Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead In A Truck From “Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound”

The latest twist in what can only be described as an onslaught of horrific news surrounding Boeing – or perhaps the sequel to the Hudsucker Proxy where a mysterious cabal is trying to spark a stock panic so they can buy the company for pennies on the dollar – came this afternoon when we learned that a key whistleblower employee, a former quality control manager who raised concerns about the firm’s production standards, was found dead after an apparent suicide.

John Barnett, a former veteran Boeing employee of 32 years, passed away from a self-inflicted wound on March 9, as confirmed by the Charleston County coroner, according to BBC which broke the news on Monday evening.

Bartnett’s lawyer said that he was found dead in a truck near a hotel parking lot in South Carolina from an alleged “self-inflicted’ wound”, with  Breaking 911 calling it a ‘gunshot’ wound and BBC, the Gateway Pundit and numerous other sources referring to it as a ‘self-inflicted’ wound. 

Barnett was involved in a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing, alleging serious safety concerns at the North Charleston plant, where he managed quality for the 787 Dreamliner production. Boeing was in Charleston for legal interviews related to the lawsuit when he was found dead. 

He claimed the push for speed compromised safety, with sub-standard parts being used and a significant failure rate in emergency oxygen systems. Despite raising these issues, he felt his concerns were disregarded, leading to legal action against Boeing, alleging career damage due to his whistleblowing.

BBC wrote:

He said in some cases, sub-standard parts had even been removed from scrap bins and fitted to planes that were being built to prevent delays on the production line.

He also claimed that tests on emergency oxygen systems due to be fitted to the 787 showed a failure rate of 25%, meaning that one in four could fail to deploy in a real-life emergency.

Boeing has denied his allegations, but the Federal Aviation Administration upheld some of Barnett’s safety concerns in 2017. At the time of his passing, Barnett was engaged in legal proceedings related to his claims.

The FAA said last week it found “multiple instances where the company allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements”.

“This is not a 737 problem, this is a Boeing problem,” he said during a recent interview he took with TMZ, speaking out about his concerns with Boeing airplanes. “Back in 2012, Boeing started removing inspection operations off their jobs,” he continued:

“My concern is with the 737 and the 787,” he said. “Because those programs have really embraced the theory that quality if overhead and non value added.”

In recent year the public’s attention had been focused primarily on the company’s 737 MAX airplane which was grounded briefly after two deadly crashes in 2019 revealed a deadly corporate culture of cutting costs and corners, which led to a collapse in the stock price and cost former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg his job.

However it now appears that concerns about airplane safety at Boeing should focus on the entire production line. Or rather, some have already speculated that Bartnett “killed himself” to contain the damage.

The news comes the same day Al Jazeera posted a video showing a walkthrough of the Boeing plant in South Carolina. There, when asking the employees if they would fly in the jets they are assembling, numerous employees said they would not. 

“Many employees are addicted to drugs and no one cares,” the reporter wrote. That video is here. 

Over the weekend, we learned that the DOJ had opening a criminal investigation into the company: according to the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ has initiated a criminal probe into the incident involving the infamous “Convertible” Alaska Air flight, during which a door plug ripped off a brand new 737 Max mid-flight. 

Then, on Sunday, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Fox News and explained that the Federal Aviation Administration would ‘rigorously’ probe Boeing. He said that maintaining airline safety requires “an enormous amount of rigor in dealing with Boeing and any regulatory issue.” 

Meanwhile, Boeing and federal regulators have their hands full after several aircraft incidents last week

As James Lavish pointed out on Twitter, the company has been awash with controversy since the beginning of the year, including the following separate incidents:

  • Passenger door blown out, mid-air
  • cockpit window cracked, take-off
  • oxygen leak, pre-flight (Blinken incident)
  • passenger notices bolts missing on wing, pre-flight
  • lost wheel during take-off, wobbled off
  • lost wheel after take-off, mid-air
  • plane arrived with cargo door open
  • landing gear malfunction
  • engine failure mid-flight
  • engine fire, mid-flight

As Lavish astutely notes at the end of his Tweet: “the stock still trades at 61 P/E.” Once any of these multiple serious incidents escalate into something deadly, which is a matter of when not if, it won’t be trading there for long.

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