For years, Boeing whistleblower Ed Pierson has been raising concerns about the safety of Boeing’s 737 Max planes. A former at a Washington Boeing factory, Pierson blew the whistle to his supervisors back in 2018 about the alleged rushed production of the 737 MAX aircraft. Since then, he has continued to highlight alleged shortcomings of Boeing in regards to safety oversight of 737 MAXs.
Thus, the recent incident in which a Boeing 737 MAX had to make an emergency landing after a door plug blew out did not surprise Pierson.
“This was no surprise, unfortunately,” Pierson said in a recent interview with CNBC. “I know it’s stunning for passengers, but for those of us that have been monitoring what’s been going on for a while with the MAX it really wasn’t a surprise sadly.”
“As we’ve discussed in the past, the company has struggled mightily with manufacturing and we’ve had over twenty production quality defects. You know it’s hard to keep up with all of them that keep getting reported.”
Pierson worked at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington. He previously told WNN that starting in 2017 working conditions at the Renton factory began to deteriorate. Pierson says that workers were so tired that he saw a direct uptick in human error safety incidents.
In June of 2018, Pierson contacted the manager of the 737 program asking for a meeting and requesting that the factory be shut down for a period of time so that workers could get back on their feet. He presented his concerns in emails to the manager and in an in-person meeting, saying that he was extremely concerned that the pressure leadership was putting on employees could have the effect of “embedding safety hazard(s) into our airplanes.”
In August of 2018, Pierson left Boeing, citing inadequately answered safety concerns as a primary reason for leaving. In the ensuing months, two MAX airplanes crashed, killing hundreds.
In 2019, Pierson testified before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. He stated that his warnings were ignored after he formally warned Boeing leadership of the risk of sending out 737 MAXs and claimed that Boeing was prioritizing production speed over quality and safety.
Since then, Pierson has continued to highlight safety concerns with 737 MAXs. In 2021 he released a report “Boeing 737 MAX – Still Not Fixed.”