Boeing 737s are still using dangerously brittle “half baked” counterfeit parts and unless the public is looking over Uncle Sam’s shoulder, nothing will be done to stop a tragedy. Instead of starting a criminal probe, the Federal Bureau of Instigation seems to have “buried” the file. “Tombstone mentality” means ignoring design defects until people have died because of them. Mr. Chaosheng Shi wants an FBI investigation now, not later. He wants “prevention, not crying over tombstones.”
On February 5, 2020, Mr. Shi wrote to Al Westrom at the FAA, and copied in several other FAA officials. He provided a copy of his letter to News Hour First in order to shine the light of transparency into the dark corners of the deep state.
Half baked counterfeit parts
The company Shi formerly worked for cut corners by allowing unlicensed third party suppliers, including New Hong Ji, to fabricate aircraft parts. More than one are considered, “safety critical.” Moog Aircraft falsified records to cover up the highly illegal activity.
One safety critical part, a “spoiler block” was poorly made and only half baked. “You need to bake the parts to get the hydrogen out,” Shi explains, “so the parts can still be solid.” Otherwise, they come out “thin and brittle.” allowing the parts to fail and planes to crash. Aerospace manufacturers are heavily regulated. They aren’t supposed to sub-contract with unknown companies, but that’s exactly what Moog did.
Why won’t the FAA follow the law?
Shi demands that the FAA follow the law and their own internal directives. They’re required to forward each and every case involving Suspect Unapproved Parts to the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency, the FBI. There’s a sense of urgency about the threat that the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge. A catastrophe could occur at any time. There have already been a few close calls. Air Niugini Flight 73, Xiamen Air Flight MF8776 and a Russian UT Air flight on September 1, 2018 have all had failures of Mr. Shi’s particular sample part. All three planes skidded off the runway exactly as Shi predicted. Another NHJ part was implicated as well.
Al Westrom’s team has been directly assigned to Mr. Shi’s evolving case since March of 2016 when Shi blew the whistle on the “massive counterfeiting” of a significant number of assembly parts used on virtually every Boeing 737 in the air, including the 737-Max varieties. The 2016 complaint generated quite a stir at the FAA and steps were taken to address the issues but they officially closed his case. Shi isn’t ready to give up until there’s action taken to pull all the half baked bogus parts off all the aircraft.
He opened a new case in October of 2018 and it went straight into limbo. “I filed a new complaint with more new compelling evidence,” he writes, “but there has been no response.” He also reminded the FAA there were laws to follow. “The NHJ/Moog case was knowingly removed from the SUP record.” That’s a crime requiring “a criminal investigation.” Again, no response.
Shi risked his own life in China to save lives of others
Shi has a target on his back. “China is a jungle here. My life is already compromised,” he wrote in 2016. “I have no way to escape, I have to fight to the end.” Fear for his life isn’t what keeps Mr. Shi awake at night, he fears for the lives of the flying public. During a landing, “if the spoiler fails, it will cause the plane to overshoot and a fatal accident will take place.” Boeing puts the money first.
Mr. Shi has risked his life in a number of ways to alert the public to a very real danger. It upsets him that the people in charge of enforcing the laws are breaking them instead. In 2018, he writes “I risked my life by filing a criminal complaint to Chinese law enforcement.” The case was “mishandled by corrupted Chinese police from Suzhou city.” The worst part about it was, “The police even gave all case files to the suspect.”
Since he couldn’t get help from the American authorities, or the Chinese authorities, Mr. Shi went all the way to the top, sending a letter off to President Xi Jinping himself. “The Boeing safety threat is massive and extraordinary which drew the attention of international media.” It “should and must be criminally investigated and dealt with according to the relevant Chinese and international laws. It should not be treated as a case being covered up by a local ‘protection umbrella’ that will certainly tarnish the image of the country.”