The FAA Big Stick Again…

A few weeks ago I recounted an incident I had at work with my Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control supervisor.

In it I talked about FAA management’s approach to dealing with  employees who either have professional disagreements with managers or raise safety concerns.

FAA management loves the “big stick” approach in addressing those situations. In the FAA if you speak up objecting to anything that management does (or doesn’t do) they bring out their big sticks to beat the employees down with.  They’re not interested in correcting the problem or doing a better job; only silencing the employees.

Field managers in the FAA have been encouraged by headquarters to beat down employees in order to show they’re really …

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Dumb Luck

Although the FAA would have everyone believe that “We are currently in the safest period in commercial aviation history” (Statement of Lynn Osmus, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, Before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, February 11, 2009), it’s only because there hasn’t been a big body count from an airline crash in the United States; not because there haven’t been any crashes; nor because of any methodical or measured approach to flying safety.

A crash in Amsterdam on February 25, 2009 highlights what is a foolhardy and dangerous approach to correcting problems with aviation safety.

Dutch investigators have determined that the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 flight

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Concorde Cockpit Videos

Like a lot of air traffic controllers I’m a bit of an aviation geek (even though center controllers never actually see airplanes except as blips on radar scopes).

Undoubtedly the most amazing passenger aircraft to ever see scheduled service was the supersonic Concorde, which first entered service in 1976 and flew until 2003.

A bit of interesting trivia from the Wikipedia entry:

Concorde was able to overtake or outrun the spin of the earth. On westbound flights it was possible to arrive at a local time earlier than the flight’s departure time. On certain early evening transatlantic flights departing from Heathrow or Paris, it was possible to take off just after sunset and catch up with the sun,

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FAA Bizarro World Follow-up

As a follow-up to my FAA rant from February 25th my first day back at work after my weekend the supervisor I wrote about didn’t look at me or speak to me all night.

I wrote it off to him simply being crabby and having a bad day.  However, I did discover from a controller coming in on the mid-shift (the overnight shift) that other controllers in the area had already been talking about the incident.

I was a bit surprised, but word does tend to travel quickly amongst the controllers when something like that happens.  Because of the rotating shifts we work, we don’t often see controllers working certain days off, but there is a bit of overlap on …

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