The FAA is shouldering responsibility for missteps made in the certification of the Eclipse 500 very light jet and is looking to modify regulatory processes to better accommodate advanced technology aircraft entering the market.
On Sept. 17, Associate Administrator-Aviation Safety Nicholas A. Sabatini and Director of Aircraft Certification John Hickey made those pledges in a six-hour grilling by the House Aviation Subcommittee looking into alleged FAA regulatory lapses in oversight in the certification and manufacture of the Eclipse 500.
The subcommittee requested the Transportation Dept. Inspector General to investigate the alleged lapses after FAA inspectors, engineers and test pilots claimed senior management had ignored serious concerns they raised about aircraft´s design and manufacture. The managers, they say, accelerated type and production certification to meet Eclipse´s Sept. 30, 2006, certification target. The FAA signed off on certification on that day.
Maryetta Broyles´s job as aviation safety inspector at the Forth Worth Manufacturing Inspection Office was to evaluate new and existing manufacturing companies. Broyles, who has worked for the FAA for 20 years, has performed more than 485 evaluations.
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