After testifying, former Boeing employee found dead in S.C.

A former Boeing employee who raised concerns about the company’s production standards has been found dead.

As reported by the Charleston County Coroner, 62-year-old John Barnett died on March 9 after working for Boeing for several decades.

As a quality manager at the Boeing factory in South Carolina, Barnett worked for Boeing for 32 years before retiring in 2017.

He has claimed that Boeing ignored safety concerns he raised with managers about cutting corners and using substandard parts to build planes. Boeing denies Barnett’s allegations.

The coroner’s office said the former Boeing employee died from a “self-inflicted” gunshot wound. Police are still investigating the death.

At the time of his death, Barnett was giving testimony in a long-running legal case against Boeing.

He claimed employees at its South Carolina plant frequently fitted substandard parts on planes and he also reported faulty oxygen systems that could result in oxygen masks not working correctly. Apparently, workers at the factory were fitting planes with scrap parts from scrap bins, according to Barnett.

In 2019, John Barnett told The New York Times, “I haven’t seen a plane out of Charleston that I would say is safe and airworthy.” He accused Boeing of defaming his character and stifling his career. Boeing denied the claims.

As a result of a series of safety issues on board Boeing’s aircraft, Boeing is under increased scrutiny at the moment. Following takeoff from San Francisco last week, a Boeing 777 jetliner was forced to make an emergency landing when a wheel fell off and fell into an airport parking lot.

In January, Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 Max 9 suffered a door blowout at 16,000 feet. The Boeing 737 MAX has been involved in two fatal crashes since 2018.