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Ever Heard Of Mary Schiavo - Whistleblower, Former Inspector Gen - US DOT 1990-1996

post Feb 16 2007, 12:38 PM
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Ex-inspector throttles FAA - former Dept. of Transportation inspector general Mary Schiavo - Interview
Stacie Zoe Berg

Is flying the safest way to travel?

Not according to this critic of the airlines and their regulators. Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation, has become an outspoken consumer advocate and controversial figure whose new book, Flying Blind, Flying Safe (Avon Books, 373 pp), takes Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration to task. In an interview with Insight Schiavo talks candidly about the "holes in the aviation safety net."

Q: What is the FAA's role -- to police airlines or protect passengers?
A: Well, there is a third role, which is to promote airlines. In fact, that starts out the 1958 act. Safety was listed fifth. I think that the FAA's mission should be simply safety.

Q: What role do lobbyists and politicians play in the FAA?
A: A very big role. Many of the people that I worked with over the years in various aviation oversight capacities with Congress later went to work for airline lobbying organizations or for the airlines. And the airlines make a lot of contributions.... I know congressmen and senators would say, "Oh no. They give us those contributions, but it really does not affect legislation." If that was the case, why wouldn't aviation political-action committees and airlines then be making contributions to the head of the agriculture committee?

Q: How can the public learn more about the reports the FAA buries?
A: The FAA promised to put airline accident and incident information on the Internet. Now the FAA says they do not rank or rate airlines. So what do they do? They just dump raw data on the Internet. In fact, the FAA does have ratings and rankings of airlines. They rate them on numbers of accidents and incidents and pilot deviations. And they collect near mid-air-collision rates. But they don't make that available to the public. Why don't they, every year, h a press conference like they do for on-time arrivals and lost-bag claims?

Q: Are FAA inspectors doing a thorough job?
A: No, and it is not an issue of money No matter how much money you throw at a system like that, you will not uncover the problems, and the proof is in ValuJet. It had 5,000 inspections before the crash. Think how much money that costs. They found nothing. By the way, Eastern Airlines had something like 18,000 inspections. Yet it took the Department of Justice to prosecute Eastern and make the case on their falsifying their maintenance records.

Q: How problematic are bogus parts?
A: Bogus parts are a very big problem, compounded by the fact that the FAA refuses to acknowledge the problem and doesn't really do much about it at all. Now, for example, they're pointing to the flap that fell off the Delta plane as possibly due to substandard bolts -- that's a polite term for bogus parts. At repair stations, we found 43 percent were suspected bogus parts. Recently the Justice Department sued Boeing for using substandard parts.

Q: Is flying safer than driving?
A: Statistically that is the case if you figure it on a per-trip basis. When you figure it on a per-trip basis, car, train and bus come out safer than the airplane.

Q: What airlines do you fly?
A: I am temporarily off of America West because last year they got hit with the order from the FAA for paying superficial attention to safety and had maintenance problems. I am concerned that Delta had a lot of uncontained engine failures last year and American had a number of incidents. But I fly most of the majors. You have to, and that's the point of my book. You can't simply say, "Look, this system's a mess, I'm not going to fly anymore." It has to be fixed, and it has to be fixed now.

Bogdan Dzakovic Whistleblower testimony to 911 Commission he stated:

I then quit the air marshal branch, because it was outright dangerous, some of the things they were proposing that we do, as well as changing our rules of engagement and training and what-not. And in 1995 I became a team leader in the red team. And it took me about two years, between one and two years, to realize that there was a very serious problem in how FAA conducts its business. And the reason it took me that long is we would test virtually every aspect of security from the screening checkpoints, to access control, CAPPS--we didn't have CAPPS at that point, but it was profiling. Later we did test CAPPS, screening of checked baggage, and some other areas, cargo security. And we found major loopholes in every area of security that FAA was involved in. But after two years, I started trying to work within the system, and I knew that was a pointless effort, because criticism is not accepted in FAA. That's part of the culture. And I became so frustrated that I joined up with another red team, former red team leader, who also found problems similar to what I had, and the two of us, his name is Steve Elson (ph), just for the record, we started going to the inspector general's office to try to get them to do something about this sorry state of aviation security. And they did nothing. Then I talked to a senior official in the IG's office, and he actually explained to me that when Mary Schiavo was the inspector general of the IG, she had a very aggressive stance against FAA, and it caused a lot of political problems. After she resigned, the IG had a kinder, gentler approach to dealing with problems with FAA.





Mary Schiavo
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As soon as Mary Schiavo learned of the events of September 11, she knew she had to unearth the truth about what had happened----something she knows plenty about. Her dogged pursuit of lapses in aviation safety earned her the nickname, "Scary Mary" during her controversial tenure as inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1990 to 1996. Determined to keep the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accountable to the public, Schiavo, 46, led an investigation into security at the nation's airports in 1992 and 1993. Her employees, armed with guns, knives, grenades and fake bombs, got through 75 percent of the time. At a congressional hearing to address what she'd uncovered, the FAA promised to fix the breaches. But when Schiavo repeated her investigation in 1995 and 1996 there were still significant security lapses. The FAA "went into overdrive to try to get the report classified," Schiavo alleges. "They were clearly waiting for people to die. I prepared for my letter of resignation." Schiavo went on to become a professor of aviation at Ohio State University. She recently left academia to become an attorney at a Los Angeles firm that represents victims of airline disasters----including families of several dozen victims of the terrorist attacks. These relatives, says Schiavo, are not interested in money. "They want to know the truth." And the legal process, she believes, may be the only way to get at the truth of what went wrong on September 11. "If you don't find out how it happened," she says, "then the problem won't be fixed. That's why I speak out."

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NEW QUESTION: Might Michael Schiavo and Mary Schiavo be related? You know the Terri Schiavo case was in Florida - Jeb Bush territory. We all know the FEDS took over the Schiavo's life for years?????

ANY CONNECTIONS to maybe getting even with Mary Schiavo, Former IG DOT for squealing on them??? You know they love to do this stuff to punish TRUTHERS???

Your Thoughts!

This post has been edited by jo56: Feb 16 2007, 12:52 PM
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post Feb 16 2007, 04:45 PM
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A Speech she gave entitled "Citizens, Farmers, Soldiers and Statemen"


(This is an older speech, but rather revealing in what happened on 911)

This post has been edited by jo56: Feb 16 2007, 04:46 PM
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