Anne Whiteman's powerful new book is in the works


The day I decided to “tell”, was the day I changed the course of my life forever.  The course my life took may have changed that day, but I have not.  Through the process I simply learned a few tough lessons in reality, and evolved accordingly.  Despite being uncomfortable with the label "whistleblower" I have reluctantly accepted the title, but I aim to make it a more positive term.  My career also included many positives as well as many humourous moments.  I was a pioneer in aviation, am a speaker, an advocate of the fair treatment of whistleblowers everywhere, and a relentless pursuer of safe flying for all.

I still want things to change within the FAA.  I still hope for that same outcome I so naïvely expected 12 years ago.  I still expect wrongdoers to be reprimanded, policies to be adopted, and accountability to be implemented; ideally, the complete cleanse of a poisonous culture.  But in addition to that now, I want to try and help others like me.  No true whistleblower knows in advance that they will ultimately follow that treacherous path.  A whistleblower is dealt that fate through personal conviction, dedication, and their own morals and it is a tough road.

Despite the many roadblocks I encountered, never for a second throughout this process did I consider dropping it, because I simply couldn’t!  How could I?  When I saw American Eagle Flight 496 come within seconds of colliding with American Airlines Flight 1065, unknowingly at the mercy of two controllers enjoying a game of chicken…I could not just stand by.  When I became aware of the cover-up of a near mid-air collision involving Troy Aikman's private jet and two others, I couldn't just go home and go to sleep, choosing to ignore it.  I needed to do something.  When I questioned the motivation for a controller to deny an emergency landing request or grant a closer runway to a pilot in grave danger of running out of fuel on final approach to DFW, I couldn't ignore it.  I simply couldn’t turn a blind eye to the hundreds of incidents just like those that I witnessed regularly.  The FAA I was brought up in was changing rapidly, and not for the better.  These events and countless others like them were routinely swept under the rug, until I spoke up.  And although many eyes were upon it, I was the only one to speak up.  My efforts were not all futile and I need to be constantly reminded that I did make a difference!

After taking in the overwhelming extent of Anne’s story, readers will be both surprised and inspired to hear that despite what she went through, Anne says she would do it all again.