Thursday, August 28, 2014

Aviation's Effort Combating Laser Attacks Hashtag #Ineffective #Insane

FBI video of laser illumination of an airliner cockpit
No less a brainiac than Albert Einstein could have weighed in on the phenomenally ineffective efforts of American aviation and law enforcement to combat laser attacks on airplanes. The German American physicist defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

State Concludes Menzies' Lax Safety Led to Airport Worker Death

Menzies Aviation, the Scotland-based, mega airport services company and hazardous workplace recidivist has been slapped with a $77 thousand dollar fine in California after the state's labor safety authority found it discouraged the use of safety belts on the ramp of Los Angeles International Airport. But in the case of Cesar Valenzuela, the restraint on his tow tractor wasn't even working on the night he was thrown from the truck to his death. 

The 51-year old Valenzuela, was working with cargo at the airport in February when he was found dead, his head beneath a wheel of the truck. A portion of the driver's seat belt was missing according the Cal/OSHA, which issued its report on the worker's death today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MH 370 Lawyer Behavior Criticized Yet Again

A disciplinary commission in Chicago has upheld a censure decision against a lawyer who just last week came under its scrutiny for her behavior  related to Malaysia Flight 370.

Monica Ribbeck Kelly, who made worldwide headlines when she filed the first case against Boeing and Malaysia Airlines following the mysterious disappearance of the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March, has been battling the ethics board of the Illinois Supreme Court since 2011 when she mishandled her representation of the victim of another crash.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

No Single Cause for 787 Battery Problem - News? Not Exactly

The Japanese media is out today with news that the Japan Transport Safety Board is preparing
a report on what caused the lithium ion batteries on three Boeing 787 Dreamliners to emit smoke (and in one case catch fire) in 2013 and 2014. The newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported that the JTSB has concluded there is deterioration of the electrolyte solution in low temperatures. All three battery events on Japanese airliners occurred in the month of January. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Delta's 747s to Fly Into the Sunset

In a startling change of plans, Delta Air Lines today confirmed that it will retire four of its Boeing 747s beginning in September. Employees were notified in a memo penned by Glen Hauenstein the airline's chief revenue officer.  Hauenstein described the decision as way to "reduce Delta's footprint at Tokyo Narita" and to do less intra-Asia flying.

Sixteen 747s came to Delta through its 2009 merger with Northwest. This spring, when I interviewed vice president of fleet strategy Nat Pieper for an article on the plane for Air & Space magazine, he told me executives spent a lot of time trying to decide whether to keep the planes which ranged in age from 7 to 20 years. Ultimately they decided to upgrade the interiors and fly them. The benefit of ownership was worth the extra operating expense, he told me.