Friday, January 27, 2012

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 26 - The pilot of a Cessna 210 made a safe emergency landing in a field near Hemet, California after losing power on approach to Hemet-Ryan Airport.

January 24 - A student and instructor made a safe engine-out landing in their Cessna 150 in a field near Lewisburg, Tennessee.

January 23 - Both aboard a Yak-52 were killed after crashing in the Timona Recreational Reserve near Feilding, New Zealand. No injuries were reported on the ground.

January 21 - Both aboard a single-engine Cessna were killed after crashing near Madison, Indiana. The aircraft was reportedly on approach to Madison Airport at the time of the crash.

January 19 - A Delta Air Lines flight bound for Detroit from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania made a safe emergency landing at Elmira Corning Regional Airport in Elmira, New York after the crew encountered trouble with the wing flaps.

January 18 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after the aircraft reportedly broke up in flight over Leighton, Wales.

January 18 A Korean Airways cargo jet carrying cattle bound for Amsterdam from Chicago made a safe emergency landing at London's Heathrow International Airport after a cockpit warning light indicated fire in the cargo hold.

January 17 - A single-engine plane made a safe emergency landing on a public street near Topeka, Kansas after the pilot reported engine trouble.

January 16 - A chartered MD-80 carrying members of the Detroit Pistons professional basketball team made a safe emergency landing at its destination of Hobby Airport in Houston after the crew reported trouble with the left landing gear hydraulics.

January 16 - The pilot of a Piper Aerostar registered to M&H Ventures LLC was killed after crashing on takeoff from Philadelphia Municipal Airport in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

January 15 - Both aboard a Piper Comanche were killed after crashing in the Nantucket Sound near Brewster, Massachusetts. The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit prior to the crash.

January 15 - A Delta Air Lines flight bound for Costa Rica from Atlanta made an unscheduled landing in Tampa after a couple in the first class section reportedly became unruly. The passengers were met by authorities in Tampa.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Great Reason to let the TSA do the Joking ...

This humble blogger's daughter recently ran the BMV gauntlet for her driver's license.  The test station was in a state government building festooned with the usual oddball collection of DON'T DO THIS OR WE  WILL DO THIS signs that spring up in public service offices protected by armed personnel.

Fall in line, everybody. It doesn't matter if you think you're being worked over by people who were fired by Wal-Mart, we have people with guns here.

The two examiners in the testing room, however, put on a small real-world 'guvmint-bot vs. human-hold-out passion play.

One wore her cop-looking State Examiner patch on her sleeve in every possible way, barking at applicants and moving with a majestic swagger belying the More Twinkies than Training tale told by her Humpty Dumpty frame.  The other took great pains to be polite and disarming and simply got on with the business of testing license candidates.  Her manner seemed willed, as if to counterbalance the hard-case pose of Barnameana Fife.

This Andy Griffith Show plays out in many public-contact government situations, but Andy is usually off in Mount Pilot, leaving Barney to mangle the public good will.

This week we salute the wise, funny, revealing blogging presence of the Transportation Security Administration, the just-a-url-away "Andy" for any Barney Fife you might to encounter on your travels.

These folks make blogging for the organization that has become the face of post-9/11 overreaching look easy.

There are no awkward, patronizing bureaucrat-who's-been-to-Toastmasters tones here -- just straight talk delivered with a wry grin that at first blush might look like the too-charming patter of a well-orchestrated PR campaign.  Until you see what the TSA picks out of luggage, pockets, and persons with some regularity between cellphone cameos of little girls being traumatized for life by pat-downs.

Twelve-hundred firearms in 2011.  Stun guns disguised as lipstick, as cell phones ... and as stun guns.  Martial arts knives.  Plain 'ol stabbin' knives. Inert land mines.  Souvenir pieces of C4.  And while the threat classification may be murky, there are often guys with exotic birds stuffed in their pants.

If you're of the mind that government types can easily make up wild contraband stories to justify their continued existence, be our guest, but this blogger would like to point out that just last night a fellow got arrested for drunk driving here in town and called his drunk father for a ride home.  The lawmen noticed that the father was drunk after he arrived at their station via the front lawn.

Making stuff up to prove the world is off its tilt is often a waste of time these days.

A few best-of TSA Blog pull-quotes:

-- Gassed Up Chainsaw: Believe it or not, the chainsaw found at Elmira (ELM) was not [a] problem. You can travel with your chainsaw as checked luggage, however, gassing it up is the problem. You know ... Gas? (1/13/2012)

-- A passenger opted out of the body scanner at Buffalo (BUF) and during the pat-down, a 9” nonmetallic serrated knife was found in his pants pocket. The passenger stated later that he opted out of the body scanner because he was trying to get the knife through security ... (12/17/2011)

-- I’m sure you’ve heard the “What’s In Your Wallet” commercials… Well, a frustrated passenger at Boston (BOS) stated he had a bomb in his wallet. The police ended up citing the passenger, so while there was no actual bomb in his wallet, there is now less cash ... (12/9/2011)

And then there's Cupcakegate.

All the witty blog posts in the world will never excuse the occasional Barney Fife who shows up on your screening line (never mind the one who swipes your stuff), but this blog provides an astute summary of the TSA's role at U.S. airports a decade after the world was changed with box cutters and a plan.  And as heart-warmingly funny as Grandmas with Grenades are, we hear the rubber-gloved ones are even still on the lookout for terrorists.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 12 - A U.S. Airways flight made a safe emergency landing at Yeager Airport near Charleston, West Virginia after smoke was detected in the cargo hold during a scheduled flight from Nashville to Washington D.C. No evidence of a fire was found.

January 12 - The pilot of a single-engine plane received minor injuries after crashing into a stand of trees near Stangelville, Wisconsin. The pilot was able to climb down from his airplane in the treetops and seek help. Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

January 11 - Both aboard a helicopter were killed after crashing near Mosjoen, Norway. The flight was reportedly herding reindeer at the time of the crash.

January 10 - A Piper PA-31 carrying employees of Aboriginal Strategies Inc. crashed in North Spirit Lake in Ontario, Canada, killing four and severely injuring one. The pilot was reportedly attempting to land at a nearby airstrip in heavy snow before the crash.

January 10 - A helicopter crashed near Churchfields Industrial Estate in Salisbury, England, injuring all three aboard. A witness reported that the pilot appeared to be searching for a landing spot when the aircraft contacted a treeline.

January 9 - An American Airlines B737 made an emergency landing at Albany International Airport in New York after losing oil pressure in one engine.

January 8 - The pilot of a single-engine experimental kit plane was killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Jackson County Airport northeast of Atlanta.

January 7 - A medevac helicopter was forced to land in Walterboro, South Carolina after the patient being transported broke free from his restraining straps and began fighting with the flight crew. The man had previously jumped out of a moving car on Interstate 95.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 6 - An Air New Zealand B737 made a safe emergency landing at Ohakea Air Force Base after a fire erupted in the cockpit shortly after departing Wellington.

January 5 - A British Airways flight bound for London from Istanbul made an emergency landing in Dusseldorf after the crew reported low fuel.

January 4 - A student and instructor made a safe emergency landing in a field near Stafford, Missouri after the engine of their Cessna 152 quit.

January 4 - All four aboard a single-engine plane were safe after crash-landing on the beach of Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia. The aircraft had previously landed on the beach and was reportedly attempting to take off again but struggled to gain altitude.

January 3 - A United Airlines B777 made an emergency return landing to Taipei after its nosewheel door failed to close after takeoff.

January 2 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed after crashing in a heavily-populated area near Grand-Bassam on the Ivory Coast of Africa. No injuries were reported on the ground.

January 2 - The pilot of a gyrocopter was uninjured after crash-landing at Whangarei Airport in New Zealand. High winds were reported at the time of the accident.

January 1 - A Southwest Airlines B737 bound from Denver to Newark made a safe emergency landing at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska after a windshield crack was discovered during the flight.

January 1 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was uninjured after crashing in a reservoir shortly after takeoff from Windham Airport in Willimantic, Connecticut.