Boeing Whistleblower Claims 787 Could Fall Apart and 'Drop to the Ground,' Wouldn't Put His Family on One

AP Photo/Mic Smith

Boeing engineer turned whistleblower Sam Salehpour appeared on NBC News Tuesday evening and said the company’s 787 Dreamliner could literally fall apart and “drop to the ground” due to assembly flaws and that he wouldn’t feel safe putting his family on one.


He is expected to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee Wednesday about what he sees as devastating safety issues at the aircraft industry company.

The problem is so dangerous he thinks the entire fleet should be grounded:

The entire fleet worldwide, as far as I’m concerned right now, needs attention. And the attention is, you need to check your gaps and make sure that you don’t have potential for premature failure. 


The company's jets have been involved in multiple incidents recently, but Boeing insists there is no call for alarm:

The allegations have emerged as Boeing continues to reel from the fallout of a midflight blowout of a door panel from a recently built 737 Max 9 during a crowded Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5. That incident has led to intense scrutiny of the company’s manufacturing processes and prompted Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun to announce he will step down as the company’s top official.

In a statement, Boeing said, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate. The issues raised have been subject to rigorous engineering examination under FAA oversight.”



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Boeing Co.'s stock has dropped over 32 percent since the beginning of the year amidst the turmoil.  

A strange corollary to the story is that another whistleblower died as the result of a gunshot to the head in March; the initial ruling was that the shot was self-inflicted, although his lawyers publicly doubted that narrative. He had been scheduled to testify about his safety allegations in the coming days. 


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The company is desperately trying to put allegations that its aircraft are unsafe to rest:

At a media tour of its 787 Dreamliner manufacturing plant in South Carolina held Monday, two top Boeing engineers defended the structural integrity of the 787, saying the wide-body jet was stress-tested for 165,000 cycles, beyond the expected lifespan of the plane, and never failed. The company said it had inspected 689 of the more than 1,100 787s in service worldwide and found no evidence of fatigue.


But Salehpour is not backing down despite what he has described as the huge personal cost of coming forward.

I have come forward, and I have extended my neck … But you know, I'm at peace with myself. Because this is going to save a lot of people's lives.

You can see the full interview below:



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