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“This Is a Criminal Cover-Up”: Boeing Whistleblowers Slam Leadership for Ignoring Safety Issues

HeadlineApr 18, 2024

On Capitol Hill, two Boeing whistleblowers did not hold back as they described to a Senate panel the “chaotic manufacturing” and “dysfunctional safety culture” at the embattled company. Sam Salehpour, a quality engineer at Boeing, detailed the suppression and threats faced by employees who try to warn Boeing about its planes.

Sam Salehpour: “I want to make clear that I have raised these issues over three years. I was ignored. I was told not to create delays. I was told, frankly, to shut up. At one point, Boeing management got sick of me raising these issues and moved me out of the 787 program into the 777 program.”

But Salehpour says the 777 program he was reassigned to also had serious issues.

Sam Salehpour: “I literally saw people jumping on the pieces of the airplane to get them to align — I call it the Tarzan effect — among other improper methods. Again I raised concerns internally. I was sidelined. I was told to shut up. I received physical threats.”

Ed Pierson, a former manager at Boeing, also told lawmakers both Boeing leadership and federal regulators failed for years to heed internal warnings, even after the Lion Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed all 346 people on board the jets. This is Ed Pierson.

Ed Pierson: “The world is shocked to learn about Boeing’s current production quality issues. I’m not surprised, because nothing changed after the two crashes. There was no accountability. Not a single person from Boeing went to jail. Hundreds of people died, and there’s been no justice. Unless action is taken and leaders are held accountable, every person stepping aboard a Boeing airplane is at risk.”

Pierson also called out the investigation into January’s Alaska Airlines door blowout, revealing Boeing deliberately withheld data related to work on the aircraft. Pierson told lawmakers, “I’m not going to sugarcoat this: This is a criminal cover-up.” Click here to see our interview with Ed Pierson.

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