Thursday, February 26, 2015

Airline Shortcomings as an Indicator of Progress

Two U.S. airlines made headlines on Wednesday; Dallas based-Southwest Airlines generated ink when it reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that it failed to do required rudder inspections on 128 of its Boeing 737s. Meantime at the Chicago Headquarters of United, public relations executives were trying to slow heavy media breathing over a letter sent by the airline’s safety and operations honchos to United pilots, warning them to be careful up there.

Should the traveling public be concerned? 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Government Helps Airlines Shift Security Costs to Passengers

Airlines got a $373 million dollar gift from the government when it eliminated the Aviation Security Infrastructure Fee last year. What with the slide in fuel prices, these 37 U.S. and 71 foreign airlines have to be feeling pretty flush right now.

The fee, called ASIF was imposed after 9-11 so that airlines would contribute to the government takeover of airport security - which up until the terror attacks was the airlines' responsibility. In exchange for getting out from under the ASIF fee, I am told, airlines agreed to drop their opposition to doubling the security fee that air travelers pay.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

Aussie Pilot Writes the Airbus Rap

Writing a book is not all about writing. This weekend, I've added  Boeing Versus Airbus, the 2007 John Newhouse book about, yeah, that's right and Kenny Kemp's Flight of the Titans Airbus A380 vs. Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which I just downloaded on my Kindle, to my reading list. This will fill my Saturday and Sunday and both books may end up in the bibliography of The Crash Detectives.

That's a lot of reading even for a snowy weekend, so in order to get started, I'm leaving the Flying Lessons wordsmithing to my Aussie friend Stephen Tomkins, a former Boeing pilot who now flies the Airbus. His "rap" on his conversion comes from his blog at