Sunday, July 20, 2014

Airlines and Governments Oblivious to Warnings of MH 17 Disaster

It is missing the point to "blame" Malaysia Airlines for its decision to continue to fly over the conflict zone in the Ukraine despite the disastrous outcome of that choice. At the same time, Malaysia and the dozens of others who opted to continue using the route should be asking, what exactly are they paying their security advisors for?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Malaysia Flight 17 May Be Victim of Geopolitical Turbulence

The apparent shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in the Ukraine today is a shocker  for many reasons, not the least of which is that this is a double dose of tragedy for an airline already off-balance over the mysterious disappearance of another jumbo jet in March of this year. It is also deeply troubling to think of air travelers as casualties of geopolitical turbulence. But perhaps it should not be so shocking. Over the past decades, nearly two dozen passenger airliners have been hit by missiles. Among them

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Century Later The Same Old Thrill

The first time I flew in an airplane, I was six. It was an Eastern Airlines flight from Miami to Newark, probably in a DC-8, but I can't say for sure. I do remember that a flight attendant strung a cardboard bib in the shape of a Teddy Bear around my neck with my name and other information printed on it, and off I went. If my parents worried about me, I was unaware of it.
Marian flies alone to visit grandparents

Many years later when I bundled my own 8-year old daughter off to see her grandparents in Connecticut, I worried some, but I'd already done it myself.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Malaysia Flight 370 Will Share the Fate of TWA 800; Conspiracy Theory Will Never Die

A press briefing in Kuala Lumpur March 2014
Nearly 18 years separates today's most-riveting air disaster from the explosion of TWA Flight 800 over the Atlantic on July 17, 1996. They are similar in many ways. Both disasters captured world attention, happening suddenly on mid-length trans-oceanic flights. In neither accident was there sufficient warning for a "Mayday" call and neither flight crew communicated to the ground what was happening in the air. Both planes disappeared into a dark ocean, Flight 800 with 230 on board. There were 239 on the still missing flight of Malaysia 370.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Early Loss of Power Clue to MH 370's Flight into Indian Ocean

Minutes after Malaysia Flight 370 disappeared from military radar in the early morning hours of March 8, the airplane experienced a total loss of power but recovered, according to information released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The Boeing 777 last seen by a primary radar return at 2:22am (Malaysia time) headed north west along the Malacca Strait, was still flying in that direction when the power loss occurred.  Three minutes later the airplane sent a log-on request to the inmarsat satellite network, meaning its energy supply was back up and running.