Second Boeing Whistleblower Passes Away After Bringing Up 737 Max Issues

Another person who reported wrongdoing at Boeing has passed away unexpectedly due to an illness. Joshua Dean, who used to work as a quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems, recently made public statements alleging that the company’s leaders disregarded manufacturing issues with Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft. Spirit AeroSystems is a company that supplies parts to Boeing.

Dean, who was 45 years old, had a very active lifestyle and was thought to be in good health before he unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday. His death was caused by a rapidly spreading infection. According to Fox59, he got sick with Influenza B and MRSA, which led to pneumonia. According to The Seattle Times, he was in critical condition for two weeks before passing away on Tuesday in Oklahoma.

“My good-looking brother Joshua died this morning and is now with our baby brother.” My family is really struggling and I’m not sure how much more they can handle. “I honestly don’t know how much more I can handle,” wrote Taylor Rae Roberts, his sister, in a Facebook post.

“We are thinking of Josh Dean’s family.” “This unexpected loss is shocking for us and for his loved ones,” said Joe Buccino, a spokesperson for Spirit.

Dean, who is from Wichita, is the second whistleblower to pass away this year after speaking up about safety problems in the aviation manufacturing industry. In March, John Barnett, a whistleblower for Boeing who was 62 years old, was discovered deceased in his truck in a hotel parking lot in South Carolina.

The whistleblower’s death is the most recent event in a series of incidents connected to troubled Boeing in the past year. In January, a door plug on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 came off while the plane was flying, causing the FAA to ground all 171 MAX 9 jets and start an investigation.

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Shortly after, at least four people, including the two whistleblowers who have since passed away, came forward to claim that shortcuts in the manufacturing process of the jets were leading to safety concerns. After all the chaos, Dave Calhoun, who is the CEO of Boeing, announced in March that he will resign at the end of the year. Boeing announced that they lost $355 million in the first quarter of 2024.

Joshua Dean spoke up about concerns regarding the safety of aircraft. In a complaint to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), he stated that there had been serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line at Spirit.

In December 2023, he provided testimony in a shareholder lawsuit against Spirit AeroSystems. According to Supply Chain Dive, the shareholders claimed that Spirit did not inform investors about the widespread and ongoing quality problems it was facing. They also alleged that these quality problems were a result of the company prioritizing profits.

“The plaintiffs argued that Spirit’s culture, which focused on production numbers and short-term financial outcomes rather than product quality, contributed to the frequent quality failures. They also claimed that Spirit did not hire enough personnel to meet the demands of producing quality products at the rates required by Spirit and its customers, including Boeing.”

Boeing accused Spirit AeroSystems of making serious mistakes in their products. As a result, Boeing put Spirit AeroSystems on probation from 2018 until at least 2021. During this time, Spirit AeroSystems was not allowed to send parts to Boeing without approval from their managers, according to the lawsuit.

In January, Dean informed the Wall Street Journal that he was fired because he had noticed that holes in jet fuselages had been drilled incorrectly. In April 2023, he lost his job at Spirit Aerosystems. He later claimed that he was fired as a form of revenge.

“At Spirit, Dean said that if you make a lot of noise and cause a lot of trouble, you will be relocated,” Dean said. “It doesn’t mean you ignore everything, but they don’t want you to find and report on everything.”

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