Monthly Archives: July 2014

FAA FOIA Request and Response

FAA FOIA Request 2 and Disclosure Letter

This is my FOIA request and the FAA’s response.

 

As my request notes, this is the 2nd request I sent – the first one, filed 28 days after Dec 11th,  having been divided into 2 parts.

I was not told what parts were going to whom, or that they would be treated as 2 separate requests. Diana Pfiefle told me via email that I had a certain deadline to agree to pay $2,000 because of the recordings I requested. Before that deadline, though, I received a letter from the FAA’s legal people in DC, saying that I had 30 days to appeal the decision to temporarily deny me access. I responded within the 30 days and attached a copy of my appeal in an email to Pfeifle, saying that the snail mail was en route to the DC guy and asking her to forward my appeal so the records I requested would not be destroyed before I could respond (this was before I knew the requirements for the accident package). Pfeifle shortly thereafter told me that my request for everything except the FAA Compliance Report (which I hadn’t even necessarily requested) had been canceled because I hadn’t agreed to fork out the $,2000 (which somehow later became $1,100 because some of the recordings that existed had supposedly been destroyed, though if it being a “no services” accident meant the records could be destroyed, then they should ALL have been destroyed and not just some. I don’t  have access to those emails at the moment, or I would check to see how many hours of recordings they claimed existed initially that they claim DON’T exist now).

Incidentally, this dividing up the requests and then not telling me what responses are for what parts of the request, even when I ask directly…. is the same tactic the MCPD used, resulting in me NEVER receiving a response to my UIPA request for the rest of the emergency services CAD transcript. The MCFD said they could only give me the transcript up to 5:17, when it was said there was one person in critical condition in the USCG helicopter and they were trying to decide where to transport the victim to Maui, or to Honolulu. I’m not sure what is so special about 5:17, that the Fire Dept’s access to further communications should have been shut off right there, but I was told I had to get the rest of it from the MCPD. I requested the CAD transcript at the same time as I requested the autopsy report and the investigative record regarding this rescue call and the follow-up, but the MCPD sent just the CAD transcript part to the county’s attorneys.

 

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Mandatory Occurrence Report

MOR__HCF-M-2013_1211-0009

 

This is the Mandatory Occurrence Report filed by the Investigator In Charge at the Honolulu Control Facility, reporting the Dec 11, 2013 water landing resulting in the alleged death of Hawaii Health Director, Loretta Fuddy. It was mandatory because the accident involved a commercial aircraft and there was a fatality. It was filed by the Honolulu Control Facility because, it says, the Operational Supervisor in Charge (OSIC) was in contact with N687MA – which means it CANNOT be classified as a “no services” accident as the FAA claimed when saying they destroyed records regarding this water landing.

FAA Claims Fuddy Crash Records Destroyed

Addition: the procedures the FAA is required to follow for accidents involving commercial aircraft and/or fatalities or serious injuries can be seen at http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/JO8020.16A.pdf , starting with paragraph 71 on page 27 of that PDF.

I did an interview with the Hagmann and Hagmann Report, which can be seen at http://www.frequency.com/video/hagmann-hagmann-15-july-2014/181264656/-/5-1002

What follows is a summary of one of the major points. (The request and response are found at https://butterdezillion.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/faa-foia-request-2-and-disclosure-letter.pdf ):

I submitted a FOIA request for FAA records related to the “Fuddy crash”, including radar, radio, computer records, handwritten notes, emails, and  phone calls including inter- and intra-agency phone calls during the 2-8pm HST time period as well as in the follow-up to the water landing of N687MA.

 

The FAA responded by sending from the Honolulu Control Facility (HCF)  some air traffic audio files, Daily Record of Facility Operation, Mandatory Occurrence Report, and  National Traffic Management Log (NTML). They also sent the result of a computer search for NOTAM’s (Notices to Airmen) for the Maui FAA facility.

 

The NTML had the identities of 3 “special operations” military aircraft redacted – one of which was scheduled in advance for 3-4pm HST on Dec 11th. The audio files suggest that this operation was in the Molokai/Kalaupapa area and left the area around the same time as the crash (based on the FAA investigator’s calculated time for the crash).

 

But beyond that, the FAA said that all the other records which would have been responsive to my request were destroyed.

 

No radar, no computer records/files, no handwritten notes, no emails, no phone calls. There were no other records responsive to my request; whatever might have existed had been destroyed:

 

“The search revealed no ATO records responsive to items 3, 4, 7. 9, 10, 12, and 13 of your request. There are no ATO provisions for recording the frequencies listed in items 12 and 13. In addition, this accident was classified as a “no services” accident, meaning no FAA facility had contact with the aircraft. No transcripts were created and any radar data responsive to item 9 or additional audio re-recordings that may have existed have been destroyed in accordance with FAA Order 7210.3Y, Facility Operation and Administration…”

 

A Mandatory Occurrence Report is the report required to be filed (usually by the last FAA facility to have contact with the plane before the accident) when a report and “accident package” and file are mandated because the accident involved a commercial aircraft and/or fatalities or serious injury. If there is a MOR there also has to be an “accident package” – pertinent records (of the very kinds I asked to see) collected (and retained for 5 years) by the reporting facility from all the FAA or FAA-contracted facilities which could have relevant records. HCF filed the MOR because (according to the MOR) HCF’s  Operational Supervisor in Charge was in contact with N687MA – although none of the audio files disclosed to me  showed that, and the frequency for the contact was not included in the MOR.

Those records should not have been destroyed. If they truly have been destroyed someone should go to jail for destroying them. If they haven’t been destroyed, somebody should go to jail for lying in an official FOIA response, in order to keep from being forced to disclose those records.

There’s more, which can be heard on the audio linked above. But for now I want to make sure that people realize the enormity of the FAA’s claim that they destroyed these records. There are a TON of discrepancies in the official records that have been made available to me, including these FAA written and audio files. But we can’t get to the bottom of what really happened because the FAA records which would reveal exactly what happened have been destroyed. according to the official FAA FOIA response.