What would you do if a friend confided in you that her pleas to have cracks on an airplane fixed are consistently ignored? Is that a business decision you leave up to more experienced management, or should she turn them in to the FFA and risk her sole source of income from which five people survive? This is a company with an already poor safety record, i.e. people dying in plane crashes. She has absolutely zero trust in the authorities, seeing how figures of authority have consistently messed with her from high school on. Today, she is very much dependent on the income, and has to weigh her kids needs before she can take any sort of action. With 0 dollars in my bank account, I am in no position to help her, and this just seems to be the way things go there.
I am just going to lay out some information that could make reporting an easier choice. I don't think the moral choice is in dispute here. The problem is fundamentally the practical implications of that choice for your friend's family. If we could solve that, then there is no need for the debate.
- You can report anonymously to the FAA. I assume this is an American situation, but most other countries with decent quality aviation regulators would have similar programs. Go here: https://hotline.faa.gov/. The FAA does not need to even know the name of the person filing the report.
This is a company with an already poor safety record, ie. people dying in plane crashes
Your friend could go to the press. Cracks in airplanes are the kind of thing which would make for interesting news. Journalists are fanatical about keeping their sources secret, have a near-absolute legal right to do so, and will happily do the required follow up for you. This is especially true if they have had recent crashes. https://www.nytimes.com/tips https://www.washingtonpost.com/anonymous-news-tips/
No American passenger airline has had a fatal plane crash in over a decade. If these cracks are not on American planes, then perhaps the regulator of another country should be contacted. They would have anonymous programs as well. Unless you are referring to that one company everyone is thinking of right now...
If the company is indeed Boeing, there are a multitude of options. Boeing is in thin ice with everyone right now, from Congress to the SEC to the FAA to the news media. If your friend has convincing evidence (perhaps photos along with plane registration numbers), there are numerous people who would welcome an envelope of evidence in the mail. Certain Senators and members of the House of Representatives. Any major newspaper in the country. The SEC.
It depends on the nature of the evidence, but if it can be written on paper or printed, just create a few copies, address them to different agencies/newspapers, affix sufficient postage, drive to a rural postbox, and drop them in the mail.
Heck, if you seriously have something crucial to safety and do not find that sufficiently secure, you can mail any evidence to me and I will resend it from a Canadian address in a new envelope. I don't need to know who you are or anything, just provide you with an address for an envelope. Won't have as much as a postmark or information about stamp purchases tying it back to your location.
The situation as she and I understand it, is that if the FFA knew what was going on there, they would shut down the, yes, American company. She would lose her job, and her income.
If that is true, then the situation would be no different if the aircraft was to crash and cause injuries and deaths. At that point, your friend simply needs to decide if she would rather be jobless for doing the right thing or jobless for not speaking up about an issue that caused harm to others. Regardless of her decision, I think she needs to start looking for a new company to work for.