Former Boeing Quality Inspector Turns Whistleblower, Says Plane Parts Had Serious Defects

Thursday the BBC reported:

Plane bodies made by Boeing’s largest supplier regularly left the factory with serious defects, according to a former quality inspector at the firm. Santiago Paredes who worked for Spirit AeroSystems in Kansas, told the BBC he often found up to 200 defects on parts being readied for shipping to Boeing. He was nicknamed “showstopper” for slowing down production when he tried to tackle his concerns, he claimed.

Spirit said it “strongly disagree[d]” with the allegations. “We are vigorously defending against his claims,” said a spokesperson for Spirit, which remains Boeing’s largest supplier.

Mr Paredes made the allegations against Spirit in an exclusive interview with the BBC and the American network CBS, in which he described what he said he experienced while working at the firm between 2010 and 2022… “I was finding a lot of missing fasteners, a lot of bent parts, sometimes even missing parts….” Mr Paredes told the BBC that some of the defects he identified while at Spirit were minor — but others were more serious. He also claimed he was put under pressure to be less rigorous…

He now maintains he would be reluctant to fly on a 737 Max, in case it still carried flaws that originated in the Wichita factory. “I’d never met a lot of people who were scared of flying until I worked at Spirit,” he said. “And then, being at Spirit, I met a lot of people who were afraid of flying — because they saw how they were building the fuselages.”
“If quality mattered, I would still be at Spirit,” Paredes told CBS News, speaking publicly for the first time.

CBS News spoke with several current and former Spirit AeroSystems employees and reviewed photos of dented fuselages, missing fasteners and even a wrench they say was left behind in a supposedly ready-to-deliver component. Paredes said Boeing knew for years Spirit was delivering defective fuselages.

It could be just a coincidence, but the same day, the Associated Press ran story with this headline.

“Boeing plane carrying 85 people catches fire and skids off the runway in Senegal, injuring 10.”

It was the third incident involving a Boeing airplane this week. Also on Thursday, 190 people were safely evacuated from a plane in Turkey after one of its tires burst during landing at a southern airport, Turkey’s transportation ministry said.

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