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Politics and the Art and Science of Crash Investigation

Politics and the Art and Science of Crash Investigation

Should art be mentioned here? Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Surely this applies to investigation. It is only through imagining the sequence of what happened that what actually happened can be determined. Theoretically, scientific experimentation takes place in a vacuum, or at least in a neutral area where the laws of nature can be observed to run in a natural fashion, after which, conclusions are drawn. Attempts are made for the hypothesis to be untainted by factors such as “opinion,” “bias,” and “prejudice.” But it could not exist without human imagination.

But imagination is far from “imaginary.” Accident investigation is not scientific experimentation, but it is supposed to be based, like science, on handling conclusions based on neutrally observed but hard facts. The problem of course, is that the accidents being investigated do not occur in the careful measured neutrality of a lab, but in the messy, busy, interactivity of the real world. The search for the truth is a crucial thing, one of interest not only to the victims or families of the victims, but also the insurance companies, banks, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, future airline passengers…the list grows. The climate in which investigations take place is far from neutral, in spite of attempts for investigators to be professional.

If you look at the Comoros crash you can see the effects of clashes between the governmental institutions of Comoros and France, replete with name-calling, bias, and politics. This is equally true in the Air France 447 case, where political pressures exert invisible pressures. Consider the stake the country has in Air France, and in Airbus. In any investigation, it may be that the lives and careers of some very powerful people hinge on how an investigation goes, and even more so when a country like France adds the aspect of criminal proceedings.

The well-known world regulatory organizations over aviation industry trade groups (IATA, ICAO, AEA, ATA) have developed highly regulated procedures for investigation. We can only hope that the highly regulated and complex process of investigations can continue in as even a keel as possible, in spite of the turbulence coming from all interested parties. The world waits for answers, but politics inevitably set the stage, and like the observed but unseen air currents in weather, play a part, whether invisible or obvious. While there are some protections in place, (for example, NTSB reports can not be used as evidence lest the integrity investigation be compromised), we can never fully know what goes on behind the scenes.

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Parents slammed after video of their toddler ‘running wild’ on an eight-hour flight is debated

Parents slammed after video of their toddler ‘running wild’ on an eight-hour flight is debated
Flying with small children can be challenging, but the internet is calling out the parents of kids who disturb fellow passengers.

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Plane goes off runway at Waterloo Airport in Canada

Plane goes off runway at Waterloo Airport in Canada
By Amanda Watts, CNN (CNN) — A Canadian airport “will be closed to commercial traffic the rest of today” after a Flair Airlines plane “exited the runway” Friday morning during its landing, the airport a

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Ninety-year-old skydiver takes to the skies above Marina

Ninety-year-old skydiver takes to the skies above Marina
Dozens of people were out in Marina on Saturday to sky dive but only one of them was 90-years-young.

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‘Am I the only one on this f*cking flight?’ Woman shares horror story of booking a flight on a discount site

‘Am I the only one on this f*cking flight?’ Woman shares horror story of booking a flight on a discount site
A TikToker has gone viral after issuing a PSA to those thinking of buying cheap flights on a discount travel site.

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I spent 9 hours on a plane when I moved from LA to NYC. Here are 4 items I regret not packing and 4 items I’m glad I brought cross country.

I spent 9 hours on a plane when I moved from LA to NYC. Here are 4 items I regret not packing and 4 items I’m glad I brought cross country.
When Insiders reporter recently moved across the US, she learned the hard way the value of packing things like umbrellas and expensive hair products

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‘I booked my toddler a first class plane seat – a passenger swore at me over it’

‘I booked my toddler a first class plane seat – a passenger swore at me over it’
A mum decided to book her three-year-old a first class seat, confident that the tot would be well behaved – but one fellow passenger was left seething

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Engineer Hazel Wachira: Kenyan woman who turned Dreamliner into a cargo plane

Engineer Hazel Wachira: Kenyan woman who turned Dreamliner into a cargo plane

Engineer Hazel Wachira: Kenyan woman who turned Dreamliner into a cargo planeRead More

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IndiGo can wet lease Turkish Boeing 777 planes for a yr as govt eases rule

IndiGo can wet lease Turkish Boeing 777 planes for a yr as govt eases rule
Airline says aviation ministry has granted permission to all Indian carriers to wet lease aircraft for a period of six months, extendable by another six months

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A ‘Flight 93 Mindset’ to stop mass shootings | CALDARA

A ‘Flight 93 Mindset’  to stop mass shootings | CALDARA
Before Sept. 11, 2001, airplane hijackings were almost common. Since then, major airline hijackings have been basically nonexistent.

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270 Planes By 2035: Ethiopian Airlines Wants To Double Its Fleet

270 Planes By 2035: Ethiopian Airlines Wants To Double Its Fleet
The airline is evaluating new aircraft models that suit its future operation needs.

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Las Vegas Man Killed in Plane Crash While Reportedly Scattering Father’s Ashes in Minnesota

Las Vegas Man Killed in Plane Crash While Reportedly Scattering Father’s Ashes in Minnesota
Lee Cemensky and pilot Douglas Johnson were found dead by authorities on Sunday

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The plane truth makes a baby want to cry

The plane truth makes a baby want to cry
This holiday season, a lot of you are going to be flying all over the country to visit loved ones. You have my pity. That’s because the other day I

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Passenger disturbance diverts Southwest flight to Arkansas

Passenger disturbance diverts Southwest flight to Arkansas

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Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing Due to Engine Issue: ‘Suddenly There Was Smoke in the Cabin’

Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing Due to Engine Issue: ‘Suddenly There Was Smoke in the Cabin’
“Delta teams worked safely and quickly to get our customers on their way that evening,” a spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE

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EU opens up 5G on planes, making in-flights calls more likely

The European Union said it will enable the “wide-spread deployment of 5G services” on aircraft by designating certain frequencies for in-flight cell-phone connectivity.

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Inside the Gulfstream G700, a $75 million private jet that can fly from New York to India – The Points Guy

Inside the Gulfstream G700, a  million private jet that can fly from New York to India – The Points Guy
Gulfstream is out with a new flagship model that it hopes to certify with the Federal Aviation Administration in the coming months.

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FBI investigating incident onboard plane diverted to Clinton National Airport

FBI investigating incident onboard plane diverted to Clinton National Airport
FBI Little Rock is investigating an alleged incident which occurred on an afternoon flight that was diverted to Little Rock today.

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FBI: plane diverted to airport in Little Rock after mid-flight assault

FBI: plane diverted to airport in Little Rock after mid-flight assault
Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigations said that a flight had to be diverted to Clinton National Airport Saturday afternoon after a passenger assaulted others on a flight.

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People picture an executive jet parachuting into downtown

People picture an executive jet parachuting into downtown
An executive airline pilot encountered an emergency situation on Friday, November 25, near Indianapolis Regional Airport, in the United States, moments after takeoff. Several videos, recorded by people in the…

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Couple force entire plane to disembark

Couple force entire plane to disembark

Just plane rude!

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Helicopter crashes at Durango-La Plata County Airport

Helicopter crashes at Durango-La Plata County Airport
Two people avoided serious injury in a helicopter crash Wednesday afternoon at Durango-La Plata County Airport.
The crash occurred at 1:14 p.m. on the north end of the runway, said Tony Vicari, direct…

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Fatal plane crash occurred in woods half-mile from Wonder Lake airport

Fatal plane crash occurred in woods half-mile from Wonder Lake airport
National Transportation Safety Board officials were on-site Saturday investigating a fatal single-engine plane crash near Wonder Lake.

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Mexico’s domestic airline industry in shambles

Mexico’s domestic airline industry in shambles
Mexico’s domestic airline industry is in shambles, plagued by safety problems, a downgrade of Mexico’s safety rating, and vandalism

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Plane goes off runway at Waterloo Airport in Canada – KESQ

Plane goes off runway at Waterloo Airport in Canada – KESQ
By Amanda Watts, CNN A Canadian airport “will be closed to commercial traffic the rest of today” after a Flair Airlines plane “exited the runway” Friday morning during its landing, the airport and the airline said in statements. Flair Airlines flight F8 501 from Vancouver to Kitchener-Waterloo, had 134 passengers onboard, plus crew, when it

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Auckland’s Eagle helicopter is a fixture of the city’s skies. This is who is getting buzzed

Auckland’s Eagle helicopter is a fixture of the city’s skies. This is who is getting buzzed
Auckland’s Eagle helicopter is a fixture of the city’s skies (with a cameo in Wellington and Christchurch). So where, and who, is getting buzzed?

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