Boeing 7100 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina in September 2015.
More than 2,000 people died in the crash.
Boeing has yet to confirm the cause of the crash, but officials have said it was a mechanical failure.
The company has not responded to the claims made by Mr Lee, who is suing Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers for the death of his son.
A former Boeing engineer, Mr Lee said he worked for the company for 18 months on a Boeing 7400 jet.
“I was very surprised to learn that I was going to have to take my own life,” Mr Lee told Reuters news agency.
Mr Lee told ABC News he was concerned about safety standards for aircraft manufacturing.
But he said he believed his son’s death would have been prevented if he had been allowed to go to the cockpit.
“He would have had the right to be there, he would have flown the plane and that’s why he didn’t,” he said.
In a statement, Boeing said the plane was operated by Boeing Air Transport Systems, a subsidiary of the company.