Suspicions are raised after this “suicide” of a Boeing engineer who warned about safety issues with this plane

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Fear of flying still affects many people, even though it has been the safest way to travel for decades.

Aviation safety has been called into question because of some scary problems that have been showing up in Boeing planes.

But when this retired Boeing engineer who raised these safety concerns died because of an alleged suicide, many people became suddenly alarmed. 

Boeing whistleblower found dead

John Barnett was a 62-year-old man who had worked for Boeing for over 30 years before he retired in 2017.

Barnett was a quality control engineer for the company, and in 2019, he told the BBC that they had compromised safety by rushing to try and get their 787 Dreamliner jets off the production line as fast as possible.

He also recently provided his first testimony discussing safety concerns as part of a bombshell lawsuit against the company but was later found dead in his truck in the parking lot of a South Carolina hotel.

The Charleston County coroner said that Barnett died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

However, his Attorney, Brian Knowles, said that the circumstances of his death and the self-inflicted gunshot are “alleged.”

When speaking to Corporate Crime Reporter, Knowles said, “Today is a tragic day. John had been back and forth for quite some time getting prepared. The defense examined him for their allowed seven hours under the rules on Thursday.”

Barnett had been staying at the hotel in South Carolina so he could be there to provide a deposition in a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing. 

When his lawyer and his co-counsel called Barnett’s phone several times and it went to voicemail, they began to become concerned.

“We then asked the hotel to check on him. They found him in his truck dead from an ‘alleged’ self-inflicted gunshot. We drove to the hotel and spoke with the police and the coroner,” said Knowles.

Meanwhile, Boeing has released a statement regarding Barnett’s death, saying, “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Boeing under scrutiny

The major airline manufacturer has been under intense scrutiny over the last few months regarding a wide variety of issues on its planes.

In January, a door plug blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate.

The FAA found “unacceptable” quality control issues during a separate audit into Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems.

Auditors discovered that Boeing had failed 33 out of 89 product audits and had 97 counts of alleged noncompliance, all related to various aspects of its production line.

Spirit AeroSystems, which makes the body of 737 Max jets, failed seven out of 13 product audits, with one notable failure related to how the aircraft’s door plugs were installed.

Even more concerning is that FAA auditors found mechanics at Boeing using a hotel key card to check a jet door, and another mechanic used Dawn dish soap as a lubricant as part of the fit-up process for the door.

Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.