We are talking about the Federal Aviation Administration and a bill in the House of Representatives that has an iffy future. The bill is a funding bill, and the author, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa), believes the government could save money and improve safety by sending one major function of the FAA to the private sector.
The Federal Aviation Administration has gone through more than a few iterations in the last 50 years. The change that travelers are most familiar with, of course, came in the aftermath of 9/11: The Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 moved the responsibility for aviation security from the FAA to the Transportation Security Administration, a newly created agency within the Department of Transportation. The TSA would later move to the Department of Homeland Security.
Depression comes on slowly. A person suffering from depression is having more than a bad day, though. There are physical symptoms -- sudden weight gain or loss and changes in sleep habits, for instance -- but those symptoms aren't unique to depression. There can be a change in overall demeanor; a person with depression may be more withdrawn or "gloomy." There can be a tendency toward negative thoughts, a tendency for the person to blame himself for things that he has no control over.
Flying can be a very scary experience for some people. They worry about what could go wrong, the training of the pilots and what would happen in an emergency situation. This is certainly not uncommon, as many people aren't familiar with how a plane operates and what it is capable of doing.
A tragic accident at Midway Airport in Chicago reminds us that ground crew are so vulnerable. A ramp agent died when the luggage cart he was driving collided with another. Chicago police, airline officials and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating, but no one has offered an explanation of why the crash occurred.
You probably heard about the plane crash at the LaGuardia Airport earlier this month. Delta Airlines Flight 1086 skidded while landing and crashed through fence right next to Flushing Bay in New York.
The National Transportation Safety Administration has released its initial report about an accident outside of Miami on Feb. 11. The private jet was carrying four people, including the pilot. All perished in the crash. According to NBC South Miami, the pilot reported an engine out just minutes after takeoff.
After the extremely unsettling videos of the TransAsia crash in Taiwan on Feb. 4, we reckoned it was time for good news. With 42 dead and an untold number of motorists traumatized when they witnessed the crash, we thought we'd had enough. Then, on Feb. 14, we read that Taiwan transportation authorities had administered a skills test to the country's 49 pilots who fly the same aircraft, a turboprop ATR.
Both Reuters and Bloomberg are reporting more details of the final few minutes aboard AirAsia Flight 8501. From the black box voice and data recorders, investigators have determined that the co-pilot was at the controls when the plane went into its final and fatal steep ascent. It seems, as well, that the pilot and co-pilot may have shut off the flight protection system and its backup system. Investigators still have no explanation for the move that likely contributed to the crash.
As divers continue to recover bodies from the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501, CBS News reports that satellite data has provided new information about the aircraft's final minutes. A steep climb was likely followed by a stall and a rapid descent at 11,000 feet per minute, three or four times the average rate of descent. The last two or three minutes of the flight were terrifying for everyone aboard.