Posts with the tag ‘FAA’


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…


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