Helena Lyng Blak
9 weeks ago

Boeing in crisis

Failed audits, a mid-flight plunge, and the death of a whistleblower all coincided for the aerospace manufacturer this week.
Front of Boeing 737.
BlueBarronPhoto / Shutterstock.com

The year 2024 was already not off to a great start for Boeing.

On January 5, on an Alaska Airlines flight, a panel on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet blew out midair.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into Boeing.

However, Boeing’s problems have only multiplied this week.

Multiple injured on LATAM flight
On Monday, around 50 people were injured after a flight from Australia to New Zealand experienced a “technical event,” CNN writes. The plane was a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

A passenger on the plane told CNN that the pilot had informed those on board that he had temporarily lost control after one of the plane’s instruments failed. On Tuesday, Boeing told CNN they were “working to gather more information about the flight and will provide any support needed by our customer.”

Whistleblower John Barnett found dead

Also on Monday, the Charleston County coroner confirmed to the BBC that former Boeing employee and whistleblower John Barnett had died from a “self-inflicted” wound on March 9.

Barnett had worked at Boeing for nearly three decades and was a quality manager until he retired in 2017. In 2019, The New York Times reported that Barnett had filed a whistleblower complaint with regulators against his former employer.

"Once you understand what's happening inside of Boeing, you'll see why we're seeing these kinds of issues," he told ABC News Australia in January of this year in relation to the Alaska Airlines blowout. "This is a Boeing issue, this is not a 737 issue.”

FAA audit found nearly 100 instances of noncompliance
After six weeks of examination, the Federal Aviation Administration conducted 89 product audits of which Boeing failed 33, with 97 instances of alleged noncompliance, The New York Times reports.

Boeing’s stock is down 27% for the year. 

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