Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

( – In a scene seemingly reminiscent of something out of a suspense thriller, a Boeing whistleblower was found dead inside his car in the parking lot of the South Carolina hotel he was staying at.

Police said that an initial investigation indicates that 62-year-old John Barnett sustained a “self-inflicted” gunshot wound to the head. Barnett was a former quality control manager for Boeing, and had provided testimony claiming that the aircraft manufacturer was skimping on safety protocols and safety features for many of the airplanes it has sold, many of them to commercial airlines.

Barnett had just testified in a deposition just a day earlier, saying that he had found multiple problems during an inspection of the company’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft just before it was to be shipped out to buyers. A long-time Boeing employee, Barnett said that the airline maker’s manufacturing processes have seen a decline – rather than improvements – in recent years. He also claimed that the company had established a culture where workers were being pressured to omit potential defects or problems from any documentation or report they would submit, including in company communications.

The whistleblower also claimed that Boeing was using sub-standard parts in many of its planes in order to cut costs and meet their deadlines. One example was the oxygen system in the 787 Dreamliner, which Barnett said suffered from serious problems. Boeing acknowledged that the Dreamliner had problems, but only with a small number oxygen devices. The airline manufacturer also clarified that none of the defective devices were ever put into an aircraft. Barnett also claims that he tried to escalate the situation to higher management but was constantly told to slow down.

Police happened upon Barnett’s body after heading to his hotel to conduct a welfare check after multiple individuals said that they were unable to get a hold of him. The victim was “pronounced dead at the scene.”

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