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Disclosing FAA Failures, Corruption, Misconduct and Intimidation, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Discussion in 'Latest Airline News' started by Edward Jeszka, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    I posted a response to the thread about Randy Babbitt being hired by Southwest Airlines. I included a number of issues that have been bothersome to many in aviation. I have been working on a site that would be an open venue to discuss the aviation communities interaction with the FAA, good or bad. I know of many positive actions by some stellar FAA personnel that I will be focusing on as this thread gets going. But, unfortunately, I also am aware of more negative behavior which I will also be disclosing.

    We all remember the Bob Hoover fiasco and how some in the industry called it what it was, such as Jim Campbell of ANN. Well there seems to be a quite a bit of similar misconduct within the FAA and folks just don't have a place to vent or express their circumstances. I have been talking to Ken Holland about just such a site and in view of the fact that he now has beat me to the punch he has allowed me to use this forum for just such conversation.

    The goal is to be able to provide individual events that we have experienced to the community without fear of FAA retaliation. It is a new concept that failed in MSPB and NTSB appeals process almost exclusively. The percentages of findings for the accused airman are dismal, as some judges have stated their position that if the FAA accused you then you have reason to lie under oath. We all hope that PL 112-153, also know as Senator Inhofe's "Pilot's Bill of Rights" can and will address these judicial failings.

    So I ask you to be candid, professional (far less than some have experienced from the FAA) and disclose events that might benefit others in the future. But also remember the goal is to disclose the shortcomings that might also be detrimental to overall aviation safety, airlines as well as GA. Something new, a site that allows open exchange of situations and circumstances and where you can express you experiences to others without being fearful of FAA retribution or retaliation.

    I am a retired FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, Operations, and have seen it from within and then after retirement, from the outside having been attacked by the same office I retired from. That will make an interesting story and it will be forthcoming shortly.

    Please remember, lets play by Lee's rules and watch not only what we say, but also how we say it. We don't want to overwork Lee. I think it was Officer Friday who used to say, "The facts, just the facts". Maybe, just maybe, we might be able to fill the gap left by an out of touch, incompetent regulatory agency.
     
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  2. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Ed:

    I would say the Pilot Bill of Rights that just became law has finally leveled the playing field with FAA and Pilots and Mechanics. Anyone that has experienced FAA enforcement could tell you that FAA has you tried and convicted at he get go! This law will have a big effect in exposing rogue inspectors.

    The fact that a jury trial is now available to an airmen is big news and Senator Inhofe has given us justice for the first time ever in FAA enforcement cases!

    Rich
     
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  3. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Hangar Associate Member IV

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    I'm certainly glad for the bill of rights. I was taught to use NASA forms, but those are only for minor incidents. It's good to see that fellow pilots are getting more rights. I personally think the FAA oversteps its boundaries regularly.
     
  4. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    pilot2fly,

    As a former ASI, I can tell you that as soon as you are the focus of an enforcement action, the writing is, now we can say was, on the wall. If you have the misfortune of being the focus of an emergency revocation you would loose your certificate under penalty of fines. You would be scheduled for an NTSB ALJ appeal which is in itself a joke and a fraud upon the aviation community. Then after they went through the faux trial you would have to appeal to the NTSB En Banc, total board, you would loose there, then try the appeals court which in all likelihood would find against you as well. The system is so rigged that the participants should actually be tried for judicial misconduct.

    So a few months later, without your certificates because they were surrendered to the FAA, you would be out of aviation until a year later when you could start from square one, private pilot's license. Heck of a system.But they can't take away your hours.

    That has now changed substantially, even including a jury trial in appeal. The FAA has dropped numerous cases since the PL was signed. Guess that goes to show that a lot of their cases were bogus and they were relying on the system to find in their behalf. The percentages were phenomenal. You were lucky if you fell in the 3-5% that were found not guilty. The rest of the 95% took it right in the cross hairs. I can tell you from my own experience, the inspectors aren't that good. Quite a few couldn't find a legitimate violation if it jumped up and sat in their laps. They wanted to get ahead so they did the FSDO management dirty work. I saw it first hand. So has Rich Wyeroski.

    I have included an excerpt from the PL. If you are an airman, pilot or mechanic, you should become very familiar with this law. It is working right now in Farmingdale to stop an out of control FSDO from destroying two mechanics on their whim. No evidence, Remember they didn't need any back when. They do now. And it has come back to roost. These are some of the changes that will protect you from an out of control FAA.

    DETAILS ABOUT THE PILOT'S BILL OF RIGHTS
    Makes FAA Enforcement Proceedings and NTSB Review Fair for Pilots
    • Requires NTSB review of FAA enforcement actions to conform, to the extent practicable, with the Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
    • Requires the FAA to provide timely notice to a pilot who is the subject of an investigation, and that any response by the pilot can be used as evidence against him.
    • Requires that in an FAA enforcement action against a pilot, the FAA must grant the pilot all relevant evidence 30 days prior to a decision to proceed with an enforcement action. This is currently not done and often leaves the pilot grossly uninformed of his violation and recourse.
    • Makes contractor-run flight service station and contract tower communications available to airmen. Currently, if a request is made for flight service station information under FOIA, it is denied to the requestor because the contractor is not the government, per se. However, the contractor is performing an inherently governmental function and this information should be available to pilots who need it to defend themselves in an enforcement proceeding.
    • Removes the special statutory deference as it relates to National Transportation Safety Board reviews of FAA actions. Too often the NTSB rubber stamps a decision of the FAA, giving wide latitude to the FAA and making the appeals process meaningless. This returns NTSB’s deference to the FAA to general administrative law principles, just like every other government agency.
    • Allows for Federal district court review of appeals from the NTSB, at the election of the appellant. This is important because a review by the Federal district court is de novo, meaning the pilot gets a new trial with the ability to introduce evidence and a new review of the facts.

    These are some of the highlights of the act. If you are under the authority of the FAA I strongly suggest you learn them well. They don't take the place of the old NASA form but they help prevent the continuous miscarriage of justice and abuse of authority so commonly found in FAA enforcement proceedings. No, an ALJ should not be allowed to fall asleep three times while on the bench and then render a verdict against an airman.

    Sorry this is so long but if you are at the mercy of a corrupt FAA, then you should learn it well, not just the highlights, the entire PL.

    Edward Jeszka
    FAA Aviation Safety Inaspector, Retired
    FWA, FAA Whistleblower Alliance, Legislative Liaison
     
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  5. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Ed:

    We had discussed this a while back, that the pilot bill of rights would have allowed you a fair appeal with a jury. The FAA can not bring evidence in most cases that would pass muster with a jury of 12.

    FAA is slowly becoming aware that their "word" is not good enough.

    Rich Wyeroski
     
  6. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    Rich,

    The NTSB has just released a press report. I have attached it. They are finally incorporating the changes mandated by the PL, Pilot's Bill of Rights. You can also go to their site to find NPRMs and other information as to the changes in their failed judicial system of appeals prior to the PL. I have not been able to find any avenue open to re-visit previously heard cases even though they can be shown to be judicial misconduct at its finest.

    I am going to request an NTSB position on this from Eric Weiss. I am pretty sure that opening up that can of worms is not in the cards.

    Ed


    NTSB Press Release

    National Transportation Safety Board
    Office of Public Affairs
    NTSB Announces Final Rules on Appeals Procedures and Requests Public Comment

    October 16

    WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board today issued a set of new rules addressing the review of aviation enforcement cases. The changes allow appeals to a federal district court, apply federal rules of evidence and civil procedure to NTSB proceedings and allow parties to move to dismiss a complaint if the FAA fails to disclose its enforcement investigative report.
    The NTSB, in addition to its accident investigation and safety advocacy work, serves as the "court of appeals" for airmen, mechanics and mariners when they appeal FAA or U.S. Coast Guard certificate actions.
    The changes are included in a new final rule and an interim final rule. Although the interim final rule, prompted by the Pilot's Bill of Rights (P.L. 112-53), is effective immediately, the Board is requesting public comment concerning the changes. The 60-day comment period concludes on Dec. 17. More information on the interim final rule and the comment period can be found at go.usa.gov/YNbm.
    While the interim final rule is being issued as a result of the enactment of P.L. 112-53, the NTSB had been examining its rules of practice and other procedures beginning with an ANPRM published in December 2010 and an NPRM published in February 2012. As a result of that process, the NTSB today also announced it would allow parties to file documents electronically. The final rule is effective Nov. 15 and is available at go.usa.gov/YNjY.
    NTSB Media Contact:
    Office of Public Affairs
    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, DC 20594
    (202) 314-6100
    Eric Weiss
    [email protected]
     
  7. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Hangar Associate Member IV

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    Thanks for that Edward. I am glad to see that you posted the bill of rights. I need to take a closer look because I'm not extremely familiar with them. While I've never had a incident, I always carry a NASA form with me just in case. I do understand that this is for something small like deviating altitude accidentally or whatnot when a controller reports you. I think if it's something minor and you apologize to the controller, they'll usually let it go. However with bigger incidents, we needed the bill of rights to keep the FAA fair.
     
  8. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Ed:

    I saw this just yesterday. David sent it to me. I am not sure either if cases are retroactive. It would be interesting. However, NTSB now has to be more careful, since an airmen now has the right to a jury trial and a new appeal.

    I think we will be seeing NTSB cases being overturned in the future and these dead head Administrative Law Judges may have to work for a living and throw away their rubber stamp

    Best,

    Rich
     
  9. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    P2F
    Glad I could provide valuable information. You can review the entire law on line. Recommend you take a look at it. Another FAA change is that the ATC line of business now has some mandatory reports that have to be made regarding airman activity and events. I will try to find the exact FAA memorandum or policy and post it as well. It requires official reports be made regarding events that have been pretty much addressed like you stated. Then it goes to ATC at division and over to AVS, Safety, FSDO for their evaluation and ultimate action. Forget about talking it over with the tower. Just another example of FAA out of control and exercising abuse of authority instead of attempting to improve aviation safety. Now it takes about two weeks to have the records get back to the appropriate FSDO. Seems like the FAA just can't it right. Maybe that is a result of inept leadership, corrupt culture, and incompetence raging wild with absolutely no accountability from Congress.

    I will try to find the FAA memo that explains the procedures that ATC must now use for any deviations, and surprisingly enough that includes aborted takeoffs and such. Aviation has a serious disadvantage in allowing the crew at 800 Independence to make decisions. They are pretty much unqualified, both in trust and qualifications. Caught some of them lying not too long ago but that got brushed under the carpet. When you catch them red handed you can expect to see the familiar FAA maneuver, circle the wagons. I guess that is why their hasn't been much of anything that resembles progress. It is extremely difficult to move forward when you are going around in circles and that is where they spend much of their time. However, just like aviation maneuvers, the more you practice going around in circles the better you become at it.

    Edward Jeszka
    FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, Retired
    FWA, FAA Whistleblower Alliance, Legislative Liaison
     
  10. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    p2f,
    Here is the cover letter for the order. It is pretty long so I suggest you go to google or some other site and look it up. It will bring a new meaning to FAA over reach. I have read a number of comments and they all appear to be rather negative from the industry but that doesn't surprise me. Mr. Huerta appeared at the Bombardier safety stand down last week, gave a ten minute speech and left, no time for the attendees. The stunning part of his appearance and presentati0on is how little he understands about aviation and aviation safety. What compounds this is that like many in government, his comments contradicted the information that was presented during the seminar by NTSB and other presenters. What is going up up there? Is the FAA simply floundering under the weight of their responsibility because of incompetent management?

    Suggest you sit down with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate some evening and read the order. Back that up with the "Pilot's Bill of Rights" and you have your work cut out for you.



    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
    FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION



    Air Traffic Organization Policy



    ORDER JO 7210.632


    Effective Date: January 30, 2012


    SUBJ: Air Traffic Organization Occurrence Reporting


    The Air Traffic Organization (ATO) has moved to a more systemic view of safety within the National
    Airspace System (NAS). This view places more value on discovering why adverse safety events happen
    and in identifying risks, rather than determining who was at fault. It is the responsibility of all
    ATO employees who are engaged in and support air traffic services to report all suspected unsafe
    air traffic occurrences. The sharing of this information allows the ATO to more effectively and
    safely manage operations within the NAS. This directive modifies reporting requirements set forth
    previously to emphasize the collection of safety data as opposed to ascribing responsibility.






    Elizabeth L. Ray
    Vice President, Mission Support Services
    Air Traffic Organization
    Date Signed
     
  11. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    OK. I was wrong!!!! I guess the FAA has never treated anyone unfairly except maybe a few folks that I know of. That is what it seems as no one, I repeat, no one has posted a situation or event that they feel could or should have been considered misconduct or abuse of authority or intimidation or a failure of the aviation oversight the FAA has been assigned to perform. That being the case I guess I will start with a pretty easy one in the BHM FSDO. That would be the Alabama Northwest Florida Flight Standards District Office.

    Lets put that into prospective and understand the line of business. Birmingham FSDO is in the Southern Region. The manager, Linda Silvertooth, is a transfer from California. She answers to a gentlemen in the Regional Office, Thomas Winston, SO-200. He in turn answers within the Region to Doug Murphy, Regional Manager. Within the AVS (Flight Standards), he answers to either Ray Towles or Ray Duncan, Deputy Directors, Field Operations or Policy Oversight, who answer to John Allen, Director Flight Standards Service. That would be the Flight Standards Line of Business up to DC.

    Then it goes to DC and starts the process all over. The Flight Standards LOB then goes to John Hickey, Deputy Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, who also was or is being investigated for violations to the Hatch Act for his activity in the Seattle FSDO, who answers to Peggy Gilligan, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety who then has the straight shot to the Administrator, Acting Administrator Huerta, unless, of course, that gets sidetracked to Clay Foushee, AAE-1, the firewall to protect the AA Huerta from the masses or to protect him from disclosing his lack of aviation knowledge.

    So, now you know about the "BLACK HOLE" that your issues, including violations and enforcement and complaints and other various correspondence you may have submitted but never got a reply to ended up. But I digress. Lets go back to BHM FSDO.

    Not very long ago certain information was discovered in a local gun club on line publication. The reason I bring this up is that I know, as an Aviation Safety Inspector from that office, now retired, that the aviation community has been treated pretty shabbily when it comes to timely certification, change requests, legitimate legal action and other actions that inspectors have as their responsibility. A number of these processes, depending what inspector was tasked to do them, seemed like it took an eternity, and then they probably were incorrect. Quite by accident I uncovered a possible reason for part of that malfeasance or incompetence.

    I found an advertisement, well I was steered to an advertisement that really caught my interest and was of some concern. The ethics laws, under which ASI's are governed to try and keep them honest and above board are rather clear cut. You are restricted from using government assets and equipment in the conduct of a private business. Lo and behold, I found an advertisement of a gun sales, ammo sales and gun parts sales and service business. It was a name I was very familiar with. An Aviation Safety Inspector from the BHM FSDO. You might say "Not a big deal" and at this point I would agree. However, the story gets more interesting. The advertisement for this private business concern showed the contact information, the online e-mail contact information, was the inspector's FAA FSDO e-mail address. Reading further it also listed his telephonic contact information as
    his FAA FSDO phone number. Get the picture?

    What was uncovered was an Aviation Safety Inspector running a private business, a gun sales business, out of his FAA FSDO office in Birmingham, Alabama. A clear violation of his ethics rules. Now the fun starts. This information, including the website information, was sent to David Grizzle while he was the Chief Council for the FAA. You know, the guy that is supposed to see that rules and regs are followed by employees as well as airmen. Then it disappeared. Fancy that, a violation in house of numerous rules and regulations and laws and only to see it disappear.

    In perspective I see it this way. An FAA ASI, in the BHM FSDO, under the management of Linda Silvertooth and the supervision of Ed Blount (another disclosure forthcoming on him) was using your and my tax dollars to run a business out of the FSDO in Birmingham, AL. He was using the assets, which was blatant, but also was apparently doing this business from his FAA office and therefore must have been doing this illegal activity while he was being paid by your and my tax dollars. This has the appearance of another FAA cover-up of misconduct and illegal activity by FAA employees. It gets better. This inspector then gets a transfer and a promotion. Makes you kind of wonder what the heck is going on starting at BHM FSDO, SO Regional Office and all the way to 800 Independence Ave.

    This is the first of many disclosures of misconduct, legal or ethical, I will be making that the FAA has done nothing about or covered up. I intend to expose the culture of corruption that seems to permeate the FAA. If you have something you wish to bring to the attention of the public this would be an excellent place to start. I am hoping that as this begins to get traction we might be able to bring a focus on the inept management within the FAA and attempt to bring them into compliance.

    Ed Jeszka
    FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, Retired
    FWA, FAA Whistleblower Alliance
     
  12. 18Vrecovery

    18Vrecovery New Hangar Member

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    Ed,

    Interesting concept. I am curious if a site was ever created to discuss FAA cases etc.? I was the recent recipient of a Rubber stamp in September of this year, losing all my certificates, 5 types ratings and a year off from my Airline. The process was so bad and costly. Two appeals etc. I am now starting a group on FB for pilots who have gone through this process. I can't seem to find any support, guidance etc,. so I will be starting the group & linking it to my Success Coaching through loss business. I will be a certified life coach in Feb 2018. Sounds like you were the recipient of a loss from the FAA too. I hope all is well!
     
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  13. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    There are many people here that have had poor decision handed down from the NTSB and MSPB. Ironically those that look for justice find out the hardway that there is no justice. Just a rubber stamp.

    Fortunately the "pilot bill of rights" offers another way for you. A civil or federal trial outside the NTSB and MSPB. The right to appeal an unjust verdic. 97.3% of NTSB or MSPB verdicts are against the public or the federal employee.........
     
  14. 18Vrecovery

    18Vrecovery New Hangar Member

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    I did read the "pilot bill of rights" but after spending $45,000 to just get in front of a NTSB law judge to be told that I was a hazard to aviation for making a paperwork error; I decided the deck was stacked against me as did my two lawyers. After having 12,000 incident free hours, no violations, no check ride failures and graduating with honors, he told me I was "not credible". Yet the FAA lawyer made numerous mistakes, all ok, the FAA investigator made mistakes, still credible and the other witness was credible after making big mistakes in her testimony. This isn't a rant against the FAA, there are many in that field I respect. It is more an observation of the unjust and unfair system they have in place during these hearings.

    To witness the inside world of these proceedings was shocking! I feel so bad for anyone who has to go through this process. To lose all my life work, ratings etc., without warning (Emergency Revocation-which btw they do it immediately, but don't inform you, just mail it to your front door and assume you're not out flying.) We were hoping for a suspension but not so lucky.

    This is the first I have said about this all in a public forum. As you can imagine it's been a year of forgiveness and learning. I really just want to be here for future recipients of revocation to help guide them and to let them know you are not alone. More power in numbers!
     
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  15. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I believe the new administrator will make sweeping changes. President Trump will not accept any more games from the FAA. He is appointing someone with aviation experience and he will have the complete backing of the President to restructure the FAA.

    2018 is a new year and hopefully a new FAA!!!
     

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