Boeing whistleblower says he’s ‘at peace’ if something happens to him

Boeing whistleblower Sam Salepour appeared to tear up as he told a Senate committee that he was “relieved” by the decision to go public with his story.

Salepour, a Boeing quality engineer, said the company “rushed to address production bottlenecks” that resulted in parts of the 787 Dreamliner’s fuselage being improperly connected, resulting in serious problems. He claimed he was isolated and threatened after raising concerns about a possible gap. This leads to “early fatigue failure.”

The engineer said he was removed from projects, removed from meetings and harassed by his superiors after he raised his concerns, and that he believes someone flattened his tire with a bolt while he was working.

“I’m really scared, but believe me, I’m relieved,” Salepour told the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations during a hearing Wednesday.

“I feel safe knowing that if something were to happen to me, I could come forward and save many lives,” he added.

The hearing comes just over a month after another Boeing whistleblower, John Barnett, was found dead while testifying in a lawsuit against his former employer.

Barnett also accused the major airlines of retaliating against him after he pointed out manufacturing problems at a 787 factory in South Carolina. Local officials said the man appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Rodney Barnett said Associated Press His brother “suffered from PTSD and anxiety attacks as a result of exposure to harsh work conditions at Boeing, which we believe contributed to his death.”

A Boeing spokesperson previously told The Hill that the company “understands the subcommittee’s important oversight responsibilities and we are cooperating with this investigation.” We have offered to provide documentation, testimony, and technical briefings, and are discussing next steps with the subcommittee. ”

In addition to the congressional investigation, Boeing is also under investigation by the Justice Department and the Federal Aviation Administration following a high-profile crash in January. The door plug of a Boeing 737 Max 9 flew off shortly after takeoff on an Alaska Airlines flight, and while no one was killed, there was universal agreement, even at Boeing, that the company’s safety culture and policies needed to change.

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) thanked Salepour and those who came forward to tell their stories.

“Thank you for your courage. Thank you for speaking truth to power in the highest sense of the word. Thank you for standing up to one of the most powerful corporations in the world,” Blumenthal said. “We will uncover what allows this culture of safety to exist so we can change it for good.”

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