Not one, but two empty tequila bottles were found inside one of the planes currently under construction at Boeing’s San Antonio manufacturing facility.
Two factors make this seemingly innocuous incident rather alarming: one, alcohol is strictly prohibited in Boeing’s San Antonio plant, and two, the 747-8s that are currently being constructed are future Air Force One jets.
Boeing has launched an internal probe and said that this incident was a personnel matter, a company spokesperson told Wall Street Journal. The manufacturer also advised that it was working to improve quality and manufacturing operations.
Boeing is currently building two new Air Force One jets that the company describes as being of the “highest national priority.” To work on the two presidential jets, heavily modified 747-8 aircraft known as VC-25B military aircraft, employees require a security clearance, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The manufacturer has had a history of foreign object debris (FOD) incidents in its assembly plants. For example, deliveries of the KC-46 Pegasus were suspended twice in 2019 after loose tools were found in the tankers received by the USAF, including in the closed compartments of their wings, and once in 2020 after debris was discovered in the fuel tanks.
The two future Air Force One jets will be exact copies of each other and are expected to be completed by 2025. The current Air Force One planes – two identical VC-25As – were introduced in 1990 by former President George HW Bush, and are nearing the end of their service life.