Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Found Dead

John Barnett, a former Boeing employee who was blowing the whistle to help a lawsuit against the company, has been found dead, according to reports.

Barnett died on March 9 at the age of 62, authorities revealed.

The whistleblower apparently died from what police have described as a “self-inflicted wound.”

Prior to his death, Barnett had “been giving evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the company,” per the BBC.

After working with Boeing for 32 years, Barnett retired from the company in 2017 for health reasons.

From 2010, he worked as a quality manager at the North Charleston plant making the 787 Dreamliner, a state-of-the-art airliner used mainly on long-haul routes, according to the BBC.

In 2019, Barnett told the BBC that under-pressure workers had been deliberately fitting sub-standard parts to aircraft on the production line.

He also said he had uncovered serious problems with oxygen systems, which could mean one in four breathing masks would not work in an emergency.

Soon after starting work in South Carolina, Barnett said he had become concerned that the push to get new aircraft built meant the assembly process was rushed.

He said this push had resulted in safety being compromised.

The allegation is something the company denied.

He later told the BBC that workers had failed to follow procedures intended to track components through the factory.

These failures had allowed defective components to go missing.

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In some cases, Barnett said sub-standard parts had even been removed from scrap bins and fitted to planes that were being built to prevent delays on the production line.

Barnett further said that emergency oxygen systems for the Boeing 787 had a failure rate of 25 percent in a real-life emergency.

He added that he alerted upper management to the problems but his warnings were ignored.

While Boeing denied all of his claims, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed in 2017 that some of his arguments had merit.

The FAA determined that at least 53 “non-conforming” parts in the factory were considered lost.

The federal agency demanded that Boeing take “remedial action.”

Barnett had been in Charleston at the time of his death and even gave a formal deposition last week.

On March 9, he was found dead in his truck in the hotel parking lot where he was residing.

His lawyer described the death as “tragic.”


Boeing responded to the news by issuing a statement expressing condolences to his family.

“We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends,” said the company.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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