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Latest Air France Crash Update Bereft of Analysis

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 — David Evans

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Latest Air France Crash Update Bereft of Analysis

Even now with the benefit of the flight recorders, French investigators seem quite flummoxed about the circumstances which led to the crash of Air France flight 447 in the South Atlantic on 1 June 2009. The answer to one question seems clear: Is the pilot training to combat automation anomalies and their inherent malfunction complexities […]

Crash in Alaska and Lack of Probing About Key Safety System

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 — David Evans

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Crash in Alaska and Lack of Probing About Key Safety System

It is not good when crash investigators reveal a distinct lack of curiosity. Case in point: the investigation into the crash that killed the pilot, Sen. Ted Stevens and three other passengers in Alaska. Four other passengers survived, although injured. (See Aviation Safety Journal, January 2011, “For Lack of a Locking Screw, a Crashed Airplane Could […]

Fire on Cargo Plane Reveals Hazard of Lithium Battery Shipments

Friday, May 27, 2011 — David Evans

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Fire on Cargo Plane Reveals Hazard of Lithium Battery Shipments

After the fatal crash, there was a flurry of activity from aircraft manufacturer Boeing and from the industry regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Neither Boeing’s actions nor the FAA’s after-the-disaster advisory addressed the core problems of fire in transport-category aircraft. The situation is similar to a New Orleans funeral, in which a jazz band […]

Taking Credit For Scant Accomplishments

Friday, May 20, 2011 — David Evans

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Taking Credit For Scant Accomplishments

Some bureaucrats at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are good at tooting their own horns in the face of overwhelming and continuing vulnerability. A case in point is an FAA Technical Center document dated May 2011. This technical note (DOT/FAA/AR-TN11/8) is grandly titled, “Improvements in Aircraft Fire Safety Derived From FAA Research Over the Last […]

Lightning – Generally Not a Hazard Unless it Penetrates a Fuel Tank

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 — David Evans

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Lightning – Generally Not a Hazard Unless it Penetrates a Fuel Tank

What does an electric current bolt of 20,000 amps hitting a jetliner look like? A photograph of a lighting strike on an Emirates A380 illustrates the dramatic appearance. A video taken by Chris Dawson near London’s Heathrow Airport shows lightning striking the giant, double-deck plane, wrapping around it and continuing through the air to the […]

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