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Boeing safety concerns a ‘ticking time bomb,’ whistleblower says: Report

Boeing's Everett, Washington, factory on April 24, 2024. (Ivy Ceballo/The Seattle Times/TNS)
June 06, 2024

A Boeing whistleblower has reportedly described the company’s aircraft production and quality control measures as a “ticking time bomb.”

“I was at the end of the production line and so I was supposed to be looking at the finished product before they shipped it to Boeing,” whistleblower Santiago Paredes recently told the New York Post. “Instead I saw missing parts, incomplete parts, frames that had temporary clamps and missing fasteners, dents in the parts, damaged parts, cut rivets, issues that might occur but should be fixed before they got to me.”

Paredes was a production inspector for Spirit AeroSystems, an aerostructure manufacturer for Boeing and Airbus. He worked with the company for 12 years before leaving in 2022.

“Everything I was seeing was like a ticking time bomb,” Paredes continued.

He alleged his bosses would pressure him to keep his negative quality control reports to a minimum and sign off on aircraft. He said they even nicknamed him the “Showstopper” because they viewed his write-ups on defects as delaying production.

“They always said they didn’t have time to fix the mistakes; they needed to get the planes out,” Paredes said. “I also was afraid to look at the news every day and see that something had happened to a plane in the air. It was a nightmare.”

READ MORE: Another Boeing whistleblower dies suddenly

Spirit AeroSystems spokesman Joe Buccino said the company “encourages people to come forward with concerns and we’ve made it easier to do that.”

A Boeing representative told the New York Post that it “takes very seriously any allegation of improper work or unethical behavior.” The Boeing representative insisted whistleblowers could raise concerns directly to the company through its SpeakUp portal, or with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Paredes is one of several whistleblowers who have begun to come forward with safety concerns regarding Boeing’s aircraft.

Another Boeing whistleblower, 62-year-old John Barnett, was found dead in March after testifying before Congress against the company. Investigating authorities concluded his death was a suicide, but the circumstances have fueled suspicions online that he was killed.

Another Boeing whistleblower, 45-year-old Joshua Dean, died in late April of what authorities described as a sudden-onset illness.