`Systematic Problems': Hill Hearings to Examine FAA Actions

By Field, David | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 20, 1996 | Go to article overview

`Systematic Problems': Hill Hearings to Examine FAA Actions


Field, David, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


ValuJet's passenger fleet may stay on the ground in Atlanta this summer, but officials of the discount airline will be spending a lot of time on Capitol Hill.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday set hearings for next week on ValuJet Airlines' fatal May 11 crash and its "wider ramifications," said aides to the panel's chairman, Rep. Bud Shuster, Pennsylvania Republican.

Committee investigators "have uncovered what appears to be systematic problems in the FAA's oversight of airlines such as ValuJet," Mr. Shuster said. The hearings, beginning Tuesday, will consider other carriers as well as low-fare lines.

The hearings will examine the safety records and practices of ValuJet and its maintenance and cargo-shipping contractors as well as Federal Aviation Administration inspection and oversight of the Atlanta-based carrier.

Republicans have said the FAA was lax in inspecting ValuJet and have accused the agency, part of the Transportation Department, of withholding documents showing that the airline's accident rate was alarmingly high.

Some have said Transportation Secretary Federico F. Pena was so eager to endorse new, low-fare airlines that his department overlooked evidence of a growing safety problem at ValuJet.

The FAA forced ValuJet to suspend its flights at midnight Monday after a 30-day probe into the crash of Flight 592, which nose-dived into the Florida Everglades. All 110 persons aboard were killed when the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed.

The FAA and the airline have come under scrutiny. Some FAA inspectors have indicated a fear that talking to the committee would result in discipline by their bosses, Mr. Shuster said.

"I want to emphasize in the strongest possible terms that any attempt by FAA management to cover up or silence FAA employees will be dealt with severely," Mr. Shuster said in a statement.

Reports emerged in recent weeks that the FAA imposed restrictions on ValuJet's expansion moves Feb. 29 because of safety concerns. The move occurred as ValuJet was preparing to start up service to New York's La Guardia Airport.

The concerns by the agency were at odds with FAA assertions that it believed ValuJet was operating safely before the crash.

In the days immediately after the crash, FAA chief David Hinson and other top agency officials said ValuJet was safe to fly.

"At the time that the airline was deemed to be safe, that decision was based upon the evidence that existed at that time," Mr. Hinson said Monday in announcing the consent agreement under which ValuJet grounded itself.

Sen. Larry Pressler, South Dakota Republican, is angry that Mr. Hinson did not tell his committee about an internal FAA report, concluded before the crash, that compared accident and incident rates of new, low-cost airlines with those of major carriers.

Except for the ValuJet crash, "the case could be made" that low-cost carriers had a better safety record than major airlines, Mr. Hinson told Mr. Pressler at a May 14 hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which Mr. Pressler heads.

When word emerged of the internal FAA report and its starkly different conclusions, Mr. Pressler said it "seems to contradict your response" about safety rates.

"The way FAA has handled release of ValuJet safety-related reports to Congress and the public continues to undermine confidence in the agency. The bureaucratic information flow at FAA and DOT must be corrected immediately," Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

`Systematic Problems': Hill Hearings to Examine FAA Actions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.