Thursday, May 16, 2019


You might have seen this headline at The Washington Post:
After two faulty Boeing jets crash, the Trump administration blames foreign pilots
If you never went on to read the piece itself -- it's a column by Dana Milbank -- I want to inform you that the headline is deceiving.

Milbank doesn't say that the Trump administration blamed foreign pilots for two fatal crashes. He says that the Trump administration and Republican congressmen blamed foreign pilots for those crashes.

In other words, the racist rot in the GOP extends far beyond the Executive Branch.

Milbank reports on the congressional hearing:
“I’m trying to be respectful because they’re deceased,” Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) said of the doomed crews. But, “do we not have concerns not only with the training of pilots in other nations, but the reliability of their logs?”

The acting FAA administrator, Daniel Elwell, shared this skepticism and said he “absolutely” wants to “take a hard look at the training standards globally.”

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) voiced concern about “the maintenance programs, the pilot experience requirements, the pilot training programs of the air carriers involved.”

And Rep. Sam Graves (Mo.), ranking Republican on the House transportation committee and a pilot (as he repeatedly mentioned), criticized the deceased: They “never pulled the throttles back,” they “were simply going too fast,” they followed “no operating procedure that I have heard of.”

“You have to know how to fly the plane!” Graves said, faulting “pilot error” and “a lot of misidentification” by the crew.

Elwell concurred that the problem should have been “immediately recognizable” to the pilots, but there was “apparent lack of recognition.” He blamed the Indonesians for failing to disable the system and said the Ethiopian crew “didn’t adhere to the emergency [advisory] we put out” and “never controlled their air speed.”

Such basic knowledge is “taught at the earliest stages,” Elwell lectured. “You don’t pull out a checklist.... It is memorized, and you’re tested on it all of the time.”

Sam Graves rejoined the denunciation. “I hate to disparage another country and what their pilot training is, but that is what scares me in all of this: climbing on an aircraft or airline that is outside U.S. jurisdiction,” he said. “It just bothers me that we continue to tear down our system based on what has happened in another country.”
Here's the reality:
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that senior FAA officials failed to review key safety assessments of the MCAS system and that Boeing failed to label the stall-prevention system as a critical component whose malfunction could be catastrophic. MCAS wasn’t even originally mentioned in the plane’s manual. In addition, Boeing had disabled a safety feature designed to warn pilots about malfunctioning sensors related to the system — but it allegedly didn’t inform airlines. Boeing didn’t inform the FAA until 13 months after it discovered it had offered the safety feature as an add-on option instead of standard.
Pay no attention to all that bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo! It's much easier to blame melanin.

What a bonanza for Republicans -- the opportunity to let their racist flag fly and cover up bad behavior by a giant corporation. If these folks could simultaneously bash gays and deny women abortions, this would embody the entire governing philosophy of the GOP.

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