Boeing Urged to Ground 787 Dreamliners Amid Safety Concerns, Whistleblower Claims

A Boeing whistleblower, Sam Salehpour, a quality engineer at Boeing, is sounding alarms over the safety of all 787 Dreamliners, advocating for their immediate grounding worldwide. Salehpour expressed grave concerns about the structural integrity of these long-haul jets, suggesting they could “fall apart at the joints” due to alleged manufacturing shortcuts.

In a revealing interview with NBC Nightly News, Salehpour detailed his observations and the urgent need for a comprehensive inspection of the aircrafts’ fuselages. He highlighted that small, potentially hazardous gaps at the fuselage sections could lead to catastrophic failures if left unchecked.

“The situation is as critical as anything I’ve encountered in my career,” Salehpour stated to NBC’s Lester Holt. “The global fleet needs to be examined to ensure there are no gaps that could lead to premature structural failures.”

Salehpour alleges that in an effort to cut costs and alleviate production delays, Boeing compromised on assembly quality for both the 787 and 777 jets. He claimed that in some instances, mechanics were instructed to forcibly align fuselage sections without using standard shims—small metal spacers designed to fill gaps, asserting this could undermine the aircraft’s durability and safety.

Describing his experiences during the assembly of the 787 Dreamliner, Salehpour recalled witnessing mechanics applying undue pressure to align parts, which masked the existence of critical gaps. He fears that the omission of shims in these gaps could allow for movement between fuselage sections over time, significantly diminishing the aircraft’s structural integrity and potentially leading to a disastrous failure during flight.

After raising these safety issues within Boeing, Salehpour said he faced retaliation and was reassigned from the 787 to the 777 program, where he observed similar concerning practices.

“I even saw personnel jumping on airplane parts to force them into place,” he shared, reflecting on the alarming practices he witnessed.

Salehpour has since lodged a formal whistleblower complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is currently under investigation. This complaint coincides with heightened scrutiny of Boeing following an incident where a door plug was ejected from a Boeing 737 Max 9 during an Alaska Airlines flight.

The FAA has confirmed that they are looking into Salehpour’s allegations as part of their protocol for handling whistleblower claims.

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