Captain, Turn Off That Device

I’m not saying the pilot of the Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus was texting while parking last night—you know how we amp the iPhone on landing—I’m just saying you’ve got two pilots with more onboard-computer power than Apollo 11, who wing it from Buenos Aires to Miami and then have a wingtip-tail-section bender at the gate with Air France 777. It makes you want to find out why.

Dreaming about the Dreamliner

“There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I’m dreaming the hardest.”
― Marilyn Monroe

Maybe there are a lot of dreamers out there. And maybe nobody is dreaming harder than amped and jittery Boeing. Maybe dreaming so hard that the 787 Dreamliner can’t bear to let them down. Not again.

Ranking Airline Safety

The thing is, safety records are so one-dimensional. You go x number of years without a crash and you’re top shelf. But screw up once, your safety record is toast. There’s no unified theory of safety, but a European agency has named Finnair the world’s safest airline.

The Comings and Goings of Air Traffic Control

A USA Today headline asks how many air traffic controllers handle each cross-country flight, say from LAX to JFK. Handoffs happen all over the map. Controllers carve out slices of space and/or time and leave behind jet-fuel smelling backwash. There are plans to improve traffic control with fewer controllers. Plans to save millions by spending billions.

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TSA Begins Testing Behavior Screening

“Hey, girlie, are you smiling at that full-body scanner or are you just hoping for a pat down? You, big boy, you come here often? All the security lines in all the airports in the world and you walk up to this one.” TSA officers have a new high-tech tool beyond the logic of computers and about as clever as a mousetrap. They call it “managed inclusion.” We call it small talk.

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