Author Archive


Should Epstein’s Pilots Have Foiled His Child Sex Trafficking Ring?

September 7, 2019

As new reports emerge about the various ways the late convicted pedophile Jeff Epstein procured and pimped young women to some of the most influential men in the world, the public has heard little from the pilots who greeted the VIPs and the underaged girls as they boarded Epstein’s private jets. Larry Visoski and David Rodgers flew for Epstein for nearly two decades. How could they be unaware of what the boss was up to? Still, Visoski and Rodgers, both of Florida, remain free to work as commercial pilots with no enforcement actions taken against them from the years Epstein pled guilty to those activities…. Read More…


An Aviation Day Wish to the World’s Would-Be “Piolet”s “Layer”s and “Writter”s

August 16, 2019

In her career as a lawyer and law professor at Washington College of Law, my sister Lee Negroni mentored many aspiring professionals. But how far —and how long — do ripples of inspiration travel? Recently, she came across a packet of thank you letters she received in 1993 after speaking to elementary school students in McLean, Virginia. I suspect Lee, who specialized in mortgage finance law, did a great job explaining her work to the 7-year olds. In one of the notes from the students, Christopher Herring wrote that he also wanted to “work and solve peoples (sic) problems”.  Eleanor Ennis said that her “dad… Read More…


The Many Reasons To Rise With the Sun in Cadiz

August 12, 2019

  Nestled low among mid-rise, colonial-era buildings in the heart of the old city of Cadiz, my rental apartment had just one problem; the rising sun did not enter my bedroom window until well past 8:00. As I’d chosen to stay in Southern Spain in February to escape the New England winter I did not want to lose a moment of daylight just because my sun-sensitive body clock was tricked into thinking it was still too early to get up. A month later, (having surrendered to an alarm clock) I was doubly convinced. There is too much to enjoy in this historic city by the… Read More…


California Congressman Lands Sully in Bid to Legislate Runway Safety

August 9, 2019

With the help of the pilot who is arguably the most popular aviator since Charles Lindbergh, a California Congressman is proposing legislation that strengthens the power of the nation’s air investigators in dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration. But some are worried about inserting politics into aviation safety. At a news conference on Thursday, Cong. Mark DeSaulnier and Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger the now-retired US Airways pilot of Miracle on the Hudson fame, announced a need to correct flaws in the nation’s safety system. Referring to the uniformed airline pilots who shared the stage, Capt. Sully said of their job, “These gents and their colleagues… Read More…


Judge Warns Delta About Airing its “Laundry” In Case Involving FAA Nominee

July 9, 2019

Steve Dickson, the former Delta Air Lines executive nominated to run the Federal Aviation Administration has been slowed on his path to Senate confirmation for failing to disclose his role in a decision to send an employee for a psychiatric evaluation that the pilot claims was retaliation for reporting safety problems. Whether the lapse derails Dickson remains to be seen. But whatever qualms Senators have about Dickson’s commitment to safety, would certainly spike if they spent any time reading the transcripts of testimony in the lawsuit Karlene Petitt brought against Delta. When she reported safety concerns to Dickson and others at the airline, Petitt said… Read More…


Will Jeff Epstein’s Popular “Global Girl” Face Sex Crime Charges Too?

Among the lengthy list of villains in the disturbing saga of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is a small cadre of women who as youngsters themselves, helped the billionaire feed his insatiable appetite for teenaged girls. Nadia Marcinko, the pilot and social media influencer known as Global Girl, was named as one of these abetters, as I reported before in Flying Lessons. We know that victims testified Marcinko was a participant in the sex crimes Epstein plead guilty to in Palm Beach back in 2008. Forty girls said Epstein paid them to for sex sometimes with him and Marcinko, and that they were also encouraged to recruit other… Read More…


Trump’s FAA Pick Loses Support Over Pilot Psychological Evaluation

July 6, 2019

President Trump’s nominee to head the Federal Aviation Administration has lost the vote of a key Senator on the committee involved in the confirmation process. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, announced on Friday that she would not support former Delta Air Lines executive, Steve Dickson. The senator said Dickson had displayed a lack of candor in his interactions with the Senate Commerce committee and questioned the safety culture that existed during Dickson’s time as director of flight operations at Delta. Two pilots who worked under Dickson, Karlene Petitt and Karl Seuring, have filed whistle-blower complaints. After Dickson’s nomination, those complaints have been cited as raising questions… Read More…


Time to Examine Decades of Boeing Design Decisions

June 27, 2019

What do the Boeing 737, 747, 787 have in common with the 737 Max? Novel designs that air safety officials found “flawed.” But that’s not where the similarity stops. A look back over a half century of deadly crashes and repetitive near-disasters reveals a pattern of denial by Boeing when aspects of its airliner designs are questioned. This week what’s making news is the discovery by a Federal Aviation Administration test pilot that there is a potentially catastrophic problem on the supposedly fixed system controlling the Max’s flight control computer.  Details of the problems vary but Jon Ostrower’s news site, The Air Current reports some… Read More…


Who Gets To Try the 737 Max Fix? Not The Pilots Who Will Fly It

June 19, 2019

Two retired airline pilots got to fly in the Boeing 737 Max simulator now fitted with the revised MCAS system, Randy Babbitt the former administrator of the FAA and Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger. But when it came to letting the airline pilots who will be flying in the presumably improved 737 Max with paying passengers onboard, Boeing apparently nixed the idea. Boeing’s 737 Max is widely thought to have harbored a design flaw that contributed to two air disasters that killed 346 people. And yet, conciliation seems to elude the plane maker. At a hearing on Wednesday before the House Subcommittee on Safety and Transportation, the… Read More…


Second Delta Pilot Claims Retaliatory Action by FAA Nominee

June 10, 2019

Substantial allegations against Steve Dickson, the nominee to head up the Federal Aviation Administration have been made by two pilots who worked for him. These suggest the former senior v.p. of Delta flight operations may be the wrong choice to head up a government safety agency with monumental tasks before it. Already the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has slowed the confirmation process to investigate Dickson more thoroughly. A number of news outlets have reported the charge that Karlene Petitt, a Boeing 777 pilot with two decades of commercial flying experience and a Ph.D. from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, was grounded after reporting safety… Read More…


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