Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
 
George Hatcher's Air Flight Disaster

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/airflight/www/www/wp-content/themes/fluida/includes/loop.php on line 270

Security Vulnerability Involving Airlines

OSC Finds Substantial Likelihood of National Security Vulnerability Involving Airlines

April 28, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tom Devine, GAP Legal Director
Phone: 202.408.0034, ext. 124
Email: tomd@whistleblower.org

Contact: Sarah Goldmann, GAP Staff Attorney
Phone: 202.408.0034, ext 141
Email: sarahg@whistleblower.org

OSC Finds Substantial Likelihood of National Security Vulnerability Involving Airlines
Recertification of Foreign-Resident Mechanics that Were Fraudulently Certified at Issue

(Washington, D.C.) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is commending the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for recently ordering Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood to investigate a whistleblowing disclosure of “gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, and substantial and specific danger to public safety at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”

GAP client Gabriel Bruno, former FAA Manager of the Orlando Flight Standards District Office, alleged in November 2007 that the FAA lacks a national security screening mechanism for certain mechanics that received fraudulent certificates from Anthony St. George, an FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner (DME), but have refused to, or failed to fully complete, a recertification program.

This failure creates a security vulnerability that leaves the aviation industry open to potential terrorist activity. The basis of Bruno’s national security disclosure was a list of these mechanics in question, which were fraudulently certified from 1995 to 1999. One such mechanic’s name on the list is the same name as a 9/11 hijacker, and 33 others share the same P.O. Box number in Saudi Arabia. Bruno further alleged that this failure to reexamine, screen, or account for the individuals who received fraudulent certificates creates a national security and public safety risk, as these individuals may currently be working for commercial airlines.

The OSC informed Bruno in a letter dated April 9, 2009 that it found that Bruno’s disclosure reveals a “substantial likelihood that serious safety concerns persist in the management and operation of the certification and management programs at FAA.”

This finding is the third of its kind by the OSC related to whistleblower disclosures by Bruno stemming from the FAA’s mishandling of the St. George Aviation recertification program. Bruno filed a disclosure in June 2002 that the FAA abruptly cancelled a program implemented to reexamine these individuals. The OSC later found, in 2007, that another disclosure by Bruno illustrated that the FAA does not have a system to identify the certification or reexamination status of St. George-certified mechanics who worked on airplanes, which were involved in accidents or incidents due to mechanical problems.

“Mr. Bruno’s whistleblower disclosure shows that the FAA not only certified incompetence but covered up a vulnerability to our national security,” stated Sarah Goldmann, GAP attorney. “Some of the individuals who received certificates are of close, extremely similar background to the 9/11 hijackers. This rightful OSC finding demands an answer from the federal government to a pressing question – How many of these individuals with known fraudulent certificates are safeguarding America’s flying fleet today?”

GAP Legal Director Tom Devine raised an even more basic question that Bruno hopes the investigation will answer: “Why didn’t the FAA try to find out for seven years after 9/11 whether terrorists were fraudulently certified as commercial airplane mechanics, until a whistleblower’s persistence sparked a good government agency’s order?”

Mr. Bruno stated, “The FAA never notified the FBI, or any national security agency about the list of names of foreign residents that obtained certificates from the St. George criminal enterprise. The FAA does not have the expertise or resources to investigate national security risks. This suppression of critical information leaves us all at risk to this day.”

Bruno, a 28 year FAA employee, was repeatedly harassed, forced into involuntarily retirement, and subjected to retaliatory investigations by the FAA because of his whistleblowing. Bruno provided written testimony about his disclosure to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure for its April 3, 2008 hearing on the improper relationship between the FAA and the aviation industry that it is supposed to oversee.

Bruno, along with several other FAA whistleblowers covering all areas of FAA operations, recently formed the FAA Whistleblower Alliance – an independent organization whose aim is to bring attention to the need for FAA reform and stronger whistleblower protection laws.

The OSC ruling creates a structure for the FAA Administrator to base much-needed reforms on. Under the Whistleblower Protection Act, an OSC “substantial likelihood” determination triggers a process in which the DOT, which houses the FAA, is required to conduct an investigation of the allegations and report back to the Special Counsel. Bruno is allowed to comment on whether the DOT report adequately addresses his concerns. The OSC then makes another determination as to whether the DOT report has resolved the public safety issues, before forwarding the report and Bruno’s comments to President Obama and appropriate congressional oversight committees.

The OSC letter can be viewed on GAP’s website at http://www.whistleblower.org/doc/2008/brunoletter.pdf.

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

#####

Government Accountability Project • www.whistleblower.org
National Office
1612 K Street, NW Suite #1100
Washington, D.C. 20006
202.408.0034




Small plane makes emergency landing at Kapiolani Park

A small plane made an emergency landing in Kapiolani Park on Tuesday afternoon, in a spectacle that shocked bystanders and triggered a large response.

Read More




Plane makes emergency landing at Kapiolani Park

Plane makes emergency landing at Kapiolani Park
HONOLULU (KHON2) — A small plane has made an emergency landing in Kapiolani Park. Honolulu EMS said no injuries have been reported.

Read More




What is a doomsday plane, and what is it used for?

What is a doomsday plane, and what is it used for?
With all the conflict going on in the world, there have been reports of doomsday planes being spotted. What is this aircraft and when is it deployed?

Read More




Houston man’s items left on plane investigated

Houston man’s items left on plane investigated
One Houston man hopes smart devices are savvy enough to track down criminals after the AirPods he left on an airplane pinked at a Houston area home. FOX 26’s Damali Keith has more on what the man did to get his electronic devices back.

Read More




WWII’s Most Odd Plane? A Guide To The Vought V-173 Flying Pancake

WWII’s Most Odd Plane? A Guide To The Vought V-173 Flying Pancake
This is perhaps the most funny aircraft design you have ever seen.

Read More




Pilot and dog swim to safety after plane crashes off California coast

Pilot and dog swim to safety after plane crashes off California coast
Both the man and his dog were uninjured in the crash.

Read More




North Star falling: Witnesses described seeing bodies ‘dropping like raindrops’ out of airliner

North Star falling: Witnesses described seeing bodies ‘dropping like raindrops’ out of airliner
Part 2 in an in-depth series looking into the mid-air plane collision that killed 37 people on April 8, 1954.

Read More




Inside sunken passenger plane once mistaken for missing MH370 wreckage

Inside sunken passenger plane once mistaken for missing MH370 wreckage
The Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar plane, which was previously speculated to be the MH370, has been hailed a top diving spot in Jordan – incredible footage shows parts of the plane is still intact

Read More




Pilot and dog swim to safety after plane crashes off Rancho Palos Verdes coast – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

Pilot and dog swim to safety after plane crashes off Rancho Palos Verdes coast – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale
LOS ANGELES (KCAL, KCBS) — A pilot and his dog swam safely to shore after their small plane crashed off the Rancho Palos Verdes coastRead More

Read More




AWS overhauls IAM control plane after vulnerability exposed users

AWS overhauls IAM control plane after vulnerability exposed users
Datadog suggests AWS Amplify users conduct “an audit of your roles and potential threat activity” after investigation.

Read More




Eerie vid of passenger plane sunk on purpose & once mistaken for missing MH370

Eerie vid of passenger plane sunk on purpose & once mistaken for missing MH370
EERIE footage of an abandoned passenger plane once thought to be MH370 has resurfaced, raising questions about the rusted relic’s past. The formidable Lockheed Martin L1011 Tristar plane was …

Read More




Virgin flight to Heathrow cancelled ‘after car gets wedged under it’

Virgin flight to Heathrow cancelled ‘after car gets wedged under it’
A bizarre image circulating online shows a white car with ‘Gategourmet’ branding on the side wedged beneath the Airbus A350. Reports said that the plane had to be inspected for damage.

Read More




Plane Passenger’s Coat Faux Pas Triggers The Internet

Plane Passenger’s Coat Faux Pas Triggers The Internet
One Reddit poster has ruffled the feathers of internet-goers after posting a photo of a Delta Air Lines passenger’s fur-lined winter jacket covering the TV.

Read More




Flight out of Stockton crashes in Southern California, killing pilot

Flight out of Stockton crashes in Southern California, killing pilot
Witnesses reported hearing a plane sputter before a loud crash

Read More




Boeing Defends Safety of 787 Dreamliner After Whistle-Blower’s Claims

Boeing Defends Safety of 787 Dreamliner After Whistle-Blower’s Claims
After a Boeing engineer went public with safety concerns, the company invited reporters to its South Carolina factory and top engineers vouched for the plane.

Read More




Pilot and His Dog Swim Safely to Shore After Plane Crashes in the Ocean

A pilot and his dog are safe after a small plane crash was reported on Sunday afternoon, April 14, near Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles

Read More




$25 Million Mistake? Virgin Atlantic Flight Cancelled In New York When Catering Truck Hits Plane’s Engine – View from the Wing

 Million Mistake? Virgin Atlantic Flight Cancelled In New York When Catering Truck Hits Plane’s Engine – View from the Wing
Virgin Atlantic flight 26 from New York JFK to London Heathrow was cancelled on Monday after a Gate Gourmet catering company SUV ran into the engine of the Airbus A350.

Read More




Property Owner: “I wish it was a different outcome.” After Plane Crash

Property Owner: “I wish it was a different outcome.” After Plane Crash
The property owner of a field where a Purdue Aviation airplane crashed says he didn’t know until all the crews came out to investigate.

Read More




Content not attributed to or linked to original, is the property of AirFlightDisaster.com; all rights reserved.

Site Credits