Author Archive

737 MAX Families Use Tactic From Jeffrey Epstein Victims To Dispute Boeing Plea Deal

January 23, 2022

Relatives of 737 MAX victims seeking to undo a plea deal Boeing made with the Department of Justice, will make their case to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland next week. Lawyers are calling the meeting with the nation’s top law enforcement officer ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unprecedented’.  But in filing court documents claiming the Justice Department violated their rights when it signed a deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing, they are following the playbook of victims of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. In 2008, Federal law enforcement made an arrangement with Epstein that is similar in opacity to the deal prosecutors made with Boeing. Epstein was allowed to avoid a… Read More…

New Book on 737 MAX Explores Boeing’s Phenomenal Descent

December 17, 2021

In the world of air accident investigations, finding out what led to a crash is followed by finding out why. Why is critical. That’s one reason I often write about the fallacy of attributing an accident to “pilot error”. Pilots (mechanics, designers, schedulers, dispatchers, flight attendants, etc.) will make mistakes, that is inevitable. Tracking those errors upstream to see what in the system led to those mistakes is how aviation gets safer. Or, as Key Dismukes, one of my favorite human factors scientists once told me, “The airplane, the designer, and the pilot are part of a complex system. Under certain circumstances, things happen that… Read More…

World War 2 and More At Connecticut Aviation History Center

December 6, 2021

Among the events scheduled to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, is a gathering this weekend at the Connecticut Air & Space Center. A World War 2-era warbird, a recently renovated Chance Vought Corsair, dominates the main room, on the property of the historic 1929 hangar of Curtis Wright Flying Services. The Corsair was a carrier-based fighter plane, the fastest Navy plane at the time with a range of 11-hundred miles. FG-1D with the number 92460, is an artifact and a symbol of the museum’s particular focus; Connecticut’s contribution to aviation history. Over the past century, the… Read More…

Harry Robertson, Designer of Fire Resistant Fuel Tanks Dies at 87

November 1, 2021

If safety professionals are underappreciated by the beneficiaries of their labor it could be because their work is hard to assess. Or, as retired air accident investigator Ron Schleede explains, “You can’t count the accident you prevented. You can’t calculate the lives you save.” And while that’s often true, Harry Robertson, who died on October 9th, did interrupt death. He did this by separating air accidents from the single largest consequential hazard, a post-crash fire. And he accomplished that by eliminating ruptured fuel tanks and spilled fuel the largest factors in post-crash fires. “Most severe army helicopter crashes resulted in fires, accounting for over 40… Read More…

Alec Baldwin Hollywood Shooting and Fatal Comair Crash Have Complacency in Common

October 27, 2021

Authorities in New Mexico investigating the unintentional shooting of two filmmakers last week by actor Alec Baldwin told reporters today that the actor was given a gun and told it was unloaded even though a live round was in the chamber. When Baldwin, on the set of the western film, Rust, fired the gun while rehearsing a scene, a bullet went through cinemaphotographer Helyne Hutchins and then struck Souza. “It fired from the weapon and it caused the death of Hutchins and injured Souza,” said Sante Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza. Three weapons were being used for the film, Mendoza said but only the .45… Read More…

Attorney for Forkner, Boeing Fall Guy, Begs for Insiders to Come Forward

October 18, 2021

In a quiet but urgent tone, the attorney representing Mark Forkner, Boeing’s former chief technical pilot for the design of the 737 MAX, urged insiders to come forward with information that might help his client, now facing fraud charges related to two deadly crashes. Speaking outside the Federal Courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas to “all of you who know the truth” Houston lawyer David Gerger, urged insiders to get in touch. Forkner, 47, left Boeing in July 2018 to fly for Southwest, one of the larger 737 MAX customers. Three months later, the first of two MAX aircraft designed with new flight control software, crashed… Read More…

Test Pilot May Face Prison But Prosecution of Boeing in 737 MAX Disasters is Unlikely

October 15, 2021

Mark Forkner, formerly a Boeing test pilot, was to be arraigned in Federal Court in Texas today for fraud for his role in the crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX airliners that killed a total of 346 people. Forkner is the first individual to be criminally charged for hiding Boeing’s flawed design of the 737 MAX from regulators. One might find this lone wolf prosecution curious considering that in legal documents signed by Boeing earlier this year, the airplane maker acknowledged “fifty or more employees” had “participated in, condoned or was willfully ignorant” of Forkner’s deception of the FAA. The consequences of the deception are… Read More…

Can Your Next Vacation Make You Smarter?

August 19, 2021

Zermatt, Switzerland – It’s a no-brainer that visiting museums and historic sites can make a vacation an educational experience. But kinetic activities, say a heart-rate elevating rafting trip or a tour by bike can also make us smarter. People who immerse themselves in nature get other benefits too, including enhanced memory, cognitive function and creativity, a feeling of well-being and bonding opportunities with like-minded fellow travelers. That science backed up what I’d already believed to be true was liberating. No longer did I have to feel guilty about choosing to go snorkeling instead of an edifying but more sedentary outing like visiting a local landmark…. Read More…

TWA 800 Conspiracy Theorists, You’re Wrong

July 16, 2021

Saturday, July 17th marks the 25th anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747 that exploded shortly after takeoff from New York, killing all 230 people on board.  While many events since that day in 1996 have eclipsed the story in size and scope (the 9/11 attacks and the Corona pandemic to name but two) the theory lives on that the official cause of the crash was covered up. “Look-backs” at the accident necessarily include the unlikely scenario that the flight from New York to Paris was felled by a missile. But the theory flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that… Read More…

Traveling With Ignorance and Uncertainty. Yes, I Bought a Campervan

July 15, 2021

It took eight months from that day in May 2020 when I first started thinking about getting an RV until I took possession of my new campervan. While that’s shy of a full gestation period, I do find myself murmuring, “Hello baby,” each time I approach it, ready for my next road trip. Yes, Ladies and Gents, I bought a campervan and it has taken possession of me. From the position of still not knowing much about this thing called #vanlife, Here are some things I have learned already. There is a lot to learn. Other RV owners are eager to help. Some are brilliant…. Read More…

Enter to Win

Want to receive some free swag from Christine? Sign up for the mailing list!