After some long standing personal distractions from the effort I embarked on in September/October 2003 to seek reforms at the FAA as the primary means to end the fraud I had witnessed at my former employer, Boeing, I am now free to pursue those reforms again.
My former efforts failed when the FAA and my former employer decided they did not want to end that fraud unless they were forced to do so. As they were so powerful, they did not foresee even Congress ever stepping up and trying to interfere with their relationship—a relationship that made FAA oversight of my employer purposely just a charade compared to the unbiased oversight required by the law.
This renegade agency of the U.S. government has recently been proven wrong, however, and newly effective oversight committees in Congress have begun to start to look into the depths of FAA corruption in place today. This corruption subjugates the FAA’s only mission of protecting the safety of the flying public and our military personnel who fly on commercial airplane platforms to the short term bottom line interests of the CEOs of the companies they are supposed to impartially monitor.
As I write, corrupt heads of FAA departments attempt to isolate the “damage” that can be done by this unforeseen round of Congressional oversight to the continuance of the same sort of corruption they know is rife throughout their management. They go to Congress and on TV news shows and lie to them as well as the public that the FAA/airline corruption was an isolated incident, not reflecting in any way on the rest of the FAA.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as I and multiple others have unfortunately come to know over the years. And the FAA has proven this by their intentional inaction innumerable times over the years in doing their critical jobs when powerful interests in the companies they are supposed to oversee wanted them to do the opposite.
The first casualties in the name of current Congressional reforms of the FAA should be those very highly placed FAA managers that lied to us so egregiously and so transparently. They did so in order to protect their and other complicit FAA manager’s arses from indictment for their crimes, and to preserve to the greatest degree possible the corruption ongoing in other parts of the agency. Some of that corruption yet to be investigated by Congress is that which has been documented in detail on my website for quite some time.
Nick Sabatini is one agency department head that must be brought to justice and/or ousted. He was instrumental in ensuring my reporting of crimes by my former employer (per my duty per 14CFR13.1) to him and FAA administrators did not result in any actual investigation of those crimes. He also ensured in doing so that the corruption at his arm of the FAA and my former employer that conspired to violate rather than adhere to FAA regulations could continue unabated.
Being a former attorney, I believe, Nick Sabatini should know the illegality of his and his department’s actions. That’s what makes his stubborn insistence on protecting this FAA/industry corruption even more indicative of the need that he be removed ASAP.
Of course, one official’s replacement will not restore an agency rife with corrupt management that insist on doing the opposite of their mandate. It is hard to see that any management in that arm of the agency has been untainted by this endemic and decades old corruption.
Some of the FAA management that, in addition to Sabatini, were “hands on” in throttling the “investigation” of my report to ensure its “death” so that the corruption documented within it could continue have moved on. However, I trust that most of them will ultimately not escape the justice that threatens the corrupt management of the FAA today.
Some of the FAA managers involved in ensuring my report was in fact not investigated have retired. Some have even died. Some have been promoted. I trust that all except those that have died since their exploits will ultimately face justice soon. Retirement especially should be no shield for accountability for past crimes committed while with the agency. Neither should be being promoted for that wrongdoing.
It is up to us to ensure that these FAA managers do not succeed in maintaining the cover for their corrupt activities on behalf of industry and their own personal interests they have been so proactively trying to protect. We need to write to Congress and tell them of the true extent of FAA corruption we are aware of to ensure all corrupt FAA management is brought to justice.
To that end, any Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) that cooperates with a Congressional and/or FBI investigation of the actions of their management should be given immunity for any crimes against the public they were forced to commit by that management as a matter of course. This will encourage knowledgeable people of FAA management corruption to come forward that would be reluctant to do so otherwise.
And, such ASIs or other non-management personnel should be given prime consideration for newly opened up management jobs at the FAA once the corrupt management is removed.
I would strongly urge anyone (such as the ASIs) to come forward now even absent a formal announcement of immunity from Congressional committees, as there is no doubt, I believe, that they will receive such immunity as the other ASIs that have come forward have gotten.
It is critical that the first few ASIs or other FAA personnel come forward in the Transport Airplane Directorate so that the others less inclined to do so can begin to come forward as well. Once enough good people have thusly left the “FAA ship” and are willing to testify against it, the corrupt FAA Management left in it can go down with that “ship." And then the agency can be reborn, working per its mandate of public safety and not against it as it has so consistently done in the past.
And such ASIs and other FAA personnel thinking about coming forward should do so for another reason. They will not have made the “mistakes” others have made in their desperate attempts at ending their management’s fraud as they have not come forward before. They won’t have a track record to be “cherry picked” in retaliatory efforts against them, as such efforts to bring the true criminals to justice have been used against others in the past who would not be deterred in coming forward to protect the lives of the public when FAA management would not.
So I urge the public to write to Mr. Oberstar’s committee in particular, and for ASIs and other people with knowledge of past or ongoing FAA management corruption to contact that committee as well. I’ve learned over the years never to put your eggs in only one basket, so to speak, so writing to your Congressmen and/or using other avenues such as the FBI in concert with reporting to the committee may be useful as well.
But avoid at all costs reporting anything to the organization that would seem to be the most logical to do so, as I can vouch that that organization has been corrupted just as the FAA has been. Do not contact the DOT OIG Calvin Scovel’s office. To do so will result in no actual investigation of your report being done, and open you up to retaliation from the corrupt management in your agency. It is no accident the DOT OIG’s office keeps almost no records of its “investigations.” If it did so, it’s own culpability with protecting corrupt FAA management could be exposed. It is much easier for them to deny facts and claim incompetence rather than being exposed as a corrupt extension of the agency when they do so.
At least I’ve learned a few useful things over the years of my “pioneering” attempts at bring FAA/Boeing corruption to light, some of which are mentioned above.
Although it took some of us years to bring just part of FAA and industry corruption to light, now is the perfect time for those wanting to be on the right side of justice to come forward and do what’s right. Those that do so will have an immediate effect on reforming FAA Management, and they will immunize themselves from reprisal as well when they do so.
Don’t let the flailing attempts of corrupt FAA Managers trying to cover up and continue the corruption you’ve worked under for years win the day. Ensure in this perfect window that justice prevails, and you will be able in the near future to work for an FAA Management that lets you find noncompliances and enforces the regulations, rather than just directing you to find “compliance,” when in fact the opposite exists. Now is the perfect time to comply with 14CFR13.1, as I knew I was also required to do, as well as comply with what your own conscience is telling you. No better time may come. You may be the first to report the corruption of your management, but there will be many others behind you that will follow your lead.
The Last Inspector
An important comment on this blog entry by anonymous:
See Last Paragraph of the Seattle PI story where BOEING is stated to be involved by FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell with the whistleblower issues brought forward by inspectors:
Senate grills FAA chief over timing of fine, halted flights
By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY
P-I WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON -- The head of the Federal Aviation Administration denied Thursday that political pressure or a congressional investigation prompted the agency to fine Southwest Airlines and ground more than 3,000 American Airlines flights last week.
FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell told a Senate panel that it was his belief that it was only a coincidence that a record fine levied against Southwest Airlines came just days before scheduled congressional hearings into the FAA's relationship with the air carriers -- or that the grounded flights followed scrutiny from lawmakers worried about lax inspection records.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., was skeptical about Sturgell's assertions.
"It just seems like a weird picture out here, where all of a sudden ... there was going to be a hearing, there's a major fine at Southwest and then, within days, hundreds upon hundreds of planes are grounded," Murray said. Why, "all of sudden, was there this ... huge focus on safety?"
The FAA has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, with lawmakers accusing the agency of having too cozy a relationship with the airlines it regulates. Whistle-blowing FAA inspectors have told a House committee that supervisors had ignored their complaints that safety inspections were not being conducted.
On March 6, with the first hearing by the House Transportation Committee, chaired by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., scheduled just days later, the FAA ordered Southwest to pay a record $10.2 million fine for missing safety inspections of cracked fuselages in some of its airplanes.
Oberstar suggested that the timing of the Southwest fine was suspicious.
Since then, Alaska Airlines and other carriers have grounded flights for inspections -- culminating in the cancellation of more than 3,000 American Airlines flights last week to resolve an issue involving the way wiring is shielded.
At Thursday's hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, housing and urban development, Murray said it looked like the FAA was responding to a public relations disaster and pressure from Congress when the agency issued the order to American Airlines.
"It appears to us the only reason the FAA acted was because this was going to become public," Murray said, referring to the failure of American Airlines to comply with an 18-month-old FAA directive to change the way it shielded wiring.
"We and the public want to be assured that it is done because it's the right thing to do," Murray said. She added: "We need an FAA that actually fixes problems as they are found, rather than one that rushes into a public relations campaign to assure everyone that there isn't a problem."
The inspector general for the Transportation Department, Calvin Scovel, told the senators that the "rush" of the FAA's recent enforcement "gives rise, naturally, to the question of what happened before."
After Oberstar announced his decision to hold hearings on the Southwest inspections, Scovel said, the "FAA began to move with dispatch."
Sturgell promised that the FAA was "going to look at all aspects of what occurred last week to try and minimize the chances of such disruptions again."
"I sympathize and apologize for the stress last week's flight cancellations caused the flying public," Sturgell said. "It's my job to ensure they're safe in the air, and that's what our agency did."
Sturgell said the FAA would pursue a new rule requiring a "cooling off" period when government inspectors move to new jobs at the airlines they used to regulate. A similar rule is already in place when airline employees move to the FAA; for two years, they are barred from inspections involving their previous employer.
Sturgell also promised that the FAA would meet with aircraft manufacturers, including The Boeing Co., to ensure that they better understand how to implement any new safety directives issued by the government.
"WE ARE GOING TO SIT DOWN WITH BOEING AND (OTHER MANUFACTURERS) AND SEE HOW WE CAN IMPROVE THIS PROCESS."
Thanks, anonymous--what I find most interesting about this article is Senator Patty Murray's comments. I have written several letters to her over the years and it seems they may not all have fell on deaf ears as far as my report to her of such FAA corruption in oversight of Boeing. I hope she is consistent once the news comes out about the similar but much more "cozy" relationship between the FAA and Boeing.
The Last (Boeing) Inspector
A comment by Jim Helms:
NICK SABATINI is a former NYC helicopter pilot policeman. He joined the FAA as an Operations Inspector. Knows how to "glad hand" and laugh at dumb jokes.
But don't piss him off!
Thanks, Jim. That means you don't think he is in on the corruption and may be an ally against it (which I personally don't think is possible for many reasons), or that I personally should be afraid of him? Don't want to start being nervous every time a helicopter flies over my house, LOL.
Reply by Jim Helms:
Don't walk under any helicopters!
The Last Inspector