Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Continuing my thoughts from the entry “FAA Oversight”...

There is an article in The New York Times today that you should read. It’s written by Joe Sharkey and -- as he explains in the article -- he’s a somewhat “motivated” airplane passenger.

Airplane Maintenance: Maybe Not a Place to Skim

”HAVING been in an airplane crash, I can tell you that nothing focuses the attention quite so intensely as staring out the window and seeing that a piece of the wing is suddenly missing.”

Mr. Sharkey probably feels as if he has already used up all his luck. The crash he is referring to is the mid air collision that occurred in Brazil on September 29, 2006. While Mr. Sharkey and his fellow passengers survived, all of the people aboard Gol 1907 perished.

The investigation of the crash is ongoing and I’m sure I’ll write about it at some point. But for today’s blog, I want you to focus on the events that are unfolding. Pay attention to one of my favorite subjects -- “checks and balances” in our system of government. Congressional oversight triggered an FAA investigation and suddenly, story after story is coming out. Take a look at the players. In the New York Times story, take note when it says ”Mr. Mitchell’s Business Travel Coalition has also been working with the Teamsters union. “ Think about the implications.

At work you have: Congressional oversight, professional employees represented by unions, a “Free Press” and whistle blower protections written into our laws. Ask yourself why they are working now and why they (seemingly) weren’t working before. This story is a good example of how our system of government can work -- or not work.

Don Brown
April 1, 2008

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