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Aviation Archives

"Are Airliners So Automated That Pilots Are Becoming Complacent?"

The title question was posed by a recent New York Times article examining a trend of behavior in the cockpit that is both alarming because of its prevalence, and disturbing because of its potential for disaster: pilots relying on automated piloting systems to do their job while they shift their attention elsewhere.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt: "We Can Never Stop Working Toward That Next Level Of Safety"

At the 2010 World Aviation Training Seminar on April 27th, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Randy Babbitt delivered a speech that focused on the crucial role that human involvement plays alongside the ever-advancing realm of flight technology. In his speech, Administrator Babbitt underscored the point that the availability of flight technology should supplement, not replace, human awareness and involvement with all flight operations. "The expectation is that even with the auto pilot engaged, the human pilot is too," Babbitt said to the attendees at the Orlando seminar.

DOT Denies Airlines' Requests For Exemptions From New Rule Limiting Time They Can Keep Passengers On Tarmac

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has denied the exemptions requests made by five airlines in relation to a new federal rule that will limit the amount of time an airline can force passengers to remain onboard a flight stopped on the tarmac. JetBlue Airways, Delta Airlines, US Airways, Continental Airlines and American Airlines all petitioned the DOT to allow for exemptions to the rule, which goes into effect on April 29. The airlines sought the exemptions for certain airports, including New York's La Guardia and JFK, where runway construction and other issues have caused traffic backups on the tarmac.

NTSB Says Poor Maintenance, Including Extremely Under-Inflated Tires, Caused 2008 Plane Crash That Killed Four And Critically Injured 2 In South Carolina

On April 6, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its findings in the investigation into the fatal, September 19, 2008 plane crash of a chartered, Bombardier Learjet at South Carolina's Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The jet, carrying 6 people on board, was operated by Global Exec Aviation and was destined for Van Nuys, California, when it overran the runway, crashing through a perimeter fence and crossing a roadway before coming to a berm and bursting into flames. The captain, first officer and two passengers died in the crash; the two survivors, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein escaped the fiery crash but were critically wounded.

NTSB Study Reveals "Glass Cockpits" No Safer In Single Engine Planes Than Traditional Instruments

In a somewhat surprising conclusion to a study conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), it was recently announced that airplanes equipped with 'glass cockpits', or digitized flight data displays, have not proven to be any safer than planes that operate with conventional, non-digital instrumentation.

NTSB Releases Its 2010 List Of 'Most Wanted' Transportation Safety Improvements: Aircraft Icing and Reducing Operator Fatigue Included

In the middle of February, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced its 2010 Federal Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, addressing concerns in the areas of rail, marine, aviation and highway safety. Each issue within the individual areas was assigned a status color related to actions taken thus far in response to the safety issues: Red ("unacceptable"), Yellow ("acceptable-progressing slowly") or Green ("acceptable response-progressing in a timely manner").

FAA Slaps American Eagle Airlines With Proposed $2.5 Million Fine For Flying With Improper Cargo Weight Calculations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Monday that a $2.5 Million fine was being proposed against American Eagle Airlines for operating a multitude of flights with erroneous cargo weight data.

American Airlines Flight 331 Governed By Montreal Convention

The December 22, 2009 crash of American Airlines Flight 331 at Kingston, Jamaica's Norman Manley International Airport ended a year wrought with many highly publicized - and several devastatingly tragic - aviation disasters. Flight 331, which originated in Miami, Florida, crash landed in bad weather and skidded off the runway, crossed a road and came to rest on a beach only feet away from the Caribbean Sea. The impacts cracked apart the airplane's fuselage and destroyed the landing gear while heavy rain battered the wreckage and passengers. All 154 people on board survived the crash, but more than half of them suffered injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones.

New Federal Regulation Limits Time Airlines Can Keep Passengers On Board Plane During Tarmac Delays

On December 21, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation, ("DOT"), announced a new rule that imposes a three hour limit on the amount of time an airline can keep a passenger on board a domestic flight that has been delayed on the tarmac. Exceptions exist within the rule for concerns of safety or security, or if the air traffic control advises the pilot that a return to the gate would disrupt the operations of the airport.

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