WHO'S WATCHING THE AIRWAYS? by Philip I. & Stephen M. Aug. Ryther


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Philip Ryther's story (as told to Aug) of Federal Aviation Administration putative bureaucratic boneheadedness and refusal to consider certain safety reforms is that sort of sad book where desire for self-vindication diminishes the larger issues. A 12-year veteran of the FAA's top leadership until ""hounded out of the agency"" in 1970 because he pressed too hard for new regulations (FAA certification of all flying schools, stricter controls for noncertified operators, updating and clarification of many agency rules, etc.), Ryther goes on at enormous length recounting the prickly details of how he was sacked, how his blood pressure reacted, how his bosses (all named here) were either risible cretins who wouldn't know a parachute from a propeller or ossified horsesasses whose only thoughts were to avoid controversy and get rid of him, and how he never did anything wrong aside from going ""outside normal channels to get some kind of action."" The substance of Ryther's main safety proposals was published last year in Look (see Clark Mollenhoff's article, March 9) and his book seems gratuitous, although it might -- reinforced by ""Captain X's"" Safety Last, scheduled for publication in September -- win a few new recruits to the campaign for tougher air traffic standards.

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday