Originally Posted by clifp
You know safety is a relative term. Airline travel is ridiculously safe and getting safer. It is at least 20 times safer to take 500 mile flight by air than drive. I'd wager that the FAA action probably killed a person or two, who switched from flying to driving and had an accident, especially because the people who rented cars were probably tired and pissed off.
Why do you think we have safe air travel? The only reason those flights were delayed is because the airline delayed the maintenance and let all of the planes' inspection schedules backup.
The delay is the airlines fault... they should have stuck with the inspection schedules. They could have likely done a few planes at a time stretched over time.
It would be irritating to be delayed on a flight... but not near as irritating as having an unsafe fleet.
Here is a situation:
You get to be the FAA and a Passenger and you get to decide. Let's change the way it played out a little:
The FAA indicates that these airplanes need inspection and the airlines are not adhering to the inspection program (i.e., safety... in a proactive way). The inspections are way over due. They elaborate a little and say that the fuselage inspection is very important because very small crack can develop in the fuselage due to the extreme stresses in flight. A failure could cause a serious problem.
You have two choices as the FAA:
1) Order the inspection of the overdue aircraft immediately
2) Tell the airline to get to it as soon as they can.
Suppose the FAA chose number 2
[First off there would be a large public outcry that the FAA was not doing their job.]
Now lets say you are a passenger and you find that you have paid the price for the ticket and expect the airline to be safe... lets face it you are paying for the safe flight. But have 2 choices:
1) Fly on a plane that has not been inspected
2) Wait for the plane that has been inspected (which could be months until the airline gets around to it).
Personally, I would rather have the aircraft inspected. But then again, I worked in aviation in the military and have seen aircraft crash from stress fractures. attended the memorial ceremonies of buddies that were killed. Knew a few that luckily survived.
It is a serious business and much can go wrong. Are you ready to fly on aircraft that are overdue on safety inspections?