FAA Hearing - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

4/5/08 - Lufkin

FAA Hearing

by Christa Lollis

Just months after retiring, airline investigator Phil Thrash was back at work. In March he was subpoenaed to testify on capital hill. It's part of an ongoing investigation into issues between the FAA and airlines. "My particular call was regarding a fatal aircraft accident which at El Paso in January of 2006 where a ground mechanic was killed," Phil Thrash said.

It's an accident that thrash began an investigation on and Thursday he told the Committee on Transportation And Infrastructure exactly what happened after the accident. "I had been directed by my office manager to conduct an interview with the pilots and conduct an inspection and investigation," Thrash explained. Those interviews never happened because he was called out of town on business but when he got back the investigation was over. It's just one of the many issues that was brought up during the hearing this week. Other investigators spoke of issues about planes that shouldn't have been in the air but were. Now, thanks to Thrash and others who came forward, those overlooked issues are being investigated. He says, "They're going to look into them because there are some serious matters that need to be looked into in the upper level management areas within the FAA." But in the meantime, he says the flying public should know it's still safe to fly. "The sky is not falling by any stretch of the imagination."

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