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US lawmakers in the Senate have officially called for Boeing CEO David Calhoun to testify regarding new safety concerns raised about the company’s aircraft.

A Senate subcommittee plans to conduct a hearing next week to delve into these issues, spotlighted by whistleblower Sam Salehpour, a Boeing quality engineer. Salehpour is anticipated to present detailed safety concerns regarding the manufacture and assembly of the 787 Dreamliner, which he believes could pose “potentially catastrophic safety risks.”


Boeing’s response to the Senate’s call remains uncertain, as the company has not confirmed Calhoun’s attendance at the April 17 hearing. However, Boeing emphasized its cooperation with the subcommittee’s inquiry, offering documents, testimonies, and technical briefings. This hearing comes in the wake of the Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation into Salehpour’s allegations, which began in February. Salehpour’s concerns, initially reported by The New York Times, revolve around shortcuts in the 787 Dreamliner’s fuselage assembly, potentially leading to deformations that compromise the aircraft’s structural integrity over time.

Salehpour alleges that his warnings about these manufacturing issues were met with retaliation from Boeing, including his reassignment to another project. Despite these claims, Boeing defends the safety and structural integrity of the 787 Dreamliner, stating that the concerns raised do not affect the aircraft’s safety or its service life. The company also reiterated its policy against retaliation, encouraging employees to voice any issues.

The scrutiny of Boeing’s safety practices has intensified following an incident in January, where a door panel on a 737 Max 9 jet blew out mid-flight. This incident, along with other reported quality issues with the 787 and 737 Max models, has cast a shadow over Boeing’s safety culture. Amid these challenges, CEO David Calhoun recently announced his retirement by the end of the year.


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