Friday, May 31, 2013

What NASA Really Says About Gadgets and Airplanes

Quite a bit of kerfuffle was generated - as it always is - when a DePaul University study Tablets Take Flight, was released earlier this month that said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration "found no actual evidence that a consumer electronic device can affect airplane operations." 

Having spent a considerable amount of time looking into this issue, I was surprised I'd never heard that, so I asked Kathy Barnstorff a media relations specialist at NASA if she could tell me more. Well, it turns out that while NASA has produced three reports, none make that conclusion. If anything they say the opposite. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pre Flight Walk Around Prompts List of Fave Airports

As much as I like to fly, the prospect of being on a 12 hour flight during the daytime (when I probably won't sleep much) makes me a little apprehensive. I have ants-in-the-pants-syndrome; it is very difficult for me to remain seated for extended periods of time. 

So Wednesday morning, before I boarded Ethiopian Flight 501 from Dulles International to Addis Ababa, I decided to tire myself out with a good, long strenuous power walk. I have the perfect playlist for this, assembled by my music-loving sister Lee.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pistole Misfires With Plan for Knives on Planes

Flight attendants may not rank up there with firefighters or police officers in terms of dangerous jobs, but the story on Wednesday that a Delta Air Lines employee was injured when the plane on which she was working encountered turbulence is proof - as if anyone needed it - that the job can be a pretty hazardous. And indeed if there were to be a fire or other emergency, firefighter/police officer/lifeguard/medic are all roles the cabin attendant is trained and expected to perform.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cars or Planes? Movie Might Instigate a Dogfight at My Home

Disney may not have intended to instigate domestic strife with the release of the trailer for its new animated feature, Planes, but I can tell that the sparks are going to fly around my house. 

There they are, all those pretty little airplanes, soaring in time with the swelling chords of the music while cars and trucks with their anthropomorphized windshield-framed eyes remain solidly earth-bound.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Will Passengers Weigh in on the Dreamliner?


Does the decision of the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the Dreamliner to fly again need judicial review? An airline passenger rights organization thinks so. In a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA, is asking that the Boeing 787 be restricted to routes that are no farther than 2 hours from the nearest diversion airport.

Paul Hudson, the president of and the chief of the Airline Consumer Action Project says the issue is "urgent" since airlines around the globe are beginning to put the Dreamliners back into service as Boeing's battery-in-a-box safety enhancements are completed.  Hudson is using the Administrative Procedure Act, a process that can subject government policies to the review of a court.

Friday, May 10, 2013

New Books Offer Fresh View of Aviation

With air travel books clogging the store shelves like the departure runway at JFK on a Friday afternoon, it takes a special combination of good writing and fresh ideas to break out from the field.  Two books I've read recently meet this test; Patrick Smith's Cockpit Confidential, and Tiffany Hawk's novel, Love Me Anyway