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The horoscope of the FAA is currently weathering some difficult transits. Recent inspections on planes like the MD-80 (due to Alaska’s crash) and the 767 seem like too little, too late. What will restore the confidence of the flying public in this besieged institution?

Mutable Tasks

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came into being on August 23, 1958, replacing its predecessor, the CAA. The FAA began operation charged with the responsibilities of regulating commercial air travel, establishing flight rules and ensuring the safety of U.S. commercial aviation. Even for a multitasking Virgo Sun conjunct powerful Pluto, this is more than a complete flight plan. Critics argue that regulating the business of aviation and overseeing safety is a conflict of interest. Here, Virgo’s service priority argues with the political agendas of the powers in charge (Pluto). All this implies the darker nuances of Pluto: political favoritism that leads to ignoring critical life-and-death details.

The FAA is a bureaucratic organization. It is a Virgo with three planets in Leo. It has pride, desire for prestige and budget money (whether used or not). Add to this its lofty philosophical agenda (patriarchal Saturn conjunct a normally free-spirited Moon in Sagittarius, the sign of travel). Sag, at its most difficult, insists it is right to the point of ignoring obvious truth. Saturn indicates an innate hesitancy—a function of caution. These astrological priorities are felt by those in power in the FAA.

Good Ole Boys Club

When Pluto first entered Sagittarius in 1995 and squared the Sun-Pluto alignment of the FAA, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo, accused the FAA of being a favoritist organization that ignored obvious safety problems. She specifically cited the discount airline Value Jet. Value Jet was unsafe. The carrier crashed a plane (after a phenomenal history of near accidents) into the Florida Everglades in May 1996.

Now the public began to gain an awareness of the actual political ploys in commercial aviation. Favors in administration, ignoring maintenance considerations and redirecting funds—all factors of Pluto—came to light. It is interesting that with Uranus and Venus in Leo approaching an opposition from Uranus in Aquarius beginning in 1997 and 1998, women (Venus) would figure so strongly in exposing necessary changes (Uranus) in what Schiavo declared was a good ole boys club.

Schiavo continues to get media coverage whenever an issue of airline maintenance or politics comes to light. On a more mundane level, Venus rules cosmetic effects. In airline inspections, this means visual inspection of equipment. Recently, Alaska reported that they had incorrectly assessed the condition of stabilizers in many jets because they used an improper specialized (Uranus) tool. Allegedly, if someone had visually inspected TWA 800, they may have found wiring flaws near the fuel tanks.

Loud and Clear

The FAA is responsible for issuing directives concerning safety and regulations in commercial flight. Often these directives post late, are hidden or ignored entirely—usually with a cost effectiveness justification. Mercury in Leo is retrograde in the FAA chart. The attitude here is, “The rules apply, but not to our friends, and oh by the way, we’re only stating this to have it on record. If anything goes wrong, you’re on your own.” The pride of Leo here considers those who comply, submit and remain subject to rule to be friends. Those becoming troublesome get dropped. Mercury retrograde in Leo manifests here as face-saving (Leo) denial of conversations and documents detailing problems.

Other problems are ground control radar and upgrading obsolete air traffic control systems. “But it costs so much money,” argues Pluto conjunct Sun in bean-counting Virgo, conjunct neighboring Mercury in Leo. “We don’t have that kind of budget,” the powers claim. Actually, they do, but the funds and tariffs have been redirected in the budget. The budget money was taken away from aviation priorities (Mercury) to bolster more significant political pride (Leo) favorites in federal spending.

What’s Ahead for the FAA?

Between now and May 2000, Saturn will be in Gemini. Saturn, king of the realm of rules and regulations, guidelines and management, combined with the communicative essence of Gemini, may lead to clarification of ambiguous or contradictory doctrines. Uranus squaring Mars in Taurus at the end of August 2000 offers a supportive nudge for overdue change. Uranus shifts Taurus’ budget and administrative policy. Mars in the slow-going Taurus rather likes its direction. Optimistically, it looks like things can change without negative circumstances. The FAA must regain the trust of the public. This is unlikely unless they issue massive safety promises that the FAA can keep.

Beginning in 2003 and 2004, the FAA will endure the transit of Pluto to its structural Saturn and the flight safety support agenda of the Moon. This symbolizes taking care of its people (Moon) by ensuring their safety—akin to protecting children. Should these changes not integrate smoothly, we could experience the same old organization with the same old problems. Instead of re-inventing the avionic wheel, why not reallocate already appropriated funds (Pluto-Sun) in a proper manner?

Since the FAA has Mercury retrograde, communication on the matter would help. Writing a note to administration officials asking about the airline ticket tax and where it goes could be a good start. At least that’s what my radar is telling me.



Philip Sedgwick began his study of astrology in 1969. He is the author of Astrology of Deep Space, Astrology of Transcendence, The Sun at the Center: A Primer of Heliocentric Astrology, The Galactic Ephemeris (a compilation of over 8,300 points in deep space).

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For more information about Philip Sedgwick, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Philip Sedgwick:

  • Joyce Jensen   11/21/2002
  • Quaoar   10/11/2002
  • Carly Fiorina: Hewlett Packard's Head Profit   11/22/2000
  • The Boy Scouts: On Our Honor   11/8/2000
  • Hugh Hefner Kisses and Tells   11/3/2000
  • Rumble Under New York   10/24/2000
  • Bias in the Bureau of Indian Affairs   10/10/2000
  • The Wild, Wild Cards   10/5/2000
  • Ralph Nader: Green for the Red, White and Blue   9/14/2000
  • Whew, That Was Close!   9/1/2000
  • The West is Burning   8/27/2000
  • Air Rage   8/23/2000
  • Martin Luther: Ecumenical Evolution   8/13/2000
  • David Wells: Tapping the Wells   8/8/2000
  • Are You Ready for Some Football, Dennis Miller?   8/1/2000
  • Andres Galarraga: The Big Cat is Back   7/25/2000
  • Pitcher Perfect: The Big Unit   7/18/2000
  • Solar Flares   7/17/2000
  • All Stars Rising   7/11/2000
  • Staying Strong   7/4/2000
  • Investing in Bonds (Long Term)   6/27/2000
  • Sara the Tiger Trainer   6/24/2000
  • Nipped by the Bud   6/20/2000
  • Fathers and Sons   6/13/2000
  • Junior   6/6/2000
  • The Bronx Enigma: Derek Jeter   5/30/2000
  • Big Mac   5/23/2000
  • Bypass for the Express   5/16/2000
  • Ila Borders   5/9/2000
  • Swinging Sammy Sosa!   5/2/2000
  • Ripken Can Still Rip   4/25/2000
  • Neon Deion Flickers   4/11/2000
  • Baseball Gets Oriented   4/4/2000
  • A Rose is a Rose   3/28/2000
  • Tony Gwynn: Steady at the Plate   3/21/2000
  • Buz Myers   3/16/2000
  • Strawberry's in a Jam   3/14/2000
  • Off His John Rocker   2/29/2000

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