Posts with the tag ‘air safety’


Head of FBI Probe Into TWA 800 Crash Dies, Leaves Mixed Legacy

July 6, 2021

This post has been updated to included confirmation of Kallstrom’s death and details concerning the cause of death. James Kallstrom, the 78-year old former head of the New York office of the FBI, died on July 3rd. According to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, Kallstrom struggled for six years with an illness related to his exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam in the sixties. Edmond J. Boran, the foundation’s president told me Wednesday morning that Kallstrom’s exposure in 1966 and 1967 only began to trouble him fifty years later when a mysterious rash appeared on his upper torso. He was treated with chemotherapy…. Read More…


Like A Greek Tragedy, Congressional Report on 737 Max Disasters Replete With Tales of Chicanery and Hubris

September 16, 2020

  Over the course of 7 months in 2011, Boeing did an about-face. While in January it eschewed the idea of putting new engines on its 44-year old workhorse, the 737, by July, executives embraced the idea. The change in attitude was in response to the re-engined Airbus A 320 neo, which was racking up orders for the Toulouse-based planemaker, including some from formerly loyal Boeing airline customers. The calculation that it would be cheaper and faster to tweak an old model than to design a new one, led to the Boeing 737 Max. Like a Greek tragedy, with all of the sorrow, the intrigue,… Read More…


Wait. Stop. Please Don’t Threaten Prosecution in Ukrainian Crash

January 12, 2020

Despite the tragic loss of 176 people onboard the Ukrainian International Airlines flight shot down over Tehran on January 8, no one should applaud the promise made in a Tweet from Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, to prosecute those responsible for the attack on a civilian airliner. And let’s not get too excited either about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Retribution sounds satisfying in the heat of the moment, but it will not make another attack less likely in the future and that should trouble everyone who flies. Since the news first broke that the Ukrainian International 737 crashed… Read More…


Iran Includes US & Boeing and Considers Explosion In Ukrainian Crash Probe

January 9, 2020

#BREAKING: It is now known that the Flight PS752 of #Ukraine International Airlines exploded mid-air before impacting ground in #Shahriar, near #Tehran, #Iran. Cause of the explosion of this Boeing 737-8KV with UR-PSR register is unknown.This video shows it moments before crash? pic.twitter.com/b1n6TVBccD — Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 8, 2020 Iran plans to include the United States, Boeing and the joint American/French CFM Engines in its probe into Wednesday’s crash of a Ukranian International Airlines Boeing 737 that killed 170+ people. In a rapidly filed report (in Persian) with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Iranian government indicated it would follow the United Nation’s internationally… Read More…


Boeing Practiced in Hiding Information from Investigators

October 29, 2019

Boeing’s decision to keep from investigators text messages from 2016 in which a 737 Max test pilot, Mark Forkner, worried that there were egregious problems with the airplane’s flight control system prompted the Administrator of the Federal Aviation  Administration two weeks ago to demand answers from Boeing. In a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, Steve Dickson wrote that he expected an immediate explanation. Likely, members of the Senate Commerce Committee will make a similar demand of Muilenburg when he testifies on Tuesday. To be clear, however, this is not the first time that Boeing purposefully withheld information that would have been useful to investigators…. Read More…


Irony of Pilot Laying Blame On Pilots in Boeing 737 Max Disasters

September 21, 2019

Full disclosure, I own and have read nearly every book ever written by William Langewiesche. He is a gifted writer with a stunning intellect and this is just an aside, he’s quite the looker. I have interviewed him twice but with his latest article in The New York Times Magazine, I think my crush is over. In a lengthy piece just published, Langewiesche weaves the known facts of the two 737 Max disasters into a jumble of opinion, pilot-bashing and Western superiority. Ostensibly, he is informing Times readers that not all pilots are Chuck Yeager and to justify the headline of the article, when it… 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…


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…


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…


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…


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