The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Orlando-based AirTran to pay $1 million in damages after it found the airline retaliated against a pilot reporting safety problems. In 2007, the whistle-blowing pilot raised numerous mechanical concerns to AirTran officials and was terminated shortly thereafter.
According to OSHA, the pilot reported a spike in pilots’ mechanical malfunction reports to the airline. The airline held a hearing that lasted just 17 minutes. Seven days later the pilot was terminated for refusing to answer questions at the hearing. OSHA investigators found that the pilot answered all questions put to him.
The airline, which has since been purchased by Southwest Airlines, was ordered to pay the pilot $1 million and reinstate him.