FAA whistle blowers blow and spill about Southwest Airlines violations

Yesterday CNN broke a story that two FAA inspectors have decided to come forward and start talking. And have they talked. According to Bobby Boutris and Douglas Peters, the issues with Southwest Airlines not complying with FAA safety inspections is an old problem that the FAA has known about, but has ignored. Boutris and Peters, uncomfortable with the FAA protocol not being followed, decided to spill because they feel they owe taxpayers a job well done.

They said that FAA looked the other way when Southwest flew 70 airplanes–or more, 30 months past the time they should have had their rudders inspected. The rudder is one of those important parts. It’s connected to the steering mechanism. Another not inspected part FAA knew about according to these two? The fuselage, or the skin. This inspection finds cracks. There were 47 planes that weren’t inspected when they should have been. During inspection 6 of them had cracks that could have been dangerous. That’s a comfort. Glad they found those. CNN has not been able to snag an interview with FAA higher ups, thus far.

Today there’s a hearing on Capitol Hill with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to help find out WHAT THE (fill in an expletive)?! CNN is staying up on this one. Boutris and Peters want whistle blower protection. I wonder who will play them in the movie version? Remember Russell Crowe in “The Insider,” the movie about the tobacco industry?

See previous Gadling posts about Southwest’s inspection story here, here, and here.