Sequence of Discovery of Corruption Behind the
World's Worst Series of Airline Disasters
This page is based upon what former federal airline safety inspector Rodney Stich discovered after he was given the assignment to correct the conditions responsible for the worst series of airline disasters in the nation's history.
Heading the list of the most airline disasters during a 20-year period was United Airlines. Although other airlines had crashes, most of those were due to failure to recognize certain safety problems. But the problems at United Airlines were found to be the most corrupt that Stich had ever encountered.
The corruption of key people at United Airlines was covered up, aided and abetted, and maybe encouraged, by key management people in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Massive misconduct by a few key people at United Airlines included fraud, denial of legally-required and industry accepted training and competency check requires, criminal falsification of important safety records. Years of repeated deadly crashes resulted from these matters and those enablers. These charges were documented into numerous official records that have been withheld from the American public. All of the enablers to the deadly crashes have escaped punishment, most have been rewarded, and profited from their corrupt activities.
Possibly the breeder of the corruption was the corruption within the government's aviation safety offices. (Not much different than the corruption that enabled today's housing and financial frauds.)
Only a few of far more airline crashes are listed here, but enough to show the pattern.
United Airlines Crash Near Oakland, California
United Airlines crash during approach to Oakland, California.
World's Worst Airline crash at that time:
United Airlines DC-8 into New York City (Brooklyn)
Being kept from the public and out of official government documents available to the public were documents showing that key people at United Airlines were falsifying government required reports (a criminal act) to cover up for the practice of denying industry-accepted and government-required training of the cockpit crew members. It was poor piloting conduct arising from that practice that was responsible for the New York City disaster and numerous others before and after that event. (See Unfriendly Skies: 20th and 21st Centuries.)
All of the guilty parties continued to receive extra attractive pay and status perks, and only the very few inspectors who attempted to halt the practice suffered−except of course for the many hundreds who perished from their conduct and the thousands of loved ones.
Ties and Enablers Between Major Aviation Disasters
Obvious to those few who know the facts and understand the relationship, the same misconduct of certain people at United Airlines and within the FAA helped to continue the culture that for the next half century enabled to occur many other air disasters. Ironically, the conditions that enabled the two United Airlines jets to were hijacked on September 11, 2001, were conditions that existed due to a combination of misconduct by United Airlines personnel and FAA personnel that Stich sought to correct. Enablers to a series of air disasters totally unrecognized by the American people.
United Airlines DC-8 Crash at Denver
This fatal crash followed within six months the New York City disaster.
People being cremated alive inside the aircraft.
As a result of that crash, in which many people were cremated alive despite the fact that they all survived the initial crash landing, the FAA−at the urging of the National Transportation Safety Board−issued the strongest-worded safety requirement ever issued. The mandatory directive required that the airline provided, at yearly intervals, emergency evacuation training for all of its crew members. The directive clearly equated the failure to comply with the deaths of airline passengers. One could assume that United Airlines would comply with that directive more than any other airline. Think again!
United Airlines Crash at Salt Lake City
United Airlines crash at Salt Lake City, the most highly documented crash and deaths with massive documented corruption (See Unfriendly Skies: 20th & 21st Centuries.) That crash occurred while Stich was acting similar to an independent prosecutor, conduct weeks of criminal-court-like adversary proceedings providing testimony and evidence of a history of corruption within the government's aviation safety offices and by key people at United Airlines.
The government's accident investigating group, the National Transportation Safety Board. headed by a politically selected board members, correctly identified the direct cause of the crash and the cremation of many of the passengers:
The captain's high-sink-rate approach that resulted in the aircraft striking the ground hard and ripping off the landing gears.
The flight engineer's failure to shut off the fuel booster pumps and fuel shut-off values, that enabled ruptured fuel lines to pump large quantities of fuel into the area surrounding the aircraft, which then ignited.
The poor performance of the crew in evacuating the passengers.
Standard Falsification of Official Accident
Report by NTSB Political Board Members
As in prior airline disasters involving United Airlines and the corruption by certain key United Airlines personnel and key FAA management, NTSB board members falsified the report by omitting the reasons why the direct causes for the crash and deaths existed. Stich had notified NTSB board members several times, while he was an FAA inspector, of the corruption, safety problems, and criminal acts at United Airlines, ,and the aiding and abetting−or encouraging of these deadly problems:
Stich had conducted an enroute flight check of the captain, Kehmeier, observed the dangerous high-sink-rate approach, and reported in writing that he needed additional training to correct that practice.
Stich had repeatedly reported in writing, one report being a single-space five-page letter, detailing the serious problems with United Airlines' training and competency check and that many of the flight engineers were not qualified under industry standards or FAA written requirements.
Stich had made two written reports showing that key United Airlines personnel were denying the yearly-required emergency evacuation training and then falsifying the records, as they had done with pilot training. Ground school instructors admitted this problem to Stich and stated they had to do what they were instructed to do.
In addition, the NTSB board members knew that:
FAA management had suspended Stich from safety functions for three weeks after ALPA members and United Airlines management had complained about Stich's reporting of the dangerous high-sink-rate approach of a powerful union member: Bart Stephenson of Seattle.
FAA management had charged Stich with having a personality conflict based upon the five-page report on the dangerous and sham flight engineer training and competency check program−despite the fact that the report stated numerous United Airlines captain agreed with Stich's official report.
As for Stich's reports that key personnel at United Airlines were falsifying records to cover up for the refusal to provide the yearly required emergency evacuation training, FAA personnel removed the reports from the files and refused to require the airline to comply with the law. The falsification of important safety reports required by the government were criminal offenses, and when people die as a result of violations of federal law, these are capital offenses. Yet, the guilty at United Airlines and within the FAA were protected, praised, and received outst5anding awards and pay increases.
Hearing Charging FAA Management with
Corrupt Acts Responsible for Crashes and Deaths
Starting prior to the Salt Lake City crash, Stich, concerned about the arrogance and corruption and the contempt for the resulting lives being lost, exercised federal law in such a manner that he acted as an independent prosecutor. During several weeks of court-like adversary proceedings, with FAA lawyers opposing Stich's attempts to prove the relationship between the documented corruption and deaths, three more fatal airline disasters occurred. Each one was caused by the very same problems and criminal violations that Stich had repeatedly reported and which resulted in a constant retaliation from FAA management.
Stich subpoenaed management to testify, he produced previously hidden government documents that had covered up the relationship between corrupt and criminal acts at United Airlines (and aided and abetted by FAA management) and several specific airline disasters, primarily the New York City and Denver crashes.
FAA's lawyers, rather than seeking to have the truth revealed, acted as lawyers for the FAA management personnel whose corrupt acts enabled to occur several of the recent deadly crashes, acted in an adversarial way by providing ludicrous excuses and ludicrous excuses.
The hearing officer acting as judge and jury, William Jennings, was a lawyer on the staff of the FAA administrator, and his retention as an employee was based upon pleasing his boss.
Expecting a cover-up by the hearing officer, Stich included in his final closing brief statement a warning about the results of a cover-up: continuation of the culture, the crashes, and the deaths.
Before the hearing officer made his written decision, another of the crashes resulting from the serious problems occurred: that was the United Airlines Boeing crash at Salt Lake City in which 42 people were cremated alive.
Hearing office Jennings then filed a final report, misstating the evidence shown in many of the official documents, stated everything was fine within the FAA (and at United Airlines), and praised the very people whose misconduct enabled to occur hundreds of recent deaths. Those people were the given outstanding performance reports and pay increases.
Final Report to the FAA Administrator
With the recent crash and loss of life in the Salt Lake City disaster and the most highly documented example of how misconduct resulted in a crash and deaths, Stich made a final attempt to focus attention on the problems. Encouraged by a friend who was head of thee FAA's Sky Marshall program, Stich prepared a highly detailed and documented report that was forwarded to the FAA administrator. It is shown here in three parts:
It is also available in a single document: (MS Word) (Adobe PDF)
Unable to get any response from Department of Justice personnel to the criminal activities that were documented, unable to get any response other than sympathy from members of Congress, it appeared to Stich that the people in control of key government offices were more than willing to allow the corruption, the crashes, and the deaths, to continue.
When he saw no changes within the FAA and conditions continuing as before, with the enablers being rewarded, Stich sent a memorandum to the FAA administrator requesting information on what actions were taken or planned to be taken in light of the gravity of the issues. The reply was that Stich was not entitled to know that information.
Refusing to work under such corrupt conditions with such deadly consequences, Stich left government service.
FAA Corruption Related to DC-10 Disaster
Preventable airline disasters did continue to occur due to the deep seated culture within the FAA, Among them were:
The major crashes and near-crashes of DC-10 aircraft, which were classic examples of outrageous misconduct by FAA personnel. As described in Unfriendly Skies: 20th & 21st Centuries, the FAA approval of incredibly dangerous aircraft systems caused a memo to be written by aircraft designers at Douglas stating that in the life of every DC-10, it would suffer a major crash with heavy loss of life. The recipient of that warning stated that if the information was now revealed, the liability would fall on the Douglas corporation. Nothing was done, everyone covered up, and eventually the many near disasters resulted in one of the world's worst disasters near Paris.
Among others given here as examples were:
The nearly vertical plunge of an Alaskan Airlines DC-9 off the coast of Southern California with the obvious loss of everyone on board. The cause of that was a worn-out horizontal stabilizer jackscrew.
The principal inspector for that airline, Mary Diefenderfer , had repeatedly reported that the airline was serious remiss on its maintenance. Rather than respond as required by law, the same culture that Stich and other federal airline safety inspectors discovered, repeated itself. She suffered repeated retaliation, forcing her to resign.
Declaration given to the National Transportation Safety Board in 2000 by Mary Diefenderfer, former FAA principal inspector for Alaskan Airlines. (MS Word) (Adobe PDF)
April 17, 2008, report by Mary Diefenderfer after the fatal crash of the Alaskan Airlines DC-9. (MS Word) (Adobe PDF)
E-mail to Stich from Mary Diefenderfer. (MS Word) (Adobe PDF)
An August 8, 2000, statement made by the former FAA principal operations inspectors: (Adobe PDF)
Her report to the NTSB resulted in the same cover-ups that I encountered during the repeated series of major airline disasters, while I acted as one of the most highly experienced pilots in the FAA. Mary Diefenderfer also testified to members of Congress, with the same indifference that I had encountered while airline disasters were occurring in my area of federal safety responsibilities throughout my contacts.
Sampling of Other Disasters Arising from FAA Misconduct
The crash of a DC-9 into the Everglades due to a fire in the cargo compartment. FAA management had eliminated the need for a fire detection system and fight fighting system, making possible the deaths of over a hundred people.
There were many others, some described in Unfriendly Skies: 20th and 21st Centuries.
Other Early Enablers
As Stich, motivated by the continued heavy loss of life, contacted with information and evidence other people and groups that had a moral and legal responsibility, his efforts encountered cover-ups, which are shown by hundreds of letters. Because of the criminal violations being reported, anyone who knows of a crime and does not either report them to proper authorities, or anyone who covers up for them, becomes guilty of obstruction of justice under such federal statutes as Title 18 U.S.C. § 4. And when death occurs from either the corruption or the cover-ups, the penalty for the crime becomes far worse.
Cover-Up Pattern by the Political NTSB Board Members
From the very beginning, as Stich encountered the obstacles by FAA management that was protecting United Airlines from the consequences of their corrupt and criminal activities, Stich repeatedly made reports to the political board members of the NTSB. The members contacted by Stich admitted that they already knew of the problems at United Airlines and within the FAA, but then refused to act. This was similar to the widespread refusal of people in government responsible for acting on the corruption in the housing and financial sectors: a culture of cover-ups!
As described in the book, Unfriendly Skies: 20th & 21st Centuries, NTSB board members than became accomplices or enablers in the fatal crashes that follo3wed, which could have been prevented if the NTSB board members had exercised their mandatory responsibilities to investigate my serious charges.
By recognizing the culture in the NTSB, it becomes easy to understand why the NTSB covered up for the evidence of terrorist activities in the downing of TWA Flight 800 and the downing of American Airlines Flight 587 shortly after the four hijackings of September 11, 2001.
Catastrophic Ripple Effects Recognized by Virtually No One
Although preventable airline disasters continued to occur, what was not recognized by the people was that the problems within the government's aviation safety offices would cause the conditions to exist that enabled four groups of terrorists to easily hijack four airliners on September 11, 2001, kill nearly 3,000 people, and set in motion numerous reactions that would result in over a million deaths, the greatest growth in people wanting to kill Americans, and a debt that would overburden the American people for decades to come.
Continuing Deadly Consequences Motivated Stich to Fight On
As expected, the crashes continued to occur from known safety problems and the deaths became much greater in numbers because of the increasing size of the aircraft. Stich then started using another remedy that exist in law.
Reduction in Airline Disasters
The rapid frequency of airline disasters that existed for many years, including while Stich was fighting the corruption related to them, the frequency of crashes eventually greatly lessoned. This reduced frequency of crashes had nothing to do with the corruption in a certain segment of the Federal Aviation Administration that was highly susceptible to politics. The reduction in the number of crashes, which started around 1990, was due to such factors as (a) almost continual radar monitoring of aircraft to avoid the pilot-caused ramming into obstacles; (b) the increased reliability of aircraft, their engines, and components, to where the crews were not confront with the need to react in a professional manner.
Further, the highly corrupt culture at United Airlines was not present at most other major airlines. Their problems were more of an innocent failure to recognize the need for improved safety procedures. Since United Airlines for many years had more fatal crashes than all the other airlines combined, once changes were made at that airline, the frequency of crashes greatly decreased.
Continued Efforts Enlarged the Accomplices and Enablers
In the early 1980s, Stich put into motion efforts that would enlarge the area of corruption, the accomplices, and those people and groups that would become enablers in some of the greatest tragedies in American history.
Discovery of deep-seated corruption related to the worst series of airline disasters in the nation's history. Not recognized at that time was that the corruption, cover-ups, and related tragedies were not limited to airline disasters, but was a continuing worsening culture problem in the United States, which would cause or enable to occur many other areas of tragedies.
Herculean efforts taken to circumvent the corruption.
Misuse of the powers of the Department of Justice, federal judiciary, and the legal fraternity, in multiple schemes seeking to halt the exposure of the corruption.
Banding together of a group of former federal agents seeking tot inform the public of the corrupt activities of people in various key government positions.
Discovery of still further corruption and endless series of tragedies inflicted upon millions of people, now involving so many people in key positions that no one wants to allow the information to reach the public and the tragic consequences understood.
This part of the Defrauding America site provides graphic pictures of the consequences from the endemic corruption, the endemic cover-ups, and the many who shilled for the corrupt personnel and groups. Because graphic pictures of the personal and financial harm is not easily portrayed, the pictures are primary of the corruption, cover-ups, and other enablers affecting airline travel.
Airline crashes are associated with horrible pain prior to the crash, immediately after the crash for those still living, and for the survivors and their loved ones. While the term "killed" is somewhat antiseptic, the real story is that many are cremated alive, or dismembered alive, suffering horribly before the end comes.
Many of the pictures are presented here in the sequence of how this writer and activist discovered them. Many of the crashes occurred in his immediate area of federal airline safety responsibilities, while he was repeatedly reporting the safety problems, the corruption, and even criminal acts.
The primary book that details and documents the corruption related to airline disasters is Unfriendly Skies: 20th & 21st Centuries, which is the fourth edition of the book that was first published in 1978.
Since that time, former federal agent Rodney Stich has appeared on over 3,000 radio and television shows as guest and expert, making known to the American people and authorities the nature of the corruption, the continuing deaths resulting from it.
First, the background of Rodney Stich:
Navy Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) during World War II.
International airline captain for many years when flying overseas was a primitive and sometimes hazardous profession. www.transoceanairlines.com.
General aviation pilot for many decades, owning and flying over seven different aircraft.
FAA air carrier operations inspector, responsible for discovering safety problems, making safety recommendations. Stich was asked to take over a program that was responsible for the worst series of airline disasters in the nation's history.
Return to www.defraudingamerica.com
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