March 2011 Issue

Have FAA/Industry Safety Efforts Worked?

Not as well as everyone hoped, and GA’s record won’t improve without fundamental changes in our safety culture and training.

We in the general aviation (GA) community are fond of poking fun occasionally at the FAA. Most of the time, it’s to highlight a perceived and sometimes real tension between the community and the agency. Frequently, this takes the form of tired clichés such as, "I’m from the FAA and I’m here to help you," or another mythical phrase such as, "We’re not happy until you’re not happy." When I was FAA’s lead GA executive in the early 2000s, my favorite became, "We’ve just upped our standards, now up yours."

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