Weather Data Source: South Carolina Weather

Boeing Questioned in U.S. Senate Hearings Over Safety Culture

Senate hearing scrutiny concept.

Boeing Questioned in U.S. Senate Hearings Over Safety Culture

Aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing is under scrutiny following a series of U.S. Senate hearings held on April 17, 2024, spurred by incidents calling into question the safety protocols of the company.

Profits Over Safety Claimed

During the hearings, lawmakers along with whistleblowers shed light on allegations accusing Boeing of prioritizing profits over safety. One such inquiry concentrated on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, produced in North Charleston. This comes on the back of an array of safety issues the company has experienced with its commercial jets, including an incident in January where a door-plug panel dislodged from an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX during a flight.

“Boeing is at a moment of reckoning,” asserted U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, who presides over the investigations arm of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In his direct words, the underlying cause of these safety problems is “100% about money.”

Boeing Engineer Raises Concerns

Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour testified before Blumenthal’s committee, issuing warnings that shortcuts taken by Boeing could potentially lead to planes breaking apart mid-flight. He further emphasized that seemingly inconsequential details “the size of a human hair can be a matter of life and death.”

Salehpour went on to suggest that the “entire fleet” of 787s be grounded until comprehensive inspections could be carried out. Boeing, on the other hand, insisted that repeated testing revealed no issues.

No Appearance from Boeing Executives

Neither Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun nor any other senior executives from the company appeared at the hearings. The aircraft manufacturer, aiming to defend its safety track record, organized a detailed technical briefing at its 787 Dreamliner campus located in North Charleston.

In a written statement delivered to The Post and Courier, Boeing defended its record stating, “In 13 years of service, the global 787 fleet has safely transported more than 850 million passengers on more than 4.2 million flights.” It further posited that a 787 could continue safe operations for at least 30 years before requiring expanded maintenance routines.

Whistleblowers and Ongoing Investigations

Boeing is currently embroiled in separate ongoing investigations being pursued by the FAA, the Justice Department, and the National Transportation Safety Board. In the face of this scrutiny, the option for the government to review a 2021 agreement that allowed Boeing to evade criminal prosecution on charges of misleading regulators about the 737 Max was discussed at the hearings.

Boeing Questioned in U.S. Senate Hearings Over Safety Culture

HERE Charleston
Author: HERE Charleston

More Charleston Stories

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

Featured Business

Featured Neighborhood

Sign up for our Newsletter