FAA Opens New Investigation Into Boeing Over 787 Dreamliner Inspections
FAA Opens New Investigation Into Boeing Over 787 Dreamliner Inspections

By Jacob Burg

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opened a new investigation into Boeing on May 6 after the company voluntarily admitted to the agency that it may not have completed required safety inspections.

An FAA spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email that the required inspections involved “adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes.”

The agency is also investigating whether Boeing employees could have falsified aircraft records about the 787 program.

“At the same time, Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet,” the FAA added.

“As the investigation continues, the FAA will take any necessary action—as always—to ensure the safety of the flying public.”

As of May 6, Boeing’s shares were down 1.5 percent at $177.03.

Boeing provided Reuters with an April 29 company email from Scott Stocker, the leader of Boeing’s 787 program.

The email was sent to employees in South Carolina, where the 787 is assembled.

In it, Mr. Stocker said an employee saw what was described as an irregularity in a necessary 787 conformance test.

After receiving the report, Mr. Stocker said in the email: “We quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed.”

At that point, Boeing quickly informed the FAA “about what we learned and are taking swift and serious corrective action with multiple” employees.

Mr. Stocker also said Boeing’s engineering team had assessed the “misconduct” but that it did not “create an immediate safety of flight issue.”

Boeing also explained in April that it expected a slower increase in production and deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner widebody jets due to supplier shortages on several “key parts.”

In April, a Boeing quality engineer, Sam Salehpour, testified to Congress about the company’s manufacturing processes for the 787 and 777 widebody programs.

He claimed company superiors told him to “shut up” after he flagged several safety concerns in manufacturing and that he was allegedly transferred from the 787 program to the 777 as a result of his questions.

The U.S. Justice Department is also considering revoking its 2021 deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing after the Jan. 5 mid-air door panel blowout on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet flown by Alaska Airlines.

The prosecution agreement was set to expire two days later, and the Justice Department is considering whether the Jan. 5 incident breached the agreement.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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