Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>investigation</span>

LionAir Flight Updated

On the flight prior the LionAir accident flight on the Boeing Max registered as PK-LQP, an off-duty fully-qualified Boeing 737-MAX 8 pilot was traveling home on flight JT-43. The plane encountered problems similar to the next flight that crashed it (i.e. the LionAir accident flight from Denpasar to Jakarta.) The crew aboard the earlier flight managed to land the aircraft at the destination. Based on the crew’s entry in the AFML, the engineer at Jakarta flushed the left Pitot Air Data Module (ADM) and static ADM to rectify the reported IAS and ALT disagree and cleaned the electrical connector plug of the elevator feel computer. The aircraft was subsequently released to carry out flight JT610.(A different crew manned the fatal flight.) The pilot was interviewed by the Kantor Komite Nasional Keselamatan Transportasi–Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia (KNKT). The KNKT committee is responsible for investigating and reporting air transportation system accidents, serious incidents and safety deficiencies involving air transportation system operations in Indonesia.

The KNKT estimates that the release of the final report for Lion B38M in August or September 2019.

The KNKT is cooperating with Ethiopian Authorities but will make no official comment. News media reports suggest that on the earlier LionAir flight, a third pilot had occupied the observer’s seat in the cockpit of flight JT-43 and that this pilot identified the automatic trim runaway issue at hand and initiated that the trim cut out switches be used.

The preliminary report on the LionAir crash is located HERE.

Trigana Air Flight 267 Crash: Black Box to be Sent to France after Unsuccessful Data Retrieval Attempts

Trigana AirAccording to a preliminary report released by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), the black box from Trigana Air jet that crashed in August will be sent to France for data retrieval.

The flight TGN267 crashed after it lost contact with the ATC during a flight from Sentani airport, Jayapura, to Oksibi, Papua. There were 54 people aboard at the time; all of them were killed.

The report released on October 7 said, “The downloading process to retrieve data from the FDR was unsuccessful. For further examination, the FDR data will be downloaded at BEA facility in Paris, France.”

The report further said that the cockpit voice recorder had a 2-hour recording but it did not give any clue as to what caused the crash.

Furious Air France Workers Attack Executives Over Job Cuts

Air FranceAbout 100 Air France employees stormed a management and union official meeting on October 5, after the airline announced plans to shed 2,900 jobs in the next 2 years.

The airline, which is struggling to compete with global rivals, announced job cuts after failing to convince its pilots to work longer hours on same salary.

The airline’s human resources manager Xavier Broseta and the head of long-haul flights Pierre Plissonnier had to flee from the angry workers, with their shirts torn off.

Seven people, including a security guard, were injured in the incident.

French President Francois Hollande said, “Social dialogue matters and when it’s interrupted by violence, and disputes take on an unacceptable form, it can have consequences for the image and attractiveness” of the country.”

A criminal investigation has been launched into the incident.

Medical Helicopter Crashes on Hospital Roof Helipad

bellThe new PHI Air Medical Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil (#N395P) on its first flight had just delivered a patient from Rio Rancho to University of New Mexico hospital. Taking off from the hospital roof, the helicopter crashed, injuring the pilot and two medics aboard. No patients were aboard at the time.

The helicopter lifted off for 30 feet, spun, then fell back to the roof; the tail impacted the building and the helicopter rolled on to its side. It caught fire, but the fire was put out by sprinklers. The top two floors of the hospital were evacuated as a precaution. The accident occurred at a quarter to six pm on April 9, and NTSB investigators arrived Thursday morning.

PHI (Petroleum Helicopters International) flies patients to hospitals, medical equipment, gas, oil, and technology.

Puma Gearbox Metal Shavings Conflict

The gearbox is a center of controversy in the investigation of the accident where the Bond Super Puma crashed off Peterhead, killing 16 men including two crew: Capt Paul Burnham, 31, of Methlick, Aberdeenshire, and co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, of Droitwich Spa, who worked for Bond Offshore Helicopters, KCA Deutag employees Brian Barkley, 30, of Aberdeen; Vernon Elrick, 41, of Aberdeen; Leslie Taylor, 41, of Kintore, Aberdeenshire; Nairn Ferrier, 40, of Dundee; Gareth Hughes, 53, of Angus; David Rae, 63, of Dumfries; Raymond Doyle, 57, of Cumbernauld; James John Edwards, 33, of Liverpool; Nolan Goble, 34, of Norwich, and Mihails Zuravskis, 39, of Latvia; and non employees James Costello, 24, of Aberdeen, who was contracted to Production Services Network (PSN); Alex Dallas, 62, of Aberdeen, who worked for Sparrows Offshore Services; Warren Mitchell, 38, of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, who worked for Weatherford UK; and Stuart Wood, 27, of Aberdeen, who worked for Expro North Sea Ltd.

The inquiry blames the crash on gearbox failure, but for Bond and French company Eurocopter the question remains exactly where metal particles (evidence!) were found in the gearbox.


WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board is convening a 2-day investigative hearing to discuss the ongoing investigation into the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 and to gather additional factual information. The hearing, which will be held December 10–11, 2013, at the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, DC, will focus on pilot awareness in highly automated aircraft, emergency response, and cabin safety. Parties participating in the investigative hearing will be announced at a later time.
Below is an update of the ongoing investigation. This is a factual update only and no interviews are being conducted.
• The investigator-in-charge and investigators from the Operations and Human Performance Group traveled to Korea and met with officials from Asiana Airlines and the KARAIB. While in Korea, investigators conducted numerous interviews with Asiana management and training personnel, observed Asiana procedures in a simulator and an exemplar aircraft, and gathered further documentation on airline training and policies.

• NTSB investigators from the Maintenance Group also traveled to Korea and reviewed the records for the accident airplane, including the maintenance that had been performed on the evacuation slides.

• The Survival Factors Group conducted an examination of the evacuation slide/raft systems at the manufacturer’s facility in New Jersey and is planning future testing of the systems. The group also re-examined the wreckage to gather additional information about the fire propagation and structural damage. Following that examination, the wreckage was sectioned and moved to a secure storage facility.

• Investigators and party members met in Seattle to examine the recorded flight data and compare it to the expected airplane systems operation. The Systems Group is currently developing a test plan for the mode control panel and the Vehicle Performance Group is finalizing the event simulation match.

NTSB Launches Go-Team to Investigate UPS Flight 1354 Crash in Alabama

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board is launching a full Go-Team to investigate this morning’s crash of a United Parcel Service Airbus A300. The crash occurred while on approach to Runway 18 at Birmingham International Airport in Birmingham, Ala.
Senior Aviation Investigator Dan Bower will serve as investigator-in-charge. NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt is accompanying the team and will serve as the principal spokesman during the on-scene phase of the investigation.

Public Affairs Specialists Eric Weiss and Keith Holloway will also be in Alabama to coordinate media related activities. Eric can be reached by mobile phone at 202-557-1350.

Air France Flight 447

Air France 447 went down over the Atlantic in 2009.

The fly-by-wire A330 incorporates technology that prevents the airplane from entering a stall, but during a complete loss of airspeed information, however, the system reverted to manual control.

The final report said said the pilots were “completely surprised” by technical problems experienced at high altitude and engaged in increasingly de-structured actions until suffering “the total loss of cognitive control of the situation.”

CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation has been recorded said pilots generally manually manipulating the controls for only three minutes:one minute and 30 seconds each for take-off and landing.

“We are moving towards automated operations where the pilot isn’t even permitted to fly. That means the first time in your career you will ever feel what an aircraft feels like at 35,000 feet is when it’s handed to you broken.”

See a video examination of the Air France 447 flight

NTSB Reports on Dreamliner Battery Fire in Boston

Briefing March 7, 2013

We no longer have to conjecture about the Japan Airlines 787 battery fire in Boston because the National Transportation Safety Board has released an interim factual report with nearly 500 pages of related documentation.

A live webcast forum is scheduled for April in Washington to investigate the design, technology and certification lithium-ion batteries.

Attached is the report which contains the details of what happened, and examination findings to date.

Interim Report on Battery

Lithium Ion Batteries Remain a Point of Concern

Both Airbus and Boeing say the designs for their litium-ion systems are safe, in spite of known risk of flames, explosion, smoke and leakage.

Those are some pretty hefty “known” risks.

Now ANA says that prior to the fire, it had replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft some 10 times because of low charges.

Now the Kanto Aircraft Instrument Co whose system monitors voltage, charging and temperature of lithium-ion batteries is also under scrutiny, in addition to GS Yuasa who makes the batteries.

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting a chemical analysis of internal short circuiting and thermal damage of the battery.


January 29, 2013
WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board today released the sixth update on its investigation into the Jan. 7 fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston.

The examination of the damaged battery continues. The work has transitioned from macroscopic to microscopic examinations and into chemical and elemental analysis of the areas of internal short circuiting and thermal damage.

Examination and testing of the exemplar battery from the JAL airplane has begun at the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center laboratories. Detailed examinations will be looking for signs of in-service damage and manufacturing defects. The test program will include mechanical and electrical tests to determine the performance of the battery, and to uncover signs of any degradation in expected performance.

As a party contributing to the investigation, Boeing is providing pertinent fleet information, which will help investigators understand the operating history of lithium-ion batteries on those airplanes.

An investigative group continued to interpret data from the two digital flight data recorders on the aircraft, and is examining recorded signals to determine if they might yield additional information about the performance of the battery and the operation of the charging system.

In addition to the activities in Washington, investigators are continuing their work in Seattle and Japan.


What is it that I’ve always said? Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance.

Looks like the NTSB Findings agree with me! See their report below about a helicopter crash in December 7, 2011, that occurred in my home away from home, Las Vegas Nevada.

On December 7 at 4:30 Pacific Standard Time, a Eurocopter AS350-B2, operated by Sundance Helicopters as flight Landmark 57, crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas. The flight, a sightseeing tour, departed Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) en-route to the Hoover Dam area was operating under visual flight rules. The helicopter impacted in a narrow ravine in mountainous terrain between the cities of Henderson and Lake Mead. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined today (Jan. 29, 2013) that the probable cause of the Dec. 7, 2011, air tour helicopter crash near Las Vegas, Nev., was inadequate maintenance, including degraded material, improper installation, and inadequate inspections.

“This investigation is a potent reminder that what happens in the maintenance hangar is just as important for safety as what happens in the air,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman.

At about 4:30 p.m. Pacific standard time, a Sundance Helicopters Eurocopter AS350, operating as a “Twilight City Tour” sightseeing trip, crashed in mountainous terrain about 14 miles east of Las Vegas, Nev. The helicopter originated from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport at about 4:21 p.m. with a planned route to the Hoover Dam area and then return to the airport. The accident occurred after a critical flight control unit separated from another, rendering the helicopter uncontrollable. After the part separated, the helicopter climbed about 600 feet, turned about 90 degrees to the left, descended about 800 feet, began a left turn, and then descended at a rate of at least 2,500 feet per minute to impact. The pilot and four passengers were killed and the helicopter was destroyed.

The NTSB found that the crash was the result of Sundance Helicopters’ improper reuse of a degraded self-locking nut in the servo control input rod and the improper or non-use of a split pin to secure the degraded nut, in addition to an inadequate post-maintenance inspection.

Contributing to the improper (or lack of) split pin installation was the mechanic’s fatigue and lack of clearly delineated steps to follow on a “work card” or “checklist” The inspector’s fatigue and lack of a work card or checklist clearly laying out the inspection steps to follow contributed to an inadequate post-maintenance inspection. As a result of this investigation the NTSB made, reiterated and reclassified recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“One of the critical lines of defense to help prevent tragedies like this crash is improved maintenance documentation through clear work cards, or checklists,” Hersman said. “Checklists are not rocket science, but they can have astronomical benefits.”

NTSB Sends Assistance

On Jan 16, 2013, an ANA All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner was en route from Yamaguchi-Ube Airport to Tokyo-Haneda Airport when smoke in the forward electrical compartment developed. Also, an unusual smell was detected.

The flight made an emergency landing.

There were 137 passengers aboard.One passenger was injured in the evacuation. The firefighters did not find any fire.

The NTSB sent out a release that said “The National Transportation Safety Board is sending an investigator to Japan to assist in the investigation of an emergency landing of an ANA Boeing 787 that occurred yesterday. Initial reports indicate that the crew received multiple messages in the cockpit concerning the battery and other systems that were affected, and also reported smoke in the cockpit and an odor in the cabin. The airplane subsequently landed, and passengers and crew evacuated via emergency slides.”

Investigator Lorenda Ward is the U. S. accredited representative to the JTSB’s investigation and will work alongside reps from the FAA and Boeing.

NTSB sending Team to Peru Crash Investigation

Jan. 9, 2013
WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of investigators to Pucallpa, Peru, to assist the Government of Peru with its investigation of yesterday’s crash involving a Boeing helicopter. According to the U.S. Department of State, the accident claimed the lives of five American citizens.

On Monday afternoon, in Pucallpa, Peru, a Boeing-Vertol 234 helicopter, operated by the U.S. operator Columbia Helicopters, crashed shortly after takeoff. The helicopter had departed from FAP Captain David Abenzur Rengifo International Airport, Pullcapa, Peru enroute to Tarapoto, Peru. It has been reported that all seven persons aboard the aircraft sustained fatal injuries.

The NTSB has designated senior air safety investigator, Paul Cox, as the U.S. Accredited Representative. He will be accompanied by two NTSB investigators with expertise in helicopter systems and operations, a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration, and a representative from Columbia Helicopters. The team is expected to arrive in Peru tonight.

The Investigation of Sukhoi Superjet’s Crash holds Answers to Many Questions

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Egor Naumenko

Today I read an article saying that the SuperJet that crashed on a promotional flight boils down to one question: pilot or plane? I have to disagree. It is not that simple. It takes a lot of coordinating systems to get a plane in the air, and it usually takes more than one error to take a plane down.

If there is a problem with the plane, it is most likely the investigation will reveal it, and anything that comes out before the investigation is just speculation. (How much of the investigation will be made public often depends on the transparency policies of government, however.) So I am speculating here.

Russian Aviation does have a lot riding on the success of this entry into the global aviation marketplace so we know it’s not a paper airplane they folded together in ten seconds or as many months. We suspect that the quality of the teams performing the design, construction, training and troubleshooting that went into the jet’s creation is about par for contemporary jet design. Which is to say the teams are probably very good. The plane has fly-by-wire technology but Sukhoi consults with Boeing on a “step-by-step project management … fully explored and translated into business reality by SCAC.”

There are a number of problems that are coming to light with this flight.

  • Only the cockpit voice recorder was found. The FDR was not found.
  • The Emergency Locator Transmitter (which goes off, like an airbag, on hard impact) did not go off. The Sukhoi only has one(instead of two, which is the norm) Emergency Locator Transmitter which uses 121.5,203 Mhz. Indonesia receivers operate at 121.5,406 MHZ
  • The Terrain map is recorded in the panes database and shows on a display in vertical and horizontal forms. (Did this plane, which was a substitute plane) have an updated terrain map?)
  • The Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System/EGPWS should have gone off with terrain warnings after descending to 6000 feet, and these warnings should be in the black box. Wait…no black box was found.
  • Was this substitute plane compliant with all airworthiness guidelines and laws?
  • Multifunctional Transport Satellites (MTSAT) data revealed that the weather on the Salak Mountain at the time was bad. Cloud and raincover at Salak Mountain was 100 percent.
  • The Halim-Pelabuhan Ratu flight plan was considered safe, but on descent to 6000 feet, the pilot detoured from the flight plan.

Sometimes investigations take the easy path and just blame the pilot. I’ve seen happen a hundred times before, when the pilot was blamed simply because he was not longer able to defend his actions. And while pilots are only human, and sometimes do make mistakes, sometimes those mistakes are caused by corporate pressures, pressure to meet deadlines, fuel quotas, scheduling, etc. What is pressure of corporate expectations on a joy flight pilot? Do we know if he was under orders to showcase the plane’s agility, possibly even to make the very move that crashed the plane?

The pilot, 57 year old Alexander Yablontzev was experienced. He was Sukhoi’s chief test pilot and had spent more than 14 thousand hours flying. After retiring as Lieutenant Colonel from the Russian Air Force, he flew for Transaero and had a lot of hours. But the fatal flight was his first time flying in Indonesia. Did the crash occur because he was flying a strange, possibly wrongly mapped terrain, and recklessly “buzzing” the peak of Mount Salak to show off the plane’s versatility?

No answers here. I’m just saying that the question is not so simply put.

Germania Pilot Lands on Wrong Runway

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Kevin Gutt

What: Germania Airbus A319-100 en route from Cochstedt to Las Palmas
Where: Las Palmas
When: Jan 14th 2012
Why: After being cleared to land on runway 21R, the pilot touched down on runway 21 L. There was no other traffic on the runway at the time.

The pilot apologized and the tower controller chided as one might expect.

The incident is under investigation.

Coming Soon: Step by Step Reconstruction of Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428

In a Saab 340 simulation, two pilots are attempting to reconstruct how the pilots managed on May 18 in the Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428 crash in Prahuaniyeu, 16 miles south-west of the town of Los Menucos, Río Negro, Argentina, crash that killed 22. The information sources were the black boxes, (flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder) including records of the dialogue and sounds in the cockpit and flight operations.

Those interested in the results include Judge Bariloche Leónidas Molde, the court clerk, the prosecutor, and an aeronautical engineer, and representatives of the Accident Investigation Board for Civil Aviation (JIAAC). JIAAC’s September preliminary report indicated that the pilots were responsible for the accident.

A new voice transcription to be used includes noise in the cabin, like the sound of alarms. The experts will use a certified replica of the plane that crashed in the Black River and the black boxes to establish what happened to cause the flight to crash. 19 seconds of audio before the impact was badly damaged and a team is currently trying to rescue the audio.

The simulation will recreate the flight based on both the voices of the pilots and data from the Flight Data Recorder.

The trial will last two days. The date of a final report has not been set.

Individuals in noncompliance of official procedures and lacking official documentation may be excluded from participation. Also, some question Saab involvement but rather than this being a conflict of interest, they are engaged as responsible technical experts on their own machines. Family members just want to hear the actual transcribed voices of their loved ones.

We may be talking about this again, since final analysis reports can take so long, and may or may not be conclusive.

Src: http://www.clarin.com/sociedad/Tragedia-Sol-simulador-reconstruyen-vuelo_0_571142968.html

NTSB Press Release announces Asiana Investigation

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Paul Carlotti


Washington – The NTSB is dispatching a team of investigators to assist the government of South Korea in its investigation of the crash of Asiana flight 991, a Boeing 747-400F cargo airplane.

On July 28, 2011 at about 4:12 a.m. local time, the airplane, en route from Seoul Incheon International Airport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, People’s Republic of China, crashed into the East China Sea about 70 miles west of Jeju Island, South Korea, after the flight crew reportedly declared an emergency due to an in-flight fire. The two pilots are believed to have been killed.

The NTSB has designated air safety investigator John Lovell as the traveling U.S. Accredited Representative. Mr. Lovell will be assisted by an NTSB Operational Factors investigator and advisors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
and Boeing.

The investigation is being conducted by the Korea Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (ARAIB), which will release all information. The ARAIB phone number is: +82-2-6096-1030 / Fax: +82-2-6090-1031 and its email address is: webmaster@araib.go.kr.

Spatial Disorientation-in the pilot, or in the head of the investigator

Donald Estell attempted to land the 21-year-old, single-engine Piper aircraft in challenging conditions, (on its second approach to St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia) but instead, struck a house. The crash that ended the life of 65-year-old Estell of Clayton, Mo., and Robert Clarkson, 77, of Belleville has been attributed to pilot error by a June 27 report by the NTSB. The crash occurred on Feb 21, 2010, and it happened (according to the NTSB) because of spatial disorientation.

A pilot who loses his orientation, and whose proprioception (perception of direction) is compromised is described as suffering from spatial disorientation. Most useful for maintaining orientation is an external visual horizon, which helps maintain the sense of “up and down.”

We know that spatial disorientation is a real condition. It is also one of several “pilot error” causes that officials point to when they can not figure out why an otherwise airworthy (or supposedly airworthy) plane crashes.

There are cases rightly or wrongly attributed to spatial disorientation, for example, the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 that spiraled into the sea off Beiruit; the May 12 2010 Afriqiyah Airlines Flight 771 crash where the pilot undershot the runway on approach to Tripoli; and the July 28 2010 Airblue Flight 202 which crashed in the Margalla Hills on an ILS approach to the opposite runway 30.* There are events attributed to spatial disorientation when it may or may not be a factor, and may or may not be the only cause. Even when it does occur, it is usually in combination with something else, such as foggy weather which obliterates the horizon, radar failure, cabin pressure loss (the sudden loss of pressure can cause a pilot to lose consciousness.)

Families who have lost loved ones in airline crashes rely on investigations to determine what systems failed, and what went wrong that caused the crash. It is the solemn duty of investigators (like those in the NTSB) to sort through the wreckage, and analyze the black boxes to determine to the best of their ability what went wrong. The final report is usually the result of a year or several years of intensive study and research. It is usually the more responsible or determined investigators who do not settle for a spatial disorientation cause blaming the pilot, but who look beyond it to find the underlying factor—the radar failure, or system failure, or pressure leak or faulty automatic pilot—that instigated the disorientation.

*See Comment

Dive and Recovery and CVR Recovery Flight AF 447

In the continuing quest recovering the bits and pieces of the Air France Flight 447 Airbus, and the Flight Data Recorder was recovered, the French navy sent a patrol to carry the black boxes to Cayenne, French Guyana, and then flown to Le Bourget to the BEA. The BEA Investigator-in-charge, a CENIPA Investigator, and French Judicial Peace officer will be present in the ten day exchange process.

BEA briefings indicate that on Monday the Cockpit Voice Recorder was identified. On Tuesday, it was recovered by the Remora 6000 ROV at 2:40, Tuesday May 3, 2001, and raised on board the Ile de Sein.

Bea Photos Documenting the Recovery

From the May 3 Briefing

Diligent Kudos to AeroMexico for Averting a Disaster

What: Aeromexico Boeing 737-700 scheduled from Costa Rica to Mexico City
Where: Costa Rica
When: Mar 12, 2011
Who: 2 (drunk) Mexican pilots, 101 passengers
Why: Saturday on arrival at the airport in Costa Rica for their shift, these two AeroMexico pilots complained of nausea. They probably had big heads too, since they had attended some kind of drunken revelry 7 hours before in San Jose, which is not long enough for the alcohol to be metabolized out of their systems. They were apparently intending to fly their shifts, but some eagle-eyed AeroMexico personnel correctly evaluated their condition. One of them refused the alcohol test, but not the other. Neither was allowed to fly, and both were suspended. The flight was delayed until replacement pilots (sober ones) were found to take the cockpit. Passengers were compensated for the delay.

In George’s Point of View

Is March the month for drinking? A case was just brought to our attention yesterday, and though it is not aviation, it is frighteningly similar, though I could argue they were completely different. But then, I could argue anything even if I’m not a lawyer.

The case I’m talking about is that of the BOLT Driver Arrested for DUI. Bolt is not an airline, but a bus division. So what is the similarity? There it was bussing (trucking) down the road when it was pulled over and the driver cited for tailgating, and driving in the wrong lane before he got his driving under the influence AND his license taken away. He was caught, sadly, not before his shift, and not by crew, but by passengers who clearly feared for their lives and called 911 from inside the bus, as the driver was either weaving, or napping or drinking, or all of the above. Someone had seen his pocket flask.

Okay, the obvious similarities are drunks at the wheel of communal transit. Both were caught before serious damage occurred. The difference—and this is crucial—are that the BOLT bus driver was allowed to take his shift, regardless of his condition. He put everyone aboard that bus at serious risk.

So kudos to AeroMexico. Even though all you’re going to hear about it is grousing from individuals complaining of the delay, your diligence probably saved the lives of 110 passengers.

The Hidden Face of 35 Unrevealed Improvements

35 (unrevealed) proposals suggested by the eight member panel of aviation experts will be implemented rapidly, in the wake of the crash of Air France 447.

Findings on that crash hinge on the lost black box and wreckage; a fourth search effort is beginning this year, funded by Air France and Airbus, and if anything is found, the recovery will be government funded.

The failure is blamed on faulty readings from the plane’s pitot tubes (speed sensors) after they iced over and fly by wire systems consequently failed.

Air France’s deficient safety culture is detailed in the book La face cachée d’Air France

Australia’s CAA Investigation Points to Baggage Handlers

The April 9 emergency landing of Eagle Air/Air New Zealand Beech 1900D en route from Auckland to Whangarei, attributed to an open rear cargo door, has been blamed on untrained baggage handlers who did not lock cargo doors.

The hatch flew open on takeoff. See the link to a photograph of the open door posted on the NZ Herald

The doors tend to be left unlocked in case late bags come in; but that is not a good safety practice because a broken cargo door can smash the tail of the plane or worse.

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