Posts with the tag ‘FAA’


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…


Scant Coverage of Boeing Hacking Should Make Flyers Wannacry

April 2, 2018

Say “dead puppy in the over head bin” or “comfort peacock” and I’m guessing most folks will know what you’re talking about.   A Google search finds nearly two million references to the event last month in which a dog suffocated after a flight attendant ordered its owners to put the crated puppy in the overhead bin. A stunning 16 million references litter the Google landscape related to the passenger who tried to board a United flight with a comfort peacock in tow. Without diminishing the trauma of the family of the pup, “Coquito” or the curiosity factor related to anyone choosing to fly with a… Read More…


Pilot Considered Landing in NY’s Central Park Before Fatal Crash in East River

March 27, 2018

The pilot of the Eurocopter AS350 that lost engine power while flying over New York’s Central Park on March 11, briefly considered putting the helicopter down in Central Park but concluded there were too many people on the ground below. Instead, Richard Vance tried to slow the helicopter’s descent as he flew toward the East River in the aircraft on which the doors had been removed to enhance visibility for sightseeing. In an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board after the accident that killed all five passengers, Vance, 33, said when the helicopter first hit the river and began to fill with water, he… 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…


Samsung Note 7 Upside, Igniting New Thinking on In Flight Fires

October 15, 2016

At noon today, October 15th,  Samsung Note 7 phones will no longer be allowed on airplanes, the U.S. Department of Transportation has ruled. “The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device is considered a forbidden hazardous material,” reads the press release issued by the DOT. Passengers carrying one will be denied boarding and those who try to evade the ban surreptitiously, “are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident” and could be subject to prosecution. Samsung is still unable to identify what about its newest gadget is causing the batteries to go into thermal runaway, spewing flames and toxic smoke. But the Samsung mystery is prompting a few airlines… Read More…


Another Day Another Fine for Air Methods

September 15, 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration just announced another fine against Air Methods, a large operator of helicopter ambulances – this one for nearly $900,000 for a particularly egregious infraction; knowingly flying patients in an aircraft with a serious safety defect. Between November 4 and the 11th in 2014, the FAA claims, Air Methods continued to use the helicopter after an FAA inspector told the company the pitot tubes were “severely corroded.” The FAA called this behavior, “reckless and careless”, endangering lives. “Operators are expected to respond appropriately when FAA inspectors alert them to airworthiness concerns,” Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement to journalists. Huerta made nearly similar statements in pointing out other infractions… Read More…


Allegiant’s Record No Indicator of Safety

July 18, 2016

Credit to Paige Kelton of Jacksonville’s WJAX-TV, for doing the heavy lift and reviewing 2,400 pages of FAA incident reports on Allegiant Air. In her report last week, Kelton reveals that the documents show seventy-six flights into Florida over a two year period had safety issues grave enough to require they be reported to the feds. Where I’ll argue with the report is in the conclusion of her safety expert who credits the pilots for the fact that the airline hasn’t had any fatal accidents. Allegiant’s pilots may be fantastic but attributing the lack of a catastrophe on the flight crew is a two edged sword. When disaster arrives… Read More…


Lawsuit Questions Lufthansa’s Supervision of Student Pilot in GermanWings Crash

April 18, 2016

The lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly eighty of the 150 victims of the suicide-induced crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 on March 24, 2015, directs attention to the training of the pilots who fly for the airline (now called Eurowings) and its big brother, Lufthansa. Full disclosure before I continue. From 2001 until 2008, I was the primary investigator for Kreindler & Kreindler, the American aviation law firm that has sued Lufthansa’s pilot training center, called Aviation Training Center of Arizona or ATCA. In October 2010, I spent a week living and flying with the cadets who would, as Lubitz did,  go on to become pilots with the airline. I wrote several… Read More…


Federal Investigators Find Oversight Lacking in Air Ambulances

April 15, 2015

The attention of the flying public may be riveted to events like Malaysia 370 and Germanwings Flight 9525 but when it comes to hazards, helicopter ambulances are second only to combat flying. In other words, orders of magnitude riskier than traveling in an airliner. The fine levied against America’s largest operator of emergency medical helicopters exposes once again the gap between what the air ambulance industry promises and what it delivers. On Monday the Federal Aviation Administration fined Air Methods of Colorado one and a half million dollars. Air Methods, which refers to is itself as “Defenders of Tomorrow” may have been just a little too… Read More…


Powerful Spin on Dreamliner Problems

January 12, 2013

READ THE UPDATE HERE Confused yet? You’re not alone. Anybody watching the three men at today’s Dreamliner news conference might have felt like that they were listening to that country & western song in which a husband still trying to defend himself after being caught with his mistress asks his wife, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” Over the past few months anyone paying a modicum of attention has seen Boeing’s game-changing 787 fly from one problem to another until this week when, in a crescendo worthy of a Japanese horror film, there were four unfortunate events including a battery fire on the… Read More…


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