US Congress Summons Boeing CEO to Testify on Jet Safety

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner in flight
Photo Credit: Boeing

A US Senate subcommittee has now summoned Boeing CEO David Calhoun to testify at its next week. The subcommittee hearing was convened to hear safety related issues raised by the new whistleblower.

The latest blow for the embattled US plane manufacturer comes in the wake of new allegations relating to the 787 and 777 production lines.

Yesterday it was revealed that a Boeing quality engineer had raised concerns about potential manufacturing issues that he believed could pose safety risks.

Whistleblower Raises Concerns

The whistleblower, a quality engineer named as Sam Salehpour, has expressed concerns about certain manufacturing processes. These were said to involve production of the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 aircraft.

Salehpour has alleged potential safety risks associated with the construction of the aircraft fuselage assemblies. He detailed specifics of his concerns which broadly relate to the jointing of sub-assembly sections of the main fuselage.

Sam Salehpour expressed concern about the manufacturing process after alleging Boeing was taking ‘shortcuts’ to meet production schedules. He estimated that this may impact up to 1400 aircraft from the 787 and 777 production lines.

Mr Salehpour alleges that he had raised concerns with Boeing, who dismissed his approaches and failed to take them seriously.

A Boeing 787-8 on its maiden flight.
Dave Sizer CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Boeing Refutes Claims

Boeing has firmly refuted the allegations made and maintains full confidence in the safety of the 787 Dreamliner.

The manufacturer emphasized its confidence in the aircraft’s continued service life, citing findings of its rigorous testing processes. It anticipates that it will be some three decades before the aircraft variant needs deeper maintenance to extend its operational life.

The manufacturer has assured the public that the aircraft conforms with all regulatory requirements and industry standards.

Congressional Hearing Scheduled

Congress has scheduled a hearing for next week to investigate this matter further. The upcoming hearing will see Sam Salehpour present a detailed account of his concerns. Meanwhile, Boeing CEO David Calhoun could be facing questions from the committee.

Earlier this year, Mr Calhoun announced his retirement, stepping down from the leadership role by year-end as part of a wider shakeup at the company.

Boeing is still working to restore regulatory and public trust which initially began with two fatal crashes of its 737 MAX aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

The manufacturer had made significant strides to improve the safety of the 737 MAX and regain regulatory approval for the aircraft.

This year, the program suffered another setback when an Alaska Airlines aircraft experienced an in-flight incident.

The US plane manufacturer has faced increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies since the January incident.


The congressional hearing has now been set for April 17th. This comes as the Federal Aviation Administration has also launched its own investigation into the safety concerns raised by quality engineer Sam Salehpour.

Boeing are yet to confirm whether CEO Dave Calhoun will attend next week’s Senate subcommittee hearing.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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