Allegiant 60 Minutes Investigation

Autothrust Blue

Ultra-low-cost member
For those in the dark, heres what I posted before about it...

Delta Air Lines got their ops audited by an FAA Special Inspection in the late 1980s (1987), with numerous accidents and incidents occurring in a short timeframe...within about 3 years.

Delta was re-inspected in 1988, and had instituted major changes in the below noted deficiencies by 1989.

- The Delta L-1011 that got about 60 miles off course on the North Atlantic Track, passing just underneath a CAL 747.
- Delta 767 departing LAX where Capt shuts down both engines, luckily restarting them prior to ditching into the Pacific. And then......continuing the flight to CVG.
- Delta jet wrong-airport landing, like has happened to other airlines, mistaking Frankfort Ky for Lexington.
- Delta jet landing on wrong parallel at CVG.
- Delta 191 landing accident DFW
- Delta 1141 takeoff accident DFW (post audit)


In part, the FAA's 1987 special inspection of Delta, which came about due to these incidents occurring in such a short timeframe, found items (at the time) such as "observed instances of a breakdown of communications, a lack of crew coordination, and lapses of discipline in Delta's cockpits." as well as a "...lack of organization, coordination, standardization and discipline in the cockpit that can be attributed to minimal guidance in the flight manuals and a lack of direction from those who develop, supervise and manage flight training and standardization programs"

Also noted by the inspection team were inadequate manuals and procedures, with a recommendation made that "Delta Air Lines study, develop, and publish specific crew duties for each crewmember. These functions should be placed in applicable manuals, and checking phases."

With regards to training, checking and standardization, it was observed that "on numerous occasions on which check airman conducted excessive training during check rides...." and that "Additionally, the 1987 special inspection team report noted that Delta's check airmen were not upholding a high level of standards on proficiency checks," and that "the team observed that orals are in general very brief, questions shallow, and the standard of knowledge low." The FAA Inspection team found documented cases of check airman failing to record unsatisfactory performances by Delta pilots. To the FAA, this constituted a violation of 14 CFR 121.401(c).

It was recommended that better documentation of unsatisfactory performance be maintained, and that "Delta's management needs to give serious consideration to the implications of tolerating minimum standards in training and on proficiency checks."

So basically, no one airline or operation is immune to problems or rough patches in their time. The best airline today, could've had a very rocky time before, and vice versa. Sometimes, the gyros need to be recaged at an organization.
Definitely not the sort of thing that you want to have snooping around your organization; you'd think (or hope?) that such a level of scrutiny alone would be incentive to keep your house in order, but no. "Regulate yourself, or you shall be regulated upon." I'd certainly not want anyone snooping around my business that way, and it would be worth it to do a "good" job to keep such nonsense at bay.

Or, put another way: If the regulator has to step in and stuff things in a sensitive place, your organization has failed. And it's probably worthwhile to put a bunch of people on the block, send them back to the line, and put new brains and new faces in the various shot-calling seats. Complacency isn't just for line pilots and practitioners - it is also a management phenomenon.

Delta was basically instructed by the FAA to crap-can all their standardization and training, and essentially replace their program with that from Western Airlines.
So you're sayin'...it is the OOOOOONLY way to fly?



I still remember David Letterman saying the flight engineers job was to “operate the blender”.
When Dad was a 727 FE at Western, based in MSP, they actually did buy an industrial, restaurant grade blender for the crashpad in Eagan following the failure of their household one (daiquiris are serious business apparently). So, in a manner of speaking, yes.
 
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