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Airline Safety Undermined by FAA Inspector

Posted on June 3, 2019

According to a 2018 report, safety concerns at American Airlines were ignored by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector because of his friendship with a company official. The Transportation Department’s Inspector General raised issues surrounding American’s compliance, which prompted the FAA to deploy a special audit team that discovered the violations.

At issue was a small team of pilots assigned to test American Airlines planes that had undergone major maintenance or damage. The pilots raised safety concerns for more than 18 months that were not acted upon by the FAA inspector, presumably because of his close friendship with American’s manager. The two socialized and traveled together.

In their investigation, the audit team found that American Airlines was not following the airline’s written manuals for flight tests nor keeping consistent and clear records of pilot training. Training materials were limited. In response, the airline conducted an internal review and began to implement almost all of the FAA’s recommendations for best practices. According to the report, carriers that voluntarily report and resolve their safety issues can avoid enforcement actions.

While airline travel is shown to be statistically safe, injuries and sometimes deaths do occur. If you suspect that a loved one was injured or killed in an airplane accident that was caused by negligence, speak to an experienced aviation disaster attorney in Philadelphia. Call or email us to discuss the unique details of your situation.