Boeing's Vast Network of Fraud
If you thought that the Boeing Management fraud endangering your safety as documented on this website is just limited to throughout the Boeing enterprise, you would be mistaken.
In fact, the fraud in Quality (and therefore Safety) Assurance that habitually corrupt Boeing Management engages in is by far not limited to just within The Boeing Company.
To corrupt Boeing Management, limiting this fraud to just within The Boeing Company would have only limited benefit to quarterly financial results and the price of its stock they depend on for much of their obscenely excessive compensation. In addition to stock options, Boeing management gets yearly generous bonuses well beyond what non-management employees receive, which are dependent on their "playing ball" and engaging in the fraud documented here.
So, to maximize their compensation, keep their positions, and earn promotions, (another of many such promotions at this link) Boeing management extends what they see as lucrative quality assurance fraud not only throughout the enterprise, but they also extend it throughout their vast supplier base as well.
It is pure genius, from the standpoint of corrupt Boeing Management. Boeing Management has had a policy, at least since as far back as when McDonnell Douglas's corrupt management effectively took over Boeing in 1997, of "maximizing value" to the bottom line by any means possible, legal or illegal. As late as the late 80's, Boeing Management had a focus foremost on engineering and quality, with cost and stock price just being the benefit of those focus areas. But, as noted, that changed 180 degrees, and corrupt Boeing Management has dedicated itself to use all of Boeing's immense power to leverage the stock price they see as their only absolute goal. And they use Boeing's power to maximize the value to the bottom line in multiple areas of fraud, chiefly the fraud they direct in Boeing's "Quality Management System." And, as noted, they have ensured the maximum value of this fraud by extending it throughout Boeing's supplier base.
Boeing's suppliers have to engage in at least as much, if not more, fraud in quality assurance as Boeing itself does in order to be selected as a Boeing supplier.
Boeing ensures its suppliers can engage in this fraud in multiple ways, giving new meaning to the acronym "RICO:"
1. Their pressure on Boeing suppliers to reduce costs, no matter how that affects the quality or safety of the airplane components they deliver to Boeing for incorporation on Boeing airplanes. This constant pressure from Boeing effectively trains suppliers that the only thing that matters is delivering products to Boeing at ever reducing cost, on schedule. This long internally held Boeing ethic (that cost and schedule always trumps quality and safety requirements) is then internalized by Boeing suppliers, who also ignore quality requirements more and more as cost pressures increase.
2. They ensure that the audit system they pretend to have in place to oversee the conformance of suppliers' quality assurance systems does not find quality system nonconformances at suppliers beyond a few instances to use in Boeing P.R., should that be needed. They do this in multiple ways:
A. Inadequate audit frequency to ensure supplier quality system minimum requirements.
B. Ensuring that supplier audits, in the limited times they allow them to occur, only find minimum and token examples of nonconformances, rather than impartially and completely auditing their quality systems. That way supplier quality system nonconformity continues to be assured, with what they see as the resulting benefits to Boeing's bottom line.
C. Mostly limiting audits to suppliers that Boeing Management thinks can have a positive benefit to Boeing's bottom line if certain areas of that supplier's quality system are somewhat improved, such as limiting the audit of suppliers to those suppliers who delivered components to Boeing whose defects could not ultimately be delivered to Boeing's customers, such as when Boeing had to pay workers and engineers at Boeing to fix a supplier discrepancy when two parts couldn't be hammered together during production at Boeing.
Since Boeing has to have a token supplier quality audit team in place so as to appear to meet minimally enforced FAA requirements to have such a team, Boeing Management ensures that in the very few token instances that team is allowed to audit a supplier, that the token findings at that supplier are thusly "value added" as much as possible to Boeing's bottom line.
D. Ensuring limited audit scope to ensure that "value adding" noncompliance throughout the supplier base is maintained. This, along with the noted inadequate audit frequency, ensures that there is no way the token audit of Boeing suppliers' quality systems will have any relationship with the actual level of noncomformity throughout the Boeing supplier base, ensuring maximum value by that nonconformity to Boeing's bottom line. Exactly as in the case of Boeing's FAA, it is a Boeing owned system just for show--not a working system of oversight that ensures quality and safety in any real or verifiable way. Today, the only real quality assurance data that Boeing Management pays attention to is the number of Boeing airplane crashes on TV, and that is only when media coverage of those crashes is large enough to be considered a problem for Boeing's stock price, which to corrupt Boeing Management, is the only indicator of the health of the enterprise that matters, as noted.
E. Modeling their audit system on the corrupt system Boeing has put in place at the FAA through quid pro quo hiring of key FAA Management and employees, thereby ensuring that Boeing's supplier audit system only finds compliance, rather than finding the myriad noncompliances in Boeing suppliers' quality systems, just as the Boeing corrupted FAA now does. The goal is not to find noncompliance at the supplier with its quality system, but is instead to simply document that the supplier is compliant, no matter their level of actual compliance, as long as they keep their prices to Boeing low. (Notice there is no mention of supplier product quality at that last link--only cost pressure by Boeing on those suppliers. And so it goes.) It is a system Boeing has defiled, just as they have long ensured with the FAA's entire production certificate oversight system itself. A true audit of supplier quality assurance can never be allowed by Boeing or the FAA, for that would show just how corrupt the system is, which would endanger Boeing's delegation from the FAA to do such supplier audits themselves, which to their twisted ethic, would destroy all of the "value" to Boeing's bottom line of the systemic noncompliance their intentional lack of real auditing and cost pressures on suppliers have added to Boeing's bottom line.
F. Reducing what used to be a multi-layered system of oversight to much less than one level of oversight--a level of oversight that is largely pretend as noted above. Boeing used to inspect supplier components on receipt at Boeing plants in addition to auditing suppliers at their factories. I know, I was loaned out to do Product Quality Assurance (PQA) to keep me from actually minimally inspecting engines and struts on the production floor at Boeing's Propulsion Systems Division (PSD) as I would actually document every defect I found during those inspections. Boeing's Renton plant used to do most PQA functions, however, at that time, PSD did PQA on some components that were later installed on the Engine Build-Ups (EBUs) during installations there. As I remember, PSD's PQA processes at that time were as extremely haphazard as any other function of QA at PSD.
3. Protecting this "value adding" Boeing system of noncompliance at Boeing suppliers via Boeing Management's control over the FAA, ensuring it is never ended by the only enforcement agency that could possibly stop it.
4. Aside from this intentional lack of FAA oversight, Boeing continuously reduces all levels of oversight within and over the Boeing supplier quality assurance system, as those activities are "non-value adding" in ensuring maximum cost savings from supplier noncompliance per Boeing's almost purely cost and schedule focused management culture. This is flowed down within Boeing and to all suppliers, ensuring only token quality assurance efforts or less at each level of the production process, maximizing value to the bottom line.
You may be wondering, "Last Inspector, that is some very serious fraud you are alleging within Boeing's supplier quality system oversight. Your documentation of Boeing QA Management fraud within Boeing on your website is detailed, first hand witnessed by you across the enterprise, and compelling--however, how do you know Boeing is ensuring similar fraud within their vast supplier network?"
It is not just my opinion by far, but it is instead something that I both witnessed and documented at the time as well, just as I did when I encountered the same fraud within and across Boeing.
When Boeing terminated me for whistleblowing to the press about other Boeing fraud and for preparing to whistleblow to the press about the Boeing QA Management fraud that was my central concern, I had to find other employment while I fought the unfounded charges Boeing and their prosecutor lodged against me, as well as while I pressed my related grievance with the union.
During that time, I worked as a Quality Assurance Inspector at three Boeing suppliers in Washington, From Bothell to Tacoma (and in between).
The vast majority of the work they did was work supplying Boeing Commercial Airplanes with parts and assemblies. Boeing was responsible (with supposed oversight from the FAA) for ensuring that the quality systems at these Boeing suppliers met FAA requirements and the related requirements of Boeing's FAA approved quality system.
And at each of these three suppliers I saw exactly what I had witnessed for years at Boeing--the purposeful abrogation of those minimum quality requirements to meet cost and production schedule goals.
One of these stints as an inspector at Boeing suppliers in the Puget Sound area was at Precision Aerospace & Composites in Sumner, part of AIM Aerospace, Inc., which AIM later renamed in a re-branding to just "Sumner Operations."
My duties there (from my resume):
"Inspected the layup, bagging, and cure of composite aerospace components. Inspected trimming, finishing, and assembly of composite aerospace parts. Documented nonconformances and inspected reworked items. Performed final inspection of parts. Performed receiving inspection of purchased fasteners, details and assemblies."
I came up against remarkably similar situations there that I sometimes experienced at Boeing due to rollerstamping there. A few workers in the layup shop saw my inspection of their work per the production plan as some kind of criticism of themselves personally. They thought I was picking on them personally during my inspections because other inspectors there commonly didn't inspect their work at all before buying it off certifying they did. Such is the life of an ethical inspector who always does their job per the minimum requirements, which were to actually inspect the work before buying it off.
Anyway, it was this that was just one of the things that tipped me off that other inspectors there were rollerstamping just like Boeing inspectors do.
On another occasion, I made the mistake of actually looking at the engineering drawing during the inspection of a major 737 NG duct assembly they built for Boeing. This was a duct assembly that Precision had probably built hundreds of times for Boeing previously. Along with other defects I found was one error I couldn't believe had been overlooked during inspections of that assembly all of those other times. Clearly on the drawing it called out for every fastener attaching two major ducts in the assembly to be installed with the head direction of the fastener facing one way, but the fasteners had actually been installed the opposite way. The mechanic told me it had always been done that way. That meant I couldn't just write a pickup on it to get that one unit fixed, but I had to write a Rejection Tag on it to ensure Engineering was made aware of it so all discrepant previous units could be addressed in C/A for that Tag.
These were fasteners that were all easily viewable by any previous inspector. The drawing callout was obvious. Any inspector would have been trained on what head direction callouts looked like before they were ever put on the production floor, in addition to any training they had received if they had been a mechanic previously, as many inspectors had been. In the realm of Boeing Engineering requirements, fastener head direction isn't usually called out on the drawing unless it was to ensure no interference with those fasteners at a later assembly stage. Bolts at one time on safety critical assemblies were called out to be installed with head directions up (and innermost, I believe) so that the bolt would stay in place for the longest possible time in flight if the nut came off the fastener assembly. But the noted discrepant fasteners were Hi-Locks, not bolts, so the head direction was probably because of some later interference concerns. Whatever the reason it was called out didn't matter, however, as I had to ensure the assembly was built to the current drawing.
This rejection was not just something Precision inspectors had missed hundreds of times. It was something inspectors in PQA at Boeing had missed as well all of the hundreds of times they received that assembly, which indicts Boeing's intentionally ineffective supplier oversight as well.
Needless to say, my writing that Rejection Tag didn't make me very popular in one of Boeing's supplier's rollerstamping quality systems. Per corrupt Boeing QA Management, if the defect didn't cause the airplane to crash, documenting and reworking or repairing that defect was "non-value added," per Boeing's "Lean" cost reduction gospel. Doing so would just increase the cost of the airplane and reduce Boeing's economic profit therefrom on which the stock value was based.
So, shortly after I wrote that tag I was put on another inspection task to keep me from doing so again. I was assigned the task of doing receival inspections of Precision's purchased fasteners and detail parts. For an inspector like me, it was the equivalent of being paid for watching paint dry. Not very interesting or challenging at all. But, as I always did, I consistently did my job in every inspection required. Plus, I needed the job, obviously.
Anyway, not too long after that my manager had me report to a meeting with a few other Precision employees in the break room. He informed us we were being laid off, effective immediately. I was very surprised. Not for the reason you might expect. I knew that an inspector actually doing their job per minimum requirements could easily get you fired at any corrupt supplier in Boeing's network. And Precision/AIM was a non-union employer, who could fire you for any reason at any time.
The reason I was so surprised I was laid off?--I was very surprised because I wasn't actually a Precision/AIM employee. I was working for a temp hire aerospace staffing company. They didn't have to fire or lay me off. They just had to call the staffing company and tell them they didn't need me anymore. That would have been it.
It was kind of a mystery. Why were they treating me so deferentially? Why were they treating me as a Precision employee? Did my infamous Rejection Tag make it to someone at Boeing who knew my name? Did they tell Precision they wanted me terminated? Who knows. I didn't have a reason to worry about something I had no way to confirm definitively. That might have explained why they treated me so carefully, when they had no requirement in any way to do so. Or maybe someone just saw "my story" with Boeing on the internet, which would justifiably scare any unethical company that employed me. All in all, I worked there for 3 to 3.5 months. Precision was a very cost conscious company as were most Boeing suppliers, even back in mid to late 2008 when this occurred. They advertised their low labor rate as a key benefit on their website for companies looking for a supplier. And Boeing's relentless cost pressures on their suppliers have only increased in the years since then, with predictable effects on quality assurance across the supplier base.
I didn't consider any of the evidence I saw there of rollerstamping to be significant enough to get the attention of Boeing's FAA, so I never reported it. As I knew at that time, it was the rule rather than the exception at Boeing's suppliers.
The reason for that was my experience at the first Boeing supplier I worked for after Boeing. This began in September, 2007 at Accra Manufacturing, which was later purchased by Primus International in 2008, which was sold to Precision Castparts, Inc. in 2011, which was then sold to Berkshire Hathaway, inc. in 2016.
I was hired as a Receiving Inspector at Accra. I soon found out that Boeing's suppliers were just as adverse to working to minimum quality requirements as Boeing was. A key part of that was the pressure on Accra by Boeing for cost and schedule performance, with quality requirements being an afterthought, at best.
Much of my job was hauling around 70+ pound plastic totes full of 777 paddle fittings as they came back from shot peen and finishing vendors. These fittings were the attachments between the stringers of the wing sections and the Side of Body ribs. A pretty critical component of the primary airplane structure. Anyway, apparently because the vendors couldn't keep the fittings identified through processing, another inspector and I had to try to figure out which part they actually were by measuring certain of their dimensions, comparing those to an unapproved "job aid" of those dimensions of particular fittings, re-identifying them, and routing them to be part marked by shop.
Of course, that wasn't all my inspection duties by far, but it was one of the main ones. I never made an error in identifying the fittings to my knowledge, however my coworker did on at least one occasion, when a mispartmarked part he inspected was delivered to Boeing. I worked a lot of overtime. It was very hard work and quite a drive from my Kent home, but it was worth it. A friend in the industry told me that the pay I was getting was at the high end of Boeing suppliers for the same work for a nonunion company. I seemed to be well liked by management of the company. The crew would occasionally go out for lunch together, which was a team building thing Boeing very rarely did, unless it was your retirement or you won some Division-wide award as my crew did when I was on the B-2 Program.
I worked at Accra for about six months, and I was fitted for a company jacket which was a sort of rite of passage to being considered a "real," "permanent" Accra employee. My employment there however ended when I was put on trial by Boeing for a couple weeks in King County Superior Court for "computer trespass" (my collection of data on Boeing fraud during my time there) and another Accra employee saw the coverage of the trial in the newspaper and brought it in to work and passed it around. That day when I reported to work I was taken into a conference room and informed that I was being terminated for "a conflict of interest with a major customer." It was just a "technicality" that the employee manual didn't prohibit such a "conflict of interest" or that the trial wasn't actually a conflict of interest in any way as far as Accra was concerned.
When I had previously worked at Boeing, the rollerstamping and direction to ignore inspection requirements bothered a truly ethical person like me, and at that time I knew I had to report Boeing's fraud to the FAA so that it could be stopped, since much of it was both quality and safety subversive fraud by any interpretation. I had decided to do so even though I knew the FAA was corrupt itself, and would not do their oversight function at all if Boeing, their future employer, was involved in any way.
Just as I did while an inspector at Boeing, I had documented the quality assurance fraud that I witnessed at Accra while I worked there. But there was the same problem I had had with Boeing when I considered if and how to get the extensive fraud that I witnessed while at Accra ended. With Accra, the vast majority of their work was for Boeing, so to get the FAA to acknowledge it in any way, much less actually confirming and ending it, was a slim chance at best. But, as was my habit, I did the right thing, even if it took me a while and would ultimately reform nothing due to the FAA and Boeing Management "working together" fraud that had almost completely corrupted the FAA's oversight functions.
I eventually wrote my report on QA fraud at Accra and submitted it just prior to the 787's first flight, as at least one of the items I reported was an issue that could endanger that flight. As noted, just as I had done over the years as a Quality Assurance Inspector in the Boeing rollerstamping quality system, I had meticulously noted the fraud I witnessed at Accra when it occurred, and it was from that data that I compiled my report.
You can download a much clearer PDF of the report in addition to the below copy here.
Rather than independently describing just how intentionally and utterly noncompliant and compromised Accra's quality system that I was witness to was, I'll let my report inform you of that itself, with some comments between pages. See my closing comment on Boeing's related vast network of supplier fraud after the report:
You can see pictorial evidence that Accra still produces these critical flap supports for all 787s here. Did the FAA ever ensure that any of these serious discrepancies that I documented concerning the quality and safety of Accra's production of these flap supports were ultimately fixed? Your guess is as good as mine. They never sent me the final report of their investigation that I requested so I could determine that to any degree. You don't trust the FAA to do real corrective action of a Boeing supplier's fraud? Me neither.
So, there you have it. The above report is just a taste of the kind of items that would have been found if an audit of any real integrity had been done of Accra's quality system. Such an audit was obviously never done by the corrupt Boeing Supplier Quality oversight organization. However, as significant as the fraud noted in this report at one of Boeing's suppliers is, I make clear in the report and here that my report in no way was a complete list of the intentional noncompliance in Boeing supplier Accra's quality system. A complete and uncompromising audit of Accra's quality system would have found and documented and fixed many, many more items.
My employment as a Quality Assurance Inspector at three Boeing suppliers after my unjust termination from Boeing was probably the only unbiased sampling of Boeing suppliers' quality systems ever done to this date due to the noted Boeing and FAA Management intentional dereliction of their duties to do so. It is notable that none of the Boeing suppliers I worked at had a compliant quality system that would pass even a minimally unbiased audit. All were corrupted by cost and schedule pressure by Boeing that purposefully allowed the noted kind of systemic fraud in those suppliers' quality systems that negated much of the integrity of those critical systems to the quality and safety of the Boeing airplanes that used the components they supplied.
So, I believe that I have sufficiently detailed the vast network of fraud that Boeing is ensuring in their suppliers' quality systems in order to add value to Boeing's bottom line. The actual breadth of Boeing's network of supplier fraud is obviously several orders of magnitude greater than the 100% failure of the three Boeing suppliers' quality systems noted here during my unofficial "audit" while I worked at those places as an inspector. It is no accident that the quality systems of Boeing's suppliers are just as intentionally compromised as Boeing's own quality system is as documented on this site. Boeing flows down this kind of fraud throughout its supplier network "to maximize value" to Boeing's bottom line and therefore its stock value, the only metric that really matters to corrupt Boeing Management.
Do these corrupt Boeing managers want to buy parts for and deliver poor quality and unsafe airplanes if they could avoid doing so while still staying within cost and schedule goals? No. But they believe that that is not possible. So they ensure the sacrifice of quality and safety to meet those cost and schedule imperatives that their overcompensated lifestyles demand.
The game they play is similar to this "unfortunate but apt™" analogy: a little girl is on a teeter totter with the center of it attached securely to the edge of a cliff. The little girl is sitting on the end of the teeter totter that extends far over the edge of the cliff. The teeter totter is balanced by a huge stack of bundles of 100 dollar bills so that the girl is well above horizontal, with the other end of the teeter totter on the ground, held there by the noted stack of 100 dollar bill bundles. The stack of money represents all of the money that Boeing would have to spend to minimally comply with its FAA mandated quality system when producing airplanes. The girl represents the lives thousands of passengers and crew that fly on Boeing airplanes. If the girl slips off of the end of the teeter totter if it tilts too low, she (thousands of people) will die. Next to the end of the teeter totter is the Boeing CEO. That's pretty much the setup for this "unfortunate but apt" analogy.
So, the Boeing CEO is having trouble meeting expected profit forecasts for the company. He has cut costs everywhere, but it is not quite enough. But there is this huge stack of cash next to him that will let him exceed the lofty profit expectations if he just grabs some of it. He figures that even only minimally complying with quality requirements still leaves too much safety margin for the girl, and that if he took some of the cash the girl would still not get low enough to slip off and die. So he takes several bundles of 100 dollar bills, compromising minimum quality requirements, and the girl just lowers a bit, but is still alive. You know what happens next. Like a drug addict on crack, he can never keep from taking ever more bundles from the stack to ensure Boeing's stock price always appreciates to his personal compensation goals. Eventually he takes too much and the girl slips off and falls to oblivion. That's pretty much how this system of QA Management fraud works at Boeing. Boeing Management intentionally compromises your safety by hobbling its minimal quality system to use the money saved by that fraud to pad the bottom line and pump up the stock. It is similar to Boeing stock buybacks in efforts to pump up the value of the stock, however hundreds of people at a time will never die as a result of such legal stock buybacks (or even one person, for that matter).
Hundreds of people have indeed died because of Boeing's compromised quality system.
But back to the specific issue at hand--Boeing's vast network of intentional fraud in their suppliers' quality assurance systems.
Proof that the fraud throughout Boeing's supplier network is directed by Boeing Management? Boeing's Chief Counsel was notified of the extent of this fraud throughout the enterprise and FAA Management's complicity in it in October of 2002. What did Boeing Executive Management on down do about it after that time which they were given the undeniable evidence of existence of that fraud? Did they try to address it in any way?
Of course not. They could have fixed it with just one memo--a memo that they intentionally never sent to management within Boeing which would have flowed down throughout the supplier network via Boeing Management restored supplier quality system oversight, as well as stopped the similar fraud internally at Boeing.
Instead, they chose to partner with the FAA Management that they had corrupted to ensure no end of the systemic and intentional "value adding" fraud in Boeing QA Management occurred. They instead tried (and to some extent succeeded) to kill this messenger of that fraud to ensure that it continued. Boeing Executive Management came to the conclusion that complying even per the minimal requirements of Boeing's FAA mandated quality system would cost the company too much and endanger Boeing's "leaned out" production schedules (that is, schedules leaned out of time for real inspections and the related rework to eliminate the defects found during those inspections). They thought that such minimal compliance would make the production slowdowns of 1997 look tame by comparison (and they may have been right about that), preventing them from reaching their Executive compensation and promotion goals upon which their accustomed lifestyles depended.
Boeing decided it could never go cold turkey on the historical and widespread fraud throughout the Boeing and supplier quality systems without endangering its short term economic profit targets.
And that is ultimately why Boeing engages in this internal and external vast network of fraud to this day.
They could have claimed they weren't complicit in this fraud before I notified them of it in October of 2002, however since then they have been 100% complicit with the efforts throughout Boeing Management to double down and continue this fraud, both by defrauding Boeing's commercial and military customers and by endangering you and your family's safety.
The only way to ensure you/yours don't also become a statistic of this Boeing Management fraud in QA at Boeing is to ensure that you never fly Boeing again until this fraud is finally ended and Boeing begins delivering fully inspected and safe airplanes again. I'll notify everyone on this website if I ever find out Boeing has ended this fraud or has addressed it in any way.
A minimally compliant and effective quality system was the price that Boeing had to pay to enter the commercial and military aircraft market. They have, as noted, maximally subverted that entire system illegally just to pad their stock options' value. It currently only simulates a quality system from afar for Boeing P.R. purposes and now bears little relationship to the actual quality and safety status of Boeing airplanes that it was at one time supposed to minimally and safely ensure.
You can read independent confirmation of Boeing and FAA Management intentionally ignoring their supplier quality assurance oversight responsibilities at this Project on Government Oversight page.