Posts with the category ‘Flying Lessons’

Icon Suggests Pilot Erred In A5 Plane Crash

May 18, 2017

Investigators don’t know what caused the fatal plane crash last week of the new and highly-anticipated light-sport Icon A5, but in a statement on the company website, Icon’s director of flight, Shane Sullivan suggests pilot error was an issue. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” Sullivan wrote.  Such speculation by an interested party during the investigation is highly unusual and frowned upon by the National Transportation Safety Board. On May 8, aeronautical engineer and chief test pilot Jon Karkow was piloting the two seat amphibious A5 with Icon’s new director of engineering, Cagri Sever on board as a passenger…. Read More…

After Dragging Passenger Off Plane United Characteristically Slow To React

April 10, 2017

Aviation is all about lessons learned. That’s not just nice talk, its the reason millions of people get on airplanes and travel around the world in near perfect safety. Airlines make a big effort to learn from mistakes. So just what is up with United Airlines, which just can’t get a handle on customer service despite the master class it gets each time it mishandles its image by manhandling its passengers? On Sunday, an unidentified traveler was hauled off a United flight from Chicago to Louisville when he refused to give up his seat so airline employees could get to work. Does anyone else see… Read More…

From United, Leggings-Clad Travelers Learn There’s No Such Thing as a Free Ride

March 27, 2017

In light of today’s furor over leggings, who can forget the US Airways frequent flyer whose chosen travel attire was a jog bra, bikini panties, thigh-high black tights and a shrug? Nope, not making that up. When I wrote a story about this for The New York Times, it followed several cases in which air travelers were denied boarding based on droopy drawers in one instance, and a too-short skirt in another. The apparent disconnect between economy passengers getting the rough treatment and Mr. Lingerie being allowed to strut his stuff in business class had a number of people miffed and not without some justification…. Read More…

Airline Pilots & Depression on Anniversary of GermanWings Crash

March 24, 2017

The father of the co-pilot of GermanWings Flight 9525 which flew into the French Alps two years ago used the anniversary of the disaster to plead that his son may not have intended to crash the airplane. Günther Lubitz hired Tim Van Beveren, a German aviation writer and investigator to review the final report of French investigators. Both men say it is lacking in hard evidence that Andres Lubitz purposefully flew the plane into the mountains killing all 150 on board. News reports say that the father of the GermanWings first officer, insisted his 27-year old son was not depressed or suicidal and Van Beveren criticized the Bureau… Read More…

WestJet Denies Close Call Caught on Camera at St. Maarten

March 9, 2017

Air travelers to St. Maarten expect a thrilling view approaching Princess Juliana International Airport. But thrills turned terrifying for passengers and observers of WestJet Flight 2652 from Toronto on Tuesday. When the Boeing 737 descended through the clouds it went well below the minimum descent altitude. The scene of the jet skimming the surface of Maho Bay was captured by aviation photographer Christine Garner,  shooting from the roof of a nearby building. She said she thought the plane was going to crash. “When this plane came out of the cloud, I was so shocked,” she said. “The surprising thing was he was lower than me. Normally they pass… Read More…

Malaysia Flight 370 Victims Likely Experienced “Happy Death”

March 8, 2017

The passengers and crew of Malaysia Flight 370, which disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing three years ago today, were lulled into a blissful sleep leading to a “happy death” long before the airplane crashed into the sea. That’s the conclusion we must draw if the Boeing 777 was lost, as I speculate it was, due to the incapacitation of the pilots in a depressurization of the aircraft. After that, the plane flew on its last heading until running out of fuel somewhere in the South Indian Ocean. Flight MH370 was a ghost flight. As I write in my book, The Crash… Read More…

Trump’s Somewhat Less-Than-Alarming Attack on Air Safety

January 26, 2017

The Washington Post tagged a story on Donald Trump’s first days as U.S. President with the alarming proclamation that he was “blocking regulations, including one to prevent plane crashes.” Without wading into the morass that is federal politics in America these days, let’s just be clear about what Trump actually did. Shortly after taking office Friday, Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, ordered a number of government agencies to withdraw proposed rules from publication in the federal register, the last stop before the “proposed” comes off and the rule becomes law. From the Department of Housing to the Interior Department, senior lawyers must have worked through the… Read More…

2016; The Year Delta Flyers Never Expected To See This

January 1, 2017

  Over the past month, five passengers were ejected from flights on Delta Air Lines and those are just the ones that made news. One has to wonder if it is a symptom or a consequence of the polarizing political upheavals seen around the globe in 2016. Right before the year ended, Los Angeles residents Blake Fleisig and Anna Koosmann created a bit of drama on a flight home. Reports say Koosmann tried to get out of her seat to go to the bathroom while the plane was still on its ascent out of Minneapolis and when she refused first the flight attendant’s instruction to sit back down,… Read More…

Time To Stop Obsessing About MH370’s Black Boxes

November 28, 2016

After 31 months of uncertainty and more than $120 million dollars spent in the search for the wreckage of Malaysia 370, it is long past time for investigators to broaden the focus of their search. Since March 8, 2014 when the plane made an inexplicable change of course and flew into the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board, air safety investigators have pinned their hopes on finding the cockpit voice and flight data recorders. The Malaysians have gone so far as to say that without the boxes, they will never know what happened to the jetliner. This has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What’s notable,… Read More…

The Engine Took Out A 767 – AA Flight 383-Photos

November 2, 2016

For an update on this event from the NTSB click here. Uncontained engine failures are relatively rare. Rarer still is the failure that leads to a hull loss. But American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 767 routed from Chicago to Miami was on its takeoff roll on Friday afternoon when passengers reported a loud explosion quickly followed by black smoke and fire just outside the right side of the aircraft. “People are yelling, ‘Open the door! Open the door!’ Everyone’s screaming and jumping on top of each other to open the door,” Sarah Ahmed told Chicago’s ABC television station, WLS. Ahmed said she could smell smoke… Read More…

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