Posts Tagged ‘air travel’

Boeing Finally Grounds All Remaining 737 Max 8 Planes

March 14, 2019

Boeing Finally Grounds All Remaining 737 Max 8 Planes

Many global air carriers stopped flying their Boeing 737 Max 8 airliners after the fatal crash of that model in Ethiopia on Monday, but President Trump (“I like stupid pilots“), who often chats with Boeing’s CEO (a major campaign donor and lobbyist) put it off until late Wednesday. By then, some US travelers scheduled to fly on Max 8s were rebooking.

Boeing had devised a software update for the Max 8 after a similar fatal crash in Indonesia in October, but FAA approval was reportedly delayed by the Trump government shutddown. In the words of the president, “God Bless Boeing.”

More:

“How Did the F.A.A. Allow the Boeing 737 Max to Fly?” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

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Congress Passed an FAA Extension. Here’s Why.

October 2, 2015

Congress Passed an FAA Extension. Here's Why.

The House and Senate passed a six-month extension for the Federal Aviation Agency this week. Everyone in DC knew they would.

Why?  Self-interest. Senators and members of congress fly into Washington on Tuesday morning and fly home again on Thursday afternoon. They spend most of their time back home on Job One, raising money for the next campaign.

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American Airlines iPad Crash

May 3, 2015

American Airlines iPad Crash

70 American Airlines flights were delayed last week when an app on the pilots’ iPads crashed. The problem wasn’t with the planes or the iPads but with the software, made by a division of Boeing. According to Re/Code a conflict between two versions of the Washington National Airport map jammed up the software, and the glitch was finally solved by deleting and re-installing the app.

American Airlines has been using Apple tablets in all its planes since 2013, replacing the 35 pounds of reference papers and manuals each pilot used to haul on board for each flight. The airline says going paperless and replacing 24 million pages of documents with 8,000 iPads saves the company 400,000 gallons of fuel each year.

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It’s Sad. But It’s Getting Sick.

March 23, 2014

It's Sad. But It's Getting Sick.

“World’s first cyber hijack: Was missing Malaysia Airlines flight hacked with mobile phone?” James Fielding and Stuart Winter, The Express

“CNN: Did a Black Hole Make Flight 370 Disappear?” Taylor Berman, Gawker

“Spoon-bender Uri Geller asked by Malaysian officials to locate missing plane,” Sophie Alexander, The Express

“Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Is There a Bermuda Triangle Connection?” Benjamin Radford, LiveScience.com

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Body Scanner Alternatives

November 20, 2010

Body Scanner Alternatives

Air travelers worldwide are protesting the use of full body scanners in airports, and they like TSA’s full-body pat-downs even less. Eternal vigilance is the price we pay in the battle against deadly exploding undergarments, and this public resistance doesn’t leave many alternatives. One of our readers suggested underwear check-in and compulsory use of security-compliant kilts by air travellers. We assume the airlines will charge extra for that.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Body Scanner Reality Check

November 17, 2010

Body Scanner Reality Check

Airports have installed Full Body Scanners (FBSs) to keep exploding underwear from interfering with flight schedules. Number of air crash fatalities caused by exploding underwear: 0. Number of air crash fatalities caused by alligators and crocodiles: 23 (20 in the Congo and three in Florida).  Sounds like TSA needs to hire Crocodile Dundee.

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New Pet Bathrooms at DC Airports

July 10, 2010

New Pet Bathrooms at DC Airports

Washington DC’s Reagan National Airport now has “pet relief areas” so traveling dogs can go to the bathroom. Similar facilities just opened at nearby Dulles Airport, including one in the post-security area. Dogs are equally relieved at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). In fact, jet-set puppies poop at many U.S. airports.

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Bird-Killer ‘Sully’ Sullenberger Forced to Retire by Audubon Society

March 3, 2010

Bird-Killer 'Sully' Sullenburger Forced to Retire by Audubon Society

Pilot Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III, infamous for an airborne goose slaughtering episode, retired Wednesday. Bird watchers claim the powerful Audubon Society pressured him to stop flying.

Captain Sullenberger has more leisure time now, and is expected to spend much of it hunting and roasting waterfowl. 

Bird-Killer 'Sully' Sullenburger Forced to Retire by Audubon Society

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Full-Body Scanners: Old Technology

January 5, 2010

Full-Body Scanners: Old Technology

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is considering mandatory use of full-body scanners for examination of passengers boarding at all airports. Here’s one reason: TSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Michael Chertoff, former DHS director, is a shill for a body-scanner manufacturer.

While use of airport body scanners may not actually prevent acts of terrorism, purchasing them is sound public policy. When airports discard the useless machines, they can be re-sold to hospitals and clinics at a discount, which will dramatically reduce the cost of medical imaging.

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Flying Home

December 30, 2009

Flying Home

If you are flying home after the holidays, please be aware that more stringent airport security measures are now in effect.

Details here, here, here, and here.

 UPDATE:Underpants of Mass Destruction.”

Hat tip: Erika Niedowski, Washington City Paper.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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