Thursday, November 29, 2012

What the Colonel and JAL Taught Me about Japan

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Food by Air KFC. Photo courtesy Japan Airlines
You got to love how a little thing like an airline's in-flight meal promotion can open a window to another culture. Back in 1974, when Colonel Sanders first brought his fried chicken to Japan, residents might have thought Kentuckians wore white suits, white beards and black bolo ties, while standing over the fry pot cooking chicken. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Seats Hit the Shins and Two Men Get Splattered

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Just how confused were the mechanics and supervisors working on the American Airlines Boeing 757 fleet in the days before economy class seats started their uncontrolled recline into the laps of other airline passengers? At least two men know for sure. 

The first is Edward Macaskill, lead compliance manager of maintenance for the airline. The other is the unnamed and no longer employed maintenance supervisor in Boston, who failed to notice that the airplane being worked on under his watch was not ready for fare-paying passengers. 

You know the rest of the story. Flight 685 departed for Miami and a row of seats departed from its track, the occupants landing back first into the laps of their fellow travelers.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Readin', Writin' and Re-pitchin' Seats at American

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As the mother of an aspiring transportation writer (cars, unfortunately, not airplanes) I'm all for on-the-job-training. But I've got to wonder just how much supervision some airplane mechanic students are getting while working on American Airlines airliners.

The students, hired by Timco Aviation Services were part of the work force doing contract maintenance and seat re-pitching as I report in Saturday's edition of The New York Times. They are participants in "carefully managed, highly structured, continuing education programs not unlike other learning arrangements in quality critical fields" according to Leonard Kazmerski, an executive with Timco.

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Uncomfortable Collision of Facts for Ryanair's O'Leary

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Forgive me for giving Michael O'Leary more of what he wants - that being ink - but note the coincidence of his latest ridiculous statement in the Telegraph, "seatbelts don't matter" which was published the day after 130 passengers and crew members on Southwest Airlines flight 1905 to Denver were happily restrained by their seat belts as their Boeing 737 careened off the taxiway after hitting a patch of ice.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Albatross Survives a Soaking But Not Neighborhood with Air Crash in its Past

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Tom visits the airplane on Tuesday.
Retired pilot Tom Casey has written several books, but I doubt he's imagined a story line in which a graying airline captain rescues a half-century old flying boat from an Arizona bone yard, spends years lovingly restoring it to flying condition and then brings it home - right in the flight path of the storm of the century.