Boeing whistleblower Joshua Dean dies suddenly after claiming plane firm ignored shocking safety flaws

BOEING whistleblower Joshua Dean has died following a sudden illness, his family have confirmed.

Dean was an employee of Spirit AeroSystems who claimed he was fired after alerting people to the Boeing supplier’s negligence in the production of the 737 MAX.

The death of Joshua Dean comes as Boeing planes suffer numerous faults such as this pictured Alaska Airlines jet after a door panel was ripped out mid-flight

EPADean was a former quality auditor for Spirit AeroSystems who flagged alleged faults in the production line for Boeing[/caption]

The 45-year-old who worked as a quality auditor, flagged poor production standards at the Witchita, Kansas plant which allegedly saw defects ignored, per The Seattle Times.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Dean’s mother said that her son had contracted an MRSA infection causing pneumonia and a stroke.

She said that her son was “fighting for his life.”

Dean’s aunt Carol Parsons has since confirmed his death two weeks after he was declared to be in a critical condition despite having previously been in good health.

“It was brutal what he went through…heartbreaking,” she told the news outlet.

His sudden decline started when he had trouble breathing which saw him intubated and eventually put on an ECMO machine that takes over heart and lung function.

According to Parsons, Dean’s doctors were considering amputating both of his hands and feet.

His Lawyer Brian Knowles called his death a “loss to the aviation community and the flying public.”

Dean filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration claiming “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line” at the Spirit plant.

The company then fired him in April 2023 and he claimed that this was a result of raising his concerns.

“I think they were sending out a message to anybody else. If you are too loud, we will silence you,” he told NPR in January.

“I’m not saying they don’t want you to go out there and inspect a job. You know, they do.

“But if you make too much trouble, you will get the Josh treatment. You will get what happened to me.”

He had also given a deposition in a lawsuit by Spirit shareholders.

“He possessed tremendous courage to stand up for what he felt was true and right and raised quality and safety issues,” Knowles told Al Jazeera.

“Aviation companies should encourage and incentivize those that do raise these concerns.

“Otherwise, safety and quality are truly not these companies’ top priorities.”

“This sudden loss is stunning news here at Spriti and for his loved ones,” a spokesperson for Spirit AeroSystems told the news outlet.

“Our thoughts are with Josh Dean’s family.”

The company is under immense pressure following a mid-flight fault that saw a door panel blow out of a 737 MAX 9 in January.


Boeing has faced scrutiny this year after a series of concerning malfunctions.

Here’s a list of some of the biggest incidents regarding the aircraft maker:

January 5 – An Alaska Airlines flight is forced to make an emergency landing after a window was ripped out mid-flight.
January 24 – A Delta flight loses its front tire during takeoff at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
March 7 – A wheel drops from a United Airlines flight heading to Japan during takeoff.
March 13 – A Boeing 777 is spotted leaking hydraulic fluid during takeoff for a United Airlines flight from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco, California.
March 14 – An American Airlines flight has to make an emergency landing after one of its tires blew out.
March 19 – The windscreen on a Boeing 737 cracks as an Alaskan Airlines flight makes its landing.
March 31 – A pilot on a United Airlines flight is forced to return to Frankfurt Airport after feces from the waste tank in one of the toilets overflowed, causing a foul smell in the cabin.
April 2 – An Alaska Airlines flight is forced to return to the airport after a faulty bathroom overflowed and sent water flowing down the cabin.
April 8 – A Southwest Airlines flight has to make an emergency landing in Denver, Colorado after the engine cover ripped off mid-flight.

Sprit was found to have installed the panel that caused the incident on the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 sparking concerns about safety on Boeing planes.

Dean’s death comes less than two months after John Barnett, another Boeing whistleblower was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The 62-year-old had worked for Boeing for 32 years before he retired in 2017.

At the time of his death, Barnett was giving evidence of alleged wrongdoing at Boeing to investigators working on a lawsuit against the company, according to a BBC report.

Barnett was found in his truck on March 9 in the parking lot of a hotel in South Carolina where he had been staying while completing his interviews with investigators.

While his death was ruled an apparent suicide “from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office, a police investigation into Barnett’s death is ongoing, per The Times.

Both Dean and Barnett were represented by the same law firm based in South Carolina.

“Whistleblowers are needed. They bring to light wrongdoing and corruption in the interests of society,” Knowles told the Times as he declined to speculate about the timing of the two deaths.

“It takes a lot of courage to stand up.

“It’s a difficult set of circumstances. Our thoughts now are with John’s family and Josh’s family.”

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ReutersSpirit AeroSystems has called Dean’s death ‘stunning news’[/caption]

NetflixBoeing whistleblower John Barnett was found dead in his truck just days after giving evidence in an investigation into Boeing’s safety standards[/caption]

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