Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead in Hotel Parking Lot After Missing Court Appearance

Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead in Hotel Parking Lot After Missing Court Appearance

A former Boeing employee and whistleblower, who was in the midst of a series of interviews concerning a whistleblower lawsuit, was found dead Saturday.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office said John Barnett, 62, was killed by what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Fox Business.

The BBC reported that Barnett was giving evidence in a lawsuit against Boeing in the days before his death and had an interview scheduled for Saturday. When he did not arrive, a search was undertaken. His body was found in his truck in a hotel parking lot.

Barnett was suing the company, claiming it had maligned his character and impacted his career because he had been a whistleblower. Barnett worked for Boeing for 32 years before retiring in 2017.

Barnett had worked at Boeing’s North Charleston plant, which makes the 787 Dreamliner. He alleged that there were problems with the oxygen systems on the 787s, claiming one in four oxygen masks potentially would not work in an emergency.

Barnett also claimed sub-standard parts were used to meet production schedules.

The Federal Aviation Administration later substantiated some of Barnett’s allegations.

Barnett also alleged that clusters of metal slivers were causing a potential danger to wiring, according to The New York Times.

When inspecting planes Boeing had certified as free from any such issue, the FAA found the slivers.

The Department of Justice is opening a criminal investigation into Boeing in the aftermath of investigations into the production of 737-9 MAX jets, such as the one that had a door blow off in mid-flight, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing last week said it can’t find important records about that plane, according to The New York Times.

Boeing had been told to find documentation about the removal and re-installation of the panel that blew off the plane

In a letter to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Boeing said it could not find what was requested.

Last week, the FAA announced that after auditing Boeing and supplier Spirit AeroSystems it “found multiple instances where the companies allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.”

“The FAA identified non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control,” the agency said in a release, adding that Boeing was given 90 days to develop a compliance plan.

“To hold Boeing accountable for its production quality issues, the FAA has halted production expansion of the Boeing 737 MAX, is exploring the use of a third party to conduct independent reviews of quality systems, and will continue its increased onsite presence at Boeing’s facility in Renton, Washington, and Spirit AeroSystems’ facility in Wichita, Kansas,” the FAA said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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