FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CIV
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 1997                              (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

     WASHINGTON, D.C. - - The Department of Justice said today it
has intervened in a lawsuit filed against the Boeing Company of
Seattle, Washington, for providing the Army with helicopters with
defective parts under Department of Defense contracts.
     The lawsuit, which amends a qui tam complaint alleging
violations of the False Claims Act, said the faulty parts caused
the crashes of two remanufactured Chinook CH-47D helicopters.  It
said Boeing knew that engine transmission gears critical for
flying the helicopter were faultily manufactured by one of its
gear suppliers under a subcontract, but sold the helicopters to
the Army anyway.

     "Prime contractors, like Boeing, who do business with the
Department of Defense, will be held fully responsible for
knowingly using defective parts that they buy from
subcontractors.  This case demonstrates the dangers that
defective parts can cause and emphasizes how important it is for
the government to be clear that it will not tolerate such
behavior," said Assistant Attorney General Frank W. Hunger of the
Civil Division.  

     U.S. Attorney Dale Ann Goldberg of Columbus, Ohio, said, "To
protect the lives and safety of our soldiers, we must be
particularly vigilant in ensuring that the critical parts used in
military aircraft meet the required specifications."

     The amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court in
Cincinnati, Ohio, alleges that for more than seven years Boeing
knowingly delivered helicopters with gears that did not meet
contract specification requirements.  The complaint was filed
under seal April 30.  The court unsealed it today.

     A government investigation confirmed that two gears failed
in flight due to cracks in the gears and faulty manufacturing
that Boeing knew about, causing the destruction of one newly
remanufactured CH-47D Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia after
only about 56 hours of operation in January 1991.  Another
helicopter was damaged at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 1993.  There
were two minor injuries in the crashes. 
     Boeing, in warranties it gave to DOD, assured the Army the
helicopters would be free from all defects in material and
workmanship for the lesser of 200 hours of operation or 24

     The CH-47D Chinook is the military's medium tactical heavy-
lift transport helicopter.  The helicopters were remanufactured
by The Boeing Helicopter Company at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. 

     The United States is seeking civil fraud damages under the
False Claims Act and common law.  The suit charging that the
helicopters contained non-conforming parts was originally filed
against Boeing by a former quality assurance employee of a Boeing
subcontractor.  Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen can
sue on behalf of the United States and may share in any recovery.

     The Defense Criminal Investigative Service's Dayton, Ohio,
office and the Detroit Fraud Field Office, U.S. Army Criminal 
Investigation Command, Troy, Michigan, investigated the case.