False Inspection Records for the B787 Dreamliner Come During Critical Month for Boeing

The FAA is probing Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner production after a report by the Wall Street Journal highlighted serious lapses at Boeing’s South Carolina facility, where employees allegedly falsified inspection records for the wing-to-body joint. The internal investigation was prompted by an email from Scott Stocker, Vice President and General Manager of the 787 program, which revealed “irregularities in a required conformance test” and acknowledged that several employees had falsified records. Although Boeing claims there is no immediate flight safety issue, about 450 aircraft could be affected, with around 60 still in production being re-inspected.

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Source: Boeing

This controversy emerges as Boeing halted 787 deliveries last month and faces pressure to boost production rates from five to ten aircraft per month by the end of 2026. The timing is critical as the Department of Justice’s deferred prosecution agreement related to the Alaska Flight 1282 incident is set to expire at the end of May. Moreover, Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting and the planned launch of the Starliner spacecraft are both scheduled for May 17, adding to the significance of the current challenges.