John, Greg and special guest Geoffrey Thomas offer the facts about Boeing and the 737 Max. They call out the sensationalism of the Netflix documentary “Downfall” and dig into facts that offer dig into facts that offer the real story with Boeing. They offer a true picture of the airline and issues that led to the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes.
Geoff is a world-renowned multi-award-winning writer, author, and commentator and editor-in-chief at AirlineRatings.com. He is an outspoken no-nonsense critic of many aspects of airline management, technological issues related to aviation, and those related to safety and the environment.
Facts aren’t sexy, they agree, but the safety of everyone from industry to government to the public depends on understanding the real backstory.
The episode covers factors that influence operations of Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers. The role of Boeing’s acquisition of McDonnell Douglas is discussed. They separate facts from emotion to show that business pressures can sideline safety needs.
Greg and John dive into the latest details emerging about the China Eastern Flight 5735 crash on March 21. They also cover the backstory and impact of the Aerospace Maintenance Competition coming April 25-28.
The Chinese Government has allowed the NTSB to assist as technical advisors in investigating the China Eastern crash. Greg and John talk about what that means for getting to the facts.
They share insights from previous accidents with similar themes to this crash, including the documented repair of a previous tail strike on the aircraft and incidences of deliberate crashes.
Their sights turn to the upcoming maintenance competition in Dallas in conjunction with Aviation Week Network’s MRO Americas. More than 80 teams from around the globe will compete this year.
Teams represent educational institutions, commercial airlines, repair and manufacturing companies, general aviation and space. Up for grabs are prizes as well as bragging rights as the best of the best.
A recent deadly helicopter crash in Texas took the lives of a student pilot and a flight instructor. Helicopter fleets are growing – are there enough highly qualified flight instructors to keep pace with the demand?
Greg, John and Todd look at the initial information about this tragedy. They explore known safety issues with Robinson 44 helicopters. The tail boom appears to have been cut by the main rotor blade, a topic of a Robinson safety bulletin.
Citing data that reflects a surge in helicopter manufacturing, they wonder if there are enough flight instructors to train pilots to safely fly these aircraft.
This episode also examines a Piper PA22 Tri-Pacer crash in Arizona for the “WTF Files.” Three strikes were against the pilot and passenger before they ever took off: an expired registration, no insurance, and an unreported chronic medical condition. On top of that, they did not use the safety shoulder harnesses in flight.
Hear the details that led to the crash about 10 minutes after takeoff. The official cause is fuel exhaustion leading to engine loss, but there is much more to learn.
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The ultimate tragedy of a runway crash at the Compton airport is that is never should have happened. For Greg, Todd and John, it’s a textbook example of what not do to as a pilot.
They explore the many bad decisions made by the pilot of a vintage T28 Warbird that landed on top of a Cessna 152.
As they review the information in the NTSB docket about the accident, Greg concludes, “there was no logic in decision making and operational discipline.”
Get the full analysis of what went wrong. The emphasis of this episode is the critical responsibility of the pilot in command to ensure safety before, during and after flight.
Greg and John also share takeaways following presentations to a flight department in Arizona. They highlight how structure and procedures can improve flight safety.
Accident date: 2019-03-13
NTSB accident number: WPR19FA095
Aircraft #1: North American T28, N5440F
Aircraft #2: Cessna 152, N48962
Public Docket URL: https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=99107
The investigation is ongoing related to a Dec 2021 fatal crash involving a Cessna 208B and a powered glider. Both pilots were fatally injured in the accident that appears to have happened when the glider was higher than permitted altitude. The impact separated the plane’s right wing.
The Cessna was operated as a Part 135 cargo flight, and the powered paraglider was operated as a Part 103 personal flight. Greg says all indicators were that the Cessna pilot was doing routine cruise altitude operations and never saw the motor glider.
Greg, John and Todd examine the information released by the NTSB. They also talk about other incidents with pilots experiencing non-traditional aircraft creating hazards to aviation.
They call for all pilots to follow the rules of the aircraft they are flying to ensure their own safety as well as others in the sky.
flight safety detectives episode 108 - malaysian flight 370 crash update plus war impacts aviation safety
Efforts continue to get to the bottom of the crash of MH 370. Eight years after the crash, John and Todd are in touch with the people who are working to find the wreckage and uncover the facts. Get the Malaysian Flight 370 crash update.
John shares the latest developments from a group in Australia advocating to move the search area to the south. Hear the evidence that points to the crash being a murder/suicide event.
Sanctions on Russian commercial aircraft and planes operated by Russian interests are in the news. Companies that provide support are cutting ties. Aircraft leases are being canceled.
Todd shares an update on his effort to update his pilot certification. His goal is to earn an instrument rating in a glass cockpit.
“One of the biggest changes is that the technology that was in airliners in the 1980s is now in general aviation aircraft,” Todd says. “I have a new perspective on the challenges general aviation pilots face with new technologies and systems.”
flight safety detectives episode 107 - ukraine crisis and other aviation threats, thumbs down for "downfall"
Aviation is in the news and the headlines are tragic. The Ukraine crisis poses new risks for commercial aviation safety. Fatal general aviation accidents are on the rise. Netflix’s “Downfall – the Case Against Boeing” chooses emotion over facts. The FAA administrator’s sudden resignation adds to the turmoil.
Greg, John and Todd share their insights into these and other current events. They recommit to the mission of improving aviation safety at all levels. They invite listeners to suggest topics.
“We could to this show every day and not keep up with events. But we will keep sharing information to improve aviation safety,” says John Goglia.
Todd’s commitment has brought him back into the cockpit. He’s learning to fly again to experience the technologies, tools and information available for general aviation. Hear how he’s going about renewing his pilot skills and certifications.
Dissecting the fatal crash of a Cirrus SR20 near Hobby Airport in Texas. This accident highlights the value of careful preflight planning.
“Solid preplanning leaves nothing to chance, and that would have made a difference here,” says John Goglia.
While the pilot had experience with the aircraft, her experience landing at a high traffic airports is less clear. John and Greg wonder if another pilot in the cockpit or a plan to land at a less constrained airport could have made a difference.
Other factors covered include medication found in the pilot toxicology report, confusing instructions provided by air traffic controllers and excessive maneuvering required over a 20-minute period. Get an analysis that gives insight beyond the NTSB findings summarized at the Kathryn’s Report website.
Also hear preliminary details of recent high-profile helicopter crashes in Florida and California.
Greg and John are all over the news reports of the proposed merger of Frontier and Spirit airlines. Both companies have low customer satisfaction ratings. Will the combination create a larger poor performing airline or lead to safety improvements?
The conversation covers the back stories of several past commercial airline mergers. They share inside knowledge of issues and crashes that happened during and soon after mergers. As employees adjust to new procedures and operations, attention can be taken away from safety.
The episode also covers a disturbing trend in general aviation. Pilots without the proper skills, abilities and knowledge seem to be counting on technology and automation to keep them safe. The result is an alarming number of accidents.
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