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Archive | October, 2007

Unprecedented Challenges Face Implementation of New Air Traffic Control System

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 — David Evans

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The promise of a dramatic transformation of the nation’s air traffic control system was betrayed by a computer glitch that prevented the legislators from seeing a video of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) concept. At the 17 October hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, the computer screens stubbornly remained blank, prompting […]

Airplane cabin as test tube

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — David Evans

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“Whenever human beings and ozone are simultaneously present, one anticipates production of acetone,” declares a study in the September 2007 issue of Environmental Science & Technology. Acetone is just one of the witches’ brew of products created by the interaction of passengers and ozone; the other products include formic acid, acetic acid, and other potentially […]

No real pilots any more

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — David Evans

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A great video offers a spoof on pilots, asserting that they have become little more than computer-minders in sharp uniforms. The video stars John Malkovich as the gift shop salesman at a hotel, showing two uniformed pilots a new aviator watch. One pilot expresses his high regard for the watch, to which Malkovich’s character replies: […]

Source of future accident statistics?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — David Evans

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Recall the expressions of concern about the Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL) program voiced at the recent Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) safety forum (see Air Accident Digest, 4 September 2007, p. 20-23, “Bowing To The Inevitable”). Some pilots disparagingly refer to MPL as “minimum pilot learning” because the program only requires 40 hours in the […]

Statistical muddying

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — David Evans

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Former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said the next goal regarding safety is to further reduce the number of fatalities. There are a few considerations, however, to what she is saying. At the 6 September town hall meeting with FAA employees, Blakey said: “We’ll be using a new performance metric for commercial air carrier safety – […]

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