Posts with the tag ‘airlines’


To Win Back Fear-Filled Passengers, Airlines Need a New Normal

May 14, 2020

As the coronavirus shows signs of subsiding, airline executives are making rosy promises that the business of air travel will soon rebound. These optimistic views must be seen for what they are; the best possible spin of what is in reality, an existential threat. Modern air travel has boomed based on a several decades-long marketing plan of enticing customers with cheap tickets and and a “why not?” sales pitch. Why not pop across the country to hear your favorite rock band? Why not hop on the red-eye for a morning sales call and be home in time for dinner? Why not escape a rainy weekend… Read More…


Flying Lessons That Can Help Us Navigate Coronavirus

March 19, 2020

This is not the post where you will be told to wash your hands and avoid touching your face. No, this is a continuation of my long-held philosophy that pilots have useful practices that we can all use to deal more successfully with the uncertainties of life. The global pandemic of Coronavirus rages, governments differ in how best to respond to the threat. Confined to our homes we worry. Now think about this: Airline pilots use well-established techniques that assure they work safely on every single flight. If, metaphorically speaking, flight is life, then we are the captains who can take advantage of this knowledge… Read More…


Lion Air Crash Report Urges Realistic View of Pilot Capabilities

October 25, 2019

The final report on the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 tells a lengthy but ultimately old story; many things combined to lead to the October 29, 2018 disaster that killed 189 people. The National Transportation Safety Committee details nine as it lists the shortcomings of Lion Air, Air Nav Indonesia and Boeing. Incorrect, flawed, erroneous, incomplete and ineffective are just some of the damning words that litter the list of contributing factors. But it is its recommendation to Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration that goes to the heart of the global debate that heated up with the twin Max disasters. What is the… 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…


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…


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…


Protecting Super Bowl Sky Should Raise Civil Air Patrol’s Profile

February 3, 2019

For as many pilots who plan to stay on the ground Sunday, all the better to watch the 53rd Super Bowl being played in Atlanta, there will be some who think, “Hey, what a great day to fly!” If your plans include flying over Georgia, be sure to check the temporary flight restrictions and special air traffic procedures above and around Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Some of these notices went into effect earlier in the week and some will continue through February 5th according to the Federal Aviation Administration. TFRs and special procedures are nothing new for pilots, though the ones that apply for special events like… Read More…


With Female Pilot, Olay Ad Sells a Future of Possibilities for Girls

October 2, 2018

Twenty-one-year-old airline pilot Tristan Mazzu thought she’d found her dream job when she was hired as a first officer at SkyWest Airlines in 2017. But the glamour of flying was elevated when she was selected by Olay to appear in an ad campaign celebrating women who take on challenges. Her inadvertent entry into the world of modeling, has turned Mazzu into a role model for girls. In the minute-long ad, Mazzu reflects on the instructor who questioned her potential, stereotypes that reinforce discrimination, voices of doubt in her own head and the raised eyebrows of others when they see her in her pilot’s uniform. She… Read More…


Wowch! Tow Truck Lacerates Kenya Airways 737

July 24, 2017

This pathetic looking Kenya Airways Boeing 737 is just eight years old, but my, oh my, what havoc a tow truck can do! The unfortunate run-in between the ground handling equipment and the 737 registration 5Y-KYF happened before midnight on Saturday July 23rd at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as the plane was parked at the gate. No one was aboard and the plane was being serviced for its daily 4-hour flight to Johannesburg. There’s no way to consider this good news, but the airline can be thankful for one thing. This happened the only day of the week the flight is conducted on a… Read More…


WestJet Denies Close Call Caught on Camera at St. Maarten

March 9, 2017

Air travelers to St. Maarten expect a thrilling view approaching Princess Juliana International Airport. But thrills turned terrifying for passengers and observers of WestJet Flight 2652 from Toronto on Tuesday. When the Boeing 737 descended through the clouds it went well below the minimum descent altitude. The scene of the jet skimming the surface of Maho Bay was captured by aviation photographer Christine Garner,  shooting from the roof of a nearby building. She said she thought the plane was going to crash. “When this plane came out of the cloud, I was so shocked,” she said. “The surprising thing was he was lower than me. Normally they pass… Read More…


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