Go Back   Airline Pilot Central Forums - Find your next job as a Pilot > > >
 

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.


User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-13-2018, 11:59 AM   #1
Gets Weekends Off
Thread Starter
 
Joined APC: Dec 2017
Posts: 282
Default DOT IG Says FAA Inspector Too Cozy with AA

https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/...6c9bfe065.html

US watchdog criticizes FAA oversight of American Airlines

By DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer Jul 12, 2018 Updated 22 hrs ago

DALLAS (AP) ó A government watchdog says a federal inspector overseeing American Airlines was too cozy with the carrier and did not respond to safety complaints raised by the pilots' union.

The inspector general of the Transportation Department said that the Federal Aviation Administration inspector failed to respond to questions about flights used to test planes after they undergo major repairs or maintenance. There are no paying passengers on the flights.

Although the watchdog's report focuses on the test flights that do not carry paying passengers, it is still likely to provide ammunition for critics who have argued for years that the FAA is too close to the airlines it is supposed to regulate on behalf of the flying public. The same Transportation Department office alleged in 2008 that the FAA had become too cozy with Southwest Airlines.

The watchdog said the FAA inspector had been assigned to American for 28 years and grew close to a key supervisor at the airline ó even using his government computer to plan an overseas trip with the airline manager and introducing him to the inspector's family.

A new FAA supervisor saw potential problems with the inspector's objectivity and recommended he be reassigned. But the FAA didn't consider it a priority and took four months to act, according to the report, which was released Thursday.

The inspector, who is not named in the report, later retired. American Airlines said it reassigned the supervisor.

In a formal response to the report, the FAA said it accepted the inspector general's recommendations for improving oversight of the test flights. Clayton Foushee, director of the FAA's audit office, said the agency acted as soon as it learned of a potential conflict of interest involving its inspector.

While there have been some multimillion-dollar fines in recent years against both American and Southwest, critics want the FAA to issue more fines against airlines that violate safety regulations. Even when the FAA catches violations, the airlines often negotiate them down.

The FAA has preferred working with airlines to ensure safety. Airlines that voluntarily report safety issues or mistakes, and fix them, generally avoid enforcement action including FAA fines.

To support that approach, FAA officials cite the safety record of U.S. aviation: Until an engine explosion in April on a Southwest Airlines jet killed a woman, there had been no fatal accidents on U.S. passenger planes since 2009 and none on a major U.S. carrier since November 2001.

About 100 FAA employees in Irving, Texas, oversee Fort Worth-based American, the world's largest airline. The inspector general's report focused on the lone inspector for flights involving planes going to repair shops or being tested after major repairs or maintenance.

American has about 20 pilots who operate those flights, and the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing pilots at American, raised several concerns about the program to the FAA in 2016.

The union told the inspector general in February 2017 that for 18 months the FAA had largely ignored its concerns about what is called the flight-test program. The inspector general began looking into the union's complaints.

"When we interviewed the inspector about the flight test program, he displayed little knowledge of it beyond describing how great it was," the inspector general's report said. An FAA manager described the American Airlines supervisor in charge of the program "as 'perfect' and someone who 'could do no wrong,'" the report added.

American Airlines said in a statement that it changed leadership of the flight-test program last fall and began an internal review of the matter. The airline said it was working with the FAA and the pilots' union to address the concerns raised in reviews of the program.

Even though there are no passengers on the test flights, union spokesman Dennis Tajer said, "Ultimately these airplanes being checked out does affect our passengers and crew safety, and it affects our company."
AirBear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 08:11 AM   #2
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Feb 2011
Posts: 246
Default

This is just the surface. Evidently the FAA POI (POS?) was passing ASAP data directly back to management under the table for use in pilot discipline cases. Something smells here...
DarinFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 08:21 AM   #3
You scratched my anchor
 
Al Czervik's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,516
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarinFred View Post
This is just the surface. Evidently the FAA POI (POS?) was passing ASAP data directly back to management under the table for use in pilot discipline cases. Something smells here...
What asap info is the FAA privy to that the company isnít?
Al Czervik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 08:59 AM   #4
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,424
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Czervik View Post
What asap info is the FAA privy to that the company isnít?
Yeah the entire point of ASAP is the reports get read by management, the FAA, and the union.

That being said if there was ANY truth to disciplining pilots due to it, I'm sure the union would've put up a huge uproar over it seeing as how they make mountains out of molehills of everything.

These were all part 91 flights with no pax, what are the actual concerns being raised? Anyone know?

Honestly I'd rather have the company have friends in the FAA than the opposite.
Name User is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 09:13 AM   #5
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Feb 2011
Posts: 246
Default

Of course the company is privy to that info. We have defined paths where that info flows. What was happening was those paths were being shortcutted and the info was flowing directly to management to cover up mx discrepancies and also used to go after pilots. If you donít see a conflict here, I donít know what to tell you. The FAA is the oversight authority to the company. They shouldnít be working in cahoots to bypass that oversight. We have a lot of heavy mx outsourced overseas. Do you now have 100% faith that your airplane is airworthy even with a clean logbook? Do you have 100% faith that your ASAP report calling out the companies failures and reg breaking wonít end up in some vindictive managers hands?

Thereís a problem here...
DarinFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 10:24 AM   #6
You scratched my anchor
 
Al Czervik's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,516
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarinFred View Post
Of course the company is privy to that info. We have defined paths where that info flows. What was happening was those paths were being shortcutted and the info was flowing directly to management to cover up mx discrepancies and also used to go after pilots. If you donít see a conflict here, I donít know what to tell you. The FAA is the oversight authority to the company. They shouldnít be working in cahoots to bypass that oversight. We have a lot of heavy mx outsourced overseas. Do you now have 100% faith that your airplane is airworthy even with a clean logbook? Do you have 100% faith that your ASAP report calling out the companies failures and reg breaking wonít end up in some vindictive managers hands?

Thereís a problem here...
I didnít know. Iím with you. Thatís alarming to say the least.
Al Czervik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018, 02:48 PM   #7
Gets Weekends Off
 
Cheddar's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2011
Posts: 472
Default

Read the supposed letter on C&R outlining APAís role in this (they helped expose it). If true, heads need to role in middle management (Flight). I canít imagine senior management/EVPs condoning this behavior.

Nevertheless, we should be very concerned.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Cheddar is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
 

 
Reply
 



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FAA Fines Aviation Technical Services (ATS) vagabond Safety 0 09-12-2011 01:36 PM
SWA & FAA, too cozy ? joel payne Major 13 05-19-2008 05:24 PM
FAA sets up high-level alerts for missed airline inspections CRJ1000 Major 1 04-19-2008 02:15 AM
New FAA Requirement: Reduce Safety (by John Carr, NATCA President) AUS_ATC Hangar Talk 0 03-08-2006 06:56 PM
NWA "replacement" maintenance falling behind? CRM1337 Major 1 10-02-2005 07:12 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:31 AM.


vBulletin® v3.9.3.3, Copyright ©2000-2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©2000 - 2017 Internet Brands, Inc.