My name is Shane Robinson, I was a Fire Fighter/OPS person at and was fired from the Laughlin Bullhead Airport for refusing to falsify an FAA Runway Inspection form on March 19th. A week later after I tell the airport director who witnessed the whole event that what I was ordered to do was illegal he changed things and says I was suspended and I misunderstood what happened that night and could come back to work if I took a write up and the assistant airport director that ordered me to falsify the report would get no write up so I refused. I have called the FAA to file a formal complaint as the airport is trying to hide this safety violation and sweep it all under the rug and hope I just go away. Since they never officially fired me it is not illegal according to the lawyer I spoke with in Phoenix. When the FAA finds what they are doing by not recording violations and ordering the OPS manager to remove from existing reports safety violations that are too expensive to fix at this time, is wrong and illegal, it will help me and allow me to sue for a severance. What they did to me was wrong and they have basically ended my career to protect themselves. At this time, almost 3 months later I am still suspended and they will not fire me because of a whistle blower law. Below is my account of what happened the night I was fired. I also tried to included every email that has went back and forth and highlighted PDF’s of the FAA Advisory Circulars and Code of Federal Regulations they are in violation of for you to review but I keep getting a firewall error message so can email to you later.
Monday, March 19th, 2018, I was on the second day of my normal two day, 48 hour shift. We had a runway closure that was supposed to start at 8:00 p.m., but it was delayed to 8:20 p.m. because of a late Sun Country Airlines flight. I was in the ARFF station alone, which is normal for weekdays. I received a phone call from Joey O’Rourke, the Assistant Airport Director, to come and meet him and Jeremy Keating, the Airport Director, on the runway at Alpha 5. I was in the bathroom when I received the call so I finished up and went to meet them. Joey proceed to tell me that a plane that had landed right before the closure was trying to taxi out on the closed runway to take off. Joey asked if I had heard the plane talking on CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency). I said no, I was in the station in the bathroom and did not hear anything come over the PA system, but as I was walking out of the bathroom past the command center, I heard an aircraft asking LA Center on ground frequency, that doesn’t broadcast on the PA system, what time the runway would open. So we sat and talked about that for a minute. Then we were all going down to check the lighted X at the 34 end of the runway. When I got there, Joey told me, “I know you don’t know, but what is the spec of how long the lighted X is supposed to flash off and on?” I said, “I do not know, but I know I can look that up in the FAA advisory circulars.” He tells me, “Well, if you can look it up fast enough, I will buy you lunch.” Joey and Jeremy in Ops 5 proceed to the 16 end of the runway. I stay at the 34 end, and used my phone to look up the AC number and find that the spec states the lighted X yellow light is supposed to flash on for 2.5 seconds and off for 2.5 seconds. As I am reading about this, Joey called me on the phone to come down to the 16 end of the runway to look at that lighted X. I proceed to the 16 end of the runway. When I drive up, I tell Joey that the spec is the X is supposed to flash the yellow light on for 2.5 seconds and off for 2.5 seconds. Joey said, “You’re right, I owe you lunch.” Joey then asks me if this lighted X is working correctly. I tell him no, this one is flashing immediately off on, off on, continuously. Joey then asked me what I should do about this. I tell him I should call Thomas, the construction foreman, and inform him that this X needs to be repaired or replaced. Joey said yes, so go ahead and do it. I call Thomas and tell him the X is not flashing correctly per the FAA AC spec and it will need to be fixed or replaced. Thomas tells me, “They are all wired the same, I don’t know what you want me to do.” I tell him that the one at the 34 end is working correctly. Thomas says okay, I will be there in a minute to look at it. Jeremy and Joey get back in Ops 5. I ask Joey how he wants me to write this up on the FAA discrepancy report. Joey looks at me funny and says, “What do you mean, write it up? And what do you mean, discrepancy report?” Jeremy tells Joey, “You know, the inspection log that they fill out every day.” Joey said, “You don’t need to record this at all.” I tell Joey, “How is this any different than FOD (Foreign Objects of Debris)? We record whenever we find rocks on the taxiway or runway and we record the corrective action we took to fix the problem we found.” In my mind, he was asking me to falsify a FAA runway inspection discrepancy form and I was not going to do it, so I would refuse. But I did not state this. Joey says, “I fucking told you we’re not recording this.” I tell him, “You don’t have to be rude and condescending to me. I’m just asking a question on how to correctly fill this out because you are supposed to be teaching me your way.” At that time, Jeremy tells me, “You are barking up the wrong tree, Shane.” And so then I tell Joey, “Then you can do it yourself.” Joey yells, “What did you fucking say to me? What did you fucking say to me?” Then Joey gets out of the truck and stands an inch from my face, yelling and cussing, “What did you say to me? If you’re not going to do it, you’re fired.” Joey said other stuff, too, but by that point it took everything I had not to punch Joey. Joey then told me I was fired and to give him my security ID badge right now. I took a step back and I said, “Fine, I’m not doing it. Here is my badge. I’ll take Ops 1 back to the fire station.” Joey said, “No, you will not. Jeremy will take you to the fire station and escort you off the property.” During the time Joey was standing in my face yelling, I do not remember everything he or I said, but I did tell Jeremy, who was still in the truck, “You’re going to let this new guy treat everyone like this? You have already lost one ten year employee because of this little dickhead.” Then I gave Joey my security badge. I got my cell phone out of Ops 1 and got in Ops 5 with Jeremy. Thomas had never made it over to the X before we left. On the drive back to the ARFF station, Jeremy would not look at me, would not say anything to me. I told Jeremy, “I am sorry if I was disrespectful to you but I am not going to be talked to like that.” And Jeremy didn’t say a word. Then I told Jeremy, “I am very disappointed that this new guy treats everybody like this and you are going to pick him over people who have been dedicated to the airport.” Jeremy says, “Joey is just trying to make changes that are needed at the airport and no one will listen to him.” I asked Jeremy if he wants me to pack up all my stuff, like all of the food out of my locker and all of my clothes, but it will take a while. Or does he just want me to get the stuff I need right now and come back for the rest later. Jeremy said he did not care. When we get to the ARFF station, Jeremy stayed in Ops 5 outside the station. So I called Chief Diego, my direct supervisor, to tell him what was going on. Then as I was getting stuff out of the refrigerator, Jeremy came in so I said I would call Chief back. At that time, Joey was driving up in Ops 1. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him because I didn’t know if I could keep from hitting him if he got in my face again. So I grabbed minimal stuff from the kitchen, then went upstairs to my bedroom and changed out of my airport uniform. Then I clocked out at approximately 9:28 p.m. and left out the side door of the station without seeing either Joey or Jeremy again. I drove down the road and parked to think about everything that had just happened. Then I remembered that I was burning shredded paper for the admin office in the burn barrel behind the station. So I called Jeremy and informed him to please check that and make sure it goes out or put it out so it doesn’t spread to something else. Then I called Chief again and explained everything to him. Then I called my wife.
W. SHANE ROBINSON