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Flying Cheaper 1x18

In a follow-up to FLYING CHEAP, the hard-hitting investigation of how major airlines outsource flights to regional airlines, FRONTLINE examines another growing trend: the outsourcing of major airline repair work to lower-cost independent maintenance operations abroad and here in the U.S.

Correspondent Miles O’Brien explores the world of contract maintenance and focuses this new FRONTLINE investigation on an ST Aerospace facility in Alabama, which now does heavy repair work for several major airlines, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways. Through interviews with company mechanics and an examination of both government and company records, the investigation raises serious questions about the quality and experience of the workforce; the use of foreign workers with limited English proficiency; and the alleged use of unauthorized airline parts. One veteran FAA inspector concludes, “Something’s seriously wrong here, and we need to investigate this.”