Flying Lessons Blog

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…


First Airliner to Disappear is Found – 60 Years Later a Town Remembers

September 12, 2018

What unites the first airliner to go missing in 1931 with the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 is simple geography. As big as today’s airliners are, they are infinitesimally small in comparison to the vast, often-uninhabited places over which they fly. The Australian National Airlines flight of the plane named the Southern Cloud departed Sydney for Melbourne on March 21, 1931 but never arrived. Eighty-three years later, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing and likewise, was never seen again. In both events, mysteries seemed to multiply and unsubstantiated stories blended with likely possibilities until fact and fiction were inseparable. Much has changed… Read More…


How to Save an Airline Passenger’s Ass in Mexico, Ibiza and Elsewhere

August 1, 2018

Much praise goes to the crew of AeroMexico Flight 2431 and rescue workers who arrived on the scene of the accident in Durango on Tuesday. Passengers said a fire quickly engulfed the Embraer 190 after it overran the runway, still on airport property, not far from a radar array. But there are many in the industry whose hard work goes unseen and yet they are directly responsible for making accidents like this survivable. If AeroMexico Flight 2431 has any impact, I hope it will be to show the world’s air travelers the infrastructure that supports safety and that even passengers have a role to play…. Read More…


Loss of MH370 Less a Mystery Than Headlines Suggest

July 30, 2018

Having nothing new to say is usually the fastest way to obscurity. That is not the case with the release Monday of the final report into Malaysia Flight 370, the Boeing 777 that disappeared along with 239 people on a flight to Beijing four and a half years ago. It took the Malaysian air accident investigators 400 plus pages to conclude it is “unable to determine the real cause” of the accident. There are however, shards of new information in the report. These buttress the theory that the loss of this airplane was due to the not-unprecedented problem of pilot incapacitation due to oxygen starvation…. Read More…


Baby Boy Is Silver Lining to Harrowing WestJet Flight

July 10, 2018

A woman who met her partner on the WestJet Flight to St. Maarten that nearly ended in disaster, has given birth to a baby boy, with the man she met on the three-seconds-from-catastrophe flight. Carter Gooderham Davis, 7 pounds 8 ounces, was born on Canada Day, July 1 in Edmonton, Alberta to Natasha Mackesey, 30, and Ben Davis, 31. It “goes to show that life and love does happen when you least expect it,” Ben told me in an email. On March 7, 2017, Ben and his friend Rob King boarded Westjet Flight 2652 in Toronto. As they found their seats, middle and aisle in… Read More…


New Book Challenges Finding Of Pilot Error in Famous Near-Disaster

July 9, 2018

Anyone who has ever watched one of those air disaster programs on television can be forgiven for believing that there is always an “ah hah” moment, the penultimate step to discovering what went wrong. From the disappearance of aviatrix Amelia Earhart in 1937 to the still-missing flight of Malaysia 370, accident probes are never easy and rarely are they independent. They are clouded with complications; The biases of the investigators, the agendas of interested parties and the pressures from industry and government. In his new book, Scapegoat, A Flight Crews’ Journey From Heroes, to Villains, to Redemption, author and airline pilot Emilio Corsetti III tells… Read More…


Tiny Seats and Large Air Travelers – the Hazard the FAA Isn’t Talking About

July 3, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday turned down a request that it take a look at the safety implications of the shrinking airline seat. In a letter to Paul Hudson from FlyersRights.org, the FAA said it had no reason to believe that smaller seats and larger travelers is an unsafe mix when it comes to emergency evacuations. Flyers Rights had claimed that large passengers would slow evacuations as they try to extricate themselves from the smallest of economy class seats in an emergency. But the FAA challenged the assumption. The time it takes for passengers to get out of their seats is less than the… Read More…


Latest Tesla Fire Must Be Part of Larger Study of Transportation Tech

June 17, 2018

@Tesla This is what happened to my husband and his car today. No accident,out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank god my three little girls weren’t in the car with him pic.twitter.com/O4tPs5ftVo — Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) June 16, 2018 A dramatic video of a Tesla Model S furiously burning by side of a road in Southern California, is yet another reason why U.S. government investigators are right to examine the effect of new technology on overall transportation safety. On Saturday, actress Mary McCormack, tweeted… 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…


“Bombshell” TV Program on Malaysia 370 Fueled by Alternative Facts

May 17, 2018

In an earlier post, I accused the Australian 60 Minutes program of gender bias by excluding from its  Sunday show on the disappearance of Malaysia 370, the two women who wrote books on the subject, Florence de Changy author of Flight MH370 Did Not Disappear and me. In a lengthy broadcast claiming to feature the world’s “keenest minds”, 60 Minutes featured five men in a rousing exchange of maybes and coulda beens or what is otherwise known in the aviation community as hangar talk. Best to let the men fly this plane because what’s fueling Channel 9’s MH370 coverage is not gender bias but agenda bias with… Read More…


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