Boeing whistleblower who accused supplier of ignoring flaws dies

Joshua Dean alleged Spirit AeroSystems had ignored safety concerns

Joshua Dean was a former auditor with Spirit AeroSystems. Reuters
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Joshua Dean, a former auditor with Spirit AeroSystems and a whistleblower who alleged the supplier ignored safety concerns in Boeing's 737 Max production, has died.

Mr Dean died on Tuesday morning after facing a sudden and fast-spreading infection, the Seattle Times first reported. Mr Dean died after being in critical condition for two weeks, his aunt told the outlet.

Mr Dean is the second whistleblower to have died after a door plug blew off a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft during an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

Former Boeing employee John Barnett died of an apparently self-inflicted wound in March. Mr Barnett expressed concerns about Boeing's production standards and had provided evidence in a lawsuit against Boeing in the days before his death.

Mr Dean, who previously worked for Spirit AersoSystems, had previously filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration in which he alleged the Boeing supplier engaged in misconduct of the quality management of the 737 production line.

He later filed a complaint with the Labour Department after Spirit fired him in April 2023. He told NPR his termination was in retaliation for pointing out poorly drilled holes in fuselages.

Speaking to NPR in February, Mr Dean said his termination was a message to other outspoken employees.

Updated: May 02, 2024, 4:25 PM