Boeing Whistleblowers Keep Mysteriously Dying

Boeing Whistleblowers Keep Mysteriously Dying
Boeing Whistleblowers Keep Mysteriously Dying
Written by Harry Johnson

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has a rather disturbing record of accidents, with two of them resulting in numerous fatalities. One 737 MAX crashed in Indonesia nearly six years ago, in October of 2018, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board. On March 10, 2019, another 737 MAX, this time operated by Ethiopian Airlines, also crashed shortly after takeoff. All 157 people on board ET302 have lost their lives in the crash.

Another whistleblower who exposed a Boeing supplier for neglecting flaws in the manufacturing of the 737 MAX aircraft has tragically passed away due to a “sudden and unexpected illness,” Joshua Dean’s family members said. This unfortunate incident occurred within a span of less than two months after another Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett, was discovered dead in a hotel parking lot with an apparent “self-inflicted” gunshot wound.

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has a rather disturbing record of accidents, with two of them resulting in numerous fatalities. One 737 MAX crashed in Indonesia nearly six years ago, in October of 2018, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board. On March 10, 2019, another 737 MAX, this time operated by Ethiopian Airlines, also crashed shortly after takeoff. All 157 people on board ET302 have lost their lives in the crash. These two catastrophic incidents led to a 20-month worldwide suspension of the aircraft flight operations.

In January, 2024, an Alaska Airlines-operated Boeing 737 MAX-9 experienced a midair incident where one of its doors and a section of the fuselage detached shortly after departure.

In October 2022, Joshua Dean reported the discovery of a significant manufacturing flaw in a crucial component responsible for maintaining the standard pressure of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft. He asserted that his warnings were disregarded by the management, leading him to file a complaint with the FAA. In his complaint, he accused the senior quality management of the 737 production line of engaging in severe and unethical behavior.

Following an audit conducted by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, deficiencies were found in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control.

Spirit AeroSystems terminated Dean’s employment in April 2023, alleging that he had failed to identify “another significant” flaw. Following the firing, the whistleblower submitted a complaint to the Department of Labor, alleging that his termination was in retaliation for his disclosures.

According to Dean’s family members, the ex-quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems suddenly and unexpectedly passed away earlier this week. Dean’s relatives said that he was admitted to the hospital slightly over two weeks ago due to respiratory difficulties. Subsequently, Dean developed pneumonia, and acquired a rapidly spreading Staphylococcus infection that was resistant to antibiotics. Despite being 45 years old and reportedly maintaining good health and a healthy lifestyle, he was placed on life support, before his sudden death last Tuesday morning.

Another Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett, a former quality manager at Boeing, who was renowned for voicing concerns regarding the company’s production standards, tragically passed away in March. His untimely death, resulting from a gunshot wound, occurred just days before he was scheduled to testify in a whistleblower lawsuit against the aerospace giant.

According to his legal representatives, Barnett, aged 62, was in the process of giving a deposition during a lawsuit against Boeing. This legal action was initiated due to the retaliation he faced after revealing safety concerns related to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and his sudden death, from apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, occurred just days before he was scheduled to testify in a whistleblower lawsuit against the aerospace giant.


WTNJOIN | eTurboNews | eTN

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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