Boeing employees falsified test reports on the long-haul 787 “Dreamliner” jet and brought the aircraft manufacturer a further investigation by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Boeing said that some of the checks on the connection between the fuselage and the wings were omitted but were nevertheless recorded as having been carried out.

At the same time, the company emphasized that this was not an urgent safety problem for the current airline fleet and that no aircraft would have to remain on the ground. The new investigation was announced by the FAA. It is being checked whether the necessary inspections have been carried out – and the authority is also investigating the allegations of forgery. The company is checking all 787s on the production lines and must also develop an appropriate plan for machines that are in operation.

Inspection will be rescheduled

Boeing emphasized that it had immediately informed the FAA of the violation. A Boeing employee had observed a violation of the inspection requirements and informed management, wrote 787 program chief Scott Stocker in an email to employees.

Boeing then discovered that “several people” at the plant in the US state of South Carolina had not carried out the required tests, but had noted them in the documents as having been completed. The inspections would now have to be carried out unscheduled.

Fuselage fragment breaks off during climb

Quality oversight at Boeing has been increasingly in focus since a dramatic incident at the beginning of January. Shortly after take-off, a fuselage fragment broke off in row 26 of a virtually new Boeing 737-9 Max from the US airline Alaska Airlines.

However, by a lucky coincidence, the two seats near the hole in the fuselage remained empty and the aircraft was still at a relatively low altitude, so the incident was minor and no one was seriously injured.

The FAA then asked Boeing to submit a plan to improve quality controls. The authority also blocked Boeing’s planned expansion of 737 Max production until further notice.

The 787 program was recently discussed at a hearing in the US Senate. According to a Boeing employee acting as a whistleblower, many aircraft of this type were allowed to have gaps between the fuselage parts that were too large, which could shorten the service life of the machines. Boeing emphatically rejects the allegations.