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FAA investigates after Boeing reports workers falsified 787 inspection paperwork

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a fresh investigation into Boeing after the company informed the agency that staff may have not “completed required inspections” during assembly of 787 Dreamliner aircraft. 

In a statement on May 6, 2024, the FAA confirmed that Boeing had “voluntarily informed” it in April 2024 of an issue related to inspections for “adequate bonding and grounding” where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 planes.  

“The FAA is investigating whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records. At the same time, Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet,” the FAA said. 

Separately, Boeing shared a memo addressed to employees on April 29, 2024, from the 787 Vice President Scott Stoker who addressed the new setback for the firm.  

Crucially, he wrote that engineers had assessed the “misconduct” and concluded that the issue did not “create an immediate safety of flight issue”. 

Stoker said in the memo that the company violation became known thanks to a whistleblower at the South Carolina Boeing facility who spoke to a manager about his concerns. 

“The teammate saw what appeared to be an irregularity in a required conformance test in wing body join,” Stoker wrote. 

Following the report Boeing learned that several workers had been violating company policies by not performing a required test but still recording the work as having been completed.  

‘Swift and serious corrective action’

Stocker added that the company was taking “swift and serious corrective action with multiple teammates”. 

Boeing’s latest problem comes after an Alaska Airlines 787 MAX 9 suffered a plug door blowout on January 5, 2024, shortly after takeoff.  

The accident prompted an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that announced in a preliminary accident investigation report that key bolts to hold the door plug in place appeared to be missing. 

“Four bolts that prevent upward movement of the mid exit door plug were missing before the mid exit plug moved upward off the stop pads,” the NTSB said.    

This led to the FAA launching a six-week audit of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems which found “multiple instances where the companies allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements”.   

More recently whistleblower Sam Salehpour has alleged that processes were carried out during the production of 777 and 787 Dreamliner jets which put the longevity and safety of both aircraft types at risk.    

Aircraft production has been scaled back at Boeing while it struggles to get on top of the crisis and airlines have been forced to readjust ambitions for the future due to the reduction in deliveries that has been forecast.   

The post FAA investigates after Boeing reports workers falsified 787 inspection paperwork appeared first on AeroTime.

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