Why Flying Is No Fun (And May Be More Dangerous)

Discussion in 'Other Aspects of Aviation Security' started by Lisa Simeone, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Program Fresh Air from WHYY in Philadelphia (and nationally syndicated):

    Why Flying Is No Fun (And May Be More Dangerous)
    Check your local public radio listings. The show is on right now in my market.

    I think this might be the same guy who was on PBS's Frontline last year, a whole show dedicated to how aviation maintenance is scarily bad.
  2. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Another excerpt:
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Transcript won't be done for another 3 hours. So there's a lot on the air that isn't in this synopsis.

    "Is air travel a public good? Is it a commodity? Not black & white answer, govt used to set the fares, weren't jumping around like today, heavily regulated, so airlines uses to compete heavily by outdoing each other with service, TSA now stealing from bags, Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, enormous, gets deliveries every day, deregulation dramatically increased size of the industry, statistics provided by DOT on monthly basis, many more consumer complaints now, one thing I really looked at Load Factor, other service probs stem from that, etc."
  4. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    "FAA's lack of oversight of outsourced maintenance -- greatest aviation threat today."
  5. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    With "TSA employees who accept bribes" running a close second. ;)
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  6. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    "Aggressive cost-cutting, profits at the expense of safety, one job was outsourced to a surf shop -- surf guy (obviously) not FAA accredited -- hired by contractor to replace body part of plane because apparently it was similar to surfboard stuff" -- you can't make this (expletive deleted) up.

    "Small regional carriers safety record not good, they operate on behalf of the big legacy airlines, but most consumers have no idea."

    "FAA claims that there is ONE STANDARD for U.S. aviation -- clearly not true -- regional airlines hire less experienced pilots -- 2009 crash preventable, capt responded inapprop to basic standard function, Newark to Buffalo crash all killed, there is not one standard, there is one standard for the big airlines and another standard for the small regional ones. New legisl has been passed, but unfortunately, Congressional hearings show problems."

    "Regional pilots - one pilot's salary was less than $20,000 a year -- on day of crash she had commuted crazy distances/time -- had waitressed for a while on the side because she couldn't afford to live. Cost-cutting affects everything."
  7. Marlee

    Marlee Member

    Read the book but not while flying..IF..you still fly!
    This author has credibility:
    William McGee is a former airlines operations manager who has made a career as an aviation journalist, writing for Consumer Reports and other publications. He's an FAA-licensed aircraft dispatcher and in 2010 was named the sole consumer advocate to the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, formed to make recommendations to the Department of Transportation.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Moved to the more appropriate forum ...

    How aviation maintenance is scarily bad? Probably just a union hack upset at the lost of their noncompetitive jobs in an international market.

    Heavy maintenance is going to be outsourced. Get used to it. For your heavy "C" & "D" checks it's much better to have it done by a company in Hong Kong or Singapore that specializes in that type of work than by your overpaid union mechanic who spends 4.5 days a week fixing latches on overhead bins & changing an occasional tire.

    Lighter maintenance will often be outsourced because airlines can't have a mechanic on station everywhere they land. Domestically you will find operations like Delta's Tech Ops (licensed under FAA Part 145) doing maintenance for many smaller airlines.

    Southwest & AA both do most of their maintenance in-house & have been hit with major maintenance issue (Southwest for unapproved parts, AA for improperly secured wiring harnesses in landing gear). Problems aren't limited to regionals, nor can they only be blamed on outsourcing.

    Regionals are certainly a problem, but you really oversimplified the Buffalo crash. There were a number of other factors leading up the fatal mistake, starting with whether or not he was even qualfied to be in the cockpit in the first place, let alone as the PIC.

    A few years ago, before they went on strike & got themselves a slight raise, many of our local Mesaba first officers could have made more money as Walmart greeters.

    One of the best known regional flaps occurred about 6-7 years ago when Comair (at the time Delta's major east-coast feeder) operations went belly up on a holiday when a 16-bit counter overflowed in their crew-scheduling software and they couldn't handle any more crew changes.

    Yes, there are issues but I find it hard to get worked up by this guy. He's just rehashing old stuff.
  9. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I didn't do a verbatim transcript, I was typing on the fly; as I said, the transcript won't be done for a few hours. Don't take my speed-typing of the general gist of it as the actual full statements that came out of his mouth. I barely typed anything about the Buffalo crash.

    You may know that maintenance is a problem or the ins and outs of this or the other crash, but most people don't. Including most people reading TUG. There's new information in there for those who want to read it. I'm not making any claims or declarations about his research, just putting it out there.

    And he's not a union member. He was in management when he worked in aviation.

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