The FAA is questioning American Airlines' new policy on lightning inspections, and its opener is: Why doesn’t American do them anymore? American recently forbade its mechanics from doing extensive lightning damage checks unless pilots suspected a strike, a move designed to reduce delays and cancellations. Big airlines are typically allowed to tweak safety standards, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea at all,” said one air-safety expert. “The FAA has no issue with our lightning strike policy,” said an American spokesman. But it could soon. Inspectors are taking the first steps toward a possible investigation. The issue highlights simmering labor tensions at American, whose own mechanics brought the change to the FAA’s attention.