Posts with the category ‘Uncategorized’


Video from Cabin of Doomed Lion Air Flight

October 29, 2018

In the world of air safety investigators, we have been discussing this casually for several years: which crash in which all on board are killed will be the one to be broadcast on social media? Now it would appear that the answer is Lion Air Flight 610, which plummeted into the Java Sea on Monday morning. All 189 people on board the flight from Jakarta to Bangka Belitung Islands are presumed lost. See my earlier post on the accident here. Posted on Twitter today is video from the darkened passenger cabin of the Boeing 737 MAX, as passengers pray and at least one records and streams… Read More…


Cascade of Failures on Air India Jet, Leads to Close Call at Newark

September 14, 2018

A cascade of failures on an Air India Boeing 777 led to an emergency diversion to Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday. By the time the plane touched down, fuel was low enough for a “not very comfortable,” situation for the crew, according to Les Abend, a recently retired 777 captain. On Friday, Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the agency was aware of the event and would be looking into it along with Air India. Flight 101 from Delhi to New York’s JFK with 370 people aboard was descending through 300 feet when the crew initiated a go-around. After reaching two-thousand… Read More…


Safety Report: Westjet Flight Just 3 Seconds from Crashing in St. Maarten

June 4, 2018

A Canadian probe into the WestJet Boeing 737 that flew astonishingly close to the water on approach to St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport last year, shows the plane was less than three seconds away from hitting the water. The stunning event, caught on camera by aviation photographer Christine Garner, has been under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. On Monday it released its final report detailing a list of findings and risks exposed by the near disaster on March 7, 2017. The flight from Toronto, with 164 people aboard was 63 feet above the Caribbean flying through heavy rain when the proximity… 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…


Nick Tramontano; An Aviator’s Legacy of Kindness

February 12, 2016

  Consider this quote from Irish aviation executive Willie Walsh talking about the boss of a competing airline, Virgin’s Richard Branson. “I don’t like him, I don’t admire him, I don’t buy his bullshit.” Or consider Michael O’Leary of Ireland’s Ryanair, “I don’t give a shit if no one likes me. I’m not a cloud bunny or an aerosexual. I don’t like aeroplanes. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other platoons of goons who populate the airline industry.” The world of aviation is full of arrogant, combative individuals who may be providing a service to a world growing ever more reliant on air… Read More…


FAA Funding Collides With ATC Overhaul and Airplane Fire Threats

February 11, 2016

The public has sporadic interest in air travel news; seat size and ticket prices get attention, as do stories of badly-behaving flight attendants. But two issues being debated in Washington deserve some thought for their significance as safety issues with wide-reaching impact. On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued yet another warning about the danger of carrying lithium ion batteries on airplanes. This was ostensibly timed to coordinate with Florida Senator Bill Nelson’s new proposed legislation to ban shipping lithium ion batteries in bulk as cargo on passenger flights. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board have been warning for years that lithium ion… Read More…


Aviation Year in Review Has a Star Wars Sci-Fi Feel

December 29, 2015

Star Wars dominated the end-of-the-year entertainment news. Harrison Ford, the ageless superstar most associated with the ageless film franchise also arrives on my list of top aviation news stories as I wrap up the year with a look back at 2015. It was March (and the movie was already in the can) when Ford, a pilot for nearly a quarter century, lost the engine on his Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport. He crash landed on a golf course about 800 feet from the airfield. The NTSB determined a carburetor malfunction allowed too much fuel to flow into the engine causing… Read More…


Rolling Down the River; World’s Best Waterfront Bike Rides

December 24, 2015

Somewhere between the too-slow pace of walking and the everything-passes-by-in-a-blur of driving, I think riding a bike is just right. Some places are more conducive to bicycles than others, Beijing and Hanoi are for the suicidal pedaler, too much traffic, not enough respect for the two-wheeler. Seoul and Santa Monica, on the other hand are two of many cities where in a manageable distance one can go from city center to scenic waterside trail.  An additional plus in Seoul is free daily bike rentals for visitors.  That’s right, I don’t know how long it will last but the rental is absolutely free with helmets and locks included. How hospitable… Read More…


WWJD? If Jesus Had Been a Pilot

December 22, 2015

>A patient being carried All photos courtesy Samaritan Aviation. Mark Palm thinks he knows what Jesus might do if he were a pilot. He might climb into the left seat of a Cessna 206 Amphibian and fly the 700 mile long Sepik River in Papua, New Guinea helping transport the sick to the region’s only hospital. It must feel a bit like being God, and not in a good way, when Palm and others with the medical transport charity Samaritan Aviation have to dispassionately triage passengers before giving them a ride on the air ambulance.   Only those at risk of death– but not so close to… Read More…


Happy Birthday from Syria and Other Places in a Troubled World

December 19, 2015

>One of my Facebook messages today Not long after my eyes opened this morning I enjoyed reading some of the early birthday greetings posted on my Facebook page. (Don’t judge me.) It is heartwarming to be remembered by friends and family of course. Then I noticed something else; the remarkable number of countries from which those greetings came. I counted eleven even before 9:00 o’clock. My host family during my 2006 stay in Syria, my daughter’s former boyfriend in New Zealand, an au pair from Spain, a tour guide from Morocco, a pre-teen acquaintance from Australia, an a septuagenarian from Japan, business associates from Norway,… Read More…


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