Friday, 16 April 2010

FAA Has Its Plane Safety Priorities Straight

Any California plane crash lawyer would be impressed at the speed with which the Federal Aviation Administration moved to ground a plane that was indulging in silly shenanigans in the skies over the Masters tournament in Augusta. The hasty inspection found a few loose screws, and an outdated seat belt. That was enough for the FAA to immediately ground the plane. What was the plane doing that got the FAA so excited? It was flying aerial banners over the tournament, mocking Tiger Woods who made a much-anticipated return to the course last week. The banners mocked Woods’ insistence that sex addiction was the root cause of his marital infidelities.

According to Jim Miller, who is the owner of the company Air America Arial Ads, he was approached by a third-party to fly certain banners about Woods over the Masters tournament. He had barely finished flying two banners, when the Federal Aviation Administration swooped in for an inspection. The hurried inspection found that a few screws on the plane were either missing or loose, and that the seatbelts came with an outdated certification.

The plane was then grounded, and that was the end of the banner campaign. According to Miller, he had earlier been inundated with requests from tournament authorities, begging him to pull out the banners. Miller is alleging that the federal agency conducted a bogus inspection that was aimed only at ensuring that the banners mocking Woods, were out of sight.

No one really cares at this point in time what the banners said, or what Woods felt about them. However, any California plane crash lawyer would be astounded at the enthusiasm at which the federal agency responded to this situation. It's hard to understand how this constitutes an emergency. The Federal Aviation Administration has no problems dragging its feet over recommendations made by the National Transmission Safety Board about aviation safety. We still continue to have planes run through questionable practices by small regional carriers, and flown by fatigued, underpaid, poorly trained, inexperienced pilots, and the country's premier aviation safety agency is squandering time and resources on flimsy things.

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