The criminal acts perpetrated every day at Boeing in QA inspectors' falsifying of paperwork certifying that work they "inspected" on Boeing airplanes that day was fully inspected per engineering drawings, specifications, and planning and passed that detailed inspection they never performed is truly staggering.
Very few of the jobs bought off by inspectors at Boeing are fully inspected per Boeing's FAA approved QA requirements and procedures. The vast majority of the jobs Boeing inspectors buy off every day are rollerstamped to extreme levels. Instead of the detailed inspection noted above that is required, most jobs at Boeing only get a "shakedown-type" inspection, if that, before QA buyoff.
This was the typical rollerstamping fraud I witnessed and was pressured to take part in at Boeing's Propulsion Systems Division (PSD) when I was there, before PSD was merged in with the Renton and Everett, Washington factories.
Rollerstamping inspectors there would never perform the detailed inspections of every job that was required before the final inspection of the whole turbofan Engine Build-Up assembly (EBU), the shakedown inspection job.
Instead, they would leave all of the jobs that were supposed to be inspected in detail per drawings, specifications, and plans open, instead of detail inspecting them all in sequence as they were completed by mechanics before the shakedown inspection as was the QA system requirement.
Rollerstamping inspectors, with full backing from our corrupt QA management, just did the shakedown inspection of the entire EBU (in as little as seven minutes), if that, and then would buy off all of the jobs that required detailed inspection, just based upon the cursory non-drawing, non-specification, non-plan shakedown inspection alone.
On 737 EBUs, there were 13 or so jobs requiring detailed inspection, and one shakedown job that was only supposed to be done when the other 13 jobs' detailed inspections were done.
A 737 EBU consisted of the seven million dollar or so CFM turbofan jet engine "core," as received complete from CFM, plus engine mounts, the exhaust plug/sleeve, the inlet, and pneumatic, electrical, and tubing systems added by the noted 13 or so jobs. Two of those EBUs were the only thing preventing the Boeing 737 you mistakenly board from being a glider of doom.
As noted, rollerstamping inspectors at Boeing's PSD, when mechanics were done slapping the parts Boeing added onto it, performed a seven minute or so shakedown inspection of the EBU and then rollerstamped the 13 or so jobs off requiring detailed inspection before the shakedown is even done based on just the shakedown inspection, which is a non-drawing, specification, or plan inspection of the entire area to find defects that were somehow missed during the never done at Boeing detailed work instruction inspections.
Boeing's PSD was a Boeing "lean manufacturing" early implementer, and this rollerstamping instead of actually inspecting the 737 EBU before delivery to the factory for installation on the airplane made production flow much smoother, since 90% or so of the required detailed inspections of those EBUs were "leaned out" of the production process as noted.
I, of course, pushed back at this, and insisted on performing a detailed inspection of the most complex job on an EBU--the wire bundle job, before I would do the shakedown inspection. But, of course, the Boeing QA system is so corrupt that even I, the self named "Last Inspector" at Boeing, still had to rollerstamp to some extent to keep from being written up and terminated for being slower than the full-on rollerstamping inspectors. I would study the drawings and work instructions between inspections, so I would not place a further target on my back for my corrupt QA management for referring to them during inspections.
Hence, I don't believe an inspector exists at Boeing that doesn't rollerstamp, unless they are assigned to inspect very simple things, like detail parts in one of the few such places Boeing owns that does that kind of production, like Boeing's Auburn, Washington plant(s).
Corrupt Boeing QA management has a system to remove inspectors who insist on inspecting work per drawing, specification and plans as required by Boeing's FAA approved but rarely followed QA procedures. I know, as they used these methods on me. They pull the inspector off the production line if they inspect anywhere near the required detail, and find too many defects during their inspections. They put them in a make work job rewriting procedures that will never be approved or used, transfer them to another non-production site, or assign them to try to find inspections on the plans that can be deleted, among other things.
But, I digress.
Corrupt Boeing management and QA inspectors never have to worry about it, because the corrupt FAA will cover for their crimes, and never refer a Boeing QA manager directing rollerstamping or a line inspector caught doing rollerstamping to Federal Law Enforcement, but rollerstamping is a serious crime--a felony, in fact. Per 18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(3), each count of rollerstamping (falsifying inspection records) carries a sentence in a Federal Penitentiary of up to 5 years. In addition to prison, per 18 U.S.C. 3571, a fine of up to $250,000 per count for inspectors, or up to $500,000 per count for Boeing managers directing the fraud, can be assessed by the judge.
Interestingly, Boeing itself alternatively could be fined up to twice the amount they have gained via this fraud. I believe that Boeing gains hundreds of millions of dollars a year through this fraud, if not a billion dollars or more, due to the lower labor costs, faster production flows, and lower replacement part costs enabled by allowing defective parts and installations to deliver un-reworked and/or un-repaired on Boeing customers' airplanes through this fraud.
If somehow Boeing itself was fully brought to justice for this fraud over the maximum five year Statute of Limitation, Boeing could be fined 5-10 billion dollars or more, I believe. Still chump change to the criminal ring (Board of Directors) that runs Boeing.
But, in order to get a reasonably accurate amount of money that Boeing gets from this fraud per year, somehow rollerstamping would have to be eliminated from Boeing for a year and then production costs compared to prior years. Very little chance of that happening any decade soon.
Let's just focus on the years of prison sentences Boeing QA inspectors would get if they were fully brought to justice for just one day of their falsification of inspection records (rollerstamping) for corrupt Boeing management.
As accurate figures are not available, I'll use the 60,000 to 80,000 pages of work instructions Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) printed per day in 2006 to figure out how many jobs per day inspectors at Boeing rollerstamp instead of inspect.
Of course, that was back when Boeing had paper work instructions. But, even though work instructions are now electronic and may be more pages due to new things such as pictures or figures being included, the electronic and the paper versions should roughly equate as far as the number of separate work instructions and the work those instructions document goes.
Back to calculations, that averages 70,000 pages of work instructions produced per day. That includes one "work copy" and one official copy that is retained in completed records once completed. So, the official work instructions number 35,000 pages per day when the work copies are eliminated.
Then we have to allow for production increases since 2006, where the numbers of jobs rollerstamped per day should have increased in line with the increase in annual production numbers. 2006 deliveries were 398. 2017 deliveries were 664. So if we multiply 35,000 by 664/398, or approximately 1.668, we get the equivalent job pages in 2017, which is 58,392.
Here is where we need to guesstimate more than before, estimating how many pages each work instruction is on average. Luckily, as a Boeing mechanic and inspector for almost twenty years, I've seen thousands of work instructions myself. The jobs have the work instructions, list of parts installed, and drawing list required, as well as space for process and final buyoffs for mechanics and inspectors. Three pages would be at the very bottom end per work instruction (job). A complex job would be nine or more pages, I believe. So, let's split the difference at six pages per job, on average.
Since we are only being approximate due to a corrupt Boeing Company that likes to keep many things--even banal things like jobs bought off per day, or more important to the public, like employment levels--secret, let's round off the number of job pages rollerstamped by Boeing inspectors per day to 60,000. Then, dividing that number by the average pages per job, we get 10,000 jobs rollerstamped per day across all of BCA. Seems kinda high to me, but it could be relatively accurate, across the whole commercial side of the company.
In Boeing's corrupt production system, the racket works like this--mechanics slap together parts as fast as possible and try to "sell" as many of the jobs they do in their shift to rollerstamping inspectors.
I was never a management suck up, but if you want to ingratiate yourself to your Boeing boss, you try to "sell" as many jobs per shift as possible, regardless of the quality or completeness of the work that job was written to do. Industrial Engineering used to put out charts that mechanics used to color in as work on the job progressed on horizontal "bars", and would "X" out a job on the bar when it was finally bought off by inspection. Thus, your manager could see your progress throughout the shift. Usually a mechanic was assigned to one bar or package of jobs per work shift, but on overtime and weekends, mechanics could essentially fellatio their boss by picking almost complete jobs, completing them as fast as possible, and selling them to inspectors. When they had a choice, they would get the most rollerstamping inspector in the area to "inspect" and buy off their jobs.
In this way, a lowly mechanic could capture the attention of their boss as the person to assign to get jobs bought off by inspection the fastest. Enough of this type of pandering to your boss's most corrupt desires, like getting jobs bought off regardless of their quality or completeness, and you could be given the "team leader" job, just one step from being in the Boeing management crime family yourself.
The Boeing production system is so corrupt that even inspectors themselves take part in this, as QA management essentially reports to and is subservient to Manufacturing managers who are judged on how many jobs they sell before their time of completeness. I saw this at Boeing's PSD, where inspectors boasted about how many jobs they bought off in the shortest amount of time. Boeing PSD QA was essentially shipping assurance, not Quality Assurance, taking more pride in getting the EBUs and struts that attached them to the wing out the factory doors on schedule than Manufacturing itself.
Back to the calculations. I'm willing to allow that 20% of jobs may actually be OK even though they were rollerstamped, as there are many good mechanics at Boeing that do their jobs to the best of their ability not just because that is their ethic, but also because they know that inspectors will just rollerstamp the work instead of actually inspecting it and catching their mistakes. Of course, the less the work the job covered, the more likely it is that the work wasn't defective when it was rollstamped.
So that leaves "only" 8,000 jobs per day that are rollerstamped by Boeing inspectors that likely contain defects that could be evidence for prosecution of the inspector rollerstamping them if the FAA audited them and referred them to the FBI for prosecution.
So, in the end, that means that rollerstamping inspectors at Boeing commit enough felonies per day via that rollerstamping to collectively be sentenced to up to 40,000 years in prison, and collectively fined up to two billion dollars per every day rollerstamping!
This kind shows just how serious these felonies are at Boeing, even without addressing the possible manslaughter charges for the minimum 750 people that were killed in Boeing airplane crashes because of that fraud.
But whether it is "only" 5,000 years of incarceration worth of fraud that Boeing inspectors commit per day via rollerstamping or 40,000 years, the number is essentially moot, because in our corrupt government, Boeing regulates the FAA, not the other way around. And the absolute last thing Boeing wants their FAA to do is to refer Boeing QA inspectors and QA management and other Boeing management involved in this fraud for federal prosecution.
The FAA actually goes to extreme measures to allow this rollerstamping fraud by Boeing, such as the December, 2016 agreement with Boeing to allow Boeing to commit QA fraud for up to five years without fear of having to actually comply with FAA approved QA procedures or supplier audit requirements during that time.
So corrupt Boeing management and inspectors can breath easy. They won't have to spend the rest of their lives in prison and sign all of their homes and other possessions over to the government for the fraud they direct and commit every day. Corrupt Boeing management, all the way up to the Boeing Board of Directors, has ensured that.
Don't forget to comment on this post, if you wish to, by clicking on the little "Comments" blue link at the top or bottom of this post, or if you wish to contact me privately for any reason, click here or on the "About/Contact Me" navigation button at the very top of the page and fill out the "Contact Me" form at the bottom of the page.
You don't have to enter your name or contact info if you want to remain anonymous to me for some reason. I'm especially interested in hearing about your own experiences with Boeing and/or FAA fraud, or their other crimes, ethical breaches, or other type of misconduct.
The Last Inspector