Second Whistleblower Pilot Speaks Out About Delta Air Lines

Pilot asks Senate to set parking brake on Dickson nomination.

Senate building
The ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce committee said the pilot's claims haven't been taken seriously.Wikipedia Commons

A former Delta Air Lines pilot has stepped forward during the controversy that began last week over the nomination of Steve Dickson to the FAA's top job. In a letter to the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce committee, Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), Politico reported former Delta Captain Karl Seuring called on lawmakers to wait for decisions on his and Karlene Petitt's cases. "Something is not right," Seuring wrote. "I have asked members to stop and 'set the parking brake.'"

Seuring said Delta fired him in April 2017 because he had said the airline ran afoul of FAA rules during repair work on a plane flown by the Chilean Air Force. Seuring also operated a fuel tank safety consulting business when he wasn't flying for Delta according to the Seattle PI. He also holds an STC for the Boeing 737 auxiliary fuel system.

A Delta Air Lines spokesman said in a statement that Seuring was fired for "abusing his sick leave, being out of position for reserve duty, making multiple misrepresentations, and misusing his travel passes," adding that a "neutral, third-party arbitrator upheld" his firing. The spokesperson said the FAA, "never advised Delta that it found any of Seuring's safety concerns to have merit."

Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told Politico he doesn't think Seuring's complaint "amounts to anything," and he expects Dickson's nomination to advance. Several committee members hadn't heard about Seuring's case as of Tuesday however. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told Politico he's "heard about a number of whistleblower complaints that are troubling," and said, "they all need to be reviewed closely and carefully, and there needs to be fact-finding before this nomination goes forward."