In this episode of The Maintenance Control podcast, Joy Finnegan, editor-in-chief of Aviation Maintenance Magazine, and safety expert Jeff Guzzetti discuss the latest DOT Office of the Inspector General report released on February 11, 2020.
Jeff Guzzetti retired from an amazing career of public service at the NTSB, the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Transportation and finally with the FAA. During his 18-years at the NTSB, he served as a field investigator, a “go-team” airworthiness engineer and finally, as deputy director. At the Department of Transportation, he was the Assistant Inspector General for Aviation and testified before Congress several times regarding safety audits conducted by that office. In 2014 he became director of the FAA’s Accident Investigation Division in Washington, DC where he remained until his retirement from Federal service.
The OIG report is the result of the research done in response to a hotline complaint from early 2018 regarding the FAA’s oversight of Southwest Airlines and operational concerns at the airline. It’s notable that this initial complaint came prior to the Southwest Flight 1380 uncontained engine failure in April of 2018 in which there was one fatality.
The report focuses on several concerns including concerns and gaps regarding FAA’s safety oversight of Southwest Airlines, the fact that SW continues to fly aircraft with unresolved safety concerns, pervasive inaccuracies in the airline’s weight and balance data and the lack of evaluation of the airline’s SMS program.