The FBI declined comment.

Whistleblower Sam Salehpour, a Boeing quality engineer who raised questions about two of the planemaker's widebody jets, claimed he was told to "shut up" when he flagged safety concerns. He has said that he was removed from the 787 program and transferred to the 777 jet due to his questions.

Salehpour has claimed Boeing failed to adequately shim, or use a thin piece of material to fill tiny gaps in a manufactured product, an omission that could cause premature fatigue failure over time in some areas of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Salehpour said he had reached out to Boeing official Lisa Fahl but was not provided specific safety data.

Fahl has said the 787, which was launched in 2004, had a specification of five-thousandths of an inch gap allowance within a five-inch area, or "the thickness of a human hair."

"When you are operating at 35,000 feet," the size of a human hair can be a matter of life and death, Salehpour told the hearing.

Salehpour's lawyers had previously said documentation he provided to the FAA would be available at the hearing.

Blumenthal held up a 2021 memo from Salehpour and read a line that said "kicking me out of the program because I am raising safety concerns" does not help anybody.

Reuters could not immediately find any documents or links posted publicly online.

Boeing has challenged Salehpour's claims against the 787 and 777, which fly internationally, arguing on Monday it has not found fatigue cracks on nearly 700 in-service Dreamliner jets that have gone through heavy maintenance.

In a statement on Wednesday, Boeing defended the planes' safety, noting that the global 787 fleet has safely transported more than 850 million passengers, while the 777 has safely flown more than 3.9 billion travelers.

The FAA said in a statement that every aircraft flying is in compliance with the regulator's airworthiness directives.

Earlier in the day, members of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said Boeing needs to do more to improve its safety culture, following a February report commissioned after two crashes involving the 737 MAX killed a combined 346 people.

U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell said she expects Boeing to submit a serious plan in response to a deadline from regulator the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In late February, the FAA said

Boeing must develop a comprehensive plan to address "systemic quality-control issues" within 90 days.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Boeing's safety culture and manufacturing quality, both at the center of a full-blown crisis following a Jan mid-air panel blowout, faced scrutiny Wednesday in two U.S. Senate hearings.
boeing, senate, hearing, safety
569
2024-17-17
Wednesday, 17 April 2024 03:17 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved