Government Witnesses Take The Stand In NASA Inspector Trial | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 09.21.17

Airborne 09.25.17

Airborne 09.26.17

Airborne 09.20.17

Airborne 09.21.17

Airborne 09.22.17

Airborne-Unmanned 09.19.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 09.21.17

Airborne 09.25.17

Airborne 09.26.17

Airborne 09.20.17

Airborne 09.21.17

Airborne 09.22.17

Airborne-Unmanned 09.19.17

NEW!!! 2017 AirVenture Innovation Preview -- YouTube Presentation / Vimeo Presentation

Wed, May 11, 2005

Government Witnesses Take The Stand In NASA Inspector Trial

Billy T. Thornton Accused Of Pencil-Whipping Shuttle Inspections

While government witnesses said a NASA inspector falsified inspection results in his work on the space shuttle Discovery, defense lawyers pointed to what they called massive confusion about how those inspections were supposed to be carried out. The trial continues Wednesday in Orlando.

Billy T. Thornton, 54, was accused a year ago of falsifying 83 inspection reports on Discovery between October 2002 and May 2003. Tuesday, NASA supervisors and contractors testified they saw the reports, but never saw Thornton actually perform.

Keith Folsom, a senior aerospace inspector for United Space Alliance (a NASA shuttle contractor) testified Thornton signed off on a shuttle wiring harness inspection in 2002 -- without noticably inspecting anything.

"He just did not go around and look at the [wiring] harnesses that were exposed and open," Folsom testified, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Instead, Folsom said, Thornton was "just basically sitting around" in the shuttle.

But when cross-examined, Folsom admitted he didn't share his concerns about Thornton until well over a year later.

"I thought it was [Thornton's] prerogative to do it however he wanted to," Folsom said. It was only after the shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry in 2003 that Folsom spoke up, he testified. That's when he told NASA officials that "too many inspections" just weren't being done.

When cross-examining government witnesses on Tuesday, defense attorney Alan Diamond consistently asked about confusion over inspection policies at NASA.

"In general, has there been a lot of confusion out at KSC?" Diamond asked NASA quality-assurance supervisor Robert Nagy.

"There has been a lot of interpretation," Nagy said in an exchange quoted by the Sentinel.

Adding to the confusion, Thornton's immediate supervisor, Robert Saulnier, testified the embattled inspector had been the recipient of performance awards in 2001 and 2003. In 2003, Thornton was awarded a $500 performance bonus.

"I did not put him in for that," Saulnier told the court when he was being cross-examined by defense attorney Kepler Funk. He did, however, admit that he had given Thornton an evaluation concluding that his work "meets expectations."

At the same time, Saulnier said he once proposed suspending Thornton for behaving unprofessionally in his dealings with some contractors.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 09.22.17: Breitling DC-3, World Aerobatic Championships, CFI Training

Also: Egan PLIMP, Aero-Honesty, Orbital ATK, United Airlines 747, New AIA Boss, Bristow Norway, ABS Celebrates 50th Having departed from Geneva last March, the Breitling DC-3 made >[...]

RFP: ANN Seeking New Site/Facility For Major Studio Upgrade

It's Official: Aggressive Upgrades For New Airborne Programs WILL Require New Digs It's been in development for years, but we're getting to a point where we think we can pull off s>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 09.19.17: FAA OKs FL Drone Ops, ICAO Registry?, No Pot Drones

Also: FAA Reauthorization, Medical Drone Transport, USMC Quadcopters, Canister Launched UAS, Atlas Dynamics Airborne, primarily based in Jacksonville, FL is starting to recover fro>[...]

AMA Drone Report 09.21.17: AMA Expo West, Parrot Mambo, No Drone Pot Delivery

Also: Drone Injury Study, Cook County-IL, Northeastern Drone Society, Propel Star Wars Drones, GA UAS Integration One of the pinnacle model aviation events of the year is coming up>[...]

AMA Comments On Singer Decision

Dr. Michael Singer’s Victory in A Federal Court Has Serious Legal Potential Rich Hanson, President of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), has issued the following stateme>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC