This is another quote from the letter noted in the 8-20-06 quote:
I contacted the MIDO this morning. I asked them if any of the items in my report were still under investigation. They said no. I asked them if any other agencies had been contacted about any of the items in my report. They said no. All was over except the C/Aing, it seems. What I had specifically requested not to happen both in my report and in my contacts with the MIDO had happened. The root cause of virtually all of the items in my report was not addressed in the investigation at all—the corrupt QA Management in place at BCAG. The vast majority of the most serious items in my report had also been ignored in the investigation—the ones involving personnel misconduct in violation of our procedures and FAA regulations, rules, and orders. What I had learned about the status of the investigation confirmed what I had suspected by contacts with former coworkers at PSD—that my evidence of corruption in the QA Management ranks had never been investigated. No one was interviewed about anything of the sort, and no one was even interviewed under oath about the limited matters from my report they chose to investigate. The investigation had confirmed what my colleagues at PSD had always told me when we spoke of going to the FAA—that it was pointless as "the FAA was in bed with Boeing" and any investigation would intentionally go nowhere. I had chosen not to believe them, disregarding what I thought was their likely correctness on the matter, and I decided to "take a chance," knowing that the urgency of taking action to stop the corruption forthwith outweighed by far such opinions of the FAA’s objectivity in the past, given the gravity of corruption at BCAG and that corruption’s much more likely harmful effect on many people’s lives and livelihoods. In the end, unfortunately, I had proven my colleagues correct, and I can now add my voice legitimately to those others in the past that have opined on the subject after attempting to get the FAA to do their job in the public interest before people died:
"The question right now is how broad is it (the investigation) going to be," said one federal criminal-justice source. "Is FAA in bed with Alaska?" ("U.S. Looks Into FAA's Alaska Air Oversight," article, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, Thursday, April 13, 2000). (By the way, I do not agree with (name) opinion in the article that the FAA’s laxness in doing their jobs reflects "the good-old-boy network" in aviation. I believe there are much more insidious reasons than that behind it. Getting to the bottom of that problem is a matter for a long overdue Congressional investigation, I believe. You could say Eighty-eight people died on Alaska flight 261 because of that "problem" ("problem" is putting it mildly), and 3000 people died on September 11th partially because of the FAA’s "lax oversight." However, I believe if only a "good-old-boy network" was responsible for the lax oversight that contributed to all of those deaths (and many others not mentioned), that mere "social club" network would have long since disbanded in favor of saving innocent lives by forgoing the "lavish poker parties," "reciprocal backscratching," and exchanging of favorite books between heads of corporations and the head of the FAA (as occurred between (former Boeing CEO) and Administrator (name), I believe). I believe such a "network," if one exists, probably much more resembles that one depicted in the "Sopranos"—it would have to be one corrupt enough to ignore the sanctity of all of those innocent lives.
"Back to the question – did FAA ever look the other way on security problems, because the airlines wanted you to?" ("FAA Answers Whistleblowers' Charges," a very interesting article, interview with FAA official, WorldNetDaily.com)
‘One veteran FAA inspector told the magazine: "The airlines won't admit they have a bogus-parts problem. The FAA's top brass is in bed with the airlines, so they won't admit it either. The flying public is getting screwed,"’ ("CRASH COURSE," article, www.eye.net)
And the now "infamous" (name) (depending upon how you see his role—I for one (I’m biased towards his high ethics, I know), consider him more a "hero" than the other myopic view that seems to brand him as a "troublemaker" for the status quo operandi that were in place at (airline name) when it appears things went horribly wrong) also said a similar comment to the above, lamenting that the FAA was not doing their jobs for ulterior reasons. I could not find that quote again in a limited web search this morning. And/or perhaps it was (name) that that quote was from (I have no time to do the research to pin down the exact quote from my memory).
The three articles quoted are only from the first couple pages of a Google web search on the subject of some 1900 results.
As long as we are on the subject of the (name) investigation, I think I should state that I think my situation and his are very similar. We both went to the FAA after getting nowhere going through the "official" Company channels. I suggested an ethics investigation of one of my supervisors to an ethics focal. No investigation was begun. I talked to (name), a former QA Director of mine about the same supervisor’s ethical lapses. The supervisor was promoted. I was "promised" meetings with (name), my last QA Director at PSD, in which I would have surely brought up my concerns. No such meetings ever were scheduled. I made my experiences and feelings known in writings in response to Company surveys. And countless other times in crew meetings and in other meetings, I spoke of my concerns to QA Supervision and others. All to no avail. We both were laboring in organizations in which cost and schedules overrode quality and safety concerns, from what I have read about his situation, and from what I have witnessed in mine. Our similar investigations were quashed despite overwhelming evidence. (Name’s) report’s investigation only was performed thoroughly after people died. I guess my report’s investigation is being held similarly until people also die because of the corruption I have detailed in the report. However, I believe the corruption in my report is even more serious and can have much more horrific consequences than that at (airline) did. Our corrupt Quality System inspects (or more accurately, does not inspect) many more airplanes than (airlines’) did. And it is not the signature of one supervisor on one piece of paper that is at issue as in (Name’s) report. It is hundreds of personnel and untold thousands of "pieces of paper" signed off incorrectly in my report. But I digress…
I was hoping that all I would have to do was to submit my report to the FAA, and they would do the rest ethically, thoroughly, and with integrity. I was hoping they were the "one stop shopping place" that 14CFR13 seems to indicate, and would coordinate with the FBI and Justice Department as necessary during their investigation, making my further involvement with rectifying the corruption in the Quality System at BCAG unnecessary. However, I was horribly mistaken, it seems. Due to the apparent failure of the FAA to fully investigate the items in my report. It appears the ball is now back in my court. I am now at a crossroads. Quitting my "crusade" is not an option for me. I decided after that meeting on 1/11 that I must do something, no matter how long or hard the journey to rectify the situation. I had planned for the eventuality of all the "pundits" being right about the FAA’s lack of objectivity, but I am losing my stomach for what lays ahead. That is why I write to you now, in order to avoid "carrying this torch" down that dangerous path, hoping to pass that "torch" onto Boeing senior management. I knew, if an honest investigation of my report had been performed by the FAA, some damage may occur to the Company publicly. However, I knew then, as I know now, that lives and the Company’s long term future outweighed the short term publicity. However, I wanted to propose a solution at this time that may avoid such publicity, due to the vulnerable time’s our Company is in currently. My intention has always been to do what was best for public safety and what was best for the Company, believe it or not. I did not think the corruption in our QA department was what was best for public safety or the Company, for reasons that are contained in my report.
This is another quote from the letter noted in the 8-20-06 quote:
Has my forced transfer to my FTQA "non-production job" changed my horrific experiences that have proven my objective view of the corrupt BCAG Quality System? Far from it. (name), a FTQA Lead with over 30 years at Boeing, who sits at the desk just behind me in the FTQA Lead office, has told me, and others, more than one time that he is surprised no Boeing Flight Test planes have crashed recently because they have taken off in unairworthy conditions because FTQA Management has "tied the hands" of FTQA inspectors so they cannot do their jobs. An FTQA Airworthiness Inspector said once that the Company "would really be f***ed" if certain parts of the FTQA inspection responsibilities were audited by the FAA (he obviously gives the FAA too much credit for being objective, as I know now I once did, but I now know otherwise). I could go on and on, but I won’t.
The above is "in a nutshell" what is contained within my report the FAA MIDO, except my 400 some-odd page report goes into far greater detail and gives concrete examples of said corruption, along with dealing with many more facets of our corrupt Quality System I cannot include in this letter due to its necessary "brevity." Anyway, as I said, I submitted the last part of the report on May 31st of this year. While submitting that portion of the report (the lion’s share of it—only 49 pages had been submitted January 28th), I learned that the first part of my report had been "investigated" by one ASI and this "investigation" had resulted in no findings. I was still at PSD at the time of the investigation, and had never even noticed it occurring, it was apparently conducted so subtly. The MIDO personnel stated they had not notified me of the investigation results "because I had not requested a written report." They also said they had only investigated a few of the items I submitted because investigating the other items might have exposed my identity. (I did ask them not to reveal my identity as the submitter to deter any further retaliation from my management than I had received up to that point for doing my job, but I had no idea they would use it as a excuse to impede the investigation, or else I would not have agreed to have them protect my identity.) I should have realized the obvious then, but I submitted the rest of my report and asked them to investigate its contents, along with the items in the first part of my report, without regard to keeping my identity secret if that would impede the investigation in any way.
Unfortunately, my report was put "on the back burner," and despite repeated inquiries by me to the MIDO to ensure its fate was not the same as the previous report’s, it seemed as if the investigation would be quashed because of the excuse of the lack of MIDO resources or "more important MIDO duties." The Senior ASI I was contacting suggested I "write to Congress" to get the resources I wanted assigned to the investigation. I had not thought of that idea before, but I thought I had little choice at that time, so I did. I wrote to (name), FAA Administrator at the time, requesting the necessary resources for the investigation and asked her to work with Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to ensure those resources were obtained. I sent that letter to both Senators, prefaced with a letter with additional information. When I received a reply from (name’s) assistant stating she had assigned the manager of the local TAD to perform the investigation, I contacted the Senior ASI again. What a change! The investigation would be begun forthwith. However, I should have been suspicious when he said they would investigate my "specific allegations" in my report (I had not made any "non-specific allegations" in my report. In fact, my report was chock full of specifics!). He also said that they did not investigate what he termed "personnel problems." I felt that was not directed at me or my report, as I had detailed what any casual observer could consider crimes and corruption, not mere "personnel problems." Still, I was suspicious enough to ask if they could involve the FBI and Justice Department if need be. He was evasive, but eventually said that they had done so at least once in the past.
Anyway, fast forward to late August. I received a letter from (name), detailing "preliminary results" of the investigation of some eight items, informing me that Boeing now would respond to those items once notified of them. Nothing terribly earthshaking was listed in the confirmed items from my report, which were only about ten percent of the items I had submitted that were only the symptoms of the real item I wanted investigated—the rampant corruption among QA Management ranks—the "disease" in the BCAG Quality System that intentionally allowed those "symptoms" to occur, which is what I had thought they were investigating per my "direction." I figured the most serious corruption related items were still under investigation, and were not listed in the letter due to what I had noticed as an obsession with any FAA personnel I talked to not to allow anything to be recorded on paper or electronic means that they would not want in the newspaper—especially, it seemed to me, anything critical of Boeing, and the fact that the letter was prefaced as "preliminary results." I knew that if the items listed on the letter were really the final results of the investigation, that all of my extensive efforts to get the System fixed would be in vain, for if the FAA only focused their investigation on the symptoms of the corruption in the QA Management ranks, and even if they wrote up the myriad things that were not being done per plan, procedure, and engineering by the QA Department and those items were rectified--every one of those "symptoms" would be back shortly at the behest of the corrupt QA Management that would be left in place at BCAG, untouched and unreformed from what I thought were their "criminal ways."
This quote is from a letter I wrote to Boeing's chief corporate counsel (a member of the Boeing Board of Directors, I believe) in October 2002 after the FAA performed an intentionally very limited and Boeing corruption friendly non-investigation of my report that I received the intentionally minimal results of in August 2002. My next steps to get reform at Boeing were limited at that point, and all but the most unlikely one--appealing to FAA headquarters again for a reinvestigation of my report after noting my well founded suspicions of corruption in the TAD that resulted in the intentionally very limited "investigation" of my report--required me to go public with Boeing and the FAA's corruption, a step I did not want to take as I did not want to take that step except as a last resort because I wanted to get reform in Boeing's quality system with the least damage to Boeing's reputation possible. I would have went public in heartbeat if it meant only that Boeing's corrupt QA management would suffer the consequences of such bad publicity and be replaced, but I knew that mostly innocent hourly employees like I was would also suffer consequences if I had to resort to getting the public to protect themselves from the corruption in Boeing Quality Assurance management, and it was the non-management employees that were already suffering layoffs at that point. I resolved to take a different route--to contact Boeing Headquarters management in blind faith that they were not involved in the corruption in their lower management ranks at BCA. I attempted to use a potential lawsuit and going public--the two other major routes I could take at that time--as leverage in case Boeing Headquarters management did not want to act to stop the corruption just because it was the ethical and lawful thing to do, and needed additional motivation to act in the public and military personnel safety interests.
In response to my letter, Boeing's chief counsel assigned the same attorney that had investigated the Boeing theft of competition sensitive data from its chief competitor on the EELV program competition. I had to help this attorney convert the reports I had forwarded to Boeing's chief counsel that I had submitted to the Boeing corruption biased FAA to a format the attorney's computer software would open. After several weeks, Boeing Headquarters decided to hide behind the FAA's non-investigation of virtually all the items in my report--chief among them the Boeing QA management corruption that engendered almost all of the other noncompliances documented in my report. It was at that point that I knew the corruption did not stop in the QA management ranks--it extended all the way into the Boardroom of Boeing Corporate Headquarters itself. And so it is to this day. CEOs and other positions on the Boeing Board change faces, but key personel on the Board refuse to act to stop this law breaking and defrauding of Boeing's commercial and military customers via the Product Subtitution that Boeing performs when it condones rollerstamping by not acting to stop it and/or by pretending it does not exist for Boeing's bottom line's sake. As noted in the home page, Boeing's chief counsel was so convinced of the truth of my allegations and the consequences for the company if this matter became public and gained media traction that he "hopped" a corporate jet to fly from Boeing Headquarters in Chicago to fly to BCA headquarters in Washington to personally handle this matter himself. If he knew that my allegations were not true, he simply would have ignored them, instead. It is this collusion between "working together" corrupt Boeing and FAA management that prevented Boeing from acting in a lawful and caring manner for the safety of the public in response to my letter quoted below that I am trying to end by getting the OIG to restore real and effective oversight of Boeing by reform of the FAA TAD that currently suckles from and mimics Boeing's corruption. Once that is done, the corrupt management at Boeing will have no agency to hide their corruption behind as they currently do in the TAD:
October 13, 2002
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
The Boeing Company
Boeing World Headquarters
100 N. Riverside
Chicago, IL 60606-1596
312-544-2800Re: FAA File Number 2002NM420013, Certificate Management Office Special Evaluation—Boeing Propulsion Systems Division, Everett Division, and Renton Division.
Dear Mr. (Name),
My name is Gerald Eastman, a Precision Assembly Inspector at BCAG, and although you likely have no idea who I am, there may be a slim chance that (Name), BCAG Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, or someone else in her office may know of me and/or the matter of which I write. That would likely only be the case if Quality Assurance Management at the Propulsion Systems Division (PSD) of BCAG had contacted Boeing Legal regarding their possible suspicions of who had reported their corrupt activities to the local FAA MIDO office, and had named me, accurately, fingering who was to "blame" for that report. However, it is quite possible neither you or anyone in Boeing Legal know who I am or of my report because PSD had chosen not to advertise their likely suspicions for some reason known only to them, or perhaps even because, however unlikely, they never figured out who had submitted the report. In that doubtful latter possibility, they may have been befuddled because, even though in my report I requested the FAA not to protect my identity if it would impede their investigation in any way, it appears that they may have intentionally ignored that request in order, not to protect me, but to use such "protection" of my identity as a convenient excuse in order to not investigate the corruption detailed in my report.
And that is one reason why I am writing to you now. I had submitted the report to the MIDO office in two parts, on January 28th and May 31st of this year, detailing the rampant corruption that is ongoing within the Quality Assurance Management ranks at BCAG that is decimating even the minimally required levels of effectiveness of our FAA required Quality System purposely. QA Managers, in a misguided attempt to create "value" for the Company, please their managers (and Manufacturing) to retain their jobs, and/or attempting to pad their pocketbooks with hefty future merit bonuses, are not ensuring their inspectors do their essential safety related jobs to assure the quality of the airplanes we build, but instead are doing exactly the opposite—ensuring they do not, and/or cannot do their inspection jobs lest the costs of documentation and rework of valid defects detract from the current quarter’s bottom line. How do they do this? Mostly by doing nothing, letting the "Quality Assurance Organization airplane" remain pilotless and withholding any kind of maintenance due to their intentional absence and neglect, allowing that essential "vehicle" to the safety and quality of our aerospace products to "fall out of the sky," thereby disabling it so it will not get in Manufacturing’s way of delivering products "under cost" and "on schedule," or as (name), former fellow inspector liked to put it—allowing Manufacturing to "push more garbage out the door," without the "luxury" of inspectors performing their jobs. By doing this, they achieve their long held ultimate goal—manufacturing self-acceptance in A&I areas of our factories—years earlier, and without the required FAA approval that they fear may never come (due to the FAA’s certain knowledge of just how intentionally ineffective our Quality System is) in time to meet their "value creation" goals.
The vast majority of inspectors know there is effectively no one "at the wheel" of our Quality System, and know they can do their jobs (or, more accurately, not do their jobs) any way they want to without fear of reprisal. Soon they learn they do not have to do their jobs at all, and many succumb to becoming what their management wants them to be—anything but inspectors doing the job of inspecting. Many like the freedom of surfing the internet and/or "shooting the breeze" all day with fellow workers their coveted "welfare inspection jobs" allow them to do. The only real "work" they have to do is to get up occasionally to stamp the inspections on the paperwork off. The only things they know will bring the wrath of their corrupt management down upon them is if the paperwork does not look like they actually did the inspections (stamps missing, etc.), or if they attempt to divert from their status of "inspectors on welfare" and begin to actually inspect the airplanes we build. However, not all inspectors—especially the ones like me—want to go that route intentionally made so easy for us. We know the importance of our jobs to countless people’s lives, and the future of this Company’s predominance in the commercial aircraft industry. We do not follow the path intended for us by our corrupt management, and instead work to "pull up" the essential "Quality Assurance Organization airplane" to save it, peoples lives protected by it, and BCAG, from destruction by actually doing our jobs of inspection per plan, procedures and engineering requirements. This is where QA Management’s plans to facilitate Manufacturing’s unimpeded pursuit of their cost and schedule targets by not doing our jobs goes awry, and where they must actively pursue their corrupt goals, by "getting their hands dirty." This involves active misinformation to line inspectors to make them believe their jobs are to do anything but actually inspecting mechanic’s work, transferring them into office "make work" jobs to make sure they cannot document defects on the airplane in order to cut costs by letting those defects deliver to customers, and transferring them completely out of the factory setting if they persist in attempting to do their jobs of inspection. I know. All of that, and more, has happened to me only because I persisted in my attempts to do my job despite such corrupt QA Management trying to convince me otherwise. Am I alone in being treated this way for only attempting to do my job? No--not by far. Many other inspectors who similarly attempted to do their jobs for ethical reasons have been also thusly treated.
Many ethical inspectors trying to do their jobs continue to labor in our corrupted Quality System, slightly or fully ignorant to the above facts. They don’t know fully why their jobs become exponentially more difficult and abusive the more they try to do their jobs, and why they receive only negative attention from shop and their management for trying to do their real jobs well. I was "in the dark" for a long time similarly, not fully understanding why doing my job well only seemed to cause me grief. However, looking back, I had known why everything was as it was, but had not wanted to consciously face that "unthinkable" truth. Thankfully, (name), my former QA Supervisor, put me in a room and "faced me with the facts." That 1/11 meeting, for me, had as profound an effect on me as 9/11 has had upon our nation. I have been "fully enlightened" to the true nature of our Quality System since then, and that pivotal meeting finally "got me off the fence" into my present somewhat quixotic (thus far) endeavor to single-handedly attempt to reform the corrupt BCAG Quality System.
The Last Inspector