A second Boeing whistleblower has died of a “sudden illness” after he raised alarms about defects in 737 Max jets.

Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems, a supplier for Boeing, filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), citing what he termed as “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line” at Spirit.

However, the 45-year-old whistleblower succumbed to pneumonia on Tuesday, following a rapid progression of influenza B and MRSA infections, per the Telegraph.

Dean, who was known for his active lifestyle, was reportedly in good health until his sudden death in Oklahoma.

He had been terminated from Spirit AeroSystems in April 2023, following his dismissal, which he claimed was a result of questioning safety standards.

Dean’s concerns gained attention earlier this year when he spoke with NPR, where he highlighted the consequences of speaking out against safety issues.

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

He highlighted issues such as incorrectly drilled holes in jet fuselages, stating: “It is known at Spirit that if you make too much noise and cause too much trouble, you will be moved.”

Dean was represented by the same legal team that had been assisting John Barnett, another Boeing whistleblower, until his death in March, per the Daily Mail.

Boeing has come under scrutiny, particularly after a door ripped off mid-flight. Credit: Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty

Barnett, 62, was found dead in a hotel car park, having reportedly taken his own life. His death came just before he was due to testify in a lawsuit against his former employer.

Brian Knowles, the attorney representing the men, emphasized the importance of whistleblowers in uncovering wrongdoing.

“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.

Dean’s complaints have been included in a shareholder lawsuit filed against Spirit, alleging the company failed to disclose defects. Spirit has strongly denied these allegations, emphasizing its commitment to the quality of its aircraft.

Boeing states that their planes are safe. Credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty

In the wake of Dean’s passing, questions surrounding safety standards at Boeing continue to mount.

Sam Salehpour, a Boeing engineer, recently raised concerns about excessive force being applied during the assembly of 787 Dreamliner planes, citing risks of material fatigue and microscopic cracking.

Boeing has reassured the public of the safety of its aircraft, stating it is “fully confident” in both the 737 Max jets and the 787 Dreamliners.

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