Joshua Dean death: What happened to Boeing whistleblower?

Joshua Dean was a former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems

Boeing whistleblowe Joshua Dea Boeing whistleblowe Joshua Dean was a former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems | Facebook

Not long after the passing of John Barnett Mitch, another whistleblower who warned against the manufacturing defects in aviation major Boeing's 737 Max planes died on Wednesday. The passing of 44-year-old Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems was announced by his family on Friday. 

"I am grateful for the prayers of my family and friends for this young man. He passed away yesterday morning, and his absence will be deeply felt. We will always love you Josh," Carol Dean Parsons the late man's aunt, posted on Facebook.

Following two Boeing 737 Max fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019, Joshua Dean had reportedly filed a complaint against his employer with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleging “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line.” He was fired by Spirit AeroSystems in 2023, forcing him to reach out to the Department of Labor with a complaint. Joshua Dean alleged that the termination was an act of revenge by the company for going public against them, The Guardian said in a report.

In March, 62-year-old John Barnett Mitch, another worker who had accused the company of serious violations, was found dead in his apartment. The cause of his death was said to be a self-inflicted gunshot.

Joshua Dean was unwell for at least a couple of weeks. He was hospitalised after a breathing difficulty escalated. Dean developed pneumonia and a serious infection and required intubated, The Guardian said in a report. However, his life couldn't be saved.

Ahead of going to the FAA with his observations, he had tried to reason with the Spirit management. But his concerns fell on deaf ears and decided to take matters into his own hands. Dean had reportedly recorded his observations, which included improperly drilled holes in the aft pressure bulkhead -- a critical component for maintaining cabin pressure.

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