Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>whistleblower</span>

Sleeping Pilots

Two pilots fell asleep while flying an Airbus A330, and then tattled on themselves, blaming 5 hours sleep the night before.

Pilots are allowed naps but not at the same time. The British airline has not been identified, nor have the pilots’ names been released.

Thoughts about the Boeing Battery

It’s no surprise that the FAA has no crystal ball and can’t tell us when the 787 is flying again.

Is Boeing going to switch out Battery systems? Are they wasting time trying to qualify the problematic lithium-ion system they have when they could switch to a different technology? Is it cost prohibitive to switch systems temporarily while Boeing works the kinks out of a system they seem to want to keep?

Cessna confirms that it intends to requalify lithium-ion batteries. It means that they are going to keep using them–but we do agree with their determination to REQUALIFY them. Let us not forget that Cessna issued an emergency recall of the CJ4+ Citation Jet lithium-ion batteries when they suffered a fire in late 2011. Their airworthiness directive required CJ4+ operators to replace the lithium-ion batteries within 10 flight hours. The company that produced the Cessna batteries, A123 Systems, went out of business. Maybe Cessna should go talk to Boeing about their findings.

The investigation of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner battery that caught fire in Boston is that two things have been found:

thermal runaway (a cycle where temperature goes up causing it to go up more) If the electrolyte catches on fire it can self-sustain.

short-circuit (unintended contact of components and consequent accidental diversion of the current)

The Boston event battery suffered both.

Now the question is which one is the chicken, and which one is the egg. Which came first? And they still haven’t figured out why. And did both failed batteries come from the same batch of batteries?

The lithium cobalt oxide battery chemistry Boeing uses is considered less safe than lithium manganese oxide and lithium iron phosphate chemistry.

Was the whole battery system a mistake? It was, according to whistleblower Michael Leon who we mentioned in Battery Buzz wrote a report (2006) saying that the battery technology was risky and that substitute battery technology should be used on the 787.

Now the NTSB is going to point fingers at the FAA for certifying what may be a problem.


And video from the whistleblower:

Santa Sleigh Sustains minor Damage

Dec 22, 2012, private DBS Santa Clause Santa Supersleigh 100F #NP-001 taking off from the North Pole Cargoport Airfield, sustained a runway excursion.

A reindeer-powered experimental Santa SuperSleigh 100F sustained minor damage when it veered off the left side of runway 31 during its takeoff at the North Pole Cargoport Airfield, North Pole, and struck runway lights. The instrument rated captain was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual dba Santa Claus as a nonscheduled international cargo flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, with snowfall.

The pilot reported that there was snow and ice on the runway. He reported that a strong crosswind gust forced the experimental airplane to veer off the left side of the runway where the it struck runway lights. The pilot managed to get the SuperSleigh back on the runway and stop.
A postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed minor damage and the flight was able to continue after repairs.

See Videos


Department of Transportation Report Substantiates Whistleblower’s Safety Concerns at American Airlines Certificate Management Office

U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, N.W.,Suite 218
Washington, D.C. 20036?4505


WASHINGTON, DC/November 4, 2010—Today the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) transmitted to the President and Congress reports of the Department of Transportation (DOT) responding to a whistleblower’s allegations that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) failed to provide effective oversight of American Airlines and to address the air carrier’s non? compliance with inspection and maintenance requirements.

The whistleblower, Mr. Andrew G. Blosser, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector assigned to the American Airlines Certificate Management Office (CMO), in Fort Worth, Texas, alleged that CMO officials were unwilling or unable to obtain positive corrective actions from the air carrier and that the failure to enforce inspection and maintenance requirements has resulted in a poorly maintained fleet that represents a safety concern for the flying public. Mr. Blosser identified six areas of concern regarding American Airlines’ non?compliance: (1) maintenance procedures; (2) minimum equipment list (MEL) deferrals; (3) required inspection items (RII); (4) the repair station training needs assessment (TNA); (5) the Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS); and (6) the fuel tank system (FTS) maintenance program.

The report and a supplemental report submitted to OSC by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood substantiated Mr. Blosser’s allegations that the CMO failed to ensure that American Airlines complied with requirements in four of the six areas identified above; specifically, maintenance procedures, MEL deferrals, RII requirements, and CASS requirements. The investigation found that at the time of Mr. Blosser’s disclosures, CMO Actions to ensure compliance were not effective. In addition, the investigation found that inaccurate and untimely FAA guidance for the review and approval of the air carrier’s FTS maintenance program most likely contributed to inspector confusion and uncertainty as to whether the program met federal regulations and airworthiness directive (AD) requirements. ADs are rules that FAA issues to address an unsafe condition that exists in an aircraft product or is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

In response to the findings, FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt pledged to take corrective action, including improving policies and procedures within the CMO. In addition, FAA removed or reassigned managers and noted that American Airlines replaced several senior level personnel. FAA further indicated that it plans to have an outside office provide oversight of the CMO to ensure corrective actions are taken. By March 2011, inspectors from outside the region will conduct an independent audit to assess the effectiveness of the corrective actions, and in July 2011, the FAA’s Flight Standards Quality Assurance Division will conduct an independent Flight Standards Evaluation Program evaluation of the CMO.

OSC determined that the agency’s report contains all of the information required by statute and the findings appear reasonable.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency and operates as a secure channel for disclosures of whistleblower complaints. Its primary mission is to safeguard the merit system in federal employment by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially retaliation for whistleblowing. OSC also has jurisdiction over the Hatch Act. For more information please visit our web site at www.osc.gov or call 1 (800) 872-9855.

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