NASA Safety Data Coverup Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

By Robert Mark on October 26th, 2007

The only thing I find surprising about the revelation that NASA has been sitting on a mountain of aviation safety data is that anyone is even remotely surprised about the way that agency operates.

OK, maybe the fact that NASA sat on the data – 24,000 interviews – for years because they didn’t want to scare us caught me napping a bit, but just a bit since I thought keeping people cowering in fear was considered a White House strategy these days.

In a NY Times editorial, NASA’s administrator, Michael Griffin said, “NASA should focus on how we can provide information to the public — not on how we can withhold it.” The newspaper agreed.

I feel a whole bunch better now. In fact, I’ll bet Griffin is shaking in his boots, maybe even losing a minute or two of sleep over what the White House might do if they cared as much about people here in the U.S. as they do about promoting their agenda overseas.

Twenty-four thousands individual data sets is no small amount of data and NASA, quite honestly, should be embarrassed. And FAA should be embarrassed because they knew nothing about this as well … if that is indeed the case.

Imagine 24,000 people who regularly use the system telling the experts what worked and what didn’t. Imagine what that might mean for the future of our aviation system and its users. How might that information add to the NexGen system the feds are trying to build.

Sounds to me like Bobby Sturgell at FAA has his work cut out for him. He’s gotten nice and cozy in Marion’s old office. Time to roll up those sleeves and get to work and tell us more about that NASA data.

“Hey Griffin? Bobby here. What in the sam hill are you people at NASA using for brains over there? You’re scaring the heck out of me.”

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