Gulfstream Airlines Uses Car Parts

the_dmn8tr

New Member
Ex-Gulfstream Airlines Employees Speak Out On Maintenance, Safety Concerns
Company Overlooked Inspections, Mechanic Says


POSTED: 10:25 am EDT September 24, 2008
UPDATED: 11:32 am EDT September 24, 2008


<SCRIPT src="/js/13260191/script.js" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT><LINK href="/css/13260803/style.css" type=text/css rel=stylesheet><!--startindex-->MIAMI --


<SCRIPT type=text/javascript>IBSYS.nbcvideo.appendVideo(17547093,694846,220,240,22024);</SCRIPT>"I think there's a culture there throughout the airline that we can get around the regulations," Dan Brisco, a former lead mechanic with major maintenance concerns said.

Former pilot Kenny Edwards alleged that flight time records were altered to conform to FAA guidelines.

“I can only speak for myself, Edwards said. “I felt it was unsafe to do so. I felt it was illegal to do so.”

Both men said they were fired by South Florida based Gulfstream Airlines for voicing safety concerns.

Each day 2, 500 passengers fly Gulfstream, which operates mostly as Continental Connection flights to 10 destinations in Florida and 10 in the Bahamas.

“The airplanes flew in essence not within the regulations set by the FAA?” NBC 6’s Willard Shepard asked.

“Not even close to it,” Brisco said.

Brisco, a Gulfstream mechanic in 2006 and 2007, said the company often disregarded sound maintenance procedures.

The aircraft would come in for scheduled inspections and the paper would be completed but the inspections would never be done,” Brisco said. “Or discrepancies that the pilots would document would be signed off and they would never be looked at.”

Last May, the nose gear failed on this Continental Connection/Gulfstream flight landing in Tampa. Brisco claims pilot complaints about other landing gear problems were at times not properly addressed by mechanics.

“I started complaining to the supervisor and then eventually to the vice president of maintenance that basically their records were being falsified,” Brisco said. “People were signing off work they weren't doing.”

The airline said it has a good safety record. Gulfstream Airlines president Dave Hackett said Brisco was not fired, but quit. He said: " He was having issues with other employees who were concerned with his very aggressive behavior and use of inappropriate language."

He was cited for refusing to display his security badge or sign a disciplinary agreement, according to the airlines.

But Brisco said those charges were fabricated.

After an inspection earlier this year the FAA discovered "automotive air conditioning compressors were installed in 27 beech aircraft operated by Gulfstream."

The parts were placed in an airplane air conditioning unit used to cool the airplane when it’s on the ground.

The FAA said the part is "virtually identical to FAA approved part,” however those "undergo a rigorous FAA quality control process to ensure they are safe for use in aircraft."

The FAA said it created "a low safety risk." Gulfstream replaced the units.

The airline turned down an on-camera interview but its president told us "there is no difference in the compressors," saying no passengers were ever in danger and "the airline places the highest priority on operating safely."

Safety was the issue when Edwards filed a whistle blower report with the FAA, launching an investigation which initially cleared Gulfstream -- but it has been re-opened.

"I called the dispatch supervisor and said I'm not comfortable taking this particular airplane," Edwards said.

Last December Edwards refused to fly a plane when its collision avoidance system stopped working.

“And I said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable in these conditions flying this plane,” and he said, ‘Are you refusing direct orders from your director of operations?’ and I said, ‘Well if you're going to put it that way then yes I am but I don't think it's safe.’”

It's not mandatory for the anti-collision system to be working, but Edwards said poor weather and a close pass to another aircraft on the previous flight leg caused him to refuse.

Edwards said that's a captain's decision his boss didn't honor.

“He said you need to get in the cockpit and you need to fly the airplane now,” Edwards said.

Gulfstream's president told NBC 6 that his reasons for refusing to fly were "nonsense."

“I got a letter of termination the next day," Edwards said.

Edwards also told the FAA that pilots were flying more hours than Federal regulations allow and that one week Gulfstream altered his flight numbers to keep them technically "legal".

"In each particular airplane that we flew we would write the actual flight time in and they didn't match what the company had,” Edwards said.

Edwards said documents prove it. On one flight he wrote in the plane's log that it pushed back from the gate at 7:30.

However the company's computer records show a start time of 7:55, a difference of 25 minutes. Gulfstream said that was for a maintenance delay and the plane returned to the gate.

But Edwards said it didn’t

NBC-6 spoke with one current and another former Gulfstream pilot and two former administrative employees who did not want to be identified. All say actual flight times were routinely "shaved" -- changed in the records so crews could remain legal.

"They were doctoring the time of the legs that had already been flown," an administrative employee said.

Three of the former employees told NBC 6 safety concerns led them to resign.

The airline said it found one isolated situation last year where "a crew scheduler made a mistake,” and that both the FAA and OSHA found no violations saying, "our policies, procedures and actions are all in full compliance."

Flying over allowed hours sometimes occurs with regional airlines according to one local aviation analyst.

"There are people who are going to get over on the times,” aviation analyst Tom Monoghan said. “But I don't think any of those reach or rise to the level where safety is a concern."

The Department of Labor found Gulfstream was justified in terminating Edwards.

Edwards said he plans to sue.

Continental had no comment.
http://www.nbc6.net/headlinesonly/17546221/detail.html

Interesting article. Not to defend the place, but I am sure there is another side to this guy's story. <!--stopindex-->
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Sadly, none of this surprises me. And no, I don't think there's another side to the story. Based on my personal experiences there, this all makes perfect sense.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
using substitute parts - doesnt bother me
going over times a bit - bothers me somewhat
a company culture of disregarding regulations - i hope the slimeballs get the book thrown at them
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
In no uncertain terms:

STFD.

Hey, ExpressJet- here's some more flying you guys more than deserve. Time for Continental to look for a new business partner!
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
using substitute parts - doesnt bother me


If I were you, I would be more than "bothered" about using unapproved parts.

Would you be concerned if your mechanic did that to your airplane????


i guess its kinda a dual-feeling for me. yeah i want high quality parts in my plane. yes i understand the FAA approves certain parts as being ok for use in aircraft. but i also understand sometimes these are the EXACT same parts off the EXACT same manufacturing line as the 'automotive' part.

in other areas of my life im a big fan of using 'generic' stuff... car parts, food, prescription medication, etc. i think 'name brand' stuff tends to just line pockets more than it does assure me of any additional quality (in most/many cases).

but yeah, if my mechanic came to me and said hey, theres this part, and this part, they both came off the same assembly line, but one costs twice as much, i would really be inclined to take the cheaper part. *shrug*
 

Clocks

Well-Known Member
In no uncertain terms:

STFD.

Hey, ExpressJet- here's some more flying you guys more than deserve. Time for Continental to look for a new business partner!
Continental is probably saving enough money to settle any wrongful death suits. It's only 19 people afterall :rolleyes:
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
using substitute parts - doesnt bother me
going over times a bit - bothers me somewhat
a company culture of disregarding regulations - i hope the slimeballs get the book thrown at them
I am a little concerned that the first one doesn't bother you at all....It should scare the heck out of you....

I am sure some hear can give us the link to it but there was a large jet that lost an engine some years ago because the mechanic thought it would be OK to run down the hardware store and get some bolts to hang the engine with. Of course the bolts broke on takeoff....
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Not saying that generic auto parts are ok, but just because something is stamped FAA-PMA doesn't mean it's good either. Counterfeit parts are a HUGE problem right now.
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
I think the real question here is: Did those compressors pay to ride on those airframes?
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
Irony anyone?
are you implying that i have a track record of disobeying regulations? if you dare make such a bold statement i should expect you to back it with examples. perhaps you could clarify, if thats not what you meant.

my statement with regards to corporate cultures that encourage disobeying regulations still stands. i think its a slimy thing to do if youre the one writing the paychecks and you are encouraging or threatening your workers to disobey regulations!!


I am a little concerned that the first one doesn't bother you at all....It should scare the heck out of you....

I am sure some hear can give us the link to it but there was a large jet that lost an engine some years ago because the mechanic thought it would be OK to run down the hardware store and get some bolts to hang the engine with. Of course the bolts broke on takeoff....
ok maybe its not exactly what i meant, i think i clarified my position in my follow-up where i was speaking more to my general questioning of special stamps being worth way more money. i do not condone substituting parts that are not expressly designed for the job.

i think i just initially didnt clearly express my thought. :)
 

JDE

Well-Known Member
I know what you're saying TXaviator. Both of our airplanes have a/c compressors that are the EXACT same as what you can buy down at the Napa store. Would we ever use them? No, because it's illegal. Would I be concerned from a safety standpoint with this particular issue? Probably not.

For the record - I don't believe in using unapproved parts on airplanes.
 

TXaviator

Well-Known Member
I know what you're saying TXaviator. Both of our airplanes have a/c compressors that are the EXACT same as what you can buy down at the Napa store. Would we ever use them? No, because it's illegal. Would I be concerned from a safety standpoint with this particular issue? Probably not.

For the record - I don't believe in using unapproved parts on airplanes.

well right, thats all im getting at. its kinda silly that the EXACT same part you can get at NAPA costs twice as much for a seal-of-approval. im not saying that its ok to use unapproved parts either. for the record.
 

JDE

Well-Known Member
well right, thats all im getting at. its kinda silly that the EXACT same part you can get at NAPA costs twice as much for a seal-of-approval. im not saying that its ok to use unapproved parts either. for the record.
It's freakin ridiclous, but hey, it's aviation. We needed a new PTT switch for the Excel and $450 later, we had one. There is no way in hell that thing cost that much.
 

Screaming_Emu

Joe Conventional
are you implying that i have a track record of disobeying regulations? if you dare make such a bold statement i should expect you to back it with examples. perhaps you could clarify, if thats not what you meant.
Gladly...yeah it wasn't you who broke the rule, but there's certainly an attitude condoning it.

http://forums.jetcareers.com/univer...7-landing-a-helicopter-at-red-lake-falls.html

Plenty of other stuff but the search engine is only letting me look at posts that are fairly recent. Lots of threads about "spirited" driving and the like.

Hence why I find it ironic.
 

butt

New Member
are you implying that i have a track record of disobeying regulations? if you dare make such a bold statement i should expect you to back it with examples. perhaps you could clarify, if thats not what you meant.

my statement with regards to corporate cultures that encourage disobeying regulations still stands. i think its a slimy thing to do if youre the one writing the paychecks and you are encouraging or threatening your workers to disobey regulations!!




ok maybe its not exactly what i meant, i think i clarified my position in my follow-up where i was speaking more to my general questioning of special stamps being worth way more money. i do not condone substituting parts that are not expressly designed for the job.

i think i just initially didnt clearly express my thought. :)
If it's illegal its unsafe. End of story. If you support any kind of illegal activity, you are not a professional and should have you license taken away.
 
Top