Crikey gets it Right

It is not hard to respect an aviation journalist who started reporting in 1960. It is downright easy to respect that same journalist when you read your first Crikey post from down under, and see his clear words about what the Dreamliner Emergency AD has to do with FAA’s performance (or, more precisely, the lack thereof).

Ben Sandilands runs the PlaneTalking blog. On this latest big story, he sees that the series of burning batteries as not the real news; rather, it is how we got to the series of burning batteries.

Here’s a few excerpts that make his point:

“…FAA’s certification of the airliner was either corrupt or seriously deficient, placing doubts over the proper testing and approvals of the other innovative technologies in carbon fibre materials and assembly techniques in the Dreamliners….”

“…airline managements in general, having ‘transitioned’ from boards and executives with technical skills, to those out to make a killing from stock plays, may have been caught up in the frauds or fantasies that have accompanied the 787s on their long and now interrupted journey from hype to airliner reality….”

“FAA outsourced one of the fundamentals of its responsibilities … (and) … if this isn’t institutionalized corruption, what is?”

(FAA’s) … outsourcing of the certification processes to the actual beneficiaries of the process is incompatible with the purpose and intent of testing and certification.”

“…the weasel words you will find in the history of the Eclipse certification debacle came from the same FAA administrators that ‘facilitated’ rather than thoroughly and independently examined the early stages of the 787 project.”

“…FAA leaned on its executives to drive the certification of the Eclipse 500 by deadline, not by due and diligent process.”

He refers to past assurances by Boeing that these fires could not happen as “…complete bullsh*t by a Boeing run by marketing people rather than experienced engineers, and it was dangerous, nasty, life threatening rubbish that was accepted by an intellectually corruptly managed FAA to the risk of public safety.”

Believe it or not, he’s just getting started. And there is a lot that could be (and should be) said in agreement with his charges.

Read the post; here’s the link.