Posts with the tag ‘safety’


United 767 Makes Emergency Landing as Engine Quits on Zurich Flight

March 28, 2022

This post has been modified to reflect a wise reader’s observation that the age of plane is less relevant than the age and most recent maintenance of the PW4000 engines, which this person believes must be considerably younger. I do not have this information as Pratt & Whitney and United declined to answer questions. Passengers boarding United’s Sunday flight from Newark to Zurich had to be pleasantly surprised to discover the cabin was only half full.  That is unusual as airlines struggle to keep up with post-pandemic passenger demand. But the good news stopped before the Boeing 767-300 had even crossed the Atlantic, as the… Read More…


New Recorder Find Should Narrow List of Theories in China Eastern Disaster

March 27, 2022

Officials looking into the fatal crash of China Eastern Flight 5735 told reporters Sunday morning that they had located a critical piece of wreckage from the main debris site, the Boeing 737’s flight data recorder. The find was made by one of several teams of local fire and rescue personnel in an area determined to be a likely spot based on where other key debris was found. Mao Yanfeng head of aircraft investigation at the Civil Aviation Administration of China board told reporters the FDR will provide a raft of “real and objective” information for determining what caused the crash. Included in this list, Yanfeng… Read More…


Delta Retaliated Against Pilot By Sending Her to Shrink – Judge Rules

December 22, 2020

Delta Air Lines and its top executives, including the present FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, retaliated against a pilot when it sent her for psychiatric evaluation after she complained of safety issues at the airline, a judge has ruled. Judge Scott Morris ruled that Delta “engaged in an adverse employment action with discriminatory intent,” when it sent Karlene Petitt to Dr. David Altman, a company-appointed doctor who determined she was bipolar. Had that been true, it would have been a career-ending diagnosis.  But Petitt, 58, was not bipolar, as two other doctors later determined. Nevertheless, the ordeal kept her out of the cockpit for nearly two… Read More…


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…


Airlines Aspire to Fly Like the Dogs

April 9, 2020

via GIPHY Flying dogs? In the aviation business the folks responsible for flying cargo are called Freight Dogs. And these days the dogs are having their day. “Demand is off the charts,” said Shawn Cole Vice President Cargo for Delta Air Lines. Sure, there are the pharmaceuticals and medical supplies so much in demand to deal with Coronavirus, but there is also mail to deliver and the unglamorous but exceedingly important transportation of components for manufacturing. “We’re here to help keep global commerce moving and supply lines open,” Cole said in a video produced by Delta. “Transforming our operation to provide cargo-only charter flights allows… 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…


A Decade in Aviation Departs Leaving Challenges in Its Wake

December 31, 2019

The request for an email interview arrived in my inbox from Namibia shortly after Christmas. The journalist wanted my thoughts about, what else, the Boeing 737 Max. The October 2018 and March 2019 crashes of two of Boeing’s newest jetliners and the subsequent grounding of the fleet for an unprecedented 9 months (and counting) is the aviation story of the decade. Like a pebble tossed into a pond, the ripples continue to radiate outward, making the Max debacle a story of global significance. Norway, Indonesia, Argentina, China, Mauritania, Iceland, Morocco, airlines in these and other nations have been impacted by decisions made at Boeing and… Read More…


Grinch Arrives at Airport Where Santa Died, Pilots Say

December 24, 2019

On the Friday before Christmas in 1959, private pilot Charles Chase Jr. died dressed in a Santa suit. The 39-year old father and aviation aficionado had taken his airplane over Central Maine, loaded with Christmas presents for the children in the town of Dover-Foxcroft. It was an annual tradition that would see him land right back on the private airstrip he helped develop and distribute presents to the kids eagerly awaiting their flying Santa. Gifts and Santa are an unbeatable combination but sixty years ago, one can imagine that the kids were probably equally excited about the airplane. On this particular Christmas, however, Santa’s arrival… 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…


Time to Examine Decades of Boeing Design Decisions

June 27, 2019

What do the Boeing 737, 747, 787 have in common with the 737 Max? Novel designs that air safety officials found “flawed.” But that’s not where the similarity stops. A look back over a half century of deadly crashes and repetitive near-disasters reveals a pattern of denial by Boeing when aspects of its airliner designs are questioned. This week what’s making news is the discovery by a Federal Aviation Administration test pilot that there is a potentially catastrophic problem on the supposedly fixed system controlling the Max’s flight control computer.  Details of the problems vary but Jon Ostrower’s news site, The Air Current reports some… Read More…


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