Aviation Safety

FAA’s Failure To Respond To NTSB Safety Recommendations May Have Contributed To Texas Balloon Tragedy

August 2, 2016

Here we go again.  Another aviation tragedy and another National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that could have prevented the crash was not acted upon by the Federal Aviation Administration. This time a hot air balloon crashed Saturday in Texas killing sixteen people.  Initial reports are that the balloon crashed into high intensity power lines. Reports […]

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Severe Turbulence Terrorizes Passengers

May 6, 2016

Editor’s Note: I can tell you that this is no small trauma.  As a passenger aboard a Chautauqua Airlines Saab 340 years ago, the crew decided to fly us through 45 minutes of severe turbulence.  Horrible wingovers, descents, ascents—we were like a cork on a violent ocean.  I really thought for those 45 minutes I wasn’t […]

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Criminalization of Aviation: Does It Enhance Safety?

May 30, 2012

Now comes an announcement from Greece that a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer has received a ten-year prison sentence for allegedly not re-setting a cockpit switch on a Helios Airways 737-300 which crashed in 2005 after its oxygen supply ran out and the pilots and many passengers fell unconscious. The criminal sentence is made even more […]

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Safety is never an issue – until there is an “issue”

January 25, 2012

Safety is never an issue – until there is an “issue” is an element of business that has been imprinted in my life from early years. At my elementary school, teachers would parade the class through the “Crime-mobile”. My fellow students and I saw car accidents, gunshot wounds, amputations and overall some considerably macabre images. Of course, all of this left a lasting impression. From that time forward I have been intrigued to learn how these “bad” things continue to occur and ideally how they can be prevented.

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Ten Extra Knots and 100 Extra Feet — Always a good thing?

May 3, 2011

On the famous list of “Things That Do You No Good in Aviation” are the following: the airspace above you, and the airspeed you don’t have. There are more of course, but I want to focus on these because, in the past two decades of looking at controlled crashes following engine failures, I have come […]

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Do It Right The First Time!

December 21, 2010

I have heard people in many aviation environments talk about “the mission.” Maybe it is my perspective from an oversea post where I am in harm’s way, but lately I have had the following thoughts which, I believe, can apply to any aviation endeavor or simply driving the family car—or taking other unnecessary risks. You […]

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FAA’s Missing Data On One-Third Of Private And Commercial Aircraft Could Be A Security Threat To U.S. Safety

December 19, 2010

According to a recent article by the Associated Press, the FAA has lost track of one-third of the private and commercial planes in the United States.  These lost documents pose a serious threat to America from terrorists and drug traffickers. At a time when passengers of all ages are being humiliated and embarrassed at our […]

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Protecting Our Youngest Travelers

December 13, 2010

The Department of Transportation sent out an FAA reminder shortly before the holiday season began concerning the safety of children on commercial airlines: The safest place for child on board a plane is in a child safety seat or a device based on your child’s weight – NOT in your lap.

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Criminalization of Aviation Accidents

December 10, 2010

The announcement by the court in France of criminal convictions for the United States’ Continental Air Lines and one of its mechanics in the aftermath of the Concorde crash on July 25, 2000 sent shivers down the spines of all who care about aviation safety.  As we discuss in this post, criminalizing non-intentional careless conduct—ordinary […]

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