Posts with the tag ‘air safety’


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…


Could Pilot’s Death in Ditching Have Been Avoided by Air-Sea Communication?

February 12, 2019

How difficult would it be to find a basketball in an area of the ocean slightly larger than the city of Dallas? That was the job facing the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast over the weekend. Cutters, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft spent 21 hours unsuccessfully searching for 68-year old Robert Hopkins, a pilot for a Florida air cargo company who ditched in the Atlantic on Friday afternoon, about 13 miles off the coast of Miami. After failing to find Capt. Hopkins by midday on Saturday, the search was called off as Hopkins was presumed dead. The flight’s first officer, 28-year old Rolland Silva was recovered by a Coast… Read More…


NTSB Questions if Tests of 20-Year Old Jet Engine are Sufficient

November 14, 2018

The death of Southwest Airlines passenger Jennifer Riordan was as horrific as it was surprising. The 43-year-old executive from Albuquerque was partially sucked out of the window of a Boeing 737 on a flight to Dallas in April when one of the plane’s engines came apart and pieces penetrated the passenger cabin. On Wednesday, at a hearing before the National Transportation Safety Board which is investigating the accident, a representative for the Federal Aviation Administration admitted that the way the engine came apart, damaging the airplane and triggering the decompression that pulled Riordan through a broken window, should not have happened under engine certification requirements…. Read More…


New Book Challenges Finding Of Pilot Error in Famous Near-Disaster

July 9, 2018

Anyone who has ever watched one of those air disaster programs on television can be forgiven for believing that there is always an “ah hah” moment, the penultimate step to discovering what went wrong. From the disappearance of aviatrix Amelia Earhart in 1937 to the still-missing flight of Malaysia 370, accident probes are never easy and rarely are they independent. They are clouded with complications; The biases of the investigators, the agendas of interested parties and the pressures from industry and government. In his new book, Scapegoat, A Flight Crews’ Journey From Heroes, to Villains, to Redemption, author and airline pilot Emilio Corsetti III tells… Read More…


Safety Report: Westjet Flight Just 3 Seconds from Crashing in St. Maarten

June 4, 2018

A Canadian probe into the WestJet Boeing 737 that flew astonishingly close to the water on approach to St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport last year, shows the plane was less than three seconds away from hitting the water. The stunning event, caught on camera by aviation photographer Christine Garner, has been under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. On Monday it released its final report detailing a list of findings and risks exposed by the near disaster on March 7, 2017. The flight from Toronto, with 164 people aboard was 63 feet above the Caribbean flying through heavy rain when the proximity… Read More…


NASCAR Crash Points Out Disparity In Aviation Safety Standards

September 17, 2017

It is an odd situation that a man who successfully competed in race car driving, ostensibly a dangerous sport, should die in an airplane crash. On Saturday, NASCAR racing legend Ted Christopher, 59, was killed along with pilot Charles Dundas while flying through Connecticut en route to a race in Long Island, New York. The men were flying in a Mooney M20. A few factors, however, should make this news less than surprising. Over the past few months, Connecticut has been the scene of nine general aviation plane crashes, four of them fatal. The troubling statistics prompted Connecticut’s senator Richard Blumenthal to send a letter… Read More…


The Lady Vanishes Igniting 80 Year Old Mystery

June 30, 2017

Eighty years ago as Amelia Earhart waited in Lae, New Guinea for weather to clear so she could begin her homeward flight across the vast Pacific, she gave thought to the fact that on this, one of the last legs of her month-long, round-the-world flight, she’d be crossing the International Dateline. “Clocks turn back,” she noted. As with all errors of judgment, the sweetest idea is the impossible one; turning back the clock and starting afresh – armed with the lesson learned. As I wrote in my book, The Crash Detectives,  Earhart the adventurer and global role model, made several errors in planning her record-setting… Read More…


ICON Aircraft Founder Kirk Hawkins Disputes Post on Pilot Error in A5 Crash

June 8, 2017

Having experienced its first fatal crash last month, the founder of ICON Aircraft Kirk Hawkins is understandably on edge. I’m to blame for some of that, apparently. In a previous post, I suggested he was pointing the finger at the pilot of the A5 that crashed on Lake Berryessa on May 8. Here’s why. On the day the National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary report into the accident, ICON published on its website, a statement that offered even more information than the NTSB. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” the company statement read. Knowing Hawkins’ off-stated… Read More…


Icon Suggests Pilot Erred In A5 Plane Crash

May 18, 2017

Investigators don’t know what caused the fatal plane crash last week of the new and highly-anticipated light-sport Icon A5, but in a statement on the company website, Icon’s director of flight, Shane Sullivan suggests pilot error was an issue. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” Sullivan wrote.  Such speculation by an interested party during the investigation is highly unusual and frowned upon by the National Transportation Safety Board. On May 8, aeronautical engineer and chief test pilot Jon Karkow was piloting the two seat amphibious A5 with Icon’s new director of engineering, Cagri Sever on board as a passenger…. Read More…


Samsung Note 7 Upside, Igniting New Thinking on In Flight Fires

October 15, 2016

At noon today, October 15th,  Samsung Note 7 phones will no longer be allowed on airplanes, the U.S. Department of Transportation has ruled. “The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device is considered a forbidden hazardous material,” reads the press release issued by the DOT. Passengers carrying one will be denied boarding and those who try to evade the ban surreptitiously, “are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident” and could be subject to prosecution. Samsung is still unable to identify what about its newest gadget is causing the batteries to go into thermal runaway, spewing flames and toxic smoke. But the Samsung mystery is prompting a few airlines… Read More…


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