Boeing Whistleblower Dies From Sudden Illness: REPORT


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

A second individual who was deposed in regards to safety concerns related to Boeing aircraft suppliers died after a short illness Tuesday.

Former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems who was one of the first whistleblowers alleging the company’s leadership ignored manufacturing defects, Joshua Dean, 45, died Tuesday after a battle with a fast-spreading infection, according to the Seattle Times. Dean was said to be in good health and lived a healthy lifestyle prior to suddenly developing trouble breathing. He was admitted to hospital in April, where he was intubated for his symptoms.

At some point, Dean reportedly suffered a stroke and was placed on an ECMO machine to circulate and oxygenate his blood outside of his body, helping his organs continue to function. He subsequently developed pneumonia and MRSA, a bacterial infection, and died two weeks later, the outlet continued. (RELATED: Biden Admin Launches Probe Into Boeing After Alaska Airlines Inflight Incident).

Dean was reportedly one of the first whistleblowers to file a complaint with the Federal Aviation Commission about alleged “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line” by his former employer, Spirit. He was fired from Spirit in April 2023 after filing a complaint with the Department of Labor alleging his dismissal was retaliation for raising aviation safety concerns, according to the Seattle Times.

Dean was represented by a South Carolina law firm that also represented former longtime Boeing employee John Barnett, 62, who died in March of an apparent suicide.

In October 2022, Dean said he uncovered a manufacturing defect related to mechanics improperly drilling holes into the aft pressure bulkhead of the MAX aircraft, the Seattle Times reported. These concerns were reportedly ignored by management until August 2023 when the flaw was identified in aircraft built as far back as 2019. (RELATED: Boeing Pauses Deliveries For Dozens Of Planes Due To Unveiled Issue)

A door panel blew off a Boeing 737 MAX in January, prompting an ex-Boeing manager to seemingly confirm Dean’s allegations by saying he “started seeing a lot of problems in the factory” as early as 2018. Boeing’s head of jet manufacturing for the 737 MAX was apparently ousted in February. By March 2024, United Airlines Holdings Inc. apparently paused orders for Boeing’s 737 MAX 10.

Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.