by CIO Staff

Whistle-Blowing Chief Engineer Bound By Gag Order

Sep 27, 20052 mins
IT Leadership

A whistle-blowing engineer who claimed that there were problems with a computer chip that controls air pressure in the cabins of the AirBus 380 is now penniless and bound by an unusual gag order. The Los Angleles Times reports the bizarre story of  Joseph Mangan,  former chief engineer for TTTech Computertechnik, a Viennese company that supplies the computer chips and software to control the cabin-pressurization system for the A380, the biggest and most expensive commercial airliner ever built. The Times reports that Mangan alleges that flaws in a microprocessor could cause the valves that maintain cabin pressure on the A380 to accidentally open during flight, allowing air to leak out so rapidly that everyone aboard could lose consciousness within seconds.  In October, TTTech fired Mangan and filed civil and criminal charges against him for revealing company documents. According to the LA, Times, the company said the information was proprietary and he had no right to disclose it to anyone.  The Times reports that unlike U.S. laws that shield whistle-blowers from corporate retaliation, Austrian laws offer no such protection. Last year an Austrian judge imposed an unusual gag order on Mangan, seeking to stop him from talking about the case. Read more.