A new year brings new wishes for aviation safety. Or, in some cases, a renewal of old wishes from years past. It’s no small feat to strive to constantly improve an already enviable aviation safety record. But strive we must if we are to eliminate potential safety problems that in the right combination could bring down an aircraft or otherwise come together to cause injury or loss of life.
Continental Express Flight
The NTSB issued a scathing indictment of the FAA’s oversight of contract maintenance providers, essentially validating a DOT inspector general’s report that again exposed one of the lesser known practices of the U.S. airline industry. The latest report, made public in late February, again pointed to lax FAA scrutiny of a third-party maintenance contractor as one of the main contributors to the January 2003 crash of Air Midwest Flight 5481.
An aircraft accident happens, on average, three or more times a day in the U.S. If people die in such an accident, investigators from the NTSB are sure to be involved in trying to figure out what happened.