Sunday, June 7, 2009


June 7, 2009
4204 Lakeside Way
Newnan, Georgia 30265

Senator Byron Dorgan – Chairman
Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
U.S. Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D. C. 20510


Dear Senator Dorgan,

I write this letter to you today as an addendum to the letter forwarded to your office dated May 31, 2009, as I have since then been informed by your committee staffer Rich Swayze that it would be included as part of public congressional record associated with your upcoming June 10th hearing concerning the FAA oversight role of commercial air carriers.

In my May 31st letter to you, I advised your committee of my willingness, as well as that of other airline pilots, to testify in open or closed committee hearings concerning the alleged systemic and ongoing suppression of airline pilots when reporting concerns of air safety, which denigrates the safety of the travelling public. In recent phone discussions with Mr. Swayze, he indicated that FAA whistleblower Chris Monteleon was being summoned to Washington by your subcommittee to provide testimony regarding his recent allegations that were broadly detailed by numerous print media outlet journalists. Mr. Swayze did not however indicate to me whether other pilots and I would be afforded the same invitation, and it is for this reason that I specifically write to you today.

In reviewing my attached affidavit, you will note that in 2003, after many frustrated attempts to address numerous safety issues of concern via appropriate protocols and legal channels within my union and to company management personnel in an attempt to keep these issues ‘in-house’ while United Airlines was in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, I resorted to inclusion of the FAA-assigned Principle Operation Inspector (POI) in hopes of drawing his oversight authority of all aspects of United Airlines operations into the equation. This drastic measure was employed by me only after I realized that all previous efforts were futile and my overriding concern for public safety regarding the apparent stonewalling of previous face-to-face and phone conversations, reports, letters, and emails had been thwarted by both company and union personnel. It should also be noted that prior to my decision to resort to this legal and mandated federal communicative process, I had drafted a letter that I had intended to send to United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Glenn Tilton, but was advised by a union lawyer and another individual in a conference call of July 27, 2003 that I would become ‘unemployed’ as a captain if I were to send the letter.

Attached, you will find a copy of an Aviation Safety Awareness Report dated September 13, 2003 that I submitted in accordance with the United Airlines 2003 Flight Operations Manual (FOM), which delineated the specific administrative processes and guidance associated with the Aviation Safety Awareness Program (ASAP), which is inherently encompassed by Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 121, Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations. You will note that within this report, I iterated then what I have restated herein.

In a subsequent phone conversation on September 19, 2003, I queried the ALPA Central Air Safety Committee Chairman who had served as the ALPA representative of the ASAP Event Review Committee (ERC) if, in fact, the FAA POI who had also served on the ERC to review this ASAP report and, if so, his remarks during said meeting. This individual indicated to me that the POI had read my ASAP and expressed concern by stating that he would investigate this matter further sometime in the future.

Recognizing my success in drawing the POI into the equation while believing that I had at last broken the communications logjam that I had experienced the past eighteen months, on September 18, 2003, I subsequently submitted additional ASAP reports that outlined all my previous safety and security concerns that had been stonewalled, including issues that I had addressed in the drafted letter to Mr. Tilton, but was never sent by me for the reasons stated above.

On September 23, 2003, I received a phone call from my JFK Assistant Chief Pilot advising me that I had been removed from schedule because of the ASAPs that I had submitted. Kindly refer to my attached affidavit for details of the tragic consequences and sad conclusion to this story. The subsequent suppression of these details the past five years by the previous White House, members of congress, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Justice, and the mainstream media gives further testament to the sorry state of affairs regarding suppression of information by pilots concerning the safety of the travelling public. Recent media revelations of the same at Colgan Air were the ‘straw that broke this old pilot’s back’, as well as many others in the airline industry and the FAA.

Because I have not yet been notified by your office as to whether whistle blowing pilots will be permitted to testify in either open or closed committee hearings, but being advised that my May 31st letter to you would be included as part of public congressional record, it is respectfully requested that this letter with attachments be included in my file as well. I would be more than happy to fly to Washington at my own expense to meet face-to-face with committee staffers in the very near future to provide additional material evidence and testimony, as well as a list of credible witnesses who have already agreed to provide supporting testimony to my allegations as stated in my affidavit.

Additionally, an open letter to President Obama dated June 7, 2009 is forthcoming to your office and request is hereby made that this letter also be included as part of my public testimony for inclusion in congressional records. Thank you for your consideration of these critical safety issues.

Very respectfully submitted,

Dan Hanley
Former United Airlines B-777 Captain

Encl: My letter to your office dated May 31, 2009
My Aviation Safety Awareness Report dated September 13, 2003
My affidavit dated February 16, 2009

Cc: President Barack Obama
Senator John Rockefeller – Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science and
Calvin L. Scovel III – Inspector General, Department of Transportation
Ray LaHood – Secretary, Department of Transportation
J. Randolf Babbitt – Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Richard Swayze – Staffer, Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
Glenn Fine – Inspector General, Department of Justice
Eric Holder – Attorney General of the United States
Robert Mueller – Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Kenneth Kaiser – Assistant Director, FBI Criminal Investigative Division
Robert Grant – Special Agent-in-Charge, Office of the Chicago FBI
Senator Claire McCaskill – Member, Senate Subcommittee on Transportation
Senator Johnny Isakson – Member, Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
Senator Saxby Chambliss
Senator Charles Grassley – Ranking Member, Committee on Finance
Senator Daniel Akaka – Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security/Govt Affairs
Congressman Jerry Costello – Chairman, House Aviation Subcommittee
Congressman Lynn Westmoreland – Member, House Aviation Subcommittee
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Transportation
Security and Infrastructure Protection
Barbara Hollingsworth – Reporter, Washington Examiner
Matthew Wald – Reporter, New York Times
Mary Williams-Walsh – Reporter, New York Times
David Cay Johnston – Author and former New York Times Investigative Journalist
Rocci Fisch – Senior Editor, Washington Post
Tom Devine – Legal Director, Government Accountability Project
David Hunter – Chairman, Project on Government Oversight
Gabe Bruno – Member, FAA Whistleblowers Alliance

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