Boeing whistleblower John Barnett found dead just days after giving evidence against company as police probe death

A FORMER Boeing employee turned whistleblower has been found dead in his truck days after giving evidence against the company. John Barnett, 62, had worked for Boeing for 32 years before he retired in 2017....READ FULL ARTICLE

He had been providing evidence of alleged wrongdoing at Boeing to investigators working on a lawsuit against the company at the time of his death, according to the BBC.

Barnett died from a “self-inflicted” wound on March 9, the coroner said, and police are investigating the death.

He was found inside his truck in the parking lot of the Charleston hotel where he had been staying to complete interviews with investigators in the Boeing case.

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Last week, Barnett had provided a formal deposition to Boeing lawyers and underwent questioning by both investigators and the company’s attorneys.

He was due for further questioning last Saturday, and when he did not appear for the interview, investigators sought him out and ultimately found his body at the hotel.

Boeing representatives told the BBC that the company was saddened to hear of Barnett’s death, but did not comment on the investigation.

Beginning in 2010, Barnett was a quality manager at Boeing North Charleston factory producing 787 Dreamliner planes — relied on for long-haul routes.

In 2019, he told BBC reporters that he had seen workers under pressure purposely fitting sub-standard parts onto aircraft on the production line.

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Barnett claimed that defective parts were mishandled and sometimes lost or refitted to planes from the company scrapyard to meet production timelines.

He also alleged that he had discovered major issues in some of the planes’ oxygen systems which could lead to one in four masks not functioning properly.

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Barnett attributed much of the lower-quality work on the aircraft to an increasingly rushed assembly process that was encouraged by executives who wanted to speed up production. Barnett said he had told Boeing managers about his concerns, but his warnings ultimately went unheeded.

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Boeing denied his claims to the BBC, but a 2017 investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) upheld some of Barnett’s assertions.

The FAA found that at least 53 “non-conforming” parts had unknown locations in the factory and were essentially lost.

Also in 2017, Boeing announced that the company had “identified some oxygen bottles received from the supplier that were not deploying properly,” but denied that any of the problematic canisters were actually fitted on aircraft....READ FULL ARTICLE

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