Flying Lessons Blog

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…


Ethiopian Airlines Law Suit on Behalf of American to be Filed in the U.S.

April 3, 2019

The first civil lawsuit on behalf of an American victim of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 will be filed on Thursday in Federal Court in Chicago on behalf of a 24-year old health care worker and the niece of consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Samya Stumo, originally from Sheffield, Massachusetts, was on her way to Nairobi for work with ThinkWell Global when the Boeing 737 Max plunged into a field six minutes after takeoff. The accident, the second crash of Boeing’s newest jetliner forced the grounding of the entire fleet and tough scrutiny of the design and certification of the airplane. Robert Clifford, a… Read More…


NTSB Chairman Says He Might Have Done as Pilots in Fatal 737 Max Crashes Did

March 28, 2019

America’s top transportation safety official, and a former 737 captain told U.S. senators on Wednesday what he might have done if he was in the cockpit of one of the Boeing 737 Maxs that inexplicably and repeatedly went nose down before crashing in Indonesia and Ethiopia. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, Robert Sumwalt replied to that hypothetical question saying, “Well, I flew the 737 for 10 years, and I do believe there is a procedure on the Flintstone version of the 737 I flew, a very old 737, but I do believe the first thing I would do is oppose that motion by pulling the… Read More…


AvGeek in Phoenix Gets Lucky With Tour of Global 7500’s Final Test Flights

March 26, 2019

When aspiring aviation photographer and full-fledged aviation geek, Chris Swallow tossed his step ladder into the back of his SUV and headed for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Saturday he had more in mind than just seeing what interesting airplanes he might photograph. Swallow, who has lived in Phoenix’s East Valley area for the past two years, knows he is likely to encounter something noteworthy. In the past, he’s photographed Air Force T-45s, T-38 Talons, the T-6 (that’s his photo of the Texans below) along with the AV-8B Harrier and the V-22 Osprey. Gateway Airport occupies some of the land that until 1993 was Williams Air… Read More…


Ethiopia’s Black Boxes Arrive in France, Will Criminal Probe Be Next?

March 14, 2019

They might not have thought it possible for the situation to get worse, but the decision of the Ethiopians to send the black boxes from Flight 302 in Paris may give Boeing yet another thing to worry about; the possibility that the planemaker could become the subject of a criminal investigation by the French. In a number of countries, air accident investigations pursue a dual track; both air safety and criminal liability. This is the case in France. Following the fatal crash of Air France’s Concorde in Paris in July 2000, the government prosecuted Continental Airlines (now United) and two airline employees charging them with… Read More…


Trump Speaks For FAA on 737 Max – What’s Wrong With That?

March 13, 2019

President Trump did what America’s Federal Aviation Administration would not do and grounded the Boeing 737 Max. This will bring American Airlines 24 Maxs and Southwest’s 34 and 14 United 737 Max 9s to a halt for an indeterminate time. Both the Max 8 and the Max 9 use the same MCAS system that is being examined for its possible role in the fatal crash of Lion Air 610 in October. It may also a  possible contributor in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that killed 157 including Capt. Yared Getachew and first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur seen here on a photo from his… Read More…


What’s Behind Ethiopian Delay in Reading Black Boxes

Officials at the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. State Department are trying for a second day to get the Ethiopian government to make a decision about where it will send the black boxes recovered from Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. This comes as a result of the extraordinary delay in reading them since they were found on two days ago. The Ethiopian government has said simply that it will send the flight data and cockpit voice recorder “abroad”. Both the NTSB and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Bureau have offered their labs and a well-regarded recorder facility capable of doing this work is located… Read More…


Ethiopian Crash: Out of Control and Evocative of Lion Air

March 10, 2019

One hundred and fifty-seven people were killed in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX Sunday. The airliner en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi slammed into a plateau near the town of Bishoftu southeast of Addis creating a crater that leaves little of the airplane intact. It suggests the force with which the airliner hit the ground. “You can look at the accident site and make a couple of guesses from the gouge in the earth; this airplane was out of control when it hit the ground,” said John Gadzinski, a 737 captain and air safety specialist. It was, he suspects, “flying… Read More…


A Highway Runs Through It – the Runway that’s Walkway, Bikeway and More in Gibraltar

February 21, 2019

With a stiff wind blowing from the east, Ingrid Lang of Kreizlingen, Switzerland steadied herself against the gate, her cell phone tightly clasped in her hand. She and her husband had pedaled their bikes from a campsite a few miles across the Spanish border just to be at the barricade on the south side of Gibraltar International Airport in time to see British Airways flight 493 depart for London. An aviation geek from childhood, Ingrid may have been the most enthusiastic bystander but she was far from the only one. Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers were also watching, having been brought to a temporary halt by… Read More…


Nurse Arrested for Fatal Error – An Aviation Safety-Inspired Investigation Should Follow

February 15, 2019

There’s one thing every medical patient and every medical professional should demand now that a nurse in Tennessee has been criminally charged with accidentally killing a patient; a full and public investigation into the factors that led to this tragic mistake. This could and should be the same as what happens following air accidents. Thirty-five-year-old Radonda Leanne Vaught gave a fatal dose of the paralyzing drug vecuronium rather than versed, an anti-anxiety medication to a 79-year old woman who was being prepared for a body scan. Because both drugs begin with the letters v e, Vaught selected the first drug offered by the computerized medication dispenser failing to… Read More…


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