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Former Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Tragically Found Dead

Published March 12, 2024
2 months ago


In a disconcerting turn of events, John Barnett, a former Boeing employee who became a whistleblower against the company, was found dead in South Carolina, United States. At 62 years of age, Barnett's passing on Saturday was labeled as stemming from an “apparent self-inflicted” wound according to Charleston County Coroner Bobbi Jo O'Neal. While details are sparse, the investigation underway by Charleston City Police Department raises concerns amidst Barnett’s recent activities related to a whistleblower lawsuit against Boeing.


John Barnett's association with Boeing has been long-standing, having served over 30 years before his retirement in 2017. During his tenure, he raised critical safety concerns about the 787 Dreamliner's oxygen system, which could fail passengers in an emergency. Despite his allegations, Boeing remained firm in its commitment to safety, denying the claims made by Barnett.


Boeing's response to Barnett's death was one of condolence, extending sympathies to his family and friends. The aerospace manufacturer's safety record has been under intense examination after two catastrophic accidents involving their 737 MAX aircraft in recent years. Questions on Boeing's safety culture resurfaced with several recent incidents, including an emergency landing due to an engine fire and a "technical event" causing strong movement and injuries on a flight to New Zealand.


Furthermore, US media reported a criminal investigation into a mid-flight incident of a Boeing 737 MAX in January, with the preliminary report citing missing bolts on a door as contributory evidence. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated Boeing to rectify production and inspectional discrepancies within 90 days, in line with audit findings of "non-compliance issues."


Barnett's lawyer, Brian Knowles, has yet to make a statement regarding the incident. The timing of Barnett's death, coinciding with his unveiling of safety claims against Boeing, paints a somber and contemplatory picture for the aviation industry.



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