Not a very good article about an interesting situation. If inspections are not as effective as they were previously, then there is a problem here. Some of these repair centers could be just as good as the ones that they have replaced. However, if you move your quality control to a country rife with corruption, then a risk has been introduced.


No, not a very good article at all. The reader is supposed to get all nervous and upset about mechanics who "may not even be able to read or speak English."

If one of these uneducated louts leaves a tray table unattached, "the arms that hold it could easily turn into spears." Spears on a Plane!

All anyone should care about is safety, right? When you express concern about effective inspections, you are really interested in safety, aren't you? Do you value inspections that do not improve safety? Are "inspections" worth anything on their own?

b_b says that safety is improving even as maintenance is going to uninspectable hinterlands instead of to $100/hour domestic workers. But there's one exception to the outsourcing trend: "American still does much of its most intensive maintenance in-house in the U.S." So is American Airlines safer?

The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre says no. American Airlines was rated #38 in 2012, #42 in 2013, #41 in 2014, and #39 in 2015. United Airlines performed better (#30 in 2015), Delta even better (#26), and low-cost carriers Southwest (#24) and JetBlue (#9) did better still.

The number one airline for safety is Cathay Pacific. Perhaps speaking Chinese does not impair your ability to maintain aircraft after all. Two other top-ten airlines are based in Taiwan and China.

    A century ago, Upton Sinclair wrote his novel The Jungle to call attention to the plight of workers in the slaughterhouses, but what really got people upset was learning how unsafe their meat was. Safety is an issue here, too. The Federal Aviation Administration is supposed to be inspecting...

Do we have evidence for this belief that inspections = safety? JACDEC says that "There is a direct correlation between the safety of a airline and the competence and transparency of the controlling authorities." I suspect there is a correlation between national prosperity and both of these factors. Eyeballing the safety list suggests a close relationship between airline safety and GDP.

    The reality is that from now on it’s going to be up to the airlines to police themselves... Have you noticed that this sort of arrangement never works?

No, I haven't noticed that. Evidence, please?

Here's an anecdote about how the "inspection" strategy worked once:

Airline cuts corners and takes chances with safety.

• FAA sees problems but does not inform the public.

• FAA "bent over backwards to keep the carrier flying."

• FAA finally sends a memo saying the airline should be grounded.

• Memo gets "lost in the maze at FAA."

• Airline has an accident, killing 110 people.

• FAA administrator assures travellers that the airline is safe.

    Despite the findings from their own investigators, FAA officials have repeatedly backed up Jordan's assertions about ValuJet's safety and did so again Thursday. "We believe that the airline is safe, and it is safe," said FAA Administrator David Hinson.

Good thing this is not a country rife with corruption.

posted by mk: 1163 days ago