Boeing put under Senate scrutiny during back-to-back hearings on aircraft maker’s safety culture

(17 Apr 2024)

Washington DC – 17 April 2024
1. Cutaway of witnesses being sworn in for Senate Homeland Security, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Examining Boeing’s Broken Safety Culture
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sam Salehpour, Current Quality Engineer, Boeing:
"I have over 40 years of experience as an engineer. I’m not here today because I want to be here. I’m here today because I felt that I must come forward because I do not want to see another 787, I do not want to see 787 or 777 crash. I have serious concerns about the safety of the 787 and 777 aircraft, and I’m willing to take on professional risk to talk about them."
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4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sam Salehpour, Current Quality Engineer, Boeing:
"In a rush to address its bottlenecks in production, Boeing had problems pushing pieces together with excessive force to make them appear that the gaps don’t exist. Even though they exist, the gap didn’t actually go away, and this may result in premature fatigue failure. Effectively, they are putting out defective airplanes. I respectfully, I repeatedly produced a report for my supervisors and Boeing management demonstrating that the gaps in the 787 not being properly measured or shamed in two major joints of the 787 evaluate them from Boeing. From then 29 inspected airplane data, I found gaps exceeding the specification that were not properly addressed 98.7% of the time."
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6. SOUNDBITE (English) Sam Salehpour, Current Quality Engineer, Boeing:
"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. My my, my, my boss said I would have killed someone who said what you said in the meeting. And then this is not a safety culture when you get threatened by bringing issues of safety concerns, I hope that your work on this issue signals to Boeing that they must make real changes and get back to building the airplane safely."
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8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ed Pierson, Executive Director, The Foundation for Aviation Safety, Former Boeing Manager:
"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. Government authorities ignored Boeing’s manufacturing problems until the Alaska accident. Passengers shouldn’t have to rely on whistleblowers to provide the truth. They should be able to get on airplanes and not have to worry about what model it is, whether it was designed and manufactured to the highest of standards. Whether the airline is operating and maintaining it properly, or whether government agencies are providing proper oversight."
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10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ed Pierson, Executive Director, The Foundation for Aviation Safety, Former Boeing Manager:
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12. SOUNDBITE (English) Shawn Pruchnicki, PH.D, Professional Practice Assistant Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University:
"Let me be clear. When you try to increase productivity without the needed resources and being guided by poor management with only financial focus and the lack of assembly line inspectors, you are always borrowing from safety. You cannot have both."
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