Sky News Discovers Unsafe Skies - Ten Months After Mother Jones

| Tue Aug. 22, 2006 5:44 PM EDT

We're delighted to see that Rupert Murdoch's Sky News TV channel hasn't canceled its Mother Jones subscription. Yesterday the British satellite channel's website reported that Boeing had "knowingly bought thousands of unsafe and unapproved parts from a subcontractor." The parts in question came from Ducommun, a supplier based in Carson, California, and included chords and bear straps, key elements of the fuselage that the FAA designates as "flight safety critical." Sheila Kaplan's Mother Jones article broke this story last October and followed it with a three-part series on MotherJones.com. Kudos to Sky's U.S. correspondent, Andrew Wilson, for getting the people who made the original allegations, three internal auditors at Boeing, to appear on camera for the first time. Perhaps the further attention will motivate the FAA—which initially dismissed the whistleblowers' claims without even inspecting the aircraft in question—to be more vigilant as it revisits the investigation. Or not. In April, an FAA spokesman told the Washington Post that "We're confident we came to the right conclusions in the first case."

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