Boeing Dreamliner plant plagued by shoddy production

Bloomberg/Brendon O'Hagan

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The New York Times cited a review of internal emails corporate documents as well as federal records and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees.

Sunday 21, April 2019

(Bloomberg) --Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, one of two plants that produces the 787 Dreamliner, has faced problems with production and oversight that create a safety threat.

Faulty parts have been installed in some of the planes and metal shavings were often left inside the jets. A technician at the plant, Joseph Clayton, said he routinely found debris dangerously close to wiring beneath cockpits.

Brad Zaback, Boeing South Carolina’s site leader, disputed the report in an email to his team, saying the manufacturing operations are healthy and it’s performing strongly based on its quality metrics.

“The report paints a skewed and inaccurate picture of the programme and of our team here at Boeing South Carolina, this article features distorted information, rehashing old stories and rumours that have long ago been put to rest,” Zaback said.

John Barnett, a former Boeing Quality Manager, said he found clusters of metal slivers hanging over the wiring that commands flight controls. A US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Spokesman, Lynn Lunsford, said the agency inspected several planes that Boeing had certified as free of such debris and found the same metal slivers.

Less than a month after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max jet on 10 March, which came five months after another Boeing 737 Max crashed in Indonesia, Boeing called North Charleston employees to a meeting and told them customers were finding random objects in new planes.

Kevin McAllister, Boeing’s Head of Commercial Airplanes defended the South Carolina team and said they were producing the highest levels of quality.

“I am proud of our teams’ exceptional commitment to quality and stand behind the work they do each and every day,” McAllister said.

The newspaper’s report comes as Boeing is close to submitting its software fix linked with the two fatal 737 Max accidents, once Boeing’s proposed fix is finalised, it will be reviewed by US regulators.

The FAA’s testing could go beyond June.

TAGS : Boeing 787 Dreamliner , Boeing 737 Max, North Charleston factory

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