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Boeing faces new investigation after employees ‘falsely claimed testing was complete’ | US News

Federal aviation safety regulators have launched a new investigation into the Boeing 787 Dreamliner – after the company said several employees committed “misconduct” by falsely claiming that testing had been completed.

The investigation will examine whether Boeing conducted inspections to confirm adequate bonding and grounding at the locations where the wings of certain 787 Dreamliner aircraft connect to the fuselage, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

The investigation will also examine “whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records,” the federal agency added.

The FAA said Boeing will “re-examine all 787 aircraft still in the production system and must also develop a remediation plan for the in-service fleet” while the investigation is ongoing.

Boeing shares fell 1.5% to $177.03 late Monday afternoon.

“Several people did not take the required test”

In an April 29 email, Scott Stocker, who leads Boeing’s 787 program, said an employee discovered an apparent anomaly during a required 787 compliance test.

Mr. Stocker wrote that after receiving the report, “we quickly reviewed the matter and determined that several individuals violated company policy by failing to perform a required test but instead logging the work as completed.”

In the email, addressed to employees in South Carolina, where the 787 is assembled, Mr. Stocker said Boeing immediately informed the FAA of the findings and said it was taking serious corrective action on “several” employees.

He added that “our engineering team has concluded that this misconduct does not pose an immediate aviation safety concern.”

“They send out defective planes”

It comes weeks after a congressional investigation in April uncovered evidence about Boeing’s safety culture and manufacturing standards.

Sam Salehpour, a quality engineer at the company, told members of a Senate subcommittee that Boeing was taking shortcuts to increase production levels that could cause planes to break apart.

He said of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which has more than 1,000 flights in service with airlines around the world, including British Airways, that excessive force was used to compress fuselage parts.

He claimed the extra force could compromise the carbon composite material used for the aircraft frame.

They exhibit defective aircraft“,” he concluded, adding that he was threatened when he raised concerns about the issue.

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Boeing quality engineer Sam Salehpour testifies during Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing.  Image: AP
Picture:
Boeing quality engineer Sam Salehpour testifies during Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing. Image: AP

The engineer said he studied Boeing’s own data and concluded that the company was “making manufacturing cuts to the 787 program that could significantly shorten the safety and life cycle of the aircraft.”

Boeing disputed its claims about the Dreamliner’s structural integrity and the fact that factory workers jumped on fuselage parts to force them into alignment.

Two Boeing engineering executives said this week that testing and inspection programs found no signs of fatigue or cracking in the composite panels and said they were nearly immune to fatigue.

Boeing has been struggling with a months-long safety crisis A disc flew out of a Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft during the flight in January.

The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the airborne emergency.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, four key screws were apparently missing from the plane.

Boeing has said it believes the required documents detailing the removal of the screws were never created.

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