Wed, Jun 25, 2008
Signed Off On Maintenance Lapses At LCC
The FAA inspector blamed for signing
off on Southwest Airlines planes flying past required federal
safety inspection intervals has retired from the agency, officials
As ANN reported, in March whistleblowers
Charalambe Boutris and Douglas E. Peters told the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that Douglas T.
Gawadzinski, the agency's chief maintenance inspector at Southwest,
gave permission for Southwest to keep planes flying "in an unsafe
or unairworthy condition," and that another inspector knew of the
problem but didn't do anything about it.
According to their testimony, both men also stated Gawadzinski
tried to remove Boutris from the inspectors ranks at Southwest, at
the urging of the airline. The supervisor declined, but ordered
Boutris' upcoming review be postponed "until he gave the green
light," according to a report filed by special counsel.
Gawadzinski and another FAA manager, Mike Mills, were
temporarily reassigned in May 2007... but Gawadzinski was still
allowed to conduct several inspections, reports The Dallas Morning
News, even as his behavior at Southwest was under
Gawadzinski's retirement was effective this week, according to
an FAA spokeswoman. The DMN was unable to reach him for comment
The FAA subsequently fined Southwest $10.2 million for
continuing to fly 46 older 737-300s and -500s in March 2007 without
performing mandatory checks for fatigue cracks. The airline later
found evidence of cracks on six of those aircraft.
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