FAA Probes Falsified Boeing 787 Inspection Records

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the taxiway.
Gordon Werner from Seattle, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a new investigation into Boeing to determine whether workers falsified 787 production records.

This follows the US manufacturers self-disclosure that some workers at its North Charleston, South Carolina facility had reportedly falsified inspection records on certain 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Focus on 787 Inspections

The falsified records pertained to essential inspections on the wing-to-body join, a critical area for structural integrity and electrical grounding.

These inspections ensure proper bonding, a process that verifies a secure connection between the fuselage and wings.

In the confirming statement the FAA advises that it has now opened an investigation into the matter.

FAA Investigation Actions Following Disclosure

The aviation regulator states that Boeing voluntarily provided a disclosure in April this year. In its communication, Boeing advised that it may not have completed the required inspections on certain 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

As a result the FAA will now investigate to determine the following:

  • whether Boeing completed the subject inspections, and
  • whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records.

At the same time Boeing will re-inspect all 787 Dreamliner aircraft still within the production system. It must also create a plan to address the current in-service fleet of aircraft.

A Boeing 787 parked at the factory.
Photo Credit: Boeing

Safety Concerns and Response

While Boeing maintains the issue did not pose an immediate safety risk, the FAA’s investigation aims to determine the extent of the falsification and ensure continued aircraft safety.

According to a report by AP News, Boeing’s engineers have made a determination that the alleged incidents do not raise “an immediate safety of flight issue”.

The potential misconduct was reportedly raised initially in an email to company employees in South Carolina by Scott Stocker, the lead of the 787 wide-body program.

Stocker had received advice to a concern by the worker advising of an “irregularity” in the mandatory testing of the wing to fuselage join.

Stocker advised of the matter in his email to employees. “After receiving the report, we quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating Company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed.”

It is understood from disclosures that Boeing is pursuing corrective action with multiple employees as a result.


This incident adds another layer of scrutiny to Boeing, which has faced growing challenges in recent times. The manufacturer was still recovering from the grounding of the 737 MAX following two fatal crashes.  

This year the manufacturer has seen regulatory scrutiny focus on both the 737 and 787 production lines. This follows a mid-air incident involving a 737 MAX 9, and subsequent revelations of concerns by whistleblowers.

As per their confirming statement, the FAA will now formulate a program of inspections to address the current operational fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The inspection of current aircraft on the Boeing production line may have a knock-on effect with delays in production and deliveries. The effect, and the outcome, of these subsequent inspections remains to be seen.

Click the banner to subscribe to our weekly newsleter.

Click the photo to join our WhatsApp channel so then you can stay up to date with everything going on in the aviation industry!

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
You Might Also Enjoy