The FAA is too cozy with the manufacturers it is supposed to regulate. I’ve been writing about that since 2009. The press is just now becoming interested, asking how the FAA ever allowed the 737 Max to be certified.
What does that have to do with a helicopter case and a murder investigation?
In 2001, an Assistant US Attorney, Tom Wales, was shot and killed in his Seattle home. Wales had prosecuted a case involving a Bell Helicopter — an odd case which seemed to benefit no one but Bell. Wales’ murder was as mysterious as the Bell case he was prosecuting. There has never been an arrest. Rod Rosenstein said a few months ago that the murder investigation is still active, and there’s a $1.5 million reward for information.
The murder case is a subject of a popular podcast, “Somebody, Somewhere.” The investigative reporters, former federal prosecutor and CNN producer David Payne, along with his colleague from CNN, Jody Gottlieb, have been re-examining the evidence since 2018, despite a request from the FBI that they cease and desist. The popular podcast’s twelfth and final episode leads to a Bell Helicopter case I handled just before Wales was shot. If the evidence is authentic, it suggests that it’s not just the FAA who the aviation manufacturers have in their pocket.
The highly-rated series is a must-listen for anyone interested in the aviation industry, even if you’ve never listened to a podcast before.