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FAA’s Flaws Exposed In ValuJet Shutdown
June 19, 1996

How did federal air safety regulators fail so badly?

The Federal Aviation Administration’s shutdown of ValuJet Airlines — less than six weeks after FAA officials had insisted that the airline was safe — has raised questions about the agency’s ability to ensure the safety of the U.S. airline industry. Those concerns led Tuesday to a major personnel shakeup at the agency, a tightening of inspection rules and a plea by Transportation Secretary Federico Pena for Congress to rewrite the agency’s historic mandate that requires it to promote as well as police the aviation industry.

"There should never be another question about the …

ValuJet's Future Is Unclear, But Its Jets Are All Too Visible
July 11, 1996

The gates are empty, the passengers are gone, but ValuJet Airlines has yet another problem: parking its 51 planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration forced the discount airline to cease operations indefinitely June 17. But early this week, about half of ValuJet’s fleet was still parked at airports in Atlanta and Washington, blocking gates and costing ValuJet money. At Atlanta’s Hartsfield International, one out of every eight domestic gates was filled with parked ValuJet planes, increasing congestion even as Atlanta prepares for Olympic-size traffic.

Three more jets were parked at Washington Dulles International. The rest have been sent to maintenance facilities in Lake …