John Barnett: Unanswered Questions Surround Death of Boeing Whistleblower


A retired Boeing employee who had raised concerns about the company’s production standards has been discovered dead. John Barnett, 62, had worked for Boeing for over three decades before retiring in 2017. He passed away on March 9, according to the Charleston County Coroner in South Carolina.

Barnett had worked as a quality manager at the Boeing factory in South Carolina and had made allegations in 2019 about safety concerns being ignored by the company. He claimed that substandard parts were being used to build planes and that his warnings were disregarded by management. Boeing has refuted Barnett’s claims.

The coroner’s office has reported that Barnett died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. At the time of his passing, Barnett had been providing evidence in a legal case against Boeing. He had accused the company of using substandard parts on planes and failing to address faulty oxygen systems.

Boeing expressed sadness over Barnett’s death and extended condolences to his family and friends. It is uncertain what will happen with the legal case Barnett had brought against Boeing, as he was expected to provide testimony at a court hearing. His death comes at a time when Boeing is facing increased scrutiny due to safety issues with its aircraft.

The death of former Boeing employee John Barnett, known for raising concerns about the company’s production standards, has sparked attention and raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his passing.

Background and Allegations

John Barnett had a long tenure at Boeing, spanning 32 years until his retirement in 2017. During his time at the company’s North Charleston plant, which manufactures the 787 Dreamliner, Barnett raised alarm about what he perceived as compromised safety standards and rushed production processes.

Whistleblower Lawsuit and Allegations

In a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing, Barnett alleged that under pressure, workers were fitting sub-standard parts to aircraft on the production line. He also expressed concerns about serious problems with oxygen systems, which could potentially lead to failures in emergency situations.

Legal Action and Deposition

Barnett’s concerns led to legal action against Boeing, where he accused the company of denigrating his character and impeding his career advancement due to the issues he raised. Despite Boeing’s denial of his allegations, a 2017 review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) partially upheld Barnett’s concerns, prompting Boeing to take corrective measures.

Tragic Death

In the midst of legal proceedings, Barnett was found dead from a “self-inflicted” wound on March 9th. His death occurred shortly after giving a formal deposition in the legal case against Boeing. He was scheduled for further questioning but was found deceased in his truck in a hotel car park.

Industry Scrutiny

Barnett’s passing comes at a time when both Boeing and its supplier Spirit Aerosystems are under intense scrutiny for production standards. Recent incidents, such as an emergency exit door detachment on a Boeing 737 Max, have raised concerns about manufacturing quality control.

Investigation and Response

The circumstances surrounding Barnett’s death are under investigation by authorities. Boeing expressed sadness at his passing and extended condolences to his family and friends. The company continues to face scrutiny over production standards, with recent findings by the FAA indicating multiple instances of alleged non-compliance with manufacturing quality control requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *