To quote Pogo: “We have met the enemy… and he is us!” December 31, 2011
By Betty Gelean “nightreader”
This review is from: Crash & Burn: The Bureaupathology of the Federal Aviation Administration (Paperback)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2011
Crash and Burn: The Bureaupathology of the Federal Aviation Administration by Robert M. Misic with Bobbi Linkemer
Published by Magic City Press (2011)
I may have thought I was reviewing horror books before, but this non-fiction book by Robert M. Misic was certainly not the one I should have been reading as my daughter and grandson were flying through US airspace! Crash and Burn might be called an expose of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) particularly in the past quarter century, but it is really a presentation of failing procedures, in-fighting, lack of precautions, hiding errors and omissions, and many more facts that have come to the surface that are and have been putting passengers and flight crews at danger. Forget about terrorism being the primary danger in our skies. As Pogo, a cartoon character by Walt Kelly, once said, “We have met the enemy… and he is us!”
As a Canadian I had been aware of some instances of unreported abuse of the system once they became news, but this is far deeper and widespread than I could imagine. Included in the book are accounts of many Whistle-blowers concerned for air safety, how these reports were received, and how these conscientious people were treated, some stripped of their credentials, losing their jobs, their reports hidden or falsified and ignored, it goes on and on. A chapter titled “Deliberately Committed Operational Error”; another “Twelve New York Controllers’ Revenge: Fired, Rehired, Exonerated” and “One Way to Kill Traffic Controllers: Lock Them in a Carbon Monoxide-Filled Room”!
On the positive side, hopefully this book can be seen as a wake-up call to the bureaucrats. Isn’t outside terrorism enough? Should it be a part of American “tradition” behavioral-wise? Robert Misic’s “Crash & Burn” puts forth a very compelling case, I hope it will do what he has set out to do. The writing is succinct, most reports coming from air control tower personnel. This includes the author, a retired air controller. Everything in the book is clearly laid out. The back of the book contains the full names of the glossary including acronyms, references, historic letters, recommended reading and resources for the flying public. A thorough, well-documented and conscientious book. I give it five stars because of the helpful additional information in the last section of the book.
POSTED BY NIGHTREADER AT 1:10 PM
LABELS: AIR-TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS, FAA, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, NON-FICTION, WHISTLEBLOWERS, WORKPLACE ABUSE
I’ve skimmed this book; I even worked with the author at one time and I was a controller too, the book is spot on! The FAA corporate culture is rotten: from incompetent and vengeful management to controllers hired and promoted to meet someone’s political agenda, safety and the workforce’s well-being are at the bottom of the FAA’s list of things to improve (at one time the FAA was the 214th out of 216 federal agencies in employee satisfaction). More workers need to expose what goes on inside America’s bureaucracies.
January 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM
This book is a must read if you fly…, April 16, 2012
By JGA Publishers (Consignment)
I have to say I am shocked that the FAA puts the financial needs of the airline industry up and above the safety of the flying public. Robert Misic’s tell-all book reveals the truth about what the FAA does not want us to know. This is a fascinating book about what goes on behind the scenes at the Federal Aviation Administration and how it affects our safety when flying.
Hi, from what I’ve read your book is spot on. I do have an issue that compromises safety almost daily. During my 23+ years at Miami Center I observed numerous incidents involving foreign pilots that do not speak or understand English. I’m sure you saw the same because they usually transited our airspace getting to yours. The FAA blatantly refuses to take any action against these pilots or their companies. Oh sure they claim to speak English but do not UNDERSTEND it. If you give any of these pilots instructions that are out of the ordinary such as a re-route or holding the always acknowledge with a “Roger” but have no idea what you just told them. On one occasion a controller working Key West sector had a plane southwest bound over Key West at FL310. A foreign carrier was northeast bound also over Key West at FL330. When the foreign air carrier checked in entering our airspace the controller use perfect phraseology clearing the aircraft via the STAR and re-stating the altitude to maintain, ie “Maintain FL330″. The foreign carrier acknowledging with simply “Roger”. When the two aircraft were nose to nose and about 20 miles apart the foreign carrier began a descent out of FL330. The controller took immediate action and turned both aircraft 90 degrees which resulted in about a bare 5 miles lateral separation. When she advised the supervisor he simply said “OK” and took no further action. She asked the supe if he was at least going to have the pilot call the center and he said no, and that there was nothing that could be done as it was a foreign carrier. Based on the tape I heard the pilot was under the mistaken assumption that clearance via a STAR was also a clearance to descend and was quite arrogant to the controller as she informed that he had been told to maintain FL330. Incidents like these are common and if a controller is able to save separation nothing is done to, at least, educated the foreign pilots. Do you remember the Avianca 052 crash in Long Island? That was a direct result of the pilot being unable to speak or understand English. We are going to have another major incident caused by a foreign pilot being unable to speak and UNDERSTAND English. Being a “tombstone” agency the FAA will not act until there enough bodies. Good luck with your book, is it available as a Kindle book yet?
Gene Caple, ZMA Retired, January 4, 2012
All I know is at NY TRACON we bust our ass every night to try to safely bring people home. There are some problems with management trying to make us land or depart more aircraft than is safe. With cross winds or tail winds. And we resist that. And we bring people home safe. Every night to the best of our abilities. Thank God our union is there to stop management from assigning unsafe runway/ approach procedures to kiss ass of airlines so they can get high paying “consultant” jobs in retirement. This has been happening for way too long.
Name Withheld, November 11, 2012