Boeing Says Workers Falsified 787 Inspection Records

FAA is investigating the incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2024 1:00 AM CDT
Boeing Says Workers Falsified 787 Inspection Records
A Boeing ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, sits on the tarmac at their campus in North Charleston, S.C., May 30, 2023.   (Gavin McIntyre/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File)

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it has opened an investigation into Boeing after the beleaguered company reported that workers at a South Carolina plant falsified inspection records on certain 787 planes. Boeing said its engineers have determined that misconduct did not create "an immediate safety of flight issue." In an email to Boeing's South Carolina employees on April 29, Scott Stocker, who leads the 787 program, said a worker observed an "irregularity" in a required test of the wing-to-body join and reported it to his manager. "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," Stocker wrote. Boeing notified the FAA and is taking "swift and serious corrective action with multiple teammates," Stocker said, per the AP.

No planes have been taken out of service, but having to perform the test out of order on planes will slow the delivery of jets still being built at the final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. Boeing must also create a plan to address planes that are already flying, the FAA said. The 787 is a two-aisle plane that debuted in 2011 and is used mostly for long international flights. "The company voluntarily informed us in April that it may not have completed required inspections to confirm adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes," the agency said in a written statement. "The FAA is investigating whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records." (Boeing just called off its first astronaut launch two hours before the planned liftoff Monday night.)

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