From The Last Few Days: Aug 24

Well, it is Friday again and I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to write about this week’s news items.  In the future, I will try not to go as many days between posts.

The NTSB has issued five safety recommendations to the FAA, in response to the midair collision between a helicopter and small plane over the Hudson River on August 8, 2009. The AP has a nice summary.

The FAA has been investigating Southwest Airlines for improper use of parts, which resulted in some flights being grounded last weekend. Although, it appears to more of a compliance issue than a safety risk (via Bloomberg).

The flight data recorders have been recovered from Yemenia Aiways Flight 626, which crashed near Comoros on June 30, 2009 (via The New York Times).

The AP story about “surviving” time on a delayed plane was one of the most popular on Yahoo! News yesterday. Of course, everyone’s awareness was elevated when the passengers, from Continental Express Flight 2816, were held on the plane in Rochester, Minnesota earlier this month. I was glad to see the author began by mentioning that this case was an unusual circumstance, since the title played to people’s fears. I like to think that the subsequent weeks of investigation and discussion (to put it nicely) will result in lessons learned. Even if ExpressJet, Continental Airlines, Rochester Airport, Mesaba Airlines and Secretary LaHood don’t necessarily agree who was most at fault (via USA Today). As for this article, it is good information, since regular delays are not infrequent at all.

This week, The Cranky Flier posted his assessment of Flight 2816 too.

Also, briefly:

A small plane made an emergency landing in a mall parking lot in New Jersey on Tuesday (via The New York Times).

ANA Flight 584 made an emergency landing in Tokyo, Thursday morning. The Boeing 767 suffered a loss in cabin pressure, but oxygen masks deployed and nobody was injured (via Japan Times).

This weekend, College Park Airport in Maryland will be celebrating 100 years of flight with an event called AirFair100! Looks fun! I heard about it via Metro Connection on WAMU 88.5.

From the Last Few Days. . .

Because I will only post every few days, I will try to summarize news of note when I can!
Here is the first, “From the Last Few Days. . .”

Outrage and questions persist regarding the release of al-Megrahi.

A small plane made an emergency landing on the freeway in California (via San Luis Obispo Tribune).

The LA Times reports on control of wildlife and prevention of bird strikes at LAX.

Pan Am Flight 103

This is a tough way to start the blog.  When I committed to write about aviation issues for NADA/F, I was aware that there would be weeks like this.  Like others close to aviation disasters, I am familiar with years-long grief and frustration.  Of course, NADA/F’s work in the areas of safety, security, survivability and support allow positive outcomes, even if it takes time.

But today, the day after convicted terrorist, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was released from his life sentence on ‘compassionate grounds,’ I feel sickened and discouraged.  Our thoughts are with the friends and family members of the victims of Pan Am 103.  Regardless of his health status, he was convicted of murder on 270 counts and his release is a miscarriage of justice.  He ended up serving just days for every life he took.  Much as been written about this in the last couple of days, so there isn’t much more for me to say than that.

I appreciate CNN’s coverage of this, including the Wolf Blitzer interview and some posts on the AC360 blog.  I encourage you to visit the victims of Pan Am 103 website to learn more.

I received word yesterday from Bob Monetti, whose son Rick was on the flight, that the families will be in New York City in September when Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, arrives for the opening session of the U.N General Assembly.  He wrote:

We are planning to give him a welcome worthy of the murderer of our loved ones.