Chinese Whistleblower Chaosheng Shi has a target on his back. “China is a jungle here. My life is already compromised,” he writes in an exclusive email to CDP. “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,” Mr. Shi explains.
The Inspector General for the Department of Transportation, who watches over the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), agreed with Mr. Shi last May. “FAA’s oversight of industry actions to remove unapproved parts is ineffective,” they report.
Mr. Shi is afraid the Inspector General might not be much better. “I had a tangible fear that OIG is playing politics as well,” he insists.
Mr. Shi tells CDP, the reason why is money. Manufacturing company “Moog knew the violation is costly to recall,” because they would have to remove “all suspected unapproved parts per FAA order,” Shi states. Boeing would likewise have to pull the parts off of all the planes where they are currently installed.
“So they chose to cover up and fraudulently misrepresent the violation,” Mr. Shi relates.
If a plane were to crash, ending hundreds of lives, Mr. Shi says that “Boeing/Moog don’t have to pay because they have [insurance] with insurance companies, what a sin. But [to] recall or replace bogus parts could cause Moog and Boeing astronomical dollars.”
Disappointed by recent “mainstream” media reports, that “failed to touch on the most serious violations,” Mr. Shi recognized the focus Conservative Daily Press put on the real danger when covering his story. “Bogus” parts, that threaten the air-traveling public every day.
The FBI is supposed to be doing a criminal investigation so the flying public can “fly safe, not like it is now, playing Russian roulette each and every time they get on a plane,” Mr. Shi writes.
FAA policy clearly requires Suspect Unapproved Parts (SUP) “cases to be shared with Federal law enforcement agencies — e.g. DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — so the reports can be reviewed for potential criminal activity,” The OIG notes in their final report.
Last April, the FAA promised the OIG they would straighten up and fly right.
Nearly a year ago, they agreed to turn over “all confirmed SUP’s reports to federal law enforcement agencies in accordance with its letter of agreement, which is consistent with the intent of our recommendation,” the OIG states in their decision. Mr. Shi submitted one of those reports.
Mr. Shi meticulously documented one particular “safety critical” part all the way through the manufacturing process to document how substandard raw materials were used in the manufacturing process by “Unknown, unregulated” second tier “sub-“sub-contractors.
He wanted to present the FAA with a rock-solid criminal case that they could hand directly to the FBI. That is exactly what he gave them, all wrapped up with a neat little bow. He didn’t muddy the water with anything but tracking of one critical part through the process. A “block” which forms part of the “spoiler” system.
If you ever looked out the window of a jet as it was getting ready to land, you may have noticed the trailing edge of the wing seems to break open. Flaps, called spoilers, are extended to create drag and slow the plane down. It is unnerving enough to watch them open up but imagine seeing one or more rip completely off.
That is exactly what happened to “Icelandair Boeing 757-200 at Keflavik on Feb 26th, 2013” Mr. Shi clarified to CDP when asked what could happen in the real world if his special part should happen to fail.
When the flap gets “detached,” or what we would call “ripped away,” in airplane speak they call it “floating.”
An incident report for the Icelandair report notes, “Floating spoiler #6 separating the airflow over a section of the left wing,” caused “the airplane to roll to the left due to unbalance in lift between the left and the right wings.”
Mr. Shi tells CDP that the part involved in the Icelandair incident was made by Moog at a time when they were still making them in-house and to proper specifications. “If good aerospace material could even crack or fail, substitute material could make things even worse,” he points out.
The FAA used his limited scope to make it easier to find that nothing serious had been done. They were happy to let the issue be “somebody else’s problem.”
According to Mr. Shi. The company he worked for, Moog, outsourced 11 out of 30 of the parts they made for Boeing to a subcontractor, New Hong Ji (NHJ).
“That is one-third of Moog business to unknown, unapproved sub-tiers [which] are [a] complete deadly violation of FAA order, standard and regulation that must be recalled.”
He also mentions that “some of the parts, even if they are simple, are safety-sensitive in flight control systems,” including, “safety-sensitive” systems “of a Boeing plane.”
The sub-contractor NHJ forged documents to legitimize the finished product parts and Mr. Shi has solid evidence of the crime. When the prime contractor found out about it, instead of finding a better sub-contractor, they worked behind the scenes to improve the track-covering paper trail.
According to documents that Mr. Shi video posted to Youtube, an industry acquaintance of Mr. Shi alerted him that the company he worked for had tried using NHJ in the past but had to drop them because of forged documentation and substandard parts, both of which are criminal violations.
As related in an email exchange documented by Mr. Shi, “C: so in the end, you (B/E) completely pulled out from NHJ?”
His friend replied, “P: Yes… I still had a few contacts of previous employees of NHJ… They themselves said to me, they were the ‘counterfeiting brigade.’ if caught, they would be arrested and ended up in jail… Thus, we thought we should exit from them as early as possible.”
When Mr. Shi told his employers about his concerns, instead of “exiting” like B/E did, they sent company officials over to NHJ to help them straighten out the paperwork to make it match the parts they already shipped.
It all boils down to what industry insiders call “tombstone mentality.” It means ignoring design defects until people have died because of them. Mr. Shi wants an FBI investigation now, not later. He wants “prevention, not crying over tombstones.”