Well this article sure isn’t one you want to read on an airplane.
There’s a new book out by author (and former airline-insider) William J. Mcgee called “Attention All Passengers” that calls into question the practices of our modern airline companies, and the sometimes scary job they’re doing as part of their day-to-day business. Yes, overbooked flights and stuff stolen out of your luggage is a hassle. But he hammers on the outsourcing that airlines are doing – something that I’ve been harping on for years – and adds stuff that I had no idea about.
From the interview over on NPR (and the two scariest paragraphs of the whole article):
Aircraft maintenance and repairs are also frequently outsourced — in some cases to unlicensed mechanics in China, Singapore, Mexico and El Salvador.
“In my view, it’s a critical safety issue — the FAA’s lack of oversight of maintenance [in these countries],” he says. “It used to be, if an airline had a major maintenance facility, the FAA had an office, and an inspector could pop by anytime. Now, with work being done [overseas], I’ve had dozens of inspectors express their frustration that they can’t do their jobs. They’re monitoring this work on an honor system.”
All I can say is, “Holy crap!” That, and pray a little every time I get on a plane.
FYI, the book is available as an eBook on iTunes; I just picked it up.