Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dreamliner Use of Hazardous Battery Like Whack-a-Mole

American Airlines seats on A B737
Two breaking news stories that have consumed my attention recently seem on the surface to be unrelated, beyond the obvious - both are about air safety. The first is the revelation I made in APEX magazine on Tuesday that American Airlines has once again been flying a Boeing 757 with seats installed incorrectly.  The entire coach cabin seats were placed 2 inches off, blocking access to the airplane's over wing exits. You can read the full story here

What knocked me off my seat is the statement the FAA made when I asked if this latest  problem would be part of its ongoing investigation into the airline and its supervision of its outsourced maintenance supplier, Timco. I was told the two situations are not related.   In this recent case, "the seats were installed correctly, but in the wrong place. The previous investigation had to do with seats that popped loose from their tracks," the agency spokesman said. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

In Support of Soldiers, Airline Lives Up to Its Name

Round about now, a certain injured Army special forces sergeant, is whooping it up in Las Vegas, thanks in part to a number of employees at American Airlines who have learned being more fuel efficient can also be philanthropic. 

Sgt. James Davenport, a 41 year old career solider from South Carolina, stepped on a improvised explosive device while on patrol in southern Afghanistan on October 28th. It tossed him in the air, ripped off his left leg and did a whole lotta damage to his right and the stuff in between. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

NTSB Boss Uses the B word and the S Word on the 787

Hersman with John DiLisi (L) and Joseph Kolly
I promise I am not going to fawn over Deb Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, I've done that before and I don't want to get tiresome. Once again, though, the little lady has gone and done what no big guy before her would do, she's talking turkey about the Dreamliner.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Teething Problems" Bite Boeing on the Tail

Bjorn Kjos during an interview in Oslo in November
View the update HERE:

Norwegians's Bjorn Kjos has a heck of a lot riding on those two new Dreamliners that were soon to be winging their way to Oslo with Sonja Henie's lovely face affixed to the tail. Somebody explain to him, and to me, how the heck Boeing can assure him they are close to fixing the mysterious battery fire problem when so far, nobody even knows what's causing it?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

View Through the Windows of Troubled Dreamliner

A United 787 at LAX. Photo courtesy J. Blaszczak
View the update HERE

Everybody is in a hurry to find out what happened to two Boeing 787 Dreamliners and whether the world's newest airliner's in flight battery problems  can be easily fixed or if they signify some more serious problem with the design of the airplane that uses such a volatile energy source.  I'm among those impatient for answers, feeling some connection to the Japan Airlines Dreamliner which I had thrill of flying round trip Boston to Tokyo just 4 months ago.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Of Course It's Unsafe - FAA Grounds the Dream

HERE and 

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded the Dreamliner tonight, pending an investigation into the batteries that power the plane and have so far shown a propensity for erupting in flames. This comes after days of quotes by aviation experts saying that the Dreamliner is "safe".

NTSB examines the JAL E&E bay in Boston
Just how calamitous a failure does an airplane have to experience before it becomes self-evident that something's wrong?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dreamliners Grounded in Japan


Japanese airlines aren't reassured by the statements of top U.S. aviation officials, especially with another Dreamliner incident reported in Japan. Both ANA and Japan Airlines have temporarily grounded their Boeing 787s. Now the National Transportation Safety Board is sending an investigator to Japan expanding its own probe into Dreamliner safety issues.