The FAA Is Investigating Boeing's 787 Now Too

Photo: Juliette Michel/AFP (Getty Images)
Photo: Juliette Michel/AFP (Getty Images)

The Federal Aviation Administration is once again probing Boeing after the aircraft maker told the safety regulators it may have skipped some required inspections involving the wings of some 787 Dreamliners. That is, uh, not ideal. In a statement, the FAA said Boeing disclosed this issue back in April, and now the agency is looking into whether or not employees at Boeing falsified aircraft records.

Just to get a jump on the issue, Boeing is apparently reinspecting every single Dreamliner that is still in production, and the FAA says the manufacturer will need to create a plan to address issues with 787s that are currently in service, according to The New York Times. Here’s more from the outlet:

“As the investigation continues, the F.A.A. will take any necessary action — as always — to ensure the safety of the flying public,” the statement said.

Boeing did not comment on the agency’s statement, but the company shared an email about the issue that an executive sent last week to employees in South Carolina, where it makes the Dreamliner. In that message, the executive said Boeing had determined that there was no immediate flight safety risk.


The FAA also released a comment to NPR, and it reads as follows:

In a statement to NPR, the FAA said it’s also investigating “whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records.” The agency also said Boeing is re-inspecting “all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet.”

The FAA has been beefing up its scrutiny over Boeing and the 787 after it found production flaws in the planes all the way back in 2022.

Scott Socker, head of the 787 program wrote that an employee “saw something in our factory that he believed was not being done right, and spoke up about it.” The issue was raised to the executive team who notified the FAA. “After receiving the report, we quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating Company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed.”

Boeing tells NPR that it is taking “swift and serious corrective action” with a number of involved employees.

Here’s a little rundown of what Boeing has been dealing with as of late (it’s a lot). From NPR:

In March a former Boeing quality control manager who became a whistleblower about safety issues with the 787 Dreamliner was found dead in a vehicle after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. John Barnett had testified the day before in a deposition related to a string of problems he says he identified at Boeing’s North Charleston, S.C. plant.

Boeing has been under renewed scrutiny for production and quality control lapses after a door plug blew off a 737 Max 9 in-flight in January. After that incident, the FAA faulted Boeing for “multiple instances” of quality control shortcomings in the 737 Max production. Boeing is still reeling following the crashes of two 737 Max aircraft which killed a total of 346 people in 2018 and 2019. Faulty flight software was blamed for both crashes.

This all begs the question: if it’s Boeing, are you still going?

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