2nd Boeing whistleblower found dead. Here’s a timeline of the company’s mounting problems.

A Boeing whistleblower died Tuesday morning in Wichita, Kan., after spending two weeks hospitalized in critical condition after contracting a sudden infection, the Seattle Times reported.

In early 2023, Joshua Dean, who was a quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, accused Spirit leadership of ignoring manufacturing defects on the Boeing 737 Max model. He was fired from Spirit in April 2023.

Dean is the second Boeing whistleblower to die in the last two months. John Barnett was found dead from an apparent suicide in March in the middle of his deposition against Boeing.

Boeing has faced heightened scrutiny since the start of 2024, and company executives were compelled to testify at a Senate hearing in mid-April over whether the company’s corporate culture prioritized money-saving measures over safety in its production of the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 aircraft .

The Seattle Times reported Dean’s death on May 1, noting that family members had said he “had been in good health and was noted for having a healthy lifestyle” before being hit with a “sudden, fast-spreading infection.”

Dean had filed a complaint with the Department of Labor after he was fired from Spirit, alleging he was terminated because he was raising safety concerns. He had given a deposition in a Spirit shareholder lawsuit and complained to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the 737 production line at Spirit.

In November, the FAA sent Dean a letter saying it had finished an investigation into the safety issues he had flagged, although it’s unclear whether the FAA issued any official determination regarding Dean’s allegations.

Lawyer Brian Knowles, who represented both Dean and Barnett, told the outlet he didn’t want to speculate about the timing of Dean’s death.

“Whistleblowers are needed. They bring to light wrongdoing and corruption in the interests of society. It takes a lot of courage to stand up,” Knowles said. “It’s a difficult set of circumstances. Our thoughts now are with John’s family and Josh’s family.”

  • FAA announces investigation into near-miss incident at LaGuardia Airport involving Southwest Airlines 737 on March 23.

  • Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 makes an emergency landing at Preston Smith International Airport after a small fire in the left engine.

  • Boeing pays Alaska Airlines $160 million to make up for losses the airline suffered following the mid-flight door plug blowout.

  • FAA announces investigation into claims made by new Boeing whistleblower, Sam Salehpour, an engineer who had worked on the 787 and 777 aircraft. He alleged that the plans were improperly fastened together and he was worried that after years of use, the plans could break apart mid-flight.

  • United Airlines claims the emergency grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner cost the company $200 million in the first three months of the year.

  • In a Senate hearing, lawmakers called multiple aviation safety specialists and former Boeing employees to testify. Witness Sam Salehpour, a quality engineer at Boeing, alleged that the company had ignored all of the issues he’d flagged with the 787 aircraft and that he was “subjected to threats of violence from my supervisor” after he spoke out.

Read more from the Associated Press: Boeing put under Senate scrutiny during back-to-back hearings on aircraft maker’s safety culture

  • The FBI is investigating the Alaska Airlines flight in January in which a door plug blew off the plane midflight — and has told passengers they may be “a possible victim of a crime.”

  • The FAA’s 737 Max production audit finds multiple instances in which Boeing allegedly did not comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.

  • In two separate incidents, a Boeing 777-200 loses a wheel during takeoff from San Francisco and a Boeing 737 skids off the runway after landing in Houston.

  • The next week, a prominent Boeing whistleblower — former employee John Barnett — dies by suicide while in Charleston, SC, for a deposition for a lawsuit against Boeing.

  • A Boeing 787 Dreamliner nosedives during a flight from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand, injuring at least 50 people, on the same day a Boeing 777 flight from Sydney is forced to turn around due to a maintenance issue.

  • Another Boeing 777 is forced to make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport after pilots report a flat tire.

  • A Boeing 737 that took off from San Francisco later that week is found to be missing a panel during a postflight inspection.

  • Boeing sues Virgin Galactic, accusing it of stealing trade secrets.

  • Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announces he will be stepping down at the end of the year. The CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Stan Deal, is retiring and Boeing’s chairman, Larry Kellner, will not be seeking reelection as a board director.

  • A United Airlines Boeing 777 flight from San Francisco to Paris was diverted to Denver due to an engine issue.

  • A United Airlines Boeing 787 plane headed to Newark, NJ, from Tel Aviv, Israel, was forced to make an emergency landing at New York Stewart International Airport because of extreme turbulence. Seven passengers were taken to the hospital and 15 were treated on-site for injuries.

  • An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jet from Honolulu to Anchorage, Alaska, was forced to turn back after a malfunctioning bathroom sink flooded the cabin.

Whistleblowers, nosedives and a DOJ investigation: Read more about Boeing’s March mishaps on Yahoo News

Read more from BBC News: Passenger describes being on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282

Read more from Reuters: US laws fault FAA, Boeing for deadly 737 Max crashes

“We’ve known (about Boeing) for five years,” Mark Pegram, father of one of the Ethiopian Airlines flight victims, told NPR in March. “I think the rest of the world is finally waking up to it, that these weren’t just isolated incidents.”

Boeing has paid billions of dollars in settlements since 2018, and the company and its leaders entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in January 2021 with the Department of Justice that has so far helped them avoid criminal prosecution.

Boeing paid $1.77 billion to compensate airline customers, $243.6 million as a criminal fine and $500 million for a compensation fund for family members of crash victims, CNN reported.

A yearlong FAA-commissioned panel review was critical of the safety culture at Boeing, and found that executives and employees were not aligned with what the safety standards were, according to a report released in February. The investigation also found that many employees were afraid of retaliation for speaking up.