Posts with the tag ‘aviation’


Jaws Syndrome? That’s a Teething Problem

June 13, 2013

Boeing brings the 787 to Ethiopia in 2011 I have a double major in aviation and journalism – I bring it up to make this point: Several things are happening with the Dreamliner. Some are serious and some are ordinary, new-airplane glitches, dare-I-say, teething problems.  The causes of the recent 787 flight cancellations in Japan may fall in the latter category but grand or minor, the Jaws syndrome means that each nip of the teeth will gnaw on the still-rehabilitating reputation of the Boeing 787. Jaws Syndrome is the tendency of the media to latch on to news on a particularly hot subject, giving the… Read More…


South African Airways: Entertainment Before, During and After the Flight

June 1, 2013

Saturday afternoon I flew from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Cape Town on South African Airways Flight 347, to attend the International Air Transport Association Annual General Meeting. I was pretty sure it would be an on-time flight since Monwabisi Kalawa, the airline’s new chief executive was on the plane. Of course he was in business class and I was back, way back in seat 27F.   What I did not know was what a great vantage point that seat would give me for all the goings-on before, during and after we landed in Cape Town. Here are some of the highlights with photos to… Read More…


Pre Flight Walk Around Prompts List of Fave Airports

May 30, 2013

As much as I like to fly, the prospect of being on a 12 hour flight during the daytime (when I probably won’t sleep much) makes me a little apprehensive. I have ants-in-the-pants-syndrome; it is very difficult for me to remain seated for extended periods of time. So Wednesday morning, before I boarded Ethiopian Flight 501 from Dulles International to Addis Ababa, I decided to tire myself out with a good, long strenuous power walk. I have the perfect playlist for this, assembled by my music-loving sister Lee. Setting out from the Dulles Airport Marriott, I was thrilled to discover I could go all the… Read More…


Cars or Planes? Movie Might Instigate a Dogfight at My Home

May 21, 2013

Disney may not have intended to instigate domestic strife with the release of the trailer for its new animated feature, Planes, but I can tell that the sparks are going to fly around my house.  There they are, all those pretty little airplanes, soaring in time with the swelling chords of the music while cars and trucks with their anthropomorphized windshield-framed eyes remain solidly earth-bound. My son, Sam, writes about (ho hum) cars.  My husband Jim and middle son Sam, are auto writers, gear heads through and through. As I have complained in a previous post, neither one of them can hold a conversation outdoors without stopping mid sentence to… Read More…


Will Passengers Weigh in on the Dreamliner?

May 13, 2013

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED AND REVISED  Does the decision of the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the Dreamliner to fly again need judicial review? An airline passenger rights organization thinks so. In a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA, FlyersRights.org is asking that the Boeing 787 be restricted to routes that are no farther than 2 hours from the nearest diversion airport. Paul Hudson, the president of FlyersRights.org and the chief of the Airline Consumer Action Project says the issue is “urgent” since airlines around the globe are beginning to put the Dreamliners back into service as Boeing’s battery-in-a-box safety enhancements are… Read More…


Apology and Correction – Ethiopian IS Flying 787 Again

April 30, 2013

Readers, an apology is in order. Jon Ostrower of the Wall Street Journal informs me that Ethiopian Airlines is flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on its Addis Ababa to Frankfurt route and my earlier post suggesting that the headline making Saturday re-inaugural flight of the troubled twin jet was a one-off is incorrect.  Earlier in the day I was told by Ethiopian reservations agent that the 787 was not flying which I took as an acknowledgement by the airline that before it put the plane and its brand new fire and smoke containing battery box back on the line, it would do a little more flight… Read More…


Is Ethiopian’s First Dreamliner Flight a Delusion?

April 29, 2013

Ethiopian’s 787 ET-AOP on April 27th Boeing photo THIS STORY HAS BEEN CORRECTED AND UPDATED HERE. Ethiopian Airlines loaded up Flight 801 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on Saturday and literally lifted the Dreamliner from its three month grounding, the first Boeing 787 customer to resume service on the troubled jet or so the stories say. But wait, announcing a resumption of service may be a tad premature. A more careful reading of the Ethiopian and Boeing press releases seems to indicate that despite the fuss, the flight was a one-off. Tewolde Gebremariam in Addis Ababa Sure there were passengers on board the plane, including Tewolde… Read More…


ETOPS Restrictions for the 787 – 2nd Biggest Nightmare

April 17, 2013

Presumptive much? In Tokyo on March 16, Boeing’s Mike Sinnett made some very bold statements when asked if the Dreamliner’s battery woes might result in the Federal Aviation Administration‘s restricting the airplane’s ETOPS overwater capabilities. Why should it? Mike Sinnett, suggested to a room full of journalists. “The certification plan is designed to lift the AD (airworthiness directive) to fully comply and there will be no additional limitations on the airplane following the lifting of the AD.” That’s not what I’m told, and replying to a question in a Senate hearing yesterday the Seattle Times Dominic Gates reports, FAA chief Michael Huerta made it clear the troubled jet’s… Read More…


A Crash Every Two Years, Who Is Worried About That?

April 12, 2013

When I’m hard at work, taking notes say, at a National Transportation Safety Board public forum, I will have my laptop open, my iTouch recording and (busted) be checking my email on my Samsung Galaxy Smartphone. All of these devices are powered by lithium ion batteries, and not just that, but cobalt oxide formulations, one of the more volatile chemistries. This was noted by none other that the NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman as she spoke with reporters at the end of day one of the forum focusing on these batteries. The day was filled with facts and included several experts concluding that the technology may be… Read More…


Air Ambulance Pilot Demonstrates How Deadly Distraction Can Be

April 10, 2013

The pilot of an emergency medical helicopter was text messaging before and during the flight that ended in disaster near an airport in Mosby, Missouri in 2011. His actions and his distraction were cited as contributing factors in the crash that killed four people on board an Air Methods helicopter in August 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board said today. During a hearing into the cause of the crash, Bill Bramble, a human performance specialist with the NTSB said, “A lot of texting was going on.” And while the information that a stream of text messages were received and sent by the pilot during the… Read More…


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