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7 May, 2024 16:36

Boeing investigated over falsified plane records

Suspected “misconduct” at the company’s South Carolina plant has reportedly caused a delay in the delivery of new planes
Boeing investigated over falsified plane records

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it has launched a probe against Boeing to ascertain whether one of its factories may have omitted mandatory inspections and whether employees may have falsified records.

The inquiry was begun after the company itself informed the FAA about what it called “misconduct” at its factory in South Carolina. The issue revolved around the beleaguered 787 program, according to media reports. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a two-aisle plane used mostly for long-haul 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 FAA said in a statement. According to the agency, “Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet.”

No planes were taken out of service following the discovery, according to AP. The company only ordered additional checks at its final assembly plant in North Charleston, delaying the aircraft delivery, the news agency said. The company’s shares dropped by 1.5% late on Monday following the news.

Following inquiries by the media, the aircraft manufacturer released an internal email written by the head of the 787 program, Scott Stocker, who said that a worker at the South Carolina factory noticed an “irregularity” in the required wing-to-body joint tests and reported the issue 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 admitted, adding that the company was taking “swift and serious corrective action” as a result.

The development is the latest in a series of issues confronting the company. Last week, it reported that the lack of a key component was delaying production of the Dreamliner. It blamed the issue on sanctions against Russia, adding that the required parts were produced by a joint US-Russian venture.

The company also recently told investors that it would not be able to deliver as many Dreamliner jets as had been planned this year due to shortages of heat exchangers and cabin seating.

Monthly production of the Boeing 737 MAX has also fallen to single digits as the company is still dealing with manufacturing issues in the wake of an incident that saw a door plug blow out mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines plane in January. The 737 MAX has been plagued by mishaps, including two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in more than 340 deaths.

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