John B Beck
Submitted On June 22, 2009
I am neither an Airline Pilot nor an Aviation Mechanic. I have observed the news with regards to airliner accidents though. The articles that I have read talk about the possibility of poor or shoddy maintenance, mediocre at best. I believe that the majority of Aviation Maintenance Facilities are reputable and that they employ skilled Mechanics. Having said this, some of you out there may think that I am naïve and not in touch with reality. That’s fine. I look forward to any comments, insights, or criticisms. Airlines have outsourced there maintenance operations to cut costs.
To be in the airline business today is financially a very risky proposition. Some people believe that when airlines outsource the maintenance to cut costs that they also cut corners. But think for a moment about all of the millions of people that fly on airlines each year, and think of the millions of air miles that are flown each year, without incident. But the media will put an airline crash on the front page because if it bleeds it leads. I am not faulting the media, they are just doing there job.
I know that it has been said many, many times that: “Air travel is safer than _____” (fill in the blank). But to the loved ones that have perished in those accidents that is no consolation. Could some of the accidents have been prevented? I am sure of it. Were the accidents due to pilot error? Were the accidents due to a bad design or an engineering flaw? Were the accidents due to bad maintenance? The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates the crashes to find out. People have asked if the FAA is doing its job. That could be debated on and on. Are all the Aviation Maintenance Facilities around the world at the same level? Do all the Aviation Maintenance Mechanics around the world have the same level of expertise? I am asking a lot of questions here. I look forward to reading the replies that contain possible answers and to the dialogue that hopefully gets sparked.