The comments following Andrea Jame’s last Seattle PI article about Boeing Whistleblower, Gerald Eastman’s trial ending, continue to be added.  Here is an updated version.  They get more interesting as they continue.


What do you think?
Posted by flyboy at 4/7/08 2:12 p.m.
It all could have been avoided if Boeing supervisors had spent a little time listening to Eastman.

Posted by the screen name you at 4/7/08 2:27 p.m.
How much did this nonconviction cost the taxpayers?

Is Boeing going to reimburse King County?

Posted by NAYSAYING TROLL at 4/7/08 2:43 p.m.
This prosecuter should be shown the door.
Let’s hope this arrogant company has had enough of their dirty laundry aired out in public as a result of this trial. By now everyone should be wondering if these planes are being properly inspected, or not.

Posted by takemeaway! at 4/7/08 2:48 p.m.
Remember: Big Brother (Boeing?) is watching these posts. The prosecution will be pressured to retry by Boeing and other interested parties in order to smear any attempt at a whistleblower lawsuit. I would be very surprised if prosecutorial discretion wins the day and this guy is not retried.

Posted by takemeaway! at 4/7/08 2:49 p.m.
I think this was a hung jury and not a mistrial. Uh,which one?

Posted by D_P at 4/7/08 2:57 p.m.
Ha ha! I hope this was jury nullification.

Posted by allsburg at 4/7/08 3:30 p.m.
A hung jury causes the judge to declare a mistrial. (Her alternative was to force the jury to go back and deliberate more.)

Jury nullification occurs when a jury votes to acquit someone despite actually believing the person to be guilty. The jury might do so because they believe that while the person’s conduct was “illegal”, the surrounding context makes the jury feel that the person did “nothing wrong.”

Posted by Green Party at 4/7/08 3:37 p.m.

Posted by zinger at 4/7/08 4:13 p.m.
Eastman, I would not be shouting a victory against The Boeing Company and my mission must continue on. A 10-2 vote to convict is not even a moral victory. My impression is and will always be that you broke the law when you not only accessed share drives for your quote unquote database, but when you copied those files and uploaded them onto your personal computer at home, you crossed the line and broke the law. According to your own analogy, there should airplanes built by Boeing crashing daily because they were not inspected to your standards. That is and has not happened, so your premise of inadeqaucy falls apart and you do not have any point to jump on your podium (BLOG) and blow your horn. The smart people at Boeing have a master plan about safety and quality that far exceed your capability of understanding. You should spend some time exploring the good in things instead all of your derogatory sinical rhetoric slamming one of the better companies in this country.

Posted by mshowell at 4/7/08 4:26 p.m.
Thanks Zinger for putting it correctlly. I work with the QA of Boeing, and if anything, they all go overboard in looking at things. I will ask for just one thing to be looked at and next thing you know, they are ripping out a pickup for something you haven’t ask or is in your job title to do. Granted at the time I;’m a little POed, but then the error is fixed, by the person who made the error or their team leader.
Bottom line: I would and will trust a Boeing QA, I may not agree at things at times, but that’s human nature.

Posted by Green Party at 4/7/08 5:56 p.m.
mshowell, NOW ‘they all go overboard in looking at things.’

It took a human sacrifice to do it that way, though. Think a little.

And you’d better hope that you are never caught between your conscience and your career (that is, assuming you have a conscience), because you are helping close the door on your own self.

Posted by zinger at 4/7/08 6:45 p.m.
There is no human sacrifice and Eastman has and had nothing to do with nor will he ever have input about the methodology of inspections or inspection intervals at Boeing. The inspection methodology at Boeing is so concise and precise that it allows a single individual to create doubt in the integrity of the product. However, in the case of Eastman, it is very obvious that he wants total control because he beleives he knows better than anyone else. In any industry, those people are shuffled aside for someone who is willing to listen and learn and be a team player. Why would you suspect he was transferred around frequently while he was an employee of Boeing ? It is because he would not listen and felt that he knew more than anyone around him. Furthermore, writing hate mail about Boeing QA to anybody any everybody is crazy. Who would understand his rhetoric when it so detailed and hate filled. The answer is Nobody would understand and just through the complaint letter in the garbage. He needs a re-trial and the prosecuting attorney ought to pay a little more attention to whom ends up as a juror. The two no votes ought to have never happened. The guy stole data, brought it home, and used it for his own personal vendetta against a pretty good employer.

Posted by Green Party at 4/7/08 7:23 p.m.
You have obviously not done any reading on the case, zinger.

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/7/08 7:41 p.m.
Although I will defend your right to say whatever thing it is you feel compelled to say, (the last time I checked this is still America and I want to believe we still have a Constitution), it is an indication of how ugly it is inside the Boeing Company when comments such as zinger’s and mshowell’s still stubbornly appear in forums such as this.

Considering the control and influence exerted by Boeing and the seemingly biased direction from the judge, it is a great credit to those members of this jury who saw through the flack and recognized a whistleblower situation for what it was. A person who in doing his job found unacceptable corruption and fraud that not only was a moral and ethical problem, but could have been a great risk to the military, American public, and anyone else flying in those planes, made the conscious decision to stand up to the problem and those responsible for it since the company was not willingly doing it on its own. A person who takes this kind of action is by definition a whistleblower. Rather than turning away and ignoring the wrongdoing, allowing pressure from management and from others within the company to silence him, rather than keeping quiet and continuing to collect his ample paycheck, this whistleblower tried to see to it that the problems were confronted and honestly resolved, at great personal cost to himself and his family.

That no level of his company would hold itself accountable to do the right thing, meant he had to go to the federal oversight agency that is supposed to be policing the Boeing Company’s manufacturing process, the FAA. Sadly, the FAA itself has been corrupted and is involved in allegations of malfeasance and fraud. There are many articles, and in fact other whistleblowers nationwide, within the Boeing Company and the government, who have been fighting to get these and other related problems stopped. Due to influences high in our government and what has been called in some quarters “an atmosphere of corruption,” even the Justice Department has been unable to effectively do its job. When FAA failed, Mr. Eastman went to his elected officials (Senators) and also the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, as he should have. Those are the correct paths for a whistleblower to take when as an employee he or she cannot get the problems resolved at a more informal level. At first Mr. Eastman was met with ambivalence and reticence from those who should have acted responsibly to see to it the allegations of wrongdoing were investigated thoroughly and if found to have merit, most assuredly rectified. In fact a later audit by DOT OIG vindicated some of Mr. Eastman’s claims. It is worth noting that if the company had worked to honestly resolve the problems in the first place internally when Mr. Eastman was first working his way up his command chain, none of this later public airing would have had to occur. And the flying public and military might well be better off as even now, we are being barraged by scores of reports of problems with planes causing them to be grounded, at least some of which are Boeing planes.

There are currently investigations into a number of civil and criminal matters still being investigated, which involve companies including Boeing. And I believe there are other whistleblowers, including Boeing, who are working to resolve some of the things that need to be addressed. I hope The Boeing Company will take a deep breath and clear their mind of any more delusions of impunity. It is my opinion that things will continue on until Boeing and any other companies with apparent ethics problems, clean up their collective acts.

Ethics is more than a required eight-hour course, once a year. It is a daily way of doing business. It is a way of working with your employees to assure that you really are creating the best quality product and providing the best possible work environment for your employees which creates sincere pride in belonging to the organization, not just a public PR campaign. It is true ethics that builds confidence and respect for your company. It is true ethics that inspire enthusiasm and support from the taxpayers and the public.

I do hope Boeing will step back and rather than waste any more time calling in political favors, and wasting any more tax payer money prosecuting a whistleblower, (who has a legally protected right to be a whistleblower), Boeing commits itself to real reform and repair of it’s business practices and operation. Something that will make it possible for more of us to unequivocally rally behind the company here at home, whether commercial or defense contracts are at issue.

As for Mr. Eastman, he has paid a huge price for his ethics and efforts. Green Party’s last comments are correct. Any one of you working at Boeing in areas caught up in the kind of negative workings exposed by this whistleblower’s case, are at risk, even if you are not a whistleblower yet. The very fact you have knowledge of wrongdoing makes you a threat. Someday, you may need to rely on our Justice system and what few protections are available to you as a whistleblower. Think hard on this before you make any more judgments of others or support that which is unsupportable.

Posted by Ballard Pimp at 4/7/08 9:42 p.m.
Trust Boeing?? Did anybody else snork coffee up the nose reading that?

Posted by sweetpea123 at 4/7/08 10:25 p.m.
And WBR, you’re simply expressing your opinion, which some may not agree with either.

I do believe Eastman crossed the line as well. Only time will tell how this all comes out in the wash.

Posted by J from Kent at 4/8/08 5:05 a.m.
Zinger, well said!
There are so many people from outside the company blogging about this case, who have no idea how things operate. They are just looking for a fight, and want to be the little guy fighting the corporate power structure.
For those who say we haven’t read the articles enough to realize Eastman is a whistleblower… if you haven’t worked for Boeing, how can YOU say you know how things are run here, based on one fired employee?

Think about that. This isn’t a Hollywood movie. I hope the prosecutors re-try the case, and I hope a conviction is handed down. He violated the law. He stole from the company. He mentioned in a letter to the company he would accept monetary damages… didn’t he admit that? I believe he did, in one of his rambling “explanations.”

Posted by thezorg at 4/8/08 6:43 a.m.
takemeaway writes, “I think this was a hung jury and not a mistrial. Uh,which one?”

A hung jury = mistrial.

Ten jurors voted to convict, two held out to acquit. The prosecutor will retry this case, and the second trial will result in a conviction.

Posted by Exfan at 4/8/08 7:18 a.m.
This guy clearly knew he was doing something wrong and made up the inspection story once he got caught. Anyone who thinks otherwise is, to put it simply, deluding themselves into thinking theft can be excused. It’s unfortunate that taxpayers should have to pay to correct the mistake of a couple of stubborn jurors who sound like they were going to ignore the evidence because they had already decided the outcome. I hope the prosecutor does re-try because otherwise Boeing employees will be free to steal company secrets and sell them to the highest bidder.

Posted by takemeaway! at 4/8/08 7:20 a.m.
This trial, like all trials was not about what Eastman did or did not do. It was not about what Boeing did or did not do. It was not about truth or justice. This trial was (as all trials are)about power. Think about it.

Posted by handsome at 4/8/08 7:20 a.m.
Message to the Last Inspector.

Congratulations on the outcome.

I hope Boeing lets you get on with your life.

Tickled to death that the system didn’t light the match.

Appreciate the courage of the two dissenting voters. There are times when I question the outcome in our legal system.

I am an “outsider” but still identified with the challenges associated with taking on a big company – to right a perceived wrong or wrongs. Been there, done that – and it was a wrenching experience.

Yee Hah!!!

Posted by 14017 at 4/8/08 7:29 a.m.
Although I receive a Boeing retirement check, I haven’t worked there for 38 years. If there is a choice, I will take a Boeing airplane every time. Look at the safety record. Boeing does everything humanly possible to assure a safe airplane. It wants to stay in business. If it allowed slipshod work or shoddy inspections it would defeat that purpose.
Eastman must have somehow felt wronged by Boeing and was trying to get even for that wrong. Hopefully Boeing and the prosecutor will want a retrial.

Posted by nativeinwa at 4/8/08 7:47 a.m.
The only thing this guy is blowing is his own horn. He knew that taking this information was wrong but if it could justify his case as the self-proclaimed “Last Inspector” then in his self-absorbed mind, it was necessary.
There may be issues at the Boeing Company but “The Last Inspector” should not be the spokesman for change. In case you haven’t visited his website, it’s a must read for insomniacs everywhere.

Posted by zinger at 4/8/08 9:40 a.m.
I did not have to attend ethics classes to realize that stealing was against the law. I know all to well that document theft is equivalent to any other kind of theft. The magnitude of the illegality is a sliding scale. By the way, anybody who can support this kind of theft, has in fact an Ethics problem. I am proud to admit, to having worked at Boeing for 33+ years prior to retirement. I also understood one simple fact. That fact is that you do not shoot off your mouth if you do not know all of the facts. In fact, Eastman did and does not understand how the quality of a part or assembly is evaluated. Why you say ? It is simple, because he did not stop and ask questions before shooting off his mouth and putting to writing to anyone and everyone. Eastman is trying to use the whistleblower defense, when the basis of this case is data theft, and that is a crime. Even if you can access a document on the computer, that does not give you the right to take it home with you and try to use it to your advantage financially or otherwise.

Posted by J from Kent at 4/8/08 10:37 a.m.
zinger, again, BRAVO! And thank you for your years of service to our company!

Posted by The Last Inspector at 4/8/08 11:35 a.m.
I was trying to protect the safety of the public from the fraud I witnessed and was forced to take part in by management in Boeing Quality Assurance–nothing more. While trying to get this fraud investigated I came up against the fraud of the FAA looking out more for their own personal post FAA retirement career interests and for the interests of Boeing’s bottom line than their mandate to protect the safety of the public that is so much in the news today.

Zinger is deluded. There is no “precise plan” for how to perform QA at Boeing. Instead, what I saw was a systemic disregard for compliance with the FAA-approved quality system and a disregard for the safety of the public. The bottom line and merit bonuses were what management was chiefly concerned about. The public safety related nature and genesis of our jobs was rarely mentioned as it would interfere diametrically with their attempts to get inspectors to not do the inspections as required and rollerstamp the paperwork off that they had done those “overlooked” inspections. This fraud was so prevalent and out of hand because Boeing knew that the FAA had their back on continuing this fraud, as opposed to being a threat to its contiuance that they should have been. I knew I had to do something to stop it. While those efforts have so far not ended that fraud within Boeing QA management, my extensive efforts did prove one thing without doubt–the FAA’s complicity in that fraud. Mr. Sabatini and Mr. Scovel should be ashamed of themselves for overlooking this fraud. Thankfully Congress has taken notice of just this same type of FAA fraud that is the “root cause” of Boeing being able to violate their quality system at will. Anyone who has been a part of Boeing’s “quality system” knows with what disdain even Boeing QA management treats that FAA-mandated (but not enforced) system with. They view it as “non-value added” and have been working to destroy it for untold years. It is no accident there is no longer a V.P. of Quality at BCA, although there seems to be a V.P. of everything else. QA now reports to manufacturing or “operations,” which they are supposed to be independent of to the greatest degree possible. That lack of independence has long ago filtered down to the production floor, where QA managers now in effect report to Manufacturing managers at their same management level, who they are supposed to independently ensure the quality, safety, and reliability of the work of their departments. Line inspectors also are corrupted by their own management and Manufacturing pressure for them to not do their jobs per Boeing’s own FAA approved procedures. Yes, Boeing may have a pretty good quality system per those procedures, but the fact they are not followed makes them in effect meaningless. It’s ironic bought makes so much of me supposedly violating company procedures on use of the computer system that they had me prosecuted for it, yet they tried to have me and others fired before that that simply tried to follow those critical QA procedures that were meant to ensure the safety, quality, and reliability of Boeing airplanes. And you want me prosecuted for violating a company procedure while trying to overcome this vastly greater Boeing and FAA fraud, while the management at Boeing and the FAA that intentionally violated actual laws and regulations affecting public safety walk away? Are you that deluded, or are you just trying to protect the value of your stock or stock options, or are you one of the managers that would be prosecuted if justice was really done? Boeing didn’t care about people accessing the same files I did and selling them to Airbus. To my knowledge they never investigated to see if anyone who accessed files they thought were that sensitive did so. They know I didn’t. They know exactly why I did so. That’s what scares them so much–that their own skeletons will be found in their “closet” and they will ultimately face real justice themselves. I would suggest they stop trying to hide and protect this fraud by such thinly veiled means as my arrest and trial, and come clean about it, and sacrifice a sufficient number of managers to justice in that process, and thereafter never make noncompliance with minimum quality system standards a “key competitive advantage” again, even if a corrupt FAA will look the other way.

Posted by zinger at 4/8/08 12:19 p.m.
Diluded, I am not !!!! Eastman, you are deraigned, and need serious time with a psychiatrist. Your time at Boeing must have been very painful to you since hardly anybody agreed with you. Your most basic crime is not snooping at competition sensitive documents. In fact, taking them home is theft. You don’t get it because your podium won’t allow you to. It amazes me that you wanted to stay 18 years at Boeing after countless people tried to help you understand what quality assurance means in the manufacturing world. Why in the world do you persist in believing that you have done nothing wrong ? You act like a spoiled child when they do not get their way with things. You try to subvert, and when that is not
delivering the desired result, you start mouthing off about things that you clearly do not have the capability of thoroughly understanding. I repeat again, you need a re-trial since common sense is not working. You are simply a thief, which is punishable according to the law. Yes, taking documents from your employer to use for any purpose is a violation of the laws of this great country that we live in and since you do not agree, punishment has it’s way dealing with that disregard for the law.

Posted by J from Kent at 4/8/08 1:18 p.m.
zinger, thanks for staying on him in this blog. I agree with you- I commented before in another blog, even his screen name “the last inspector…” please arrogance! He needs some “me time” in jail.

Posted by zinger at 4/8/08 2:14 p.m.
Thanks, however it must be overwhelming when you think you are “The last inspector”. Unfortunately, he never was an inspector, but was in fact a distractor. It amazes me when people do not want to spend time to understand there assigned job at a company. The sincere person, will quietly learn and understand his assigned task, likewise, the immature person will immediately through up a smoke screen and never spend the time to understand anything. In fact, they, like Eastman will often verbalize their disagreement thinking that eventually somebody will listen. In this case, the emotions of being challenged, forced him to steal competition sensitive documents in order to expand his ignorance. Fortunately, that is called theft, and justice should prevail. Jumping under other claims ssuch as whistleblower etc are nothing but a dodge of accepting what was done and eventually justice will prevail.

Posted by Cogito, Sum at 4/8/08 6:00 p.m.
Apparently jurors could not come to a unanimous conclusion, based on the evidence presented. Perhaps they have more validity in their opinion than those posting?

If there is a retrial, a jury will again review the case on its merits – as it should be.

Posted by Green Party at 4/8/08 9:02 p.m.
zinger has no idea how things actually work. zinger has never been there, obviously, as many of us have.

He’s just in this for self-agrandizement, as opposed to the subject of this article.

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/8/08 9:05 p.m.
I do see some tantrums being thrown here, zinger tantrums. lol. It is amazing to me the dissembling by some Boeing employees or former employees, if we can believe who they say they are. It is unfortunate, but perhaps understandable how little many lower level employees know about the workings of their own company. In fact they do not understand to what lengths the company goes to, in order to be sure the left hand does not know what the right hand is up to or vice versa. A lot of things have changed zinger, in 30 some years. You would be amazed.

Posted by The Last Inspector at 4/9/08 2:34 a.m.
Thanks, WBR Supporter and Green Party, and Sum. Mr. Zinger seems to be a company disinformation artist. Witty or wose he’s not. I am not an inspector? Oh please. What kind of experience do you have that give you any right to comment on quality assurance? Nope, wishful thinking. I was never a problem employee. I got harassed and retaliated against when I tried to do only the most basic parts of my job–inspect the engines and struts and document defects so they could be reworked or repaired. Even that minimum ethic was too much for corrupt QA management. They didn’t want defects found or documented because they tracked and were rewarded for reducing the “Cost of Rework, Repair, and Scrap”, or CORRS. The easiest way to do so was to get inspectors to not document defects, especially the “repair” type which required engineering disposition before repair, as those were counted at an arbitrary cost of over a thousand dollars a “pop”. This is just part of what led to the fraud at Boeing that the FAA abetted instead of ended. Concern about smooth production flow, cost, schedule, the bottom line, merit raises and stock options for managers, and a view that quality assurance was “non-value added” even if the FAA regulations stated the opposite, among other motivators. Boeing should be the shining example of how an aerospace Quality Assurance program should be run, not only because it is mandated that they comply with all quality system provisions, but also because they are also responsible for oversight of suppliers in concert with the FAA, and Boeing’s quality system should be an example for all suppliers to follow Boeing’s lead with. However, a recent report from the DOT OIG stated that that oversight was not adequate, or effective at ensuring supplier compliance. So Boeing is not only failing intentionally in its internal quality system compliance, it is also not performing the minimum oversight necessary to keep its suppliers compliant. But that should surprise no one with how Boeing treats compliance internally.

Posted by zinger at 4/9/08 12:17 p.m.
Oh please, you are accuse me that I know nothing about how things are really done at Boeing. There is one known fact, and that is that Boeing is not stupid, and in fact documents every exisitng fact toward producing a quality product. The schedule slides on the 787 prove my point. The product will fly when it is in fact a flight worthy product, not one day sooner. That has always been the mantra at Boeing. I am not going to bore people with minutia, the fact is if you defiantly say that quality assurance does not exist at Boeing, you are dreaming and in la la land. You would have extreme difficulty in taking your QA skills on the road outside of Boeing and aplly them to AOG repairs as an example. Where in fact, the separation of QA and manufacturing exists. The real key is working together as a team for the common good of producing a quality product. It works, because I was involved in it and a team player. You might say, well, you were just buying into the company line and became blinded. Well, no , in fact it should be universal knowledge that teaming solves problems. Which is why Eastman is nothing more than a distractor. He refused to be a team player simply because he felt he could be a show stopper and that would gain him the recognition he was craving. So when resistance was felt, he resorted to stealing and using documents to support his over inflated ego. That my friend is a crime !! So, expect to pay the price of your deeds. Maybe a little quiet time away from society will assist you in the much needed reality check that you are deserving

Posted by Green Party at 4/9/08 2:08 p.m.
{… says the PR department at Boeing …}

Posted by Green Party at 4/9/08 2:37 p.m.
Posted by zinger at 4/9/08 12:17 p.m.
…. and in fact documents every exisitng fact toward producing a quality product. The schedule slides on the 787 prove my point.


That’s quite some calesthenic reasoning there, zinger.

I think that most reasonable people would see that schedule slips are a symptom that [u]things aren’t working as they should be[/u]. That QC earlier in the process was subverted, and so unqualified subassemblies made their way to non-functionality in larger subassemblies.

Posted by zinger at 4/9/08 3:39 p.m.
Green Party, you exposed yourself as to have never worked inside the confines of the Boeing Company by your reply !!! The schedule slide is part structural defincincy in the center wing box, partly the take-over in South Carolina, and partly a new process of packaging of work by the partners for the 787 airplane. None of which the quality assurance program would have any involvement herewith. The documentation to these statements can be found in the news media. Integrating an airplane into a repeatable flying machine is a team effort accomplished by thousands of employees. Boeing’s “strides to excellence” is in the integration of a product into a usable product. Even QA has inputs into the finished product. Very importantly, QA is not the initiator of the inspections and documention, but is fact a follower to assure the product meets or exceeds the minumum design requirements. Where do you think the design requirements come from ? Where do you think the inspection methodology comes from ? I would look to engineering for that guidance, not some final assembly inspector. He should be the follower not the leader.
Especially someone who whines as must as Eastman.

Posted by Green Party at 4/9/08 8:32 p.m.
What do you mean, “you exposed yourself as to have never worked inside the confines of the Boeing Company by your reply !!!”

I have never said I’ve worked for Boeing. Where did you get that idea?

No, I have worked in large corporations before. And I have seen the corporate behavior manifested by this situation.

And no, the center wing box is not the only issue. Apparently you don’t know it, but they’re having a hard time fitting parts together, software is buggy, systems are not running well, etc. All these issues, zinger who works in Boeing PR, are contributing to the ever-sliding delivery schedule.

And all these issues are the result of the very management approach and incentives described by Eastman.

Posted by zinger at 4/9/08 9:46 p.m.
Green Party, I ask how is it you think this is an uncommon problem with a scratch design airplane. Since you never worked at Boeing, you do not have a clue ! This is a very complex design project. More difficult than you could ever imagine. I do not know why you think that QA can be the controller of those issues. If they exist. Do you realize that no two airplanes are alike each other, other than physically. They are custom designed products to fit the customers needs. The issues that you recite are typical manufacturing issues that you deal with in the manufacture of this type of product. They are not show stoppers. Structural issues are, and that is not the fault of QA, but of Engineering in not unstanding the flight parameters of the aircraft. Structure is probably one of the repeatable components that you want to get right the first time. It just goes to show that the complexity of a highly technical product is not easily dissected and understood by any one single inspector in a final assembly environment. The product is to complex for any one person to thoroughly understand and how to apply your own level of expertise. This is why Boeing is not corrupt or hiding anything. This is why they are not hiding anything from the FAA. Do you realize that before a product can be deemed acceptable to fly, it has to approved by DER’s of every facit of the airplanes existance. That is a level of conformance that exceeds any other moving device that propels human beings from destination to destination. The DER’s are reportable to FAA for compliance and conformance of the product that Boeing produces. Without them, the airplane does not fly and Boeing has no influence over their evaluation of the product. That in itself is reasuring that the product is usable by the public. For your information I am not a PR person supporting the Boeing Company, but a person with 33+ years of design experience whom retired in 2002. Design is design my friend, and each design has its challenges. Line inspectors at Boeing have a valuable job at Boeing, the issue is not over-exanding your importance to the finished product and understanding your value added input to the end product, not stealing from your employer to prove some innate point to satisfy your ego such as what Eastman has done.

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/9/08 10:12 p.m.

There is entirely too much protesting and foam and spit flying out of your mouth. Calm down. It is pretty apparent you feel extremely threatened by nearly anything said here. It is also apparent you have bought into the “them and us” mentality it has become abundantly clear some of you at Boeing delude yourself into thinking that “them and us” is somehow germane to these conversations.

There is no “them and us” except perhaps in Boeing Corporate’s mind, as they try to control their employees and selectively “manage” information and cover up things that may be too antisocial or perhaps even illegal that they may fear will bring them trouble if exposed.

Every American who flies or who pays taxes has every right to wonder, speculate, investigate and comment upon matters related to Boeing business; they all pay for it, commercial and defense. How arrogant of you to think it is only a matter for internal discussion, ie. by Boeing employees only at their favorite closet or watering hole. Please.

Your performances here and on the other article comment sections are not helping your company. Your posting the same comment on multiple comment threads clearly illustrates your intentions. PR? Maybe, but probably not professional. And your ugly attacking tone is damaging to the reputation of your company. It only makes Boeing itself look more ugly and vicious.

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/9/08 10:24 p.m.
Since the subject of parts came up…

I was contacted some time ago by someone who was concerned as a few years ago, a lot of machinist jobs were lost locally due to Boeing’s decision to outsource (move in plain English) those jobs overseas to have the parts made in China among other places.

This person informed me that parts coming in from China were so badly made that they were impossible to use, and were having to be remachined by those few Boeing machinists left state side. Anybody know anything about this?

Posted by Green Party at 4/10/08 7:16 a.m.
Posted by zinger at 4/9/08 9:46 p.m.
Green Party, I ask how is it you think this is an uncommon problem with a scratch design airplane. Since you never worked at Boeing, you do not have a clue ! This is a very complex design project … blah, blah

Backfill doesn’t mean anything, zinger. And just to let you know, it would make reading your posts much less arduous if you learned to use paragraphs to delineate (and help organize) your thinking. Otherwise people lose interest in your specious ideas after the first few sentences.

I guess WBR is right, you are not pro PR… probably management, whose bonuses depend on undermining QC.

Posted by zinger at 4/10/08 5:58 p.m.
WBR Supporter: From what I saw and heard, you are right in the fact that vendor parts are scrapped during the initial period of a contract from new sources. I am not intimately aware of the China machined parts issue, but not surprised in the least. These vendors are selected for offset, when a customer (nation) places an airplane order. Offset is what it takes to sell airplanes in this very competitive market place. It does not make it right or wrong, but in fact it is just a fact of doing business. Boeing spends an enormous amount of time and money to clear the manufacturing issue up, but I have also heard of them cancelling vendor contracts because of a lack of technology to provide quality levels that are expected and required.

Green Party: The issues related ta a scratch design airplane, are relevant. The first time something is fabricated, it presents its own assembly issues. After a quantity of components are built, the assembly difficulties are usually thought out and fixes to those issues are resolved so that the assembly can then become more predictable. As an example, an .02 inch difference in diameters on a 40 foot diameter fuselage equates to .628 in circumference. That is material that you have to account for when mating two fuselage sections. Think about it, that is almost a perfect fit. These types of problems are very common on scratch design airplanes that you are paying millions of dollars to produce.

These type of issues are why one individual QA inspector cannot understand it all, nor should he be expected to understand it all. Which is why the “last inspector” evolved into the “distrator” that drove him to stealing documents from the hand that feeds him. Can we spell “STUPID”. Besides, documents are a lot like personal letters in that they have running dialogue. Unless you read them all, you cannot have the complete story. It is just a snapshot in time, trying to reply to a specific issue of a specific problem.

Posted by Green Party at 4/11/08 6:41 a.m.
When has Boeing ever not made a scratch airplane, zinger? And yet these delays are unprecedented.

Are you so bound up in Corporate Loyalty that you don’t have the common sense to see that these are the very quality issues which Eastman has tried and tried to rectify, for the actual benefit and good of Boeing itself, in the face of the most ferocious resistance from management? Resistance which will now cost the company $billions? Against all natural law, these managers (you) will likely continue to be employed and will in fact likely be promoted, while Eastman (the truly righteous one) will suffer much lower income and sparser retirement for the rest of his life.

This will cost Boeing Big, for their internal corruption, and rightfully so.

Posted by zinger at 4/11/08 12:15 p.m.
Green Party: The 737, 747, 767, 777 are not longer scratch design airplanes. Their is a wealth of experience in manufacturing and assembling these airplanes. The 787 is the new kid on the block. A complete shift in the fabrication methods etc. Boeing was naive in estimating that their would be very few problems with the manufacturing shift to partners instead of the piece work assembly that they had been accustomed to. An all composite airplane is a huge leap in technology.

By the way, I was not in management during my working years at Boeing. In fact is was an engineer. I saw quite a few management antics, but it never bothered me that somebody else was getting merit raises, stock options and the like. That’s life !! I got my share of raises and stock options while I was employed, but I felt that I contributed to the betterment of the Company’s product and deserved those raises like anybody else. It’s not odd to not be bitter when a co-worker recieves a raise etc.

Quality issues are always a topic in huge corporations. I think they are healthy if held in the right context. I never saw or felt things were covered up or ignored. There never is something known as a zero defect airplane. My firm belief is that Boeing does as good a job as any manufactruer to provide a quality product which is reliable to use. Likewise, I think it is blasfemus to cry out that their is management corruption simply because you have a difference of opinion. Trust me with one issue, that their is a process and procedure for any thing you could imagine for every single manufacturing issue at Boeing. It shocked me when I was first employed at Boeing. I later learned to rely upon those and started growing as an employee. That’s where it’s at in my opinion.

I likewise saw many people who quit working for Boeing because isssues such as Eastman protrays. I just think that he was miserable for 18 years while he worked for Boeing and would have been much more comfortable in a smaller manufacturing setting. It is a difficult concept to accept that you are just 1 of 100,000+ employees, but if you do, you grow and contribute in lieu of distract in daily endevours of employement.

Posted by Green Party at 4/11/08 5:44 p.m.
Posted by zinger at 4/11/08 12:15 p.m.
Green Party: The 737, 747, 767, 777 are not (sic) longer scratch design airplanes. Their (sic) is a wealth of experience in manufacturing and assembling these airplanes.

Don’t you have any common sense, zinger? Or do you think we don’t have any?

Each of these planes was designed and built from scratch. Of COURSE they now know all the tricks and kinks about making these planes, as a matter of production, but when they were first designed, they were each all new. (der)

No one expects that something as complex as a commercial jet will have zero defects. However, I have personally seen the sort of corporate culture which Eastman describes very accurately at Boeing, and it rings true. You, zinger, support the murder of a person’s career and comfortable retirement, in favor of the subourning of true safety issues, for the sake of your own retirement check. This is your own form of personal corruption, and you will answer for this when the time comes. Even the mentally-retarded have an idea of what’s Right and Wrong, and if you support the Wrong, I firmly believe that it goes on your account, whether you want to face that or not.
Posted by zinger at 4/11/08 12:15 p.m.
I just think that he was miserable for 18 years while he worked for Boeing and would have been much more comfortable in a smaller manufacturing setting.

I just think that you were miserable for your working years at Boeing, but now that you are fortunate enough that they pay your freight, you reflexively defend them, Right or Wrong. My opinion.

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/11/08 8:31 p.m.
I think it is pretty pathetic that Mr. Eastman after having a hard time finding another job, found one, but then apparently from what I can see reading the progression of events, had his new bosses, call him in after his trial started and tell him that they’d been “directed to his website” and they felt there was a conflict of interest with their biggest customer. One can only assume this was Boeing. It appears to me that their intent is to be sure he does not have a job at all.

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/11/08 8:36 p.m.
This is a classic example of harassment and retribution, non of which is acceptable as a whistleblower is protected from that by law.

Posted by zinger at 4/11/08 11:56 p.m.
You guys are are blowing horns that is crazienest. This company goes out of its way to be a good citizen. Then their comes a guy such as Eastman, and all of a sudden they are the bad guys. That is inheritantly wrong. Eatsman was a mouth that thought that if he made enough noise , some one would listen to him. Well it is obvious that you have listened to him because you feel he is the norm at Boeing. Guess what, your wrong and he is wrong.
The Goe average employee is happy, but not maybe satisfied because he is paid for what he is doing and he has enough integrity to believe he has proved something that is worthwhile to the value of his employment at Boeing. That is what I felt when I was employed by Boeing because my inputs were constructive and not destructive. Life is not corrupt at Boeing, it is instead a huge corporation and it is not expected for everyone to have a complete picture of the overall mission to providing a product to a customer with the expected degree of quality and reliability.

Get real, there are right doers and wrong doers, and Eastman crossed the line when he stole documents for his own use and openly admitted that he was not against selling them to the highest bidder. That my friend is craziness and is wrong. Boeing is above that , any employee knows that as a truthfull statement. Boeing is a huge corporation, and therefore less personal than a small company, but that is the nature of corporate america and we as employees have learned to live with it. Life is Good !!!
Sorry, but you have the wrong impression of Boeing, but that is life and I agree to disagree with you and Mr. Gerald Eastman because I know that you will never understand nor do I expect you you to understand for a variety of reasons. First on the list is maybe that you have never been there and do not have a clue about corporate america. Which by the way is what fuels America. So what other economic system do you thing would better satisfy your thirst for equality for the working guy !!! I know of no other system that allows personal input to project your personal benefit and personal survival. Amen buddy !

Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/12/08 10:51 a.m.
It is quite tragic in many ways that so many Boeing employees seem to undergo such a brainwashing during their employ at the company. Perhaps in some cases it is some pangs of guilt or dismay at seeing glimmers of what their company has become. Things are not what they have been in the past. Denial is a basic human reaction to shock or dismay upon finding things are not the way your filter system allowed you to believe they are. People don’t generally want to believe the worst about the companies they work for and reply upon for more than ample salaries. Some work through it and steel themselves to deal with reality; others flail about trying to out-shout the often lone voices of truth which pop up from time to time, in an attempt to silence those who threaten the illusion that all is right in the corporate vacuum, if one can call it that. There is a lot of fear and delusion in these people that they do not seem to be able to overcome, in some cases, even after retirement.

Repeating lies or half-truths, does not make them true, no matter how loudly or how long you shout them. The last post before me (zinger) is an example of this. Frankly, in my opinion, industry has shown itself totally incapable of policing itself, and the trend in the past decade toward letting industry do that has been a critical mistake.

I believe that allowing the corruption of the oversight agencies (FAA and others including many of our OIG’s) and crippling of their ability to do their oversight jobs is criminal. It has led to the conditions that have caused some employees, (usually those out working in the field, trying to make oversight work correctly), to find they have to stand up while in the course of doing their jobs both in industry and in government and attempt to right wrongs in an extremely hostile environment. They do what they believe is right, and best for our country, and their companies, only to find themselves labeled “whistleblowers” and treated in such a way that they are the recipients of record abuse, retribution, personal attack, attacks to their families, destruction of their careers and lives.

Gerald Eastman is but one example of this. Do not allow self-serving corporate voices to convince you otherwise. Do not allow them to spin this as though it is only one employee. It is not. There are many employees out there trying to do the right thing and being punished by their employers for doing so. Do not allow these companies when an example of their corruption is found out, to spin it as “just one bad apple working in isolation alone.” Investigate what is going on in the company involved, from top to bottom. There is a lot of less than ethical corporate business behavior going on. Much of the incidence of this is not common knowledge to the public for a variety of reasons. We have been going through a period of time where corporate greed and the avaricious ambitions of those in even our highest levels of government have created a remarkably corrupt and twisted environment which protects and shields the wrongdoing and wrongdoers from public scrutiny, both in industry and government. Read the news. Visit sites, which report these kinds of stories and collect them so they may be viewed not as disjointed unconnected aberrant phenomena, but as connected pieces of evidence of a larger purposefully corrupt environment.

The way to strengthen our country, and our economy is to clean up business and government contracting. Make our own U.S. companies, (if we can still legitimately call these companies that), models of true ethical business practices. Make these companies live up to their responsibilities so that their employees, the public in the communities where they do their business, and the taxpayers who pay the huge sums of our monetary resources to them, can truly be proud of them and with a clear conscience support them in their bidding for tax payer funded projects. Make these companies worthy of the loyalty of our government above international interests due to genuine quality of product, integrity in contracting, and fulfillment of contracting requirements including attention to security in protecting technology and our ‘”edge” economically and in defense. Make them models of workplace ethics and fairness, which will do more to enhance people’s work-lives and job satisfaction than anything else we can do.

It is time to clean up the mess, both in industry and in government. It is not necessary to commit unethical acts to be successful in business. It is not required to see wrongdoing and keep silent out of some misplaced sense of loyalty to a corporation. Particularly when the corporation, by the very character of the actions they are willing to commit for their skewed sense of what is necessary for the financial benefit of the stock holders and CEO’s, has shown itself not to be worthy of that trust and loyalty. Short changing quality of product particularly in cases where public safety is an issue should bring about a sharp and definitive reaction from both government oversight and the public. Compromising security and lackadaisical handing of technology and cutting edge products should be dealt with swiftly and surely, when these products are contracted by and belong to the taxpayers of the United States, and are not proprietary possessions of the corporation. It should be a part of our national paradigm to have these kinds of expectations and to firmly enforce them at every turn.

Please support government refocusing and recommitting itself to making oversight work responsibly. Help empower oversight employees and depoliticize their supervisors and work environment so they may do their jobs without fear of persecution and retribution. Write your politicians and support those who have the courage to stand up and speak exposing those who do wrong. Demand that oversight be allowed to do its job ethically. This will not be easy and it is going to take more of us speaking up, and applying pressure. But it is critically needed and well worth our effort. After all, it is essential to the security and sovereignty of this nation.

Posted by Green Party at 4/12/08 6:57 p.m.
Well said, WBR. But this deregulation which has failed every time it’s been tried (starting in the 1880’s), is actually a political jiggering of the system in order to enable thievery. This is its purpose and its raison de etre. Politically-induced corruption, over, and over, and over…

As long as the American people let others do their thinking for them and mimic their Masters, this will continue. Pardon my cynicism, but I come by it honestly.

Posted by zinger at 4/13/08 6:44 p.m.
So you firmly believe the Corporate Boeing is corrupt, and dishonest etc. to the world public. That Boeing will shortcut anything it can to make a buck at the cost of public safety which is the flying public. I think and know that is ludicrous. Does it make sense that anyone at Boeing would circumvent the many requirements that are burdened on a product that flies at 40,000+ feet in altitude and aapproximately 600 miles per hour. I seeem to think that those very same people who fly in these devices that Boeing fabricates. It does not make sense at any level of someones thought process.

That is why I am convinced that all of the rules are followed and not swepted under the rug for the reason of coporate corruption or greed. The two just do not add up.

Likewise, when are just a single individual tasked with a job amoungst 1000,000+ employees, your wisdom of the entire process is often times to narrowly focused such as was the case with Eastman. Whistleblower, NO !, misunderstood employee Yes !, The last inspector at Boeing, Hardly !

Posted by Green Party at 4/13/08 8:01 p.m.
Of course, in order to understand things zinger, it is necessary for you to translate them into Black&White.

No, all of Boeing is not shot through with corruption and secret agendas. However when a manager’s bonus depends on a certain outcome, what do you think he’ll do to try and ensure that event occurs?

Were you even in management zinger, so would you actually know? I would say not.

Posted by DonShuper at 4/13/08 9:22 p.m.
FWIW- Although I think/believe eastman was totally wrong in downloading all the documents he did- at the same time he did try to alert the company ‘brass” as to quality issues- only to be hammered and stifled. Some of his complaints WERE found to be real . I spent 32 years at boeing before I retired, and I’ve seen way too many examples of coverup – and the application of the “if you dont meet schedule today- there IS NO tomorrow for you’ mentality. As to protection for whistleblowers – forget about it. Bill allen and frank shrontz had integrity- as did many of their upper level managers. since that time three is precioous little left. And as for Boeing ethics – that is a total oxymoron. A few- very few of the ethics people do have integrity- but are overruled by the top level or the corporate lawyers.

Below is but one example- keeping in mind that the Boeing BOD made NO- repeat NO denial or comments about my statements – but rolled the dice and won that the SEC would agree that pension issues are no longer a significant social issue. Keep in mind I submitted successfully the same proposal and got over 50 million votes each time in the years 2001 to 2004 annual meeting.

The following is now a matter of public record- available thru the SEC- along with the Boeing response NOT shown here since it was bucu pages long relating ONLY to the pension issue. I stnad by my comments that Boeing ethics is an oxymoron……
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors to adopt the following
Employees vested at time of the 1999 pension plan conversion to the PVP
cash balance plan to be given a choice between their previous pension
plans (“Heritage Plans”) or the Pension Value Plan (the “PVP”) at time of
their termination or retirement.
Supporting Statements:
Boeing implemented the PVP in 1999 for over 100,000 non-represented
employees. Since that time, Boeing has resisted giving employees a choice of
plans at retirement or termination. We believe Boeing should allow such a
choice, as other companies like Kodak, 3M, Motorola, Delta Airlines, and AT&T
have done. Lack of choice negatively affects employees previously represented
by a union who were converted to the PVP.
The PVP adversely affects many long-term employees when compared to the
Heritage Plan benefits. In most cases, the Heritage plans pay 100 percent of
vested benefits at age 60, but for many, the PVP pays only 80 percent for age 60
Boeing and the unions usually claim an “X percent” increase in retirement
benefits in contracts, but the “Alternate benefit” formula applicable to most
retirees has NOT changed since the early 1990’s. The claimed increases apply
only to the `Basic benefit’ calculation e.g. $XX/month per year of credited
service. The “Basic benefit” typically applies to the smaller group of long-term
employees with average or below average pay during the 5 years prior to
retirement or who have been on extended leaves of absence.
The unions and Boeing know the published “X percent” pension increases
rarely apply to the majority of the employees nearing retirement. Very few
Heritage Boeing employees know they can take an extended leave of absence,
work full time for the union, and continue to accrue up to 10 years additional
vested credited service for their pensions. The “X percent” pension increases
routinely apply to the union staff employees, including those who have
significant influence on negotiations. This unique policy of credited service
accrual in effect since 1971 is found exclusively in the Heritage plan legal
documents available only upon written request or to the unions.
A. Without notice or explanation, Boeing has totally blocked employee access to
at least five email addresses and matching web sites which contained related
ethics, shareholder, pension and union communications with false claims of
virus or violations of Boeing “malicious code policy”
B. From “…Boeing does not intend to respond to any
further correspondence or contacts from you or (spouse)” (April 12,2007)
C The Corporate Counsel refused to acknowledge or respond.
D The Pension Plan Administrator has refused to provide current plans legal
documents despite a written request.
(End 2008 Shuper Proposal – 490 words. -Submitted 7 July 2007)
And BTW- I have documented and have witnesses that Boeing has violated the 10 year limit on credited service during 2005 negotiations- which becomes a felony !

Posted by zinger at 4/14/08 12:33 p.m.
Green Party: No I never blessed the company title of “Manager”. “Lead Engineer ” Yes ! I chose the skill path that did not involve management mostly because of the added additional stress that comes with the job. I guess it surprises me that people seem averse to someone managing a particular job of gaining financially from his endeavors. What’s the point. It should not bother someone if others around you get a raise. It just means that he is a good organizer in most cases.

DonShuper makes a good point in that their are many places where Boeing is wrong and bordering on corrupt.
Boeing has its issues for certain. The biggest one that comes to mind is when Mr. Stonecipher (CEO) in one of his many proclamations about ethics, got caught of having affair with one of the other corporate head sheds. Would you walk around with stupid written on your forehead. I know I would not. His lame excuse was that he and his wife were having issues. Well, so what, this is at the root of Ethics in the Corporate culture, and it begins with honesty.

At least DonShuper agrees with me that Eastman violated the laws of the land when he copied documents for his own use. Likewise I know that it has not been the same Boeing since the McDonnell Douglas merger. It seriously worries me that things like the Dave Sears controversy with hiring of a DOD employee (Druyan) for the sake of a competitive advantage did exist at Boeing. In the days of Bill Allen and Frank Shrontz, that never would have happened.

Posted by The Last Inspector at 4/14/08 10:18 p.m.

Zinger, you are finally making a little sense in your last post after spewing misinformation in all of your prior posts.So, after you finally admit you yourself are bothered by several ethical and criminal “mistakes” by Boeing management, how do you justify denying any such corruption in other areas at Boeing in your prior posts?

And since you admittedly have effectively no experience in QA or knowledge of how QA actually operates at Boeing, why do you make statements as fact that you cannot possibly have known even when a Boeing Engineer? I have over 10 years experience in QA across the Boeing enterprise. If someone is going to try to say what I witnessed at multiple Boeing sites in multiple QA managers and dozens of line inspectors over multiple years is somehow what I didn’t witness, they at least better have the same direct knowledge of the corrupt system that I did.

In fact, I can prove that it is fact you are delusional and not me, absent the fact that you only spew on what you imagine the Boeing quality system is like, rather than the reality that I witnessed every day on the front lines of QA, so to speak, where the rubber meets the paper in the rollerstamping the paperwork showing the inspections were done that were never done as required.

I met a few of your kind while at Boeing, and clueless doesn’t begin to describe them. Chief among these clueless engineers was a DER in stress engineering in propulsion systems. I had written an NCR (because I continued to believe my job was to actually inspect the turbofan engine buildups to ensure they were built to engineering drawing, spec, and planning requirements) on the bolts holding the exhaust sleeve to the 737NG engine core LPT case flange. They were nearly shanked out because they were not installed per the bolt installatiion specification requirements on thread protrusion that could have easily been fixed without writing an NCR by simply adding a washer under the nut as the spec allowed. My management wanted me to write the “repair” NCR instead of the rework type NCR that should have been written because they did not want to fix the obvious error, and instead just wanted Engineering to disposition this defect that had been delivering on 180 some odd bolts attaching the exhaust plugs to both engines on each 737NG airplane delivered as “use as is” so that no rework of all of the hundreds of units not caught by other inspectors that were flying around would not have to have this defect reworked. It was a pure expense consideration. A global buyoff would be done and the airlines that flew 737NGs such as Southwest Airlines would never be even notified of the defect. But first, they needed an engineer to bless these 180 some odd defects per both 737NG engines as meeting the subjective criteria for such a global buyoff.

When I first wrote up the defect, the stress DER I wrote of that had made the error in the design did not even stop to think that he had been wrong in approving the drawing change that resulted in the defect. A better engineer than he was had designed the exhaust plug installation originally with the correct washers to prevent the bolts from getting near a shanking condition where they would lose som or all of their critical clamping force. However, shop had submitted an Engineering Liaison Request to delete the drawing called out washer under the nut per a “Lean” idea to smooth production flow and reduce cost by deleting the time and material it took to install that required extra washer. This undeservingly dubbed “DER” approved that change without having any idea how the Boeing engineering and production system actually worked. So, when I was told to write the NCR to get a global buyoff so that previous several hundred engines would not have to have “embarrassing” (to Boeing) and “costly” rework to add the missing washer on the exhaust plug installation to alleviate the possible shanking condition, the DER who had approved that change took personal offense to me doing so as I was “criticising” his design. He tried to convince everyone involved that he had designed the installation with that defect, so the defect was therefore approved by engineering, even though the drawing did not state that the shanking condition the change resulted in that violated the spec was per design and superceded the spec requirements.

A meeting of all parties was held which I was allowed to attend in which the remarkably unknowledgeable Stress DER continued to insist that the drawing trumped the spec and that the exact length fastener components called out on the draawing had to be used to create the discrepant condition even though the spec called out on that very drawing stated the opposite, as well as all the Boeing Design Manuals you would have thought that he would have known the contents of. Thankfully, my comments and others there who actually knew how the Boeing drawing and spec system worked didn’t buy his argument to cancel the NCR as it was “designed defective per the spec”, except for one liaison engineer who stated the inane belief that the specs were simply “guidelines.”

So the tag stood, but only so that the many discrepant engines delivered would not have to be reworked to eliminate the possible shanking condition and customers would never have to be notified of the defect. And which engineer approved that global buyoff to allow those defective exhaust plug attach bolts in the 737NG fleet? You guessed it–the same Stress DER that showed he did not know how the engineering design system worked at Boeing!

But that was not the end of this sad affair that could have been fixed without an NCR and just by adhering to both the spec requirements and the drawing by simply either adding a washer as allowed in the spec under the nut, or by using a bolt one length shorter as was also allowed in the spec.

This “Boeing DER” “fixed” the problem his redesign to eliminate the washer for lean reasons by putting a note on the drawing that the grip length of the bolt could not be adjusted! When I saw that interim fix on the NCR I contacted the CAU folks to tell them that it did not actually eliminate or authorize the departure from the spec requirements as the bolt installation would still fail the spec protrusion requirements that were meant to eliminate any possible shanking condition, and the change would only prohibit shop from adding the washer or using a shorter bolt that would eliminate that discrepancy that was not addressed by the change.

Somehoe the “DER” got wind that I had told CAU of this problem in the proposed “fix” and he fired off an email to my boss to tell him to stop my efforts to get the design actually fixed, or at least change the drawing to allow the departure from the spec requirement, rather than just prevent any action that would eliminate the noncompliance. Sure enough, my manager buckled, and told me to drop the issue in no uncertain terms. I knew if I did what was right I would be disciplined and possibly fired for doing so, one of many such times I was told by my management to let noncompliances go rather than at a minimum notify other departments about those deficiencies per procedures. I do not present this true happening to show my effort to do the right thing while others tried to do the opposite, as it is not as egregious as many other events I have witnessed as far as that goes. I only present it to show that DERs at Boeing are not how Zinger describes them. And, as how Boeing pays them, Boeing does exert the power of the purse over their decisions, whether overtly or not. This particular DER used the words “supportive of efficient design and production” in his email about his design change that didn’t actually address the discrepancy–it just prevented it from being fixed.




Posted by zinger at 4/15/08 1:02 p.m.

I do not know of your specific bolt shanking issue that you so dilligently described. It sounds more than a little bizarre. Admitting an engineering error on existing hardware is easily fixed with tools such as Service Letters to the customers, followed by Service Bulletins, and sometimes followed by making a bulletin an Air Worthiness Directive. In any case, Thousands of these type of situations have been addressed By Boeing and all of it’s Heirearchy. Now, it’s up to the Airlines to fix the problem and sometimes even being compensated for doing so.The DER you speak of seemed out of touch. By the way, are you aware that there task of being a DER is a payed task chargeable to the FAA. It involves reviewing paperwork and signing documents that only have the FAA involved. The remainder of his tasks are that of being and Engineer, employed by Boeing.

My question though, is why the mechanics did not request this as a pick-up. They know when something is not assembled correctly. I find it difficult to understand why you ended up being the only person questioning this problem. You are correct in stating that changing the grip length or adding a washer is a very simple fix to your concern. Either would/should not bother an engineer if it were necessary. Something does not add up. Either there is more to the story, or the facts you stated are tainted slightly to make this sound like you were the only one who really caired. Truthfully, the washer idea adds weight, so the better option is a shorter grip length if it is feasible or necessary.

You obviously misunderstand the relationship that a Design engineer has with Quality Assurance. First of all, you must understand produceability with repeatable quality. That requires first hand knowledge of how the parts that you designed are fabricated and inspected for minimum quality requirements. If not, it is garbage in equals garbage out.

Secondly, I spent 8 years working AOG repairs. These type of assignments require a depth of knowledge of what an inspector is looking for from a quality perspective. Often times assisting QA since two sets of eyes are better than one. Engineering and QA are the enforcers of what happens to an airplane while it is being repaired. No questions or doubts about it.

Lastly, I spent the last 6 years of my Engineering career, helping to re-design headache designs for the shops. Often times it was starting from scratch and sometimes as simple as changing a requirement note on a drawing. This required close interaction between Project Engineering, Shop Mechanics, Quality Assurance, Cost Management etc. A whole lot of this work involved assuring the same quality or better part/assembly was provided for the airplane. I think it is fruitless to put in writing that Quality Assurance Inspectors are the only people who have knowledge of the quality system. It simply is not true and factual.

Lastly my comments about Stonecipher, Sears and Druyan in no way was or is a reflexion of the quality of deliverable products to our many customers. It is instead, one of bad choices of a few individuals who had no impact on the quality of the products that Boeing manufactures. It would be scary to think otherwise. These are Business oriented people who would not understand the product even if they sat down and studied it for many hours. Their transgressions were ethical issues only. What else could they possibly get involved with at that level of corporate management. They are so far away from the details, they are not expected to understand.

Why did you go to such an extent as to steal documents from your employer. You knew that it could get you fired, and even worse banned from any future aerospace inspection jobs that exist in the free enterprise world. I think it rather rediculous to compromise your life for this type of endevour. Oh well, it takes someone like you to publicize what not to do at a job. Pretty stupid. A whole lot of what you spew is self serving to your own ego. That is a hard one for you to obviously understand. To Bad !




Posted by The Last Inspector at 4/15/08 4:34 p.m.

I don’t have an ego, so I don’t serve it by telling the truth. You are sadly mistaken when it comes to Stonecipher, Sears, and Druyen being the only unethical people at Boeing and that it does not extend down to the production floor level. They were just the few of vastly greater numbers of people breaking the law at Boeing that actiually got caught.Even though they were high placed sacrificial lambs to save the jobs of many others implicated in those affairs (except in the Stonecipher affair), they were few in number comparatively, and so the other employees involved in fraud at Boeing saw little statistical cahnce they would be caught. Boeing also ensured that such fraud was not endangered by persecuting and retaliating against anyone they deemed a threat to management being able to break the law at will, especially in QA management, where management spent more time subverting the quality system than the little time they spent doing anything related to their actual jobs–ensuring the quality system was effective, compliant, and met minimum requirements across the enterprise so that the entire airplane met quality, safety, and reliability requirements–not just small parts of it when “aberrant” inspectors chose to do their jobs over their wishes. Were all QA managers happy with being a part of a corrupt enterprise? Of course not. Some, like me, sought to do their jobs as much as they could without getting fired despite the pressure to do otherwise, just as I did. That did not mean that we were not forced to perform unethical acts by that system and our management so we could keep our jobs and at least ensure some sort of compliance in our departments. I don’t know when you retired, but it must have been quite some time ago if you did not see that same sort of corruption of both manufacturing and QA as I did. Even employees with much more seniority than my 18 years were indocrinated from their first day at Boeing that it was only schedule and cost (in that order) that mattered. Anything else was viewed as getting in the way of those goals, especially what were viewed as “non-value added” processes, like inspections and tests. Safety of personnel was considered an important issue by management as well, but only because lost work days added costs to the company. Safety of the public wasn’t on the radar screen. Even to suggest something may have an effect on the safety of the airplane was heresy on the production floor. If the actual building of Boeing aircraft was considered a safety related process, corners could never be cut as much as they cut them in the name of “lean” and other much less formal ways to smooth production flow and reduce costs, like rollerstamping and other noncompliance with the “non-value added” and not enforced by the FAA quality system.Unfortunately everything about that incident is true, and the DER was no aberration. I had the opportunity to work with other DERs over the years, even DERs for flight control systems. I won’t go into the details of their failures to do their jobs here. Suffice it to say that it was not only incompetence and ego that drove DERs to do the wrong thing and ignore issues. It was fear for their jobs, as well. There seems to be no easier way to get fired or receive a bad performance evaluation and be laid off first than trying to do the right thing. The ethics department at Boeing is now quite well known as a department to not report things to if you want to keep your job. It is a way Boeing can have Boeing employees self-report themselves as being “defective” and a threat to Boeing, in that they are in essence admitting they are ethical when doing so, and therefor are not “team players” than can be trusted to look the other way–the same “defect” that caused me several years of harassment and retaliatory acts by management.

The fact that Boeing put that process in place as part of the $615 million dollar settlement with the justice department for just two frauds they were caught committing is ironic, to say the least, because if the remaining Justice Department ethical prosecutors (if any are left) knew that it was actually being used in the opposite way than what Boeing promised them it was going to be used, they would cancel that agreement in a heartbeat. Too bad they don’t effectively monitor the program. or Boeing’s compliance with the GSA agreement.

You are misinformed on how things work today inside Boeing’s factories. Take the Airline/FAA corruption in the news and multiple it by several orders of magnitude, and then you will begin to get the idea of the level of fraud going on.

Quit trying to reverse your losses on Boeing stock in your portfolio by such posts and get out now. The same management team that brought the stock down to its current level is still stubbornly hanging on to their jobs.

There are many good people at Boeing that work there. Maybe quite a few work in departments where they don’t have to look the other way to keep their jobs and they are rewarded for doing their jobs well. I didn’t work in such an area. However, even in QA at Boeing, there are some good people that labor to do their jobs the best they can despite the pressure to do otherwise. They know the tru importance of their work, even if their management and others constantly tell them otherwise whether overtly, or by their actions. Some are driven by faith to try to do what’s right. Some are driven by an ethical nature. They walk the razor’s edge, maybe not to the extent I did, but they walk it nonetheless to try to protect the lives of the public. My goal is that some day they will be able to do their critical jobs without having to do so.




Posted by zinger at 4/15/08 6:29 p.m.

Retiring in 2003 is not that long ago, Mr Eastman. Furthermore after 33+ years at Boeing I had more time to see and observe the inner workings of that Company. Yes, sometimes frustrated at some managerial decisions, I never ever saw a contempt to provide a less than safe product at the sake of cost like you depict. My experience is not the holy grail I understand, but I believe it is more realistic.As a matter of fact a lead mechanic in PSD that I know, expounded about how your methods of leaving an engine assembly looking likwe a pinyata was rediculous after you had finished inspecting it. Reportedly, you even wrote up finger prints. That is a little bizarre. You were more intersted in slowing down the process than actually being a member of the PSD Team. That is really sad.

Yes personnel safety is king at Boeing, as it should be but not at the sake of not producing a quality product as you depict.

DER’s have more credibility about quality and safety issues than you will ever possess. First of they are better educated than you are. Secondly, they have more experience than you possess. Sorry, smarts and experience win the guessing game every time. They have legitimate reasons to trump a line inspector and thankfully they exist at this type of product assembly.
They understand the end product and its intended use far better than you. Sorry, but that is not up for debate.

I have continued on about this issue because I believe it is important to know that you lack the ability to admit that you were a thief of Boeing Property and you should be punished for that crime. Your failure to admit it, is simply infuriating. You lack any credibility in not admitting the errors of your ways. Instead, you attack and that is really exposing your ignorance. Sorry, but your ramblings on your Blog more than expose your insecurity of your capabilities as a Quality Insurance expert. Seek help from a professional, then you can get on with your life and be happy.




Posted by Green Party at 4/16/08 5:46 a.m.

You are simply in no position to understand the issues, zinger. You were at a much lower level throughout your career.Not only that, but you are corruptly driven by the desire to protect your retirement and stock value. Your words carry little credibility, as you are Bought.




Posted by zinger at 4/16/08 12:52 p.m.

Green party: You do not have a clue !!! I was in a position to understand the issues. I have demonstrated that. Engineers are provided more insight about the product since they are creating the product than a line inspector who is following my given direction in the form of drawing requirements. You however, are just looking for something newgative to say. Now that you have said it and it is in print, does it make you feel better ? I have far more credibility than you about this subject because I experienced it first hand. I saw first hand how The Boeing Company functions. You and Eastman would be a great pair sitting on a street corner and whinning about what you think that you know everything about.By the way, I own zero (0) Boeing stock and My retirement is only affiliated to Boeing by name. Once you leave Boeing, and can retire, your income comes from a trust fund. I thought you might have had some credibility, however I am mistaken.

What I said previously is the truth that I know exists at Boeing. Any less than that, I begin to wonder what and where that source got their information. This is not up for debate because it is fact and not fiction.




Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/16/08 8:14 p.m.

People who admit they knew of wrongdoing, and who did nothing about trying to stop it have no moral high ground here or anywhere else. Zinger, how about you email me your real name and email so I can pass it along to some federal investigators? I happen to know of a few who are busy investigating things that do involve your company, or rather ex-company.Also, the ugliness that you are presenting, Zinger, does not speak well for your company, even if you are an ex-employee. I am surprised someone from Boeing, (they do know who you are, you realize?), has not told you to stop posting, though personally I believe you have a right to say whatever thing you wish, as long as you understand with free speech comes commensurate levels of responsibility and accountability. Before you continue on with denigrating the education and knowledge of others, take a look at how you present yourself. Frankly, I find it hard to believe you would be a college-educated engineer, as you claim. Your writing, grammar, and spelling are atrocious. Everyone may be forgiven an occasional typing error, but really. You are very arrogant indeed to be so rude in your inflammatory comments and personal attacks toward others who post here.

By the way, Zinger, not all Boeing employees have the same retirement fund management situation. Some retirement funds I am told are possible for the company to reach; others are totally separate and where the company cannot touch them. It sounds like you may be one of the latter, lucky for you. Others are not so fortunate.

I think it is pretty obvious who knows what they are talking about and who is sincerely trying to right the wrongs in this company. Sorry Zinger, you did not win that contest. I’d vote, along with some others I’ve heard from, for Green Party and Mr. Eastman, the former Quality Assurance (not Insurance, Zinger) Inspector.

You sound like a malcontent, wannabe toadie for your proclaimed ex-company. Or maybe you are just one of those intrinsically mean people who just likes to rip apart others for kicks. That bad habit of yours makes it difficult for many of the rest of us to take anything you say seriously, and that hurts your company. Don’t you realize that? If you really care about your former company, the biggest service you could do for them is close your mouth or at least disconnect your internet service. I’m not sure what is in it for you, if you really are retired and your retirement income really is safe. (By the way, most retirement accounts, even in trust funds are invested. Have you checked to see where your fund is invested? You may be surprised.)



Posted by zinger at 4/16/08 8:56 p.m.

Green Party, please cut the garbage. Boeing is not an evil place to work. It is not filled with managers looking only out for their own self worth etc. Nor is it filled with employees looking for the same. It is in fact a huge company with many faces. I wonder that you have never been involved with a corporation the size of Boeing. I think that is true since you spue for often times understandable causes.

For your information, the federal government controls inputs to trust funds for a reason. They mandate corporations to make make financial inputs only. The corporations do not have the ability to manipulate or withraw funds. It is just not possible. Yes not all retirement plans are alike, dollar amounts being the biggest difference, other benifits being the next difference. But thats it. Corporations are driven by federal laws.

As for Eastman, I am speaking out because he is a liar and a cheat. He has 10 years of experience at Boeing and probably realizes that it should have been less. Why did he steal and lie to the press and media. I suspect that he had an inflated ego that would not allow him to understand his job assignment. Life is hectic when you have time lines to perform your paid for tasks. Some people can handle it and others rebel.
Unfortunately, Eastman resorted to stealing to try to prove his point. That is punishable by the law. I can hope that it will prevail.

Yes this is a free world, and nor will I give you my e-mail address or disconnect my internet service. That is silliness. It is obvious you agree to disagree with me. I do not believe many at Boeing would disagree with me. Wrong is wrong. End of subject.

Eastman has no moral high ground about this subject although he may think that he does. He is probably the most disolusioned person that I have read about recently, that is infatuated with his own lack of understanding. Thinking that he knows more about an aero space product than A DER is dilussional. Every DER that I have ever had contact with, will spend what ever time is necessary to explain his decisions. Often times in very simple English and in terms of what ever it takes for the person he/she is talking to. After all it is safety of flight is what is of concern.



Posted by WBR Supporer at 4/16/08 10:40 p.m.

Sorry Green Party,

Zinger just zings off into space, not paying attention to what he is responding to or who wrote it. lol.
Zinger, my chastisement of you stands.



Posted by The Last Inspector at 4/17/08 12:17 a.m.

Hey, Zinger, don’t you feel lonely being the only one deluded enough to defend Boeing’s actions as described here?

Were you a tech designer or a real Engineer? I suspect the former. Real Engineers are rarely out on the production floor as compared to tech designers, who do the interfacing you said you did.

What is your degree in, if you were an Engineer, and where did you buy it? I know that Engineering Majors have to do some college level English classes. I didn’t have much awe for Engineers at Boeing. Some of them couldn’t “engineer” their way out of a huge wet paper bag given a pen, paper, and a Stanley knife.

I couldn’t count the times I had to write NCRs on bad Engineering designs that couldn’t be made per drawing. Many engineering mistakes were never caught, however. I found several after hundreds or thousands of units had been built. Of course it is not the Engineer who gets bad feedback for his design–usually the messenger is shot, which is why few people “speak up” at Boeing.

Wrong, I never wrote up fingerprints. One of my coworkers wrote up footprints on the engines. I believe. As I think I indicated many times, I had to be very careful that what I wrote up was an unquestionable discrepancy, as even those type of discrepancies would get me in trouble with my management who were more concerned with reducing defects counts and costs and production flow than anything relating to what their true jobs should have been.

And no, I don’t have any high opinion of myself. I’ve paid a terrible price for trying to expose this fraud and save lives by ensuring its end. I’m not the kind of whistleblower the public desperately needed in this affair. As noone else was taking up the torch, I knew I had to do something about it. I do regret how it has affected my family, but I have no regrets on trying to expose the several frauds I did ultimately expose. It’s too bad that I was apparently before my time. Now would have been a perfect time to come forward, instead of six years ago. The FAA and OIG may actually have been forced to do their jobs and investigate my report because of the public and media pressure. In a way, this proves that what I was trying to do was right–going public at the same time as my report to the OIG to ensure the public and media pressure forced them to do their jobs. However, Boeing short-circuited that process before I could complete it.



Posted by zinger at 4/17/08 8:32 a.m.

Bachelor of Science Degree majoring in Mechanical Engineering. As is typical, with many, where is the engineer when the the design is not feasible to manufacture. No one person is perfect and neither are engineers. The engineer that won’t look at what he has designed, generally was a problem at Boeing, but eventually, all engineers ended up fixing their problems when they existed. It is difficult to believe that thousands of designs exist at Boeing that cannot be fabricated. That sounds a little bit of an exageration in my opinion.

The issues that you are seeing with the FAA and the airlines are Service Bulletins sitting in waiting to incorporate. The FAA already judged their seriousness, and applied appropriate incorporation schedules. The airlines become major players of stonewalling theses type of changes since it takes their airplane out of service which inherintly cannot produce revenue. The FAA has tried to enforce these issues before, sometimes successfully. When they are seeing resistance, they can and have the power to shut down operations. Yes we are seeing some of that now. Economics and revenue generation are huge drivers in this industry.

Food for thought: Once an airplane leaves the Assembly factory and is delivered to a customer; that is the last time that airplane is touched by a Boeing Mechanic and inspected by a Boeing Quality Assurance inspector. The product is most always identified as a Boeing airplane, and not xyz airline owned and maintained xxx model airplane. That is pretty startling when you see your product in a third world country at a repair station. However it always has “Boeing” written on the side of the airplane.



Posted by Green Party at 4/18/08 7:04 a.m.

Thanks WBR. I think the issues here are clear now, thanks in large part to your and Mr. Eastman’s posts.