opinion Patrick Smith Opinion contributor Published 3:09 PM EDT Mar 12, 2019 Last October, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, operated by a low-cost Indonesian airline called Lion Air, crashed after takeoff from Jakarta, killing everyone on board. Then, on Sunday, an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashed near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under eerily similar circumstances, killing 157 people from more than 30 countries. The million-dollar question is whether these accidents are linked, and if Boeing’s 737 MAX, the newest and most sophisticated variant of its venerable 737 line, harbors a deadly defect. Reports of the Lion Air crash point to a flaw in something called MCAS, which stands for Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, an automatic system designed to keep the plane's nose from pitching upward at too steep of an angle. The problem occurs when faulty data senses an impending aerodynamic stall when there isn't one, triggering the plane's stabilizer trim … [Read more...] about Airline pilot: Despite Boeing crashes, air travel has never been safer
Air travel question answers
With two high profile aviation disasters happening less than six months apart, and with both involving the trusted Boeing brand, it's understandable that some travellers are feeling nervous about flying. It's time to put your mind at ease. Viewers of Air Crash Investigation will be familiar with how the each episode ends, by pointing out that every accident results in safer travel for everyone in the future. Although it is possible that there may be a serious issue with the new Boeing 737-8 MAX, it's a very new aircraft, so your chances of even having to think about boarding one are very low. There are just 350 flying around the globe, that's less than one percent of aircraft in use today. And, to answer the most common question I've heard today, no, Air New Zealand do not operate any aircraft of this type. Historically the 737 has not only been the workhorse and backbone for so many airlines, it's also been the biggest seller for manufacturer Boeing with over 10,000 sold since the … [Read more...] about How safe is air travel in 2019?
Air travelers are starting to feel the effect of the partial government shutdown. Over the weekend, some airports had long lines at checkpoints, apparently caused by a rising number of security officers calling in sick while they are not getting paid. On Sunday, the wait times at New York's LaGuardia Airport peaked at 52 minutes at standard security lanes, fueling frustration among passengers and raising concerns about whether the government shutdown could lead to longer lines at the nation's airports.Safety inspectors aren't even on the job. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said Monday that inspectors are being called back to work on a case-by-case basis, with a priority put on inspecting airline fleets.So far, the impact of the shutdown — entering its 18th day on Tuesday — has been most visible for some government buildings and national parks being closed, and trash piling up on the National Mall in front of the Capitol. If the shutdown continues, food stamp … [Read more...] about Government shutdown starting to impact air travel
Q My wife was stuck in Amsterdam on a very late transatlantic flight on a US airline. The delay was due to maintenance issues. Can she claim anything from the airline under any EU rules? Luke F A If the flight arrived in the US three hours or more behind schedule, the answer is yes. European air passengers’ rights rules, known as EC261, apply to flights from all EU airports whatever the nationality of the airline. They stipulate cash payments for long delays, unless the carrier can claim “extraordinary circumstances”. The European Court of Justice has ruled that mechanical problems are part of the normal day-to-day business of running an airline and therefore do not count as extraordinary. The amount of compensation depends on the exact length of the delay: for three hours but less than four hours, it is €300; for four hours or more, it is €600. Agreed, that does look pretty arbitrary: a four-hour delay is judged to be twice as annoying as a three-hour … [Read more...] about Travel question: Do US airlines have to pay compensation under EU rules?
The news that Newcastle Airport will double the price to drop off passengers outside the terminal has caused a sizeable backlash. Hiking the charge to £2 for a ten-minute stay in the Express car park is a concern among many of our readers who do not see why the increases are needed. Many have expressed frustration on social media and have asked questions about the airport's new car parking structure. We put some of these questions to Newcastle Airport. What benefits will passengers get in return for the additional charge in the Express car park? The price for the first ten minutes in the Express car park has been frozen for the past nine years. We have carefully benchmarked the planned increase against other airports to ensure that it remains at a competitive rate. Read More Planes at Newcastle airport The airport is a business, so in order to invest in facilities, services, attract new airlines and bring new routes in, it must raise revenue from commercial activities, including … [Read more...] about The car park price hike: Newcastle Airport answers YOUR questions