Skip to content

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Releases Evidence from New Boeing Whistleblowers

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, ahead of a hearing with Boeing CEO David Calhoun, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), released new evidence provided to PSI by whistleblowers regarding safety risks stemming from Boeing’s manufacturing practices, two of whom are coming forward publicly for the first time.

“This is a culture that continues to prioritize profits, push limits, and disregard its workers.  A culture where those who speak up are silenced and sidelined while blame is pushed down to the factory floor,” said Blumenthal. “A culture that enables retaliation against those who do not submit to the bottom line.  A culture that desperately needs to be repaired.”

A memorandum from Blumenthal to members of the Subcommittee outlining the new evidence, as well as the documents themselves, are both available here.

Mismanagement of Nonconforming Parts

New whistleblower and current Boeing employee, Sam Mohawk alleges that Boeing is improperly documenting, tracking, and storing parts that are damaged or otherwise out of specification, and that those parts are likely being installed on airplanes. Mohawk has also alleged that he has been told by his supervisors to conceal evidence from the FAA, and that he is being retaliated against as result. The Subcommittee memorandum includes a complaint that Mr. Mohawk has filed regarding his experience witnessing the mishandling of “nonconforming” parts at Boeing’s Renton facility, where the 737 MAX is manufactured.

Additionally, the memorandum includes additional new documents from whistleblowers who have previously come forward to voice their concerns regarding Boeing’s treatment of non-conforming parts. These documents include:

  • A “bootleg form” created by employees at Boeing’s Everett factory to track “nonconforming” parts obtained from the reclamation area, provided to PSI by whistleblower and former Boeing employee Merle Meyers, which appears to cite the cost and time required to obtain new replacement parts as a seeming justification for removing the “nonconforming” parts from the reclamation area; and
  • The non-public transcripts of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett’s deposition conducted as part of retaliation proceedings after Mr. Barnett reported violations of processes regarding “nonconforming” parts to his superiors.

Removal of Quality Inspections

Another new whistleblower, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has spoken with PSI regarding Boeing’s effort to eliminate quality inspections, instead relying on the workers building the planes to inspect their own work and their co-workers’ work. These allegations are supported by a previously non-public FAA enforcement letter raising concerns about the company’s quality inspections. According to this whistleblower, the letter sent by the FAA to Boeing in 2021 identified the same problems regarding quality inspections as had been communicated to Boeing several years earlier.

PSI’s Inquiry into Boeing

Later today, Blumenthal will convene PSI’s second hearing on Boeing to receive testimony from Calhoun. In March 2024, PSI received whistleblower disclosures concerning the safety and quality of Boeing’s aircraft manufacturing. Following these disclosures, PSI opened a bipartisan inquiry into Boeing, and requested information from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Mr. Calhoun’s testimony follows an April 2024 PSI hearing featuring firsthand accounts of manufacturing deficiencies and a culture of retaliation at the company by current and former Boeing employees, including testimony from Sam Salehpour, a current quality engineer at Boeing.

The full text of the Subcommittee’s March 2024 letter to Mr. Calhoun is available here. The full text of the Subcommittee’s March 2024 letter to FAA Administrator Whitaker is available here. Video of the Subcommittee’s April 2024 hearing can be viewed here.