Government's Aviation Department Responsible For
Investigating Safety Issues and Aviation Mishaps

The government's bureau for investigating aviation mishaps and safety problems rested originally with the Civil Aeronautics Board Bureau of Aviation Safety. In 1967, Congress eliminated the CAB and moved the personnel into the  newly formed National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The reason for the sudden changed was never revealed to the public. This site explains what happened, and also the dark side to the actions of the political NTSB Board members.

Procedures When Aviation Accident Occurs

When an airline accident occurs, it is the responsibility of the NTSB to investigate. (The only time when the NTSB is not the primary investigative agency is when the crash is obviously the result of a criminal act.) The investigative team is composed of the following groups:

HUMAN PERFORMANCE: Responsible for the study of crew performance and all before-the-accident factors that might be involved in human error, including fatigue, medication, alcohol. Drugs, medical histories, training, workload, equipment design and work environment.

OPERATIONS: Responsible for determining the history of the accident flight and crewmembers' duties for as many days prior to the crash as appears relevant.

STRUCTURES:  Responsible for documenting the airframe wreckage and the accident scene, including calculation of impact angles to help determine the plane's pre-impact course and attitude.

POWERPLANTS:  Responsible for examining the engines (and propellers) and engine accessories.

SYSTEMS:  Responsible for studying the components of the plane's hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic and associated systems, together with instruments and elements of the flight control system.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL:  Responsible for reconstruction the air traffic services given the plane, including acquisition of ATC radar data and transcripts of controller-pilot radio transmissions.

WEATHER:  Responsible for gathering all pertinent weather data from the National Weather Service, and sometimes from local TV stations, for a broad area around the accident scene.

SURVIVAL FACTORS:  Responsible for documenting the impact forces and injuries, evacuation, community emergency planning and all crash-fire-rescue efforts.

Several crew performance problems were obvious within a few days of the Asiana Airlines crash:

  • None of the pilots were observing the most basic pilot duty: watching and controlling the airspeed, especially during the approach for a landing when the aircraft is close to the stall, where almost certain death can be expected to occur if the aircraft is flying too slow and crashes into the ground or water. There can be virtually no excuse for the long period of dangerous slow airspeed. If the pilots haven't learned this basis pilot function, they need to go back for intensive retraining.

  • The pilots conduct during the approach would have been an automatic down check if this had been a pilot proficiency check. It would not require a year delay in understanding that basic cause of the crash.

The NTSB investigators—as distinct from the politically-appointed members of the Board—have experience in their respective duties. The members of the operations group have some type of p8iloting experience, but very few have any significant airline pilot experience. The Board members are political appointees, and rarely have any meaningful, or any,  aviation background. Among themselves, NTSB investigators often remark about their professional findings to be ignored or contradicted by the Board members. That matter had frequently been stated to FAA airline safety inspector Rodney Stich. This has many times resulted in cover-up of politically sensitive enabling causes of crashes.

Continuing Series of Aviation Disasters—Starting in the 1950s

Starting in the 1950s, a major airline, United Airlines, had an unusually large number of senseless crashes. The direct causes were due to the airline's gross violations of federal safety requirements and deviation from industry standards. In 1963, after United Airlines had two highly-publicized airline disasters—a DC-8 that crashed into the Brooklyn section of New York City, the world's worst air disasters—and then a survivable DC-8 crash at Denver with a heavy loss of life, mid-level FAA management approached FAA inspector Rodney Stich, and asked him to transfer to Denver, where United Airlines training facilities were located, and correct the serious safety problems.

Stich soon discovered massive safety problems and safety violations—incomprehensible from his prior flying experiences as a Naval Aviator or with any of the airlines for which he flew in the past. His reports of serious safety violations, even the criminal falsification of government-required recordswere ignored by FAA management, despite United Airlines' many crashes. The politics within top FAA management prevented changing the massive any changes being made.

Complicity of Civil Aeronautics Board Members

Concurrent with notifying members of Congress during the unprecedented scandal in the nation's agency responsible for aviation safety, Stich notified personnel in the Civil Aeronautics Board (responsible for investigating airline safety problems and airline accidents, at that time). In his first telephone call to Donald Madole, Madole replied that he knew about the problems with United Airlines and with FAA management. He made no effort to conduct an investigation, despite knowing the deadly nature of the problem and the recent aviation disasters, and of the obvious continuation of  the practice. Stich followed with subsequent letters, and received the following sampling of cover-up responses:

Letter from Civil Aeronautics Board, August 26, 1965 to Congressman Roy McVicker, by John W. Dregge, Director, Community and Congressional Affairs. In that cover-up letter, CABs Dregge stated:

A hearing was conducted ... Some 2,500 pages of transcript and over 200 exhibits were introduced at that proceeding. On the basis of information available to us at this time, we have been unable to substantiate his allegations relating to safety hazards.

Letter from Civil Aeronautics Board, Donald Madole, August 18, 1965. Falsely claimed no safety problems in FAA. His letter stated in part:

The allegations relating to dangerous safety practices within the Federal Aviation Agency have been reviewed. ... The allegations and charges of improper safety practices in the Federal Aviation Agency do not appear to e substantiated by factual date described in the correspondence and brief. Your conclusion that FAA practices [conduct] have caused [enabled] aircraft accidents cannot be accepted without specific proof thereof.

These statements, that had life-or-death consequences if false, were made despite:

  • A long series of aviation disasters had been occurring, several on the airline for which Stich had direct aviation safety responsibilities (United Airlines).

  • Mid-level FAA management had been so concerned about the safety problems and crashes that they gave Stich the specific assignment to correct the massive safety problems at United Airlines and the FAA problems that prevented correction of these problems.

  • Stich had a vast aviation background and numerous commendations for his aviation activities, more than virtually anyone within the FAA, and far more than any of the CAB/NTSB Board members of investigators.

  • Three back-to-back fatal crashes had recently occurred, each one enabled to occur by the major safety problems, safety frauds, criminal misconduct in the areas of aviation safety existed.

  • Stich had introduced numerous official reports into an ongoing FAA administrative hearing showing massive safety misconduct within the FAA and at a politically-powerful major airline (United Airlines).

  • In an earlier telephone conversation, CAB Donald Madole had admitted knowing of serious safety problems within the FAA.

  • Most of the CAB/NTSB Board members had little or no aviation experience. The CAB/NTSB investigators have had little actual aviation experience, but some had admitted to Stich that the political Board members often change the areas of blame.

  • This was the beginning of a long series of cover-ups by members of the political CAB/NTSB Board, that enabled the safety problems and safety corruption to continue as enabling causes behind a long series of aviation disasters, including the hijackings of four airliners on September 11, 2001, and continuing to this date.

Government Safety Inspector Forcing Unprecedented
Hearing To Halt Series of Major Airline Disasters

Blocked from carrying out his important assignment, and suffering retaliation for trying to carry out his assignment, he used the law in such a manner that he forced a five-month administrative hearing upon the FAA during which he acted similar to an independent prosecutor. The proceedings which lasted several months, consisted of 4,000 pages of testimony and documents supporting the charges.

Upon the end of the proceedings, he filed a closing brief that highlighted the many safety violations related to several recent crashes. In that closing brief, he warned that a cover-up would continue the misconduct, the culture, and the crashes. Each of these safety violations and crashes occurred. Three if the crashes occurred during the proceedings, with heavy loss of life. Each of the crashes were caused by the exact safety problems and safety and criminal violations that Stich had repeatedl8y reported in writing—and for which he suffered retaliation.

The administrative hearing officer, William Jennings, an attorney on the staff of the FAA Administrator, covered up and claimed there were no problems with safety, despite three additional crashes occurring during the proceedings.

Following the cover-ups, and the continuation of aviation disasters, the head of the FAA’s Sky Marshal’s program encouraged Stich to send a report to the FAA administrator, and that he said he would  co-sign the report. This was done on August 8, 1966. A copy of cover letter to the FAA Administrator was attached to the three-part report that they sent to the FAA Administrator:

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

Notifying Members of Congress

Stich contacted members of Congress in 1964 and 1965, providing evidence of the corruption and the resulting crashes. Among the members of Congress receiving his information and corresponding with Stich were:

  • Senator Clinton P. Anderson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences.

  • Senator Mike Monroney, Chairman of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee.

  • Senator Warren Magnuson, Chairman of Senate Committee on Commerce.

  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy, former U.S. Attorney General, shortly before Kennedy was assassinated.

  • Representative Henry Gonzalez, of Texas,

  • Representative Roy McVicker of Colorado,

The continuing series of aviation crashes and the massive evidence of wrongdoing presented to them required some type of action.

Congress Abolished CAB Bureau of Aviation Safety—
And the Toxic Federal Aviation Agency

Major changes did occur two years later, and the public never told of the reason for the changes. Stich's letters to members of Congress, the evidence placed into the unprecedented proceedings conducted by that FAA inspector, and the history of crashes and deaths, were obvious factors requiring members of Congress to act:

  •  On October 15, 1966, Congress created the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Federal Aviation Agency was renamed the Federal Aviation Administration and put under the oversight of the DOT.

  • The Civil Aeronautics Board Bureau of Aviation Safety was removed and made into the National Transportation Safety Board in 1967, making it part of the Department of Transportation. Another change was made in 1974, when Congress established the NTSB as a completely separate entity.

Unfortunately, the same management and culture from the former organizations were put into the replacement government departments.

As detailed in the books written by Rodney Stich, the same corruption, the same cover-ups, and the same resulting aviation disasters and deaths, continued.

The crashes resulting from the covered up safety problems continued to occur for many years. The frequency of crashes was greatly reduced after aircraft became easier to fly, aircraft systems became far more reliable, warning systems on the aircraft compensated for crew failures, and ground-based radar followed aircraft from takeoff to landings, thereby reducing pilot errors that resulted in crashing into the ground. However, preventable aviation disasters did occur.

NTSB Falsified Aviation Crash Reports

In addition to the prior cover-ups of the misconduct in the Federal Aviation Agency and at United Airlines, the NTSB then falsified official aviation accident reports by omitting behind-the-scene misconduct that made possible the direct causes of the air disaster. A sampling of such falsifications, as explained in History of Aviation Disasters: 1950 to 9/11.

  • United Airline Boeing 727 crash at Salt Lake City. This was probably the most highly documented case of a crash and deaths resulting from a multitude of misconduct at United Airlines, the Federal Aviation Agency, the Civil Aeronautics  Board and National Transportation Safety Board, compounded by a series of retaliatory acts against a federal airline m safety inspector that prevented the nations primary aviation agency from meeting its air safety responsibilities.

  • United Airlines DC-8 crash at Portland, Oregon.

Petition to NTSB to Receive Evidence of Primary Enabling
Cause of the World's Worst Aviation Disaster at That Time

A PSA airliner crashed into the city of San Diego in 1978, with the greatest loss of life in the history of aviation. The NTSB covered up for the behind-the-scene enabling cause of that great air disasters. Daily media coverage continued for several weeks. Stich's first aviation expose book, Unfriendly Skies, had just been published, and he was appearing on hundreds of radio and TV shows. An exposure of misconduct in the world's worst air disaster, even though not directly related to the NTSB, would risk public attention to misconduct in other areas—such as was recently in the FAA and NTSB. The NTSB Board members covered up for the enabling cause of that great airline disaster.

Because of Stich's frequent appearances on radio and TV shows, a woman who was on that flight, but left at the last stop, Los Angeles, had learned from two of the flight attendants on the aircraft about the enabling cause of what would soon happen. She contacted Stich and provided details, which were enlarged upon by subsequent investigation. The pilots had been partying all night, drinking, prior to the earl 7 a.m. departure from Sacramento to Los Angeles and then to San Diego. Covering up for this not-uncommon problem would continue the problem; it was obviously important that the consequences of the problem be exposed.

Former FAA inspector Stich filed a legally provided petition to the NTSB to receive evidence that he uncovered. NTSB Board members refused to receive the information, despite the legal requirement to  do so, and despite the fact that omitting the primary reason for the death of 144 people would be outright fraud.

Lawsuit Filed Against the NTSB to Provide
Evidence Being Blocked by NTSB Board

After the NTSB Board refused to allow the material evidence to be received, and entered into the records, former FAA inspector file a federal lawsuit against the NTSB in the federal courts at San Francisco on December 17, 1980. He sought a court order requiring the NTSB to receive the evidence that explained the primary cause of the great PSA crash.

Initial Unprecedented Support by Assistant U.S. Attorney

After Stich filed the lawsuit against the NTSB, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Stoll in the San Francisco office in an unprecedented action, contacted Stich by phone, agreeing with Stich that the NTSB should be required to reopen the investigation. During this conversation, Stoll stated:

It’s ridiculous that the NTSB did not investigate further into the reported partying. ... The investigation should be reopened. ... I am going to bring pressure on them [NTSB] through the Department of Justice to see if they won’t reopen the investigation. ... The government has responsibility to see to it that its agencies do their jobs. ...

I can go ahead and file a motion to dismiss in the next few days, but I’m not satisfied with that because I don’t think in this case the government’s skirts are totally clean, and I don’t think it’s my job to cover up. ... I agree with you that what she said, passenger Helen Rhea, was far more than an investigator in many cases is reasonably likely to hear. It certainly is pregnant with some very serious implications. ... It is ridiculous.

Stoll stated that he was recommending to his superiors in Washington that the government supports Stich's lawsuit, and that the NTSB be ordered to reopen the investigation and admit evidence of the crew partying. He also stated that he was recommending that the NTSB be investigated, as was obviously necessary.

The Assistant U.S. Attorney was unaware of the long history of cover-up by his Washington bosses in the U.S. Department of Justice that I had previously experienced and documented. I knew that Stoll’s recommendations would be denied. If Stoll was not blocked, the series of scandals involving earlier aviation disasters would receive worldwide publicity, and many of the world's major crashes, occurring in the United States, would be exposed, implicating people in high positions.

Sure enough, a week later, totally contradicting what he had previously stated to Stich. Stoll was overridden by Justice Department politics. The U.S. Attorney's office filed a motion to dismiss the action, stating in the motion to dismiss: “There is no question in this case that the Board has performed its duty and conducted a substantial investigation.”

The complaint against the NTSB had been assigned to U.S. District Judge Stanley Weigel  in the Northern District of California at San Francisco. During the various motions by the U.S. Attorney to dismiss the lawsuit, Weigel admitted the gravity and probable conse­quences of the allegations in Stich's complaint. Under federal case law, the allegations in the complaint must be accepted as true in opposing motions to dismiss.

Judge Weigel dismissed the action, falsely stating that Stich was appealing an order of the NTSB, and that it came under federal statute, Title 49 U.S.C. § 1903(d). Stich did not file the cause of action under that statute, and wasn't appealing any order. The action was filed under Title 28 United States Code Section 1361, giving federal courts the authority to force an administrative agency to comply with the law, and receive evidence. Judge Weigel stated:

“This is a matter that is properly before the Court of Appeals, and in a way I am sorry, because it is a fascinating subject and I would like very much to have it before me. But under the law, I don’t think I properly can.” 

For argument, IF the action had been filed in the wrong federal court, under law he was required, in the interest of justice, to transfer the case to the Court of Appeals, rather than dismiss the action.

Stich then filed an appeal, which was heard by U.S. Appeal Judges James Browning, Joseph Sneed, and Mary Schroeder. They also admitted the gravity of Stich's allegations. In their May 27, 1982, decision, the judges dismissed Stich's appeal, stating:

Although appellant’s concern for the safety of future airline passengers is commendable, in view of the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separa­tion of Church and State, Inc., 102 S.Ct. 752 (1982), the judgment [of dismissal] must be affirmed.

Article III of the United States Constitution limits federal court jurisdiction to “cases or contro­versies.” Consistent with this limitation, litigants may not make claims for relief in federal court without showing an actual or threatened personal injury. “At an irreducible minimum, Art. III requires the party who invokes the court’s authority to ‘show that he personally has suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the putatively illegal conduct of the defendant ....’” Valley Forge, supra, 102 S.Ct. at 758, quoting Gladstone, Realtors v. Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, 99, 99 S.Ct. 1601, 1608 (1979). Even absent an article III bar, this court should refrain from adjudicating disputes based on generalized grievances shared by all citizens. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 499-500, 95 S.Ct. 2197, 2205-06 (1975).

Stich’s concern, the risk of future airline crashes, is real enough. That concern does not, however, rise to the level of an actual or threatened injury. The risk is shared by Ameri­cans generally. Absent an injury which threatens Stich in a way which distinguishes him from the populace as a whole, federal court action is barred.

[Dismissal is] Affirmed.

 The judges knew Stich was the only person with the hard evidence and willingness to fight the powerful forces in government already criminally implicated in the scandal. If the action was dismissed, the corrupt acts that were so deeply imbedded in the FAA, the NTSB, and elsewhere, would continue. And so would the tragedies. Further, under federal criminal statutes, Title 18 U.S.C. § 4, I was required to report the federal crimes to a federal court or other federal tribunal.

Stich then filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, seeking to vacate the dismissal by the district court. The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court covered up, and denied hearing the case.

Another federal statute that requires federal courts to exercise jurisdiction when the Federal Aviation Act is violated is Title 49 United States Code Section 1487. That statute states:

Any party in interest may apply to the district court of the United States ... for the enforcement of ... this Act, or such rule, regulation, requirement, ... such court shall have jurisdiction to enforce obedience thereto by a writ of injunction or other process, mandatory or otherwise, re­straining such person, his officers, ... from further violations of such provision of this Act or of such rule, regulation, requirement ... and requiring their obedience thereto.

  • Order dismissing the NTSB lawsuit. March 25, 1981. (Adobe PDF)
  • Statement of material issues. April 11, 1981. (Adobe PDF)
  • Points and authorities filed with brief. April 11, 1981. (Adobe PDF).
  • Opposition to defendant NTSB motion to dismiss, filed by U.S. Attorney, April 19, 1981. (Adobe PDF)
  • Transcript of argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals, April 23, 1981. (Adobe PDF)
  • Motion to alter or amend the order of dismissal. May 3, 1981. (Adobe PDF)
  • Brief filed in U. S. Court of Appeals, (Adobe PDF)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals order of dismissal of the lawsuit against the NTSB. May 27, 1982.  (Adobe PDF)
  • Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. July 17, 1982. (Adobe PDF)
  • Dismissal by U.S. Supreme Court. October 4, 1982. (Adobe PDF)

Continuing History of NTSB Board Members Cover-Ups

As expected, every cover-up required a continuation of crashes and deaths that could in most cases have been prevented were it not for the prior cover-up. The following are a sampling of subsequent NTSB Board cover-ups

  • NTSB Board cover up in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103, where the NTSB played a secondary role in the investigation. Overwhelming evidence widely known in Europe revealed that employees of the FBI-Department of Justice planted bogus evidence to shift the attention from the actual bombing groups to two innocent Libyans and Libya.

  • NTSB Board cover-up in the downing of TWA Flight 800, FBI agents had prior notice of the plans to bring down an airliner departing New York City, and this information was deep-sixth by high-level employees of the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of a scheme simultaneously hijackings of four U.S. airliners on September 11, 2001, where the Department of Justice played a primary role in the investigation and cover-up.

  • NTSB Board cover-up of the downing of American Airlines Flight 587, occurring shortly after the 9/11 hijackings.

Petitions to NTSB to Reopen
Investigation of TWA Flight 800

A group of retired NTSB investigators (not Board members) filed a petition with the NTSB Board in June of 2013, stating that when they were with the NTSB, critical information was withheld. Their position was that a missile, fired by unknown sources, brought down TWA Flight 800. The petition claimed that analyses of the FAA radar evidence demonstrate that the explosion that caused the crash did not result from a low-velocity fuel-air explosion as the NTSB has determined. Rather, it was caused by a detonation or high-velocity explosion."

The former investigators contend that the testimony of more than 200 witnesses who reported seeing streaks of light headed toward the plane should be reconsidered. The NTSB said that what witnesses likely saw was the jetliner pitching upward in the first few moments after the explosion, but some witnesses still maintain that the streak of light they saw emanated from the waterline and zoomed upward toward the plane. "We don't know who fired the missile," said Jim Speer, an accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Association, one of those seeking a new review of the probe. "But we have a lot more confidence that it was a missile."

Years earlier, in his books on the politics  of aviation safety, including the more recent History of Aviation Disasters: 1950 to 9/11, Stich stated the above and much more.  And more recently, he discovered from a mole in the al Qaeda cell that information on the planned downing was provided to FBI agents in the New York City offices, and this critical information was ordered deep-sixth by top personnel in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Another Petition to NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman
Relating to TWA Flight 800

Former FAA airline  safety inspector Rodney Stich also filed a petition to receive considerable more information about the downing of TWA Flight 800. That information included, for instance:

  • A hundred surface-to-air missiles in the possession of an Afghanistan warlord were made available to terrorists after FBI-CIA personnel refused to accept them.

  • Former FAA activist sent letters to members of Congress urging them to intervene before the missiles ended in the hands of terrorists. No response!

  • Information obtains by activists Rodney Stich from a mole in the al Qaeda cell headed by Ramzi Yousef indicated a plan to bring down a U.S. airliner departing a New York City airport, several weeks before the downing of TWA Flight 800.

  • Boeing Aircraft company continuing to hold the position that an external explosion resulted in the downing of TWA Flight 800.

  • Absence of any urgency by the FAA and airlines throughout the world in making changes to the center fuselage fuel tank—the excuse fabricated by FBI-CIA personnel.

  • The reason for FBI-Department of Justice personnel calling the downing a fuel tank problem would be the advance information of terrorist attacks that were deep-sixth by high Department of Justice personnel in order to prevent exposure and prosecution of a key FBI supervisor in murders. That cover-up of advance information of several planned terrorist attacks included the downing of an airliner department a New York City airport,  bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa; and the hijackings of airliners and flying them into buildings—all of which happened. And all of which could have been prevented if the deep-sixing of the advance information of the planned terrorist attacks had not been blocked.

Credibility of Granddaddy of Corruption Exposing Whistleblower

More credibility and competency information.

Books by insiders Providing Insider Details About
Decades of Intrigue in Covert and Overt Operations






All of the books are available at, in print and on digital formats, and at many other Internet sites. They bring together the various pieces of the puzzle to better understand the overall picture, and why the same conditions continue year after year. Information on the books by former government agent Rodney Stich

Sampling of early books reviews

Sampling of complimentary letters/faxes to author/activist Rodney Stich.