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Thu, Apr 01, 2010

FAA Pilots: 'Babbitt Is A Stick Hog'

Former Airline Pilot Administrator Likes To Fly Up Front

ANN April 1st Special Edition: Line pilots for the FAA have started to grumble about Administrator Randy Babbitt (pictured), saying they can't keep him in the back of the airplane. "At first we thought it would be great, having a pilot at the top of the organization," said one pilot speaking on condition of anonymity. "But we wish he'd just sit in the back and let us do our jobs."

Babbitt's visits to the "front office" are becoming legendary. "He says he just wants to observe, but as soon as he gets close to the cockpit, we know somebody's going to lose a seat ... and it's always the left one," sources tell ANN.

Babbitt defends his actions as being a "hands on" administrator. "It's important for me to know how things like the implementation of NextGen will affect those who actually use the NAS," said Babbitt. "Sure, I could just sit in the back and just let the guys figure it out, but for me to truly be an effective administrator, I've got to keep up with the developments I'm putting in place. There's no place better to do that then from the front left seat of an airplane."

"This is all about safety and professionalism," Babbitt continued. "I want the pilots who work for me, and every pilot who has a license with my name on it, to know I'm a guy who leads by example."

Still, several FAA pilots are quietly requesting flights with Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Peggy Gilligan, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation Dr. George C. Nield, and others. "Hey, we like to fly the airplanes too. That's why we got into this business," said one pilot. "And when the boss is on board, it's his logbook that's getting the hours."

FMI: www.faa.gov

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