Lawmakers, the FAA, and CEOs put Boeing on blast after whistleblower report

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is calling aspects of Boeing’s business practices unacceptable, and lawmakers are saying the company needs to put safety over making money.

This comes after a whistleblower’s report placed the blame on the company for the midair terror on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

"The quality assurance issues we have seen are unacceptable," said FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.

The FAA announced a path forward for Boeing to get its 737 Max 9s back into the air.

The Max 9s are the same model of plane that had its door plug fly off in midair during Alaska Airlines flight 1282 from Portland on Jan 5.

Since the incident, the FAA has grounded those types of planes. That hold up has cost Alaska and United Airlines, who both fly 737 Max 9s, millions of dollars.


Passengers describe 'terror,' bleeding ears and no oxygen flow in lawsuit against Boeing

Seven passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight that had to make an emergency landing due to a door blowing out mid-flight are suing Boeing.

To get them flying again, the FAA says each plane must go through an approved inspection.

However, the FAA is also putting other restrictions in place for Boeing. The FAA announced they are capping the number of new Max airplanes Boeing can produce a year.

"What it amounts to is Boeing has hundreds of airplanes. They sold positions for delivery this year, next year, and years beyond that at the current production rates that they can’t deliver," said Scott Hamilton, an aviation industry consultant with the Leeham Company. 

Leeham’s blog is where a whistleblower, claiming to be a Boeing employee, stated that Boeing is at fault for the Alaska Airlines fiasco.

"I don’t know who this particular current employee at Boeing is, but I have active sources who are retired from Boeing, including one who is a former safety inspector at Boeing, and they looked at this and said, ‘Yep. This is clearly a Boeing employee and knows what he is talking about,’" said Hamilton.

Hamilton says it is disturbing to see the sort of sloppiness that could be coming from the company, according to the whistleblower’s statement.

"I think that’s going to be the tip of the iceberg, and I think by the time the NTSB and the FAA get done with this, it’s going to get uglier before it gets better," said Hamilton.


There is nothing official about this whistleblower’s comments, but they are getting national attention.

United States Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray both referenced the report in statements. Murray called it "alarming."

FOX 13 News reached out to the FAA, NTSB, Boeing, and Alaska Airlines but none of them would comment on the whistleblower’s statement.

On Thursday, Boeing shut down its operations in Renton for the day. The reason was to allow teams at the factory to participate in a session focusing on quality after the Alaska Airlines incident.

The company says they will continue having these quality sessions.