Thursday, November 13, 2008

Change Is Coming to the FAA Too

The new Sheriff isn’t in town yet, but he’s coming. It’s time to get the hell out of Dodge for some.

FAA’s Ballough and Sabatini Heading for Retirement

James Ballough, the FAA’s long-time director of the Flight Standards Service, has announced that he will retire at the end of the year.

In late October, Nick Sabatini, FAA associate administrator for aviation safety, announced his plan to retire in January.

Just in case you’ve forgotten who these two men are...some of us haven’t.

T&I Leaders Challenge FAA Testimony

The Chairman and two Subcommittee Chairmen of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have charged three government officials with presenting “inaccurate and misleading” statements to the Committee during an April 3 hearing.

Full Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar (Minn.), Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Peter A. DeFazio (Ore.), and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Jerry F. Costello made the charges in a letter sent today. The letter was addressed to three witnesses at the hearing on the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of aircraft inspections: Nicholas A. Sabatini, FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety; James J. Ballough, Director of FAA’s Flight Standards Service; and Thomas Stuckey, then Manager of the Flight Standards Division for FAA’s Southwest Region. Stuckey has since been reassigned to other non-safety-related duties in the agency.

If you would like to read the whole letter, you may do so at the same link as above.

”April 7, 2008

Mr. Nicholas A. Sabatini, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration

Mr. James J. Ballough, Director Flight Standards Service,  Federal Aviation Administration

Mr. Thomas Stuckey, Federal Aviation Administration


Dear Mr. Sabatini, Mr. Ballough, and Mr. Stuckey:

We are deeply disturbed about statements that you made, under oath, to the Committee at our recent hearing on April 3, 2008, on "Critical Lapses in FAA Safety Oversight" on issues involving the so called Customer Service Initiative (CSI). We believe that your testimony conveyed inaccurate and misleading information about whether Aviation Safety Inspectors and Managers in the Flight Standards Service (which Mr. Ballough directs) were ordered to conduct special meetings with all airlines, repair stations and other regulated entities to deliver and discuss the CSI. “

If for some reason, all of this is new to you -- you can read about the whole sorry story at The Dallas Morning News

FAA whistle-blower risked it all to do what's right

Don Brown
November 13, 2008

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