View Full Version : New Delays Loom as F.A.A. Expands Airliner Review

04-10-2008, 03:38 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">New Delays Loom as F.A.A. Expands Airliner Review

Air travelers, whose plans have already been disrupted by thousands of canceled flights recently, may face continued chaos in coming weeks as the Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines expand their scrutiny of passenger planes.

The groundings at airlines like American, Alaska, Delta and Southwest resulted from a broader round of inspections, ordered by the F.A.A., to determine whether the airlines have complied with past directives to check airplane structures, wires, electronics and other components.

A second wave of audits began on March 30 and will continue through June 30. Laura J. Brown, a spokeswoman for the F.A.A., said it could not rule out further groundings. “We don’t know,” she said. “We find what we find.”

That will do little to reassure travelers, who face difficulties switching to other flights because planes are generally flying full on popular routes.

The agency turned up new problems Monday, when nine MD-80 jets operated by American failed an F.A.A. check, prompting American to ground 300 planes. American canceled more than 1,000 flights on Wednesday, on top of 430 cancellations on Tuesday, while its fleet of MD-80s was inspected. American expects 900 cancellations Thursday, and the problem could spill over to Friday.

Airports hit hardest by the canceled flights were Dallas-Fort Worth International, O’Hare in Chicago and La Guardia.

Yoree Koh, 25, arrived at La Guardia on Wednesday to find her American flight to Chicago had been canceled, meaning she will miss an orientation at Northwestern University. “It basically ruined my week,” she said.

Ms. Koh said she was advised by an American employee to return at 6 a.m. Thursday to join the standby list for a 12:40 p.m. flight. “I’m not holding my breath,” Ms. Koh said.

The F.A.A. and airlines are responding, in part, to heightened scrutiny by Congress, led by Representative James L. Oberstar, Democrat of Minnesota and chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, who is a longtime activist on aviation safety.

Congress’s stance toward the industry has shifted from benevolence after the terrorist attacks in 2001 to a more combative approach after a string of passenger disruptions and recent revelations about lax oversight. </div></div>

Last week this story broke.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">FAA inspectors: Southwest tried to hide safety problems

* Story Highlights
* Inspectors: Southwest Airlines tried to hide maintenance program problems
* They say Southwest tried to keep out an inspector who noticed the problem
* Inspectors went to FAA, but agency did nothing about the issues, they tell CNN
* CNN report: Southwest allegedly kept planes in air without proper safety checks

From Drew Griffin and Scott Bronstein
CNN Special Investigations Unit

(CNN) -- Southwest Airlines tried to keep serious problems with its maintenance program hidden and pressured the Federal Aviation Administration to keep out an inspector who noticed the problems, according to two FAA inspectors who blew the whistle on the airline.

Bobby Boutris and Douglas Peters told CNN Wednesday they brought information about Southwest's lack of compliance with mandatory inspection protocols to their supervisors, but the FAA did nothing.

Boutris said the airline tried to have him removed from the inspections.

"My supervisor called me into his office ... and told me he had had a meeting with the director of quality assurance and the AD [airworthiness directive] compliance leader from Southwest Airlines, and he had requested my removal from the inspection," Boutris said.

Linda Rutherford, Southwest's public relations vice president, wouldn't comment on the inspectors' allegations, noting that company Chairman Herb Kelleher and CEO Gary Kelly would be testifying Thursday before a House panel convened to look into the issue.

"Out of respect for the congressional hearing process, we will present testimony there, both oral and in writing, that addresses many of the questions being asked," she said. "Out of respect for the committee hearing process, we need to let those questions wait for the committee."

CNN was unable to reach the FAA for a comment Wednesday night, but earlier in the day, acting administrator Robert Sturgell would not discuss specifics of the Southwest matter. </div></div>

link (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/04/02/southwest.faa.inspection/index.html)

Southwest allegedly kept planes in air without proper safety checks

This is crazy. Somebody should go to jail for this.
I mean, when you buy your ticket, I think the least you can expect is that the plane is as safe as it can be.


WOW! Just in.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> CNN has learned that American's fleet of MD-80 planes has recorded 23 landing gear problems in the last few months; several have resulted in emergency landings. Pilots say the Fort Worth-based airline and the Federal Aviation Administration are not doing enough to find a solution. </div></div>
link (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/04/08/griffin.landing.gear/index.html)

04-10-2008, 07:24 AM
This is pretty scary. Last year I was on travel for about 200 days and spent many hours in airplanes. These past two years it just seems like the entire process is getting worse for travellers. I work in the aerospace industry and when things like this happen the government comes down pretty hard. I have not seen people go to jail for it (even though this affects our warfighters) but there have been some pretty heavy penalties.


Gayle in MD
04-17-2008, 08:44 AM
Dear Q,
Who was it now, didn't someone de-regulate the airlines? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

04-18-2008, 05:34 AM
Gail, helmets for US soldiers were less protective because the maker cut costs by making them thinner. Nobody went to jail. They even got another contract.

All companies will try and save money here and there, thats why we have Govt inspectors to make sure they don't put lives at risk for the sake of a few dollars. In this case the FAA was turning a blind eye to what was going on! If not for 2 whistle blowers the real state of affairs would never have come to light. This is corruption 101.


Gayle in MD
04-18-2008, 03:44 PM
The whole thing about the helmets makes me sick. Knowing you, I'm sure you've heard the new statistics on brain injuries, and PTSS. I can't believe what they're doing to our troops, and lying about the supposed successes.

To a person, every Iraqi and Middle East expert I've seen speaking on C-Span, Charlie Rose, and Frontline, have stated that the fight for power between the warring factions in Iraq is just as inevitable as ever. The is the worst waste of American lives I have ever witnessed.

As for the airlines, how do people like that sleep at ? Surely they have friends, and family, themselves, who have to fly our airlines. It's really disgusting.

Gayle in Md.