Second Boeing whistleblower dies in span of two months — RT World News

A quality inspector who reported defects on the 737 MAX has died after suddenly falling ill

Joshua Dean, the former Spirit AeroSystems employee who raised alarm over lax standards in Boeing 737 MAX production, has died after a sudden and severe illness. In March, another Boeing whistleblower was found dead in the hotel parking lot, in what authorities initially described as a suicide.

The 737 MAX has a history of accidents, including two that resulted in multiple fatalities. In October 2018, a plane crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. Five months later, another Boeing 737 MAX – operated by Ethiopian Airlines – crashed shortly after take-off, killing all 157 passengers and crew. The two tragedies led to the plane being grounded for 20 months.

In January, a Boeing 737 MAX 9 operated by Alaska Airlines saw one of its doors and part of the fuselage separate in mid-air, shortly after takeoff. An FAA audit of Boeing and one of its key suppliers, Spirit AeroSystems, was subsequently conducted. “Noncompliance issues were identified in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control.”

Dean's family members revealed that a former quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems died Tuesday morning. His relatives said that he was hospitalized a little more than two weeks ago due to difficulty breathing. Dean was intubated, developed pneumonia, and developed a rapidly spreading antibiotic-resistant staph infection.

The 45-year-old, who is said to be in good health and lives a healthy lifestyle, has been placed on life support.

In October 2022, Dean said he discovered a serious manufacturing defect in the production of a key component that helps the Boeing 737 MAX maintain normal pressure. He claimed that management chose to ignore his warnings, and later filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration, claiming this “Serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line.”

Spirit AeroSystems fired Dean in April 2023, accusing him of overlooking another major flaw. The whistleblower then filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, claiming that his termination was in retaliation for his revelations.

In March, John Barnett, a former Boeing quality manager known for raising concerns about the company's production standards, was found dead of a gunshot wound days before he was scheduled to testify in a lawsuit against the aerospace giant.

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