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Plane parts from Boeing’s biggest supplier regularly left the factory riddled with defects: Whistleblower

Boeing says new problem found in 737 could slow deliveries
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A whistleblower said that plane parts from Boeing’s main supplier often had many defects when they left the factory, The Sun reported. Santiago Paredes, who used to be a quality inspector at Spirit AeroSystems in Kansas, has spoken out against the plane manufacturer.

Boeing’s ex-inspector claims to have found up to 200 defects in plane parts

Paredes told the BBC that he frequently found up defects on parts about to be shipped to Boeing. According to the former quality inspector, he was used to discovering “anywhere from 50 to 100, 200” flaws on fuselages. Or the main body of the aircraft, that were scheduled for shipment to Boeing.

He said he got the nickname “showstopper” because he would slow down production while trying to address the issues he found. “I was finding a lot of missing fasteners, a lot of bent parts, sometimes even missing parts,” he claimed.

He told the BBC that some of the defects he found at Spirit were minor, but others were more serious. He also claimed that he faced pressure to be less thorough in his inspections.

The whistleblower made his accusations against Spirit AeroSystems in an exclusive interview with the BBC and CBS, sharing his experiences from his time at the company between 2010 and 2022. This is the first time Paredes, who used to be an Air Force mechanic, has spoken publicly about these issues.

Spirit AeroSystems denies claims

Spirit AeroSystems stated that it “strongly disagrees” with the accusations made against it. “We are vigorously defending against his claims,” said a spokesperson for Spirit, which remains Boeing’s largest supplier.

Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems are facing heavy criticism after a new 737 Max had a door fall off shortly after take-off in January, causing a large hole in the side of the plane. Investigators say that Spirit initially installed the door, but Boeing technicians later removed it to fix issues with faulty riveting.

The incident led the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to start an audit of the production practices at Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing. The audit uncovered several instances where both companies didn’t meet proper manufacturing controls.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.







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