If you think whistleblowers in America have it rough, in Austria not only are they likely to loose their job, but they can be charged criminally. That’s what’s happening to American aerospace engineer Joseph Mangan. The Telegraph reports on the high cost he’s paying for his charges against “the world’s most ambitious aircraft.”
Joseph Mangan thought he was doing Airbus a favour when he warned of a small but potentially lethal fault in the new A380 super-jumbo, the biggest and most costly passenger jet ever built.
Instead, Europe’s aviation giant rubbished his claims, and now he faces ruin, a morass of legal problems, and – soon – an Austrian prison. Mr Mangan is counting the days at his Vienna flat across the street from Schonbrunn Palace, wondering whether the bailiffs or the police will knock first.
An American aerospace engineer, he has discovered that Austria offers scant protection to whistleblowers. …His troubles began in September 2004 when he contacted the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), claiming that the cabin pressure system in the A380 might not be safe, and that this had been concealed.
The guy is totally screwed. If he’s right and one of the planes looses cabin pressure at 35,000 ft (possibly killing everyone) then EU officials could come looking for him for manslaughter charges; and if he’s wrong he’s facing jail time for criminal defamation. As a member if the flying public I sure hope it’s that later rather than the former…