Failure - Interactions

Tom Haueter, former NTSB staff-manager

"Cleaning-up bad science",  

13-minute   video segment   on CBC-tv, The National --  

note  that   most  reporting,   and  acknowledgement,    of

the   Rogues' Gallery   of   Scientific Misconduct 

has  come from   the   life-sciences.


"... call it  what it is.   It is

a  corruption  of   the  scientific  process."

NTSB's  hidden  Conflict-of-Interest   [ COI ]:

      Errs,    fraud,    hidden cover-up,    &   845.41-notices

         are  handled by   NTSB's own  Staff-Managers

pg-> JUMP to Correcting the Scientific Record

Inspector Generals   are  NOT  permitted to  review   NTSB-cases

        to openly  acknowledge   any  NTSB   investigator-errs,

 nor   NTSB scientific misconduct.                        .


Note the ambiguous  wording  about  possible  oversight   functions,

     restricting   the  DoT- IG,    and

          curbing  the work of the   Comptroller General  [he directs GAO's work];

  confused-contradictory  restrictions  upon   any  critical-review  of  NTSB's methods, and

              NTSB's final investigative-products (AAR, factors, final P.C.).


Sec. 1137.   Authority   of the

Inspector General


(a) . . . The Inspector General of the Department of Transportation ...  the mission ...  to prevent and detect fraud and abuse,    shall have   authority to review

    only   the financial management,  

                    property management,   and

                           business operations

                                     of the   National Transportation Safety Board   . . . 

NTSB Staff-Managers selectively

enforced or ignored  the few

"safeguards"

set in their  MIM    and   in their operating rules.


NTSB had acknowledged their receipt   of the "alpa" Petition against AAR-81-8:  date received acknowledged as October 9, 1990.


During that  90-day waiting period, cited in NTSB-845.41(b),   Boeing  offered no "comment"  on Yorke's  refutation of  the Boeing Scenario.


SilkAir   INVESTIGATION

MI185 /  19Dec97    Boeing 737    mysterious  inflight upset 

Professor Diran intervened

  to override  his staff's analysis & conclusions

       (which   favored   a   Boeing-scenario,  according to video).


Show images --  Feith's  words  =  absolute CERTAINTY,  then infecting   NTSC-Staff members. 

    Accident Investigation

"safeguards"


W.H. Tench  wrote  a chapter on  "safeguards"  (used by the old AIB) 
   "to achieve a proper balance in aircraft accident reports":
[Tench, William H.  Safety is No Accident.   London: Collins, 1985.]

  --  a public notice announcing intent to investigate (an inspector's investigation) and invitation to anyone to write to AIB, to suggest relevant aspects of mishap.

​ --  Before concluding his investigation, the "inspector" must SEEK a Response -from-anyone-accused:  
prior to submission of DRAFT report,  inspector shall inform everyone whose reputation is likely to be adversely affected by the report, inviting "representations", to argue any point, signify any disagreement [Tench, pg32].

​ --   a Review Board,     a discontented party has 21-days after receiving draft rpt, permitted to ask for a review board;  Review Board gives its own separate opinion:  both the inspector's report  AND  the Review Board's Report   are then later published within the same cover as the inspector's report.   The threat of a Review Board "has a very chastening effect on the inspector who knows that everything he says in his report is liable to be critically examined by a Review Board and, if necessary, corrected for all to see – and this at the whim of those whose actions he is criticising."   [Tench pg 33].

​ --  a Public Inquiry.   Tench's exemplar: the inquiry into the BEA Trident G-ARPI / 18June1972 near Stains (near Heathrow), commissioner the Lord Chief Justice Lane.   A judicial format: examination and cross-examination;   representatives entitled to cross-examine witnesses;   close examination of "evidence" (wreckage, data, &ct);  testing of "evidence";    representatives' summation of view-points;  draft report, publication.  "Public inquiries have the advantage that they remove all suspicion of cover-up from any government department. . . .  the examination and cross-examination by skilled counsel usually leads to the veracity and relevance of the evidence being established....  the public inquiry system is seen to alleviate public anxiety and concern that there might be something fundamentally wrong with the way certain facets of aviation are being conducted.  But it is not all beneficial  . . .   lawyers . . .  an adversary system . . .  see things in terms of guilt or innocence. . . .  lawyers are always aware . . . inquiry  is the preliminary to  . . . civil litigation . . .  client . . .  financial benefit . . . " [Tench p 36.]

   James King:    Chairman   of the Safety Board

       during the long investigation of TWA841 upset:

 

  NTSB Chairman King:

      -- Refused  the request to Replace the IIC,

      -- refused  any   "Public Hearing",


       --  Refused  Board Member's request  to hear testimony from the crew, 

                to test   it   against the gossip,   and thus  judge   The Boeing Scenario. 


   Chairman King repeatedly  acted against  the advice of his most experienced Board Member

                                              (see McAdams dissenting statements of  Jan' 17th 1980  and   June 9th '81):

  James King was an  inexperienced  Board Member, with no background in accident investigation.

   King was apparently responding to advice from unknown sources

             -- told to  obstruct the efforts of the Safety Board's  most experienced Board Member.


     NTSB "Board Member"   McAdams'  corrective efforts  were repeatedly  blocked by Chairman King.


The  best qualified  and  most experienced NTSB Board "Member" then,    was      Francis H. McAdams,  

    an original  Board  "Member"   of the newly created  NTSB   in  1967.    

McAdams  was perhaps  the best qualified "Member"  to have ever served:

   Having worked as an ASI  for the earlier  C.A.B.  during the 1950's.

Merit System Protection Board,

1992 Report      pg 24:

Among the initial appeals decided by the Chief Administrative Law Judge was  the first case  arising from the  non-recertification of a career member of the SES.   The initial decision affirmed the action of the agency in  removing the appellant  from the SES  and placing him in a GS-15 position   on the grounds that

  his performance did not demonstrate the excellence required   to meet the goals of the SES.

 (Kampschror  v. National Transportation Safety Board,   DC-359C-92- 0290-I-1,    July 23, 1992.)

Senators  "scoop" Jackson  and  Magnuson  were   "the senators from Boeing" ,  "the gold-dust twins".

There exists   NO Evidence   of  outside influence  

on the   NTSB's   staff

nor  on the   Investigator-in-Charge


The images above are meant to provide a  younger reader with some background on

 the  power   enjoyed by   The Boeing Company   during the late 1970's  and early 1980's:  

Boeing was the USA's  biggest exporter,   and  their B-727 airliner was    their best selling product.


 Shortly afterward,   the NTSB's  IIC,    Col. Kampschror     was   promoted  to  Brigadier General   in the D.C. Air National Guard,

and   promoted   into the special   SES- Executive Service   of civilian Federal Government employees:

Senator "Scoop" Jackson

supported  

Senator Ted Kennedy's

presidential nomination

James B. King,    July 19, 1977:     The President today announced that he will nominate James B. King, of Boston, Mass., to be a member of the National Transportation Safety Board.

... From 1967 to 1975, King served as special assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy and was responsible for running his Boston office, setting up field hearings, and frequently traveling with him.   From 1975 to 1977, King was director of community affairs and marketing for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.      He took leaves of absence from MBTA in July 1976 to work at the Democratic National Convention,   and from August to November 1976 to serve as trip director for the Carter Presidential campaign.    Since January 1977, he has been Special Assistant to the President . . . 

.... Prepared Statement of Senator Ted Kennedy :
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, the association of the Kennedy family and the King family  goes back about 50 years. His father was one of the very  outstanding labor leaders in western Massachusetts ...  I got to know just after my brother was elected to the United  States Senate in 1952.  Then through the period of the 1950's, when. . .Jimmy King was a teenager, he was already locked into the concept of Government and public service and public life. . . . 

appointed as an NTSB  "Member"  Oct'77,    then

five-months later NTSB-Chairman  in Mar'78

Due to the   questionable   nature of some

board members'   qualifications,

some aspects of  a particular case are

not understood  by the   Board's  members.


  Excerpts from
   "Aviation Accident investigation:   Functional and Legal Perspectives,"
         an article by    Mr.   C.O. Miller,    past   Director of the Bureau of Aviation Safety of the NTSB;
   Journal of Air Law and Commerce
    (Dallas, Tx.: SMU School of Law),     Winter 1981,     Vol 46.

"The deteriorating scope, depth and accuracy of the NTSB/FAA aircraft investigations is approaching the level of a national embarrassment.  Instead of being a leader in this field, the United States government seems to be unwilling to provide the resources, leadership or motivation necessary to improve investigative techniques and procedures. . . ."


"There is reason to believe that because of the excessive workload,  the inadequacy of investigations,   or the questionable nature of some board members' qualifications,    some views of parties associated with a particular case   are not communicated or understood  by the Board's members.    Petitions for reconsideration  of the determination of cause or,   more importantly, for changes in the report to present a fuller presentation or discussion of the facts,   appear to be treated summarily without the objectivity which normally characterize the Board's actions.  It is rare for the Board to present in its report  the contrary views  of competent parties   unless one of the members elects to write a minority opinion supporting such a view.    Such  dissents  are infrequent."


   In  1978   a    Science-Tech-novice

        Political-insider was

            appointed   "Chairman"

                of the USA's  "independent"      Safety Board


Perhaps the   foremost   "safeguard"    

           (under the  supposedly   "independent"   investigative-system employed by USA)

   . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . should be  those   individual   "Board Members":  

acting as a  supervisory  "overseer",  for the integrity of their organization,

    overseers  of the NTSB's   investigators,   staff,   General Counsel.


Unfortunately,  the  NTSB's  decades-long-process   of  "reconsideration"  of  AAR-81-8,  repeatedly delayed  by staff-managers,   proved   that  the  appointed NTSB   "Board Members"   have  no formal  responsibility, are not required,   to  insure that that "process"  operates as intended in CFR Title 49, Vol 5, Chapter VIII, Subpart C,  NTSB  "Rules of Practice"   § 845.41.

​​  W.H. Tench  wrote a chapter on investigative "safeguards"  (used by UK's  old AIB)

    --    to achieve  a balance in the inspector's investigation of the mishap,    and

        --     "to achieve a proper balance in aircraft accident reports".


Under  the  USA's  "investigating authority",  their  "independent"  Safety Board, or NTSB,

       the "safeguards" are missing.  


Considering that the "independent"  NTSB  was established

   WITHOUT  any  IG-oversight    of the  accident "investigators"  nor their process,

 perhaps the foremost "safeguard"  (under the   investigative-system employed by USA)   should be  those  individual "Board Members":  acting in a role of  supervisory  "overseer" --  for the integrity of their organization:    overseers  of the NTSB investigators, staff, General Counsel.   


Keep in mind that  the NTSB's  INVESTIGATION  of the mysterious  inflight upset of Boeing-727  N840TW  dragged-on from April 1979  until  June 1981   [concurrent with the series of Democratic election campaigns  of summer and fall of 1980].   Then after the Nov'1980 election  through the inauguration in 1981,  two Boeing VP's  (Ben Plymale and Melvin Paisley)  served on the Reagan transition team.


Examples  --  Board Member's  role  assessing

his   investigators'   choice   of 

  "Fact" ,     inference,     hidden-assumptions

   

Investigative   Safeguards    Gone-Missing


    Investigative-Safeguards,           Scientific Misconduct,

           Organizational   Overseers,

                    Intervention   after   investigative-misconduct


Nov'1999   one   rare exception   --

a  GAO  probe   for  Boeing's   hidden  safety study,  


GAO's  Controller General for Special Investigations

    responded  to     a detailed  request    from  one Senate  Committee,

           The Committee on   the  Judiciary,

GAO    investigated   why  the manufacturer  had  

       withheld  a   safety report   from   NTSB  investigators:  


GAO's  letter,     B-283640,     dated Nov' 3 1999


The failure   of  formal peer   review

in cases of fraud

is not really that surprising,

since the system  is based on

the assumption  that authors are

not   just making stuff up.


​The biggest fraud . . . 

Misconduct . . . frauds . . .   made

all    science look bad,   and

some   scientists 

aggressively   insist   they

be trusted

without reservation

 even though the bias  . . .

is well documented.

What to do? 


. . .  "voluntary withdrawal"   and    "withdrawal  for  cause"

instead of ...   "retraction"  ...  which has negative connotations . . . 

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

​​

Sec. 1138.    Evaluation  and  audit 

                         of   National Transportation Safety Board


(a)  . . .  the  Comptroller General   ...  shall evaluate and audit  the  programs   and expenditures of the National Transportation Safety Board.  . . .  at least annually ...  as determined necessary by the Comptroller General  or   the appropriate congressional committees.


(b) Responsibility of   Comptroller General. - The Comptroller General shall evaluate and audit Board  programs,   operations,   and activities,   including - 
        (1) information management and security, including privacy protection of personally identifiable information;
        (2) resource management;
        (3) workforce development;
        (4) procurement and contracting planning, practices and policies;
        (5) the extent to which the Board follows leading practices in selected management areas; and
        (6) the extent to which the Board addresses management challenges in completing accident investigations.


(c)   Appropriate Congressional Committees  . . .    means
    the  Committee on   Commerce, Science and Transportation   of the Senate   and
    the   Committee on   Transportation and Infrastructure   of the House   of Representatives.


In practice,  neither   the    DoT-IG,   nor  the  Controller General

       has ever  probed   details of   NTSB cases, 

                never recognized   nor   acknowledged

                        any of NTSB's   investigative-errs  

                             nor any   NTSB  staff-manager  scientific misconduct.


USA's  investigating authority  has  retained   its

 unquestioned reputation:

                      an  undeserved   glowing   halo  of   infallibility.

 . . . consider   retracting    a publication if: 
     . . . clear evidence that the findings are unreliable,

             either as a result of misconduct    (e.g. data fabrication)  

                        or   honest error   (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error) . . .  

consider issuing  an expression of concern  if: 

    . . .   there is evidence that    the findings are unreliable  but

                             the authors’    institution   will not investigate   the case 

      . . .   an investigation into alleged misconduct   related to the publication

                              either has not been,   or would not be,  fair and impartial . . .

NTSB's  organizational  weaknesses,    compounded:


Lack  of   investigative-safeguards,  

     along with   lack  of   any  oversight   of NTSB  staff-managers

           (no  Inspector General,  no  Scientific Ombudsman,   no  effective Board Member  oversight-review,  no Review Board,

                          NTSB-staff-managers'  refusal  to process  845.41-Petitions  in accordance with  MIM_4.15),


Scientific Misconduct and the Myth of Self-Correction in Science



COPE's   Retraction Guidelines​           for      NTSB-AAR-81-8:

stack the deck   =   to arrange things secretly for a desired outcome. (From card playing where a cheater may arrange the order of the cards that are to be dealt to the players.)

USA - NTSB's

Investigative   Safeguards

Gone Missing


Lack of proper investigative safeguards   leaves  NTSB-employees, and their "investigation",   open to   subtle manipulation:

"Stacking  the  Deck"

John Nance   cited this subtle manipulation, done by Boeing,   to sway  an NTSB-investigation   away from    hidden weaknesses in their early B737;

Blind Trust, Chapter 19, "Stacking the Deck".

Parallel  INVESTIGATIONS,   to  contrast against  USA's   investigation of   TWA841 / 4Apr79:

NZ's   Commission of Inquiry,   Air New Zealand  DC-10     TE901 /  28Nov79 

Chippendale's Report  versus the Mahon Report.

Flight International, 13-19Dec'89,  p13.

AAIB backs-away from their Review Board  investigative- "safeguard"

AAIB    Safeguards    Revised --  weakened

NTSC's   Oetarjo Diran comments.


The proper role of a "Board Member":  

to enforce the rules.

MI185, NTSC-investigation : Santoso Sayogo states that Professor Diran over-ruled the NTSC-staff's "findings"

Considering proposed reorganization of the earlier C.A.B.,  summer of 1961,   Senate expressed concern that  in future   "the Board"   would:


"... delegate so much power to subordinates that

      persons dealing with the Board

          may be   denied 'substantive rights'. . . .

   this delegation

       puts policy making

    in the hands of staff members              who are not subjected to

Senate scrutiny and confirmation. . . .

 it is  neither desirable

         nor in the public interest

           to permit such functions

            to be delegated to subordinates . . .


"Senate Unit Rejects C.A.B. Reorganization",  Aviation Week,  July 3, 1961.

Investigator-in-Charge

Kampschror

NTSB Chairman

              James B. King

Procedural Non Compliance    (PNC or "pink") :      a convenient  solution for NTSB's Staff-Managers .

NTSB's own plea  for  Procedural Compliance:    Most Wanted List

The Fourth Estate    —  newspapers,   TV,  radio  --


         ??   a final  "safeguard"   to protect,  or correct,  the process   of Aircraft Accident Investigation?? 


   Can “the media”  or “the Press” —  newspapers,   TV,  radio  --   substitute for   the NTSB's  missing  “safeguards”  ??
              Are journalists capable of protecting the investigation-process from investigator-err or scientific misconduct??


History shows that   the answer  is  "No!"    

   The exemplar case   of  NTSB's  INVESTIGATION    of   TWA841 / 4Apr79,    to the final  NTSB-AAR-81-8,  

     proved that   no mere  award-winning  documentary,

          nor special feature in the Sunday paper,

                 could  persuade  NTSB-staff managers, nor Board Members,  

to  acknowledge  their   botched  NTSB-investigation:


Buz Bissinger's,  special feature section, The Plane that Fell From the Sky:     Winner of the Livingston Award.


CBS Reports   documentary  on prime-time TV:     Winner of the Peabody Award.


Various ALPA accident investigators  (Harold Marthinsen  and  Jim McIntyre)   risked their  reputations,   appeared  on television reports,  and in print,    in dozens of media stories  about that NTSB-investigation.    The mishap-Captain also  met with writers  to explain the NTSB-mistakes.  Despite  widespread media coverage   of  NTSB   investigative misconduct,

              the   NTSB staff-managers,   over several past decades,     were   confident of impunity,

                              with   their  special  scientific-privilege   of  "unreviewable discretion":  


     NTSB  never  published   errata sheets,      no revision of AAR-81-8,     no acknowledgement of  NTSB's falsification of "facts".