Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Found Dead

Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Found Dead

A Boeing whistleblower, who was found deceased while pursuing legal action against the company, had issued a chilling warning in January regarding two specific plane models recently involved in accidents.

The remarks from former Boeing quality manager John Barnett resurfaced on Monday following the FAA's revelation that the company failed a significant number of audits during an examination of its 737 Max production.

Barnett, 62, was discovered deceased in South Carolina on Saturday, less than three months after he raised concerns about the production processes of both the 737 and 787-Dreamliner.

His death, attributed to a self-inflicted gunshot, occurred while Barnett was in town to discuss his whistleblower retaliation lawsuit with Boeing attorneys.

The lawsuit alleged that under-pressure workers were intentionally installing "sub-standard" parts on Boeing 787s, and that management was ignoring defects to cut costs.

Earlier this year, Barnett appeared on TMZ to provide insight into a technical failure involving a door on a 737 aircraft, a model he claimed was being compromised by recent strategic shifts, along with the 787.

His warning proved prescient when a 787 experienced a midair "technical event" on Monday, resulting in injuries to 50 passengers.

In January, Barnett explained his concerns about both models, which remain under investigation, asserting that "this is not a 737 problem – this is a Boeing problem."

He detailed how Boeing began removing inspection operations from their jobs in 2012, leaving mechanics to approve their own work, a practice he believed compromised safety.

Barnett alleged that Boeing's focus on cutting costs had led to safety concerns being overlooked, a sentiment echoed in his lawsuit.

The FAA's subsequent audit confirmed some of Barnett's assertions, revealing instances where Boeing allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the need for Boeing to make "real and profound improvements" in response to the audit findings.

Boeing responded by stating that they had a clear plan in place to address the identified issues.

As for Barnett, his attorney described his death as "tragic," revealing that Barnett had been preparing for a deposition related to his whistleblower case.

The circumstances surrounding Barnett's death remain under investigation, but his legacy as a whistleblower advocating for aviation safety lives on.

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