Posts with the category ‘Flying Lessons’


Not Just the 737 Max – Cockpit Doors Will Open on Most Airliners

January 13, 2024

  The crew of Alaska Airlines 1282 was startled. The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board was annoyed. Headlines accused Boeing of keeping yet another secret from pilots. But the design that allows the cockpit door to open in case of a significant loss of pressure is not new, nor is it unique to the Max. It is common on nearly all airliners made by Boeing and Airbus. Since the mid-2000s, plane makers have patented relatively simple devices that override the cockpit electronic door locks installed as a result of September 11th security concerns. The devices activate in response to an abrupt loss of… Read More…


“The FAA is Not Messing Around” 737 Max Pilot Responds to Investigation of Boeing

January 11, 2024

The biggest indication yet that the emergency landing of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 was likely the result of manufacturing problems at the Boeing 737 Max factory came today when the Federal Aviation Administration announced an investigation into Boeing. It is a stunning departure from the FAA’s usually tortoise-like pace in dealing with the plane maker’s two decades of problems related to building airliners that don’t fill with smoke, (787), tend to fracture on hard landings (737NG) or seize control from pilots and nosedive into the ground (737Max). “The FAA is not messing around,” said Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines pilot who flies the Max and… Read More…


The Shark, the Villian, the Sleuth and the Hero – Alaska 737 Max Drama Straight Outta’ Hollywood

January 9, 2024

Cue the John Williams soundtrack from Jaws. “Dun-dun…Dun-dun…Dun-dun.” I suspect that’s the earworm Boeing employees have been hearing since the near disaster of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. Today, they are being summoned to the company’s “All Hands Safety Meeting,” where a fixed agenda surely must be as elusive as that great white shark, slippery and fast-moving, just like an accurate total of the number of loose bolts found so far on the door plugs of Max 9s. Following the inspection mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration on January 7, both Alaska and United say they found several questionable attachments. This suggests that disaster may have… Read More…


Terrifying Minutes On Alaska 737 Max Described – Then, Joy as Missing Clue is Found

January 8, 2024

Investigators looking into the near-disaster on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max in Portland, Oregon on January 5th described what must have been a “terrifying event” during a news conference on Sunday, providing details not previously known. Alaska Flight 1282 declared an emergency after a piece of the fuselage pulled free from the plane at 16-thousand feet. The gaping hole filled the cabin with debris, wind, and a temperature well below freezing. National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy’s chilling account was drawn from her tour of the damaged airliner and interviews with flight and cabin crew members. The force of the rapid decompression pulled… Read More…


Pre-flight Pressurization Alert Key Clue in Alaska Air Emergency

January 6, 2024

  The Federal Aviation Administration ordered U.S. airlines or airlines flying into the United States with the 737 Max 9 to suspend operations of these model aircraft until inspections can be carried out. The statement, issued the afternoon of January 6th did not give details of what needed to be inspected or how they should be carried out but estimated each would take from 4 to 8 hours. One hundred and 71 aircraft are affected, according to the statement. The limited grounding comes after an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 lost a piece of the left side of the fuselage at 16-thousand feet. Headrests from… Read More…


Calamity on 737 Max Grounds 65 Alaska Planes – Consequences Could Be Enormous

This post has been updated to reflect new information Travelers on an Alaska Airlines flight leaving Portland, Oregon spent 20 frightening minutes on a wind-whipped Boeing 737 Max following a loss of pressurization described as “explosive” by flight attendants. As it approached 16-thousand feet following takeoff for Ontario, California, the pilots of Flight 1282 declared an emergency. There was trouble with the pressurization. A large section of the back left fuselage blew outward taking a piece of an unoccupied window seat with it. A teen in the aisle seat reportedly had his shirt ripped off from the force of the air quickly exiting the passenger… Read More…


Japan Airlines Prioritized Emergency Landing Training for Crews and Passengers

January 3, 2024

Japan Airlines flight attendants, lauded for accomplishing the safe evacuation of 367 passengers from a burning airliner on January 2nd were acting under a multi-year airline-wide safety enhancement program. This makes their work less of a miracle and instead provides evidence that saving lives is achievable when top management makes it a priority. Five years ago, as JAL struggled with embarrassing but not catastrophic errors, it updated its safety program with what it called “bold reforms” including more specific information about emergency evacuations.  All its employees, not just flight and cabin crews undergo evacuation training and have since the end of 2016. But it doesn’t… Read More…


JAL Airliner Burns on the Runway – Survivors Demonstrate Aviation Safety Success

January 2, 2024

  The Japan Airlines Airbus A350 is still smoldering at Haneda Airport as I write this, so important details are unknown. Nevertheless, Tuesday’s firey collision on the runway between the packed jetliner landing in Tokyo and a much smaller Coast Guard Bombardier Dash 8 waiting to depart, appears to be a demonstration of aviation’s robust efforts to ensure survivability in those rare cases when things go wrong. After colliding with the smaller turboprop, erupting into flames, and hurtling down the runway all 369 passengers and 12 crew members on the JAL flight from Sapporo were able to evacuate successfully. Of the 7 people aboard the… Read More…


“Don’t Call Me Rosie” – Proud Welder In Her Youth Dies at 98

December 24, 2023

My mother-in-law Mary Schembari could probably count on her arthritic fingers how many times she has flown on an airplane. In the 40 years she has been in my life, I don’t recall that she ever did.  Only stories of two trips to Europe led me to conclude that she probably boarded an airplane a few times in her long life. Still, she needs no frequent flyer miles to have her place sealed in aviation history. She welded airplane parts for the Corsair Navy fighter plane, putting her among the six million women in America who supported the defense industry during World War 2. These… Read More…


Already Taking Off, the Unlikely Story of TWA 800 Debris Washing Up on a NJ Beach

December 21, 2023

A New Jersey beach walker who discovered what appears to be airliner wreckage by the water’s edge may not actually break the internet, but a TikTok video of his find and subsequent encounters with local police are poised to get a good conspiracy theory debate going around the holiday dinner table. And I wouldn’t say that if people weren’t already linking the find to TWA Flight 800 and Malaysia 370. Matthew Jacob, an actor and producer according to his IMDB link came across the 4 connected seats on December 19th, not far from where the waves were pounding the sand. “I think I just found… Read More…


Enter to Win

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