Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Corporate corruption at the highest level, literally

Mariana Ramos

The past few months have been filled with shocking reports of in-flight incidents by Boeing airplanes, with multiple emergency landings due to mechanical problems ranging from wing damage to cracks in windows. Videos of tires flying off a plane during takeoff and of a midflight door blowout quickly made waves on the internet, frightening the public and drawing attention to the company. 

The Boeing Company — founded in Seattle in 1916 —  is an aerospace manufacturer that develops commercial aircraft, spacecraft, and defense products. It is the second largest manufacturer of commercial airplanes in the world, right behind Airbus.

Drama has unfolded this year following the recent accidents. The U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation into the company this past March following the attention-catching door blowout. Company whistleblowers have come out to condemn Boeing’s leadership for negligence. 

Witnesses at the Senate hearings included Ed Pierson, a former Boeing manager, who accused the company of attempting a criminal cover-up given the lack of paperwork they provided to the National Transportation Safety Board investigators after the blowout incident. 

Sam Salehpour, a Boeing quality engineer, accused the company of producing defective airplanes. He claims to have been ignored and even physically threatened when bringing up concerns to superiors. 

In a sad twist to the situation, John Barnett, a former Boeing employee who had been giving evidence in a lawsuit against them, was found dead on March 9 of a “self-inflicted” wound. The suspicious timing of his death left the public pointing fingers at Boeing, accusing them of assassination.

Though this has not been proven, this entire situation has been fueling paranoia, increasing people’s fear of air travel — which remains the safest mode of transportation. Boeing’s subpar standards and negligence — essentially pretending that everything is fine and defending their safety standards — is criminal at worst and embarrassing at best. 

Flight is a wonder of the modern world, being both a privilege and a necessity. People must demand transparency and better standards and not let themselves be frightened off visiting their families and traveling the world for fear of cracked windows. Avoiding flights on Boeing aircraft is not enough and prevents holding company leadership responsible. 

When getting on a plane, passengers put their faith and trust in the airline and aircraft to transport them safely. It is imperative that lazy leadership does not go unpunished and that things change at Boeing to earn back that faith and trust.

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About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Mariana Ramos
Mariana Ramos, Graphic Artist
Mariana (She/They) is a freshman Sociology major from Houston, and this is her second semester at The Paisano. Outside of the organization, you can usually find them starting a new book, studying history, or discovering new albums to listen to. She joined the Paisano to begin her journey as a digital artist and expand her creative abilities.

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