Posts with the category ‘Flying Lessons’


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…


Deadly Consequences of Passenger Behavior on Display in Aeroflot Evacuation

May 6, 2019

Air travelers lingering to retrieve bags during an emergency evacuation may very well be responsible for the deaths of 41 people in the fiery crash of an Aeroflot jetliner in Moscow on Sunday. More than half of those onboard the Sukhoi Superjet were unable to escape the burning airplane – raising the possibility that the deaths were due to evacuation delays. In addition to determining what happened to trigger the power loss that prompted the pilots to return to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport shortly after taking off, airlines, airplane manufacturers, flight crews and yes, air travelers must examine the role of passenger behavior. Because everyone has… Read More…


Confined In Choices Early On, Flight Attendant’s Career Soars

April 26, 2019

When Margrét Halldórsdóttir was a girl in the sixties, career paths were more strictly prescribed than they are today. That was the case even in Iceland, one of the world’s most feminist countries – the first nation to elect a woman president and the first openly gay prime minister. Limited choices made no difference to young Margrét who knew from an early age she wanted to be a flight attendant, a nurse and a mother. Achieving all three, Margret, now 67, went further; she wove these separate jobs together creating a notable tapestry of work/family/community. On Monday, April 29th on a flight from Copenhagen to… Read More…


Safety Challenges Link Boeing’s 737 Max and the 787 Dreamliner

April 23, 2019

As if the criticism of the Boeing 737 Max wasn’t enough, The New York Times has expanded its attention from design and certification of the Max to the assembly and flight testing of the last new airliner Boeing produced; the 787 Dreamliner. A front-page story on Sunday indicts the planemaker for a host of safety infractions at its South Carolina Dreamliner assembly plant. Former workers at the plant say when they were working there, they complained about safety violations and a get-it-done-fast-if-not-right attitude. I have heard similar stories since 2013 when I began reporting on the 4-month grounding of the Dreamliner due to the propensity of… Read More…


Terror at Takeoff; Boeing Remedy Did Not Work – Report Suggests

April 4, 2019

  The pilots of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 encountered troubles with their brand new Boeing 737 Max shortly after the jet’s wheels left the pavement in Addis Ababa, early in the morning of March 10th. The sensor registering the angle at which the airplane sliced through the sky sent erroneous information into the plane’s system and the stick shaker in front of captain Yared Getachew (seen left in photo above) “activated and remained active until near the end of the flight,” the Ethiopian investigators have determined. Reading through the 25-page preliminary report the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) of Ethiopia released today, a cascade of… Read More…


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