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July 4, 1998

Ralph Nader's Consumer Group
sues FAA over Boeing 777 certification
The Desert Sun 7/4/98

The new Boeing 777-300 has a 33 foot fuselage section added which brings passenger capacity from 440 to 550 and contains two emergency exits. Ralph Nader's Aviation Consumer Action Project is suing the FAA because the FAA certified the new aircraft based on data gleaned during full-scale passenger evacuations on shorter versions of the airplane plus a test evacuation of just the new passenger compartment added to the aircraft. The Desert Sun article reported:

"'The FAA has moved into the world of regulatory virtual reality, choosing simulation of passenger evacuation testing over real-life confirmation,' Nader said Friday." "Paul Hudson, executive director of Nader's Aviation Consumer Action Project, said evaucation problems increase exponentially when a plane is lengthened."

Keeping in mind the chances of surviving an accident in a conventional aircraft, who cares whether you can get out? Isn't Boeing justified in trying to save a few dollars on passenger evacuations -- after all, who would know better than Boeing what the chances of surviving a crash in one of their aircraft really are?

"... the industry, they really own the FAA."
Billie Vincent, former top security officer at the FAA
quoted in U.S. News & World Report, 06/26/95
article "What's Wrong with the FAA?"

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