Bomb-sniffing dogs search Detroit-bound plane

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

Seattle Co-Pilot Killed In Alaska Plane Crash

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes

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Reprinted from KiroTV.com

SAND POINT, Alaska — The body of a man and a Seattle woman, both pilots, were found after their plane crashed Friday near Sand Point, Alaska.

On Sunday, the Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers told KIRO 7 that divers found wreckage of the ACE Air Beechcraft 1900C with two bodies inside.

The two were identified as 28-year-old Ameer Ali and 23-year-old Emily Lewis. A Lewis family spokeswoman said Lewis grew up in the Seattle area and was engaged to be married this year. Ellie Materi said the family would like people to know that Lewis “was a funny, sweet wonderful person who always loved flying.”

Lewis recently moved to Alaska to work as a pilot.

The Coast Guard said the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from the Sand Point airport.

 

The plane had been bound for Anchorage with a load of fish and mail.

 

The 28-year-old Ali grew up in New York and came to Alaska after serving as a flight mechanic in the Marines.

For the orginal article please follow the below link:

http://www.kirotv.com/news/22332190/detail.html

Pilot in Beirut crash made ‘fast and strange turn’

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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Written by Associated Press writers Zeina Karam,Elizabeth A. Kennedy in Beirut, Bassem Mroue in Hamaway, Lebanon, Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Katharine Houreld in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Published by the Associated Press

EIRUT – The pilot of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight made a “fast and strange turn” minutes after takeoff from Beirut in a thunderstorm, but the transportation minister said it was far too early to know what caused the deadly crash.

All 90 people on board the plane bound for Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, were feared dead from the crash, which happened at around 2:30 a.m. Monday. A second day of rescue operations using sonar-equipped boats and divers turned up only a few body parts, extinguishing hope of finding any survivors.

While search teams scoured the sea floor trying to find the bulk of the wreckage as well as the black box and flight data recorder, which are critical to determining the cause of the crash, new clues emerged Tuesday about the plane’s few minutes of flight.

Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi revealed that the plane flew in the opposite direction from the path recommended by the control tower after taking off in stormy weather.

He said the pilot initially followed the tower’s guidance, but then abruptly changed course and went in the opposite direction.

“They asked him to correct his path but he did a very fast and strange turn before disappearing completely from the radar,” Aridi told The Associated Press.

“Nobody is saying the pilot is to blame for not heeding orders,” Aridi said, adding: “There could have been many reasons for what happened. … Only the black box can tell.”

 

It was not clear why the pilot veered off the recommended path. Like most other airliners, the Boeing 737 is equipped with its own onboard weather radar, which the pilot may have used to avoid flying into thunderheads rather than following the flight tower’s recommendation.

Ethiopian Airlines said late Monday that the pilot had more than 20 years of experience.

Rescue teams and equipment sent from the U.N. and countries that included the United States and Cyprus were searching an area up to six miles (10 kilometers) out to sea. Conditions were chilly but relatively clear Tuesday — far better than Monday, when rain lashed the coast.

Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Girma Wake said the American vessel that the U.S. Navy has dispatched to help in search operation is capable of lifting the plane’s fuselage from the water.

“When they lift it up, we hope they will find trapped bodies in the fuselage,” Wake told journalists in Addis Ababa.

By mid-afternoon, part of the wreckage and some life rafts has been recovered from the area, the airline said.

Crews have pulled bodies from the sea; the numbers reported so far range from a dozen to more than 20. Several officials have revised their numbers, saying they miscounted.

Pieces of the plane and other debris were washing ashore, and emergency crews pulled a large piece of the plane, about 3 feet (1 meter) long, from the water. A recovery team member, Safi Sultaneh, identified it as a piece of a wing.

Lebanese officials have said there is no indication of terrorism or “sabotage.”

A senior security official involved in the crash investigation said the black box would provide more definitive answers, but he noted that conditions including the weather are more likely culprits than anyone bringing the plane down on purpose.

“The probability of sabotage in these circumstances is much less than all other probabilities,” he said, asking for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly.

But experts said it was too early to rule out anything, even terrorism.

“Quite frankly you can’t say that at this stage,” aviation safety analyst Chris Yates said. “It’s a political statement at this point. You can’t rule out anything.”

Patrick Smith, a U.S.-based airline pilot and aviation writer, said there were many possible causes for the crash.

“Had the plane encountered extreme turbulence, or had it suffered a powerful lightning strike that knocked out instruments while penetrating strong turbulence, then structural failure or loss of control, followed by an in-flight breakup, are possible causes.”

The Lebanese army and witnesses say the plane was on fire shortly after takeoff. A defense official also said some witnesses reported the plane broke up into three pieces.

In the southern Lebanese village of Hanaway, hundreds of people gathered in the mansion of Hassan Tajeddine, 49, one of the few people whose bodies have been identified from the crash.

Tajeddine, a father of three boys and a girl, comes from a wealthy and influential Shiite family in southern Lebanon. Several prominent members of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group were attending the funeral.

“Why did they allow this plane to talk off?” asked Hussein Saad, the man’s uncle.

Tajeddine’s coffin was covered in black cloth with writings from the Muslim holy book.

At the Government Hospital in Beirut, the mood was somber Tuesday for families gathered outside hoping for news of loved ones.

“We don’t have much hope left,” said Adnan Bahr, a relative of 24-year-old Yasser al-Mahdi. “They’re all gone with the sea.”

For Original article follow the below link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100126/ap_on_re_mi_ea/lebanon_plane_crash

Bodies found in Alaska crash; co-pilot from Seattle area

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes

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Anchorage Daily News

Pilots Ameer Ali, 28, and Emily Lewis, 23, had been missing since the ACE Air Cargo Beechcraft 1900 they were flying went down around midnight Thursday night. The plane was carrying fish and mail to Anchorage.

Shortly before noon Sunday, searchers discovered what appeared to be a part of the plane, said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. A diver soon found two bodies inside, she said.

Ali was the pilot and Lewis the co-pilot. While Peters said the bodies likely hadn’t been identified Sunday, there was no one else on the plane, according to rescuers.

The Coast Guard called off its search for survivors Friday night, but Sunday representatives for ACE Air Cargo and an insurance company continued to look for wreckage, said Aaron Sauer, an air-safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Searching a grid with boats, they found portions of the airplane in about 30 to 40 feet of water, Sauer said. “Two individuals were removed from airplane wreckage out there, and that is all being coordinated with the local authorities.”

Officials couldn’t say precisely where the craft was found, though Sauer estimated it was approximately two miles north of the Sand Point airport.

“They have suspended operations for the evening, and they’re going to be continuing the recovery of the aircraft beginning tomorrow morning [Monday],” he said.

Sand Point is a community of roughly 960 people on Popof Island, off the Alaska Peninsula, 570 miles from Anchorage.

Ali was a former flight mechanic for the U.S. Marines who worked as a well-liked flight instructor in Anchorage before joining ACE, said friends and family.

Lewis grew up in Seattle and recently moved to Alaska to work as a pilot, a family spokesperson told media in an e-mail Sunday.

“She was engaged to be married this year. Emily was a funny, sweet, wonderful person who always loved flying. She will be very much missed by her family and friends,” said a statement from her family.

After the ACE Air Cargo flight was cleared to leave Sand Point for Anchorage late Thursday night, people in the area reported hearing what sounded like the engine dying followed by “an impact noise,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

Others said they saw a bright, orange flickering off the end of the runway toward Unga Island, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said it received a call about 12:20 a.m. Friday from Sand Point police that fire department responders and others had reported debris in the water off the end of the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

“It’s like we lost a couple of family members today,” said Stewart Turner, a 23-year-old ACE pilot who sometimes flew with Ali.

Employees at the ACE offices in Anchorage declined to comment on the crash Friday.

Ali and Lewis were taking off in difficult conditions on the last leg of a long day, said Turner, reached on his personal phone. He said the plane was carrying cargo and had plenty of fuel on board.

“For whatever reason, the airplane could not climb,” Turner said.

Ali, 28, grew up in upstate New York and came to Alaska after serving as a flight mechanic in the Marines, said his younger brother, Shareif Ali.

Turner said Lewis recently moved to Alaska, followed by her fiancé. “Before they moved up here they were crop dusters. They flew small aircraft individually, single-seaters.”

Of Lewis, he said, “One of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met, right off the bat.”

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

Studies could prove risk of toxic air in planes

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Fumes

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“Furlong said his team is a few months away from finalizing a blood analysis test that will be able to definitely confirm whether the study participants were indeed poisoned by toxic fumes.”

A recent blog post outlines the research being done at the University of Washington that could scientifically prove that by flying on a plane you have a risk of being exposed to toxic air.

“Inside a freezer in a research laboratory at the University of Washington are blood and blood plasma samples from 92 people who suffer from mysterious illnesses, including tremors, memory loss and severe migraine headaches. ”

 

To read more follow the below link:

http://luminascjp.blog8.com/2010/01/21/scientists-analyze-blood-to-test-for-toxic-airplane-air-exposure/

4 Passengers on Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit cause disturbance

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events
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Written by the Associated Press
ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — A Delta Airlines spokeswoman says the crew of a Northwest Airlines flight has requested that authorities meet the plane as it landed in Detroit because four passengers did not follow their instructions.

Plane with sick passengers had air contamination before

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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Written by Beth Shayne
Published by WCNC.com

The US Airways Boeing 767 plane where 15 people got sick Jan. 16 had been taken out of service twice in recent weeks for a foul odor.

On Jan. 16, Flight 1041 from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands was met by ambulances when it landed in Charlotte after passengers and crew complained of headaches and nausea they attributed to a suspicious smell. Eight passengers were treated on the scene. Seven crew members were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released.

Maintenance logs show the plane — tail number 0251 — experienced a similar problem on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 on flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico. One note in the report reads, “WHEN THRUST LEVERS WERE REDUCED TO IDLE FOR INITIAL DESCENT [sic ] A VERY STRONG ODOR SMELLING LIKE WET SOX AND/OR DIRTY FEET CIRCULATED THROUGH THE PASS. CABIN AND FLT DECK.”

Crew members got sick on board those flights, according to Judith Murawski, a scientist with the Association of Flight Attendants who studies cabin air contamination.

US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said the plane was grounded and serviced on both occasions. After the second incident, it was taken out of the rotation until Jan. 5, when it was cleared for flight. Mohr said mechanics determined that the problem was a leak of the hydraulic fluid Skydrol.

The plane flew 24 flights without incident in between Jan. 5 and Jan. 16. The Jan. 16 problem has not yet been officially diagnosed, though Mohr notes that a finding of a hydraulic fluid leak is likely. The plane is currently grounded.

Murawski said the problem is far more widespread. Her research indicates there are an average of 0.86 incidents of contamination in the cabin and flight deck per day.

“This happens fleet-wide,” she said.

It is standard industry practice to provide air to the cabin by compressing outside air in the plane’s engine, conditioning it, and then circulating it into the body of the plane. (The air inside the cabin is also constantly recirculated.)

“Your average passenger has no idea that the air that they’re breathing is coming off the engine,” Murawski explained. “Sometimes the engines leak oil and those oils are highly toxic.”

Engine oil contains toxic chemicals including tricresylphosphates (TCPs) and carbon monoxide. Hydraulic fuel, while slightly less serious, also contains toxic chemicals. Leaks involving those substances are often the source of a foul odor that many describe as a “dirty sock” smell.

“It came out of nowhere … lasted for about 5 minutes. Just a strong smell, like smelling in your shoe,” described one flight attendant, who experienced a cabin air contamination on a flight last year. She spoke to WCNC on the condition of anonymity, to protect her job. “Passengers noticed it. Flight attendants — immediately we were alarmed.”

That flight attendant says crew members on her flight suffered from headaches, loss of their sense of taste, and flu-like symptoms. Some are still experiencing health problems.

She believes passengers may never know what happened. “Flight attendants went off that plane sick, and most likely passengers did as well, but they have no idea,” she said.

“If they smell a dirty sock smell they think the person before them has taken off their shoes,” Murawski said. “It doesn’t occur to them that they are being exposed to engine oil fumes.”

Some people who have been exposed to the chemicals from engine leaks have complained of long-term neurological effects, including tremors, memory loss, and loss of vision. A pair of twins who were passengers on a Southwest flight have sued the airplane manufacturer. A former flight attendant is also involved in litigation against Boeing.

(Boeing told news partners at KING5 in Seattle that “cabin air in airplanes is safe.”)

Alisa Brodkowitz, who represents the plaintiffs in both suits, says the airlines and airplane manufacturers have simply refused to act.

“They have the science to monitor bleed air contamination on these planes, and they are not doing it. They have the science to install sensors on this aircraft, and they are not doing it,” Brodkowitz said.

For original article follow the below link:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/1191873.html

“This problem has been kept under the radar screen. Passengers are exposed to fumes and become sick on a flight and they scatter to the four corners of the world and no one ever tells them why they may be sick.”

Ryanair’s proposed ‘pee fee’ is back in the news

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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Written by Ben Mutzabaugh

Published by USA Today

Ryanair’s proposed toilet fee is back in the news again. In case you missed it the story this past weekend, the Irish Times  writes “Ryanair says it will press ahead with plans to charge passengers to use its aircraft’s toilets. Despite admitting its announcement last year that it might install coin-operated facilities was a publicity stunt, chief executive Michael O’Leary is now revisiting the issue, according to the airline.”

Ryanair’s plan? The Times says Europe’s largest low-cost carrier wants to remove the two rear lavatories, making room for six additional seats while leaving just one bathroom on its planes. The carrier would charge €1 or £1 – roughly $1.60 – to use the bathroom. The fee would apply only on flights of one hour or less, according to the Times. Ryanair told customers via its in-flight magazine that coin-operated toilets would be “a cost-saving proposal” that could help cut fares by up to 5%. 

Ryanair’s outspoken O’Leary made waves when he first broached the idea last year, though he later admitted it was a good way to generate “cheap PR.” However, the carrier says it’s taking a more serious look this time around. “The funny thing about Michael is that he’ll say these things as an off-the-cuff remark, and then he’ll start to think about it more and more ..,” Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara tells the Times

Still, experts are skeptical. While Ryanair apparently has talked to Boeing about re-fitting 50 of Ryanair’s Boeing 737 jets with the one-bathroom layout, one unnamed industry expert tells the Times that doing so could prove costly and could run into safety certification issues. Additionally, if the changes were made, Ryanair may have trouble selling its one-bathroom jets once it was time to retire them from its fleet. 

 

For Original article follow the below link:

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=16016.blog

Two-seat air travel for obese

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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 Written by Andrew Koubaridis of  The NZ Herald

It is only a matter of time before airlines start demanding overweight passengers pay for two seats, an aviation commentator says.

Peter Clark said the number of “very large” people boarding aircraft was increasing and people who struggled to get into one seat should pay the extra cost.

His comments follow reports that Air France-KLM planned to make overweight passengers pay for a second seat.

The airline denies it would make obese passengers pay more and says the only recent change is that they will refund the cost of the second seat, if one is bought, if the economy cabin is not full.

The extra seat came with a 25% discount.

Mr Clark said airlines would have to soon start asking bigger passengers to either pay for another seat or take a bigger one in premium economy or business class.

“The airlines will have to take a strong stand on it … Something will have to happen. It’s the responsibility of the passenger, not the airline.”

He said airlines would probably try to form a consensus on the issue.

Mr Clark said there were a number of safety issues that accompanied having very large people in planes - like moving quickly in an emergency or something as simple as putting a seatbelt on.

“A large person can create problems if they impede the movement of other passengers or if they have to evacuate [the aircraft] quickly.”

The comfort of other passengers was also a concern.

“It’s a confined space and if someone is impinging on the space of another passenger - who has paid a lot of money for it - then that’s not fair,” he said.

He thought there would be “human rights issues” if airlines did ask obese passengers to pay more, but safety concerns should come first.

Air New Zealand expects passengers who know they require additional room to buy an additional seat to get the space they require.

 

For originial article follow the below link:

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/90041/two-seat-air-travel-obese

Plane with sick passengers had air contamination before

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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by BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Beth: BShayne@WCNC.com

Posted on January 20, 2010 at 12:03 AM

The US Airways Boeing 767 plane where 15 people got sick Jan. 16 had been taken out of service twice in recent weeks for a foul odor.

Flight 1041 from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands was met by ambulances when it landed in Charlotte after passengers and crew complained of headaches and nausea they attributed to a suspicious smell. Eight passengers were treated on the scene. Seven crew members were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released.

Maintenance logs obtained by NewsChannel 36 show the plane — tail number 0251 — experienced a similar problem on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 on flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico. One note in the report reads, “WHEN THRUST LEVERS WERE REDUCED TO IDLE FOR INITAL DESENT [sic ]A VERY STRONG ODOR SMELLING LIKE WET SOX [sic] AND/OR DIRTY FEET CIRCULATED THROUGH THE PASS. CABIN AND FLT DECK.”

Crew members got sick on board those flights, according to Judith Murawski, a scientist with the Association of Flight Attendants who studies cabin air contamination.

US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said the plane was grounded and serviced on both occasions. After the second incident, it was taken out of the rotation until Jan. 5, when it was cleared for flight. Mohr said mechanics determined that the problem was a leak of the hydraulic fluid Skydrol.

The plane flew 24 flights without incident in between Jan. 5 and Jan. 16. The Jan. 16 problem has not yet been officially diagnosed, though Mohr notes that a finding of a hydraulic fluid leak is likely. The plane is currently grounded.

Murawski told NewsChannel 36 the problem is far more widespread. Her research indicates there are an average of 0.86 incidents of contamination in the cabin and flight deck per day.

“This happens fleet wide,” she said.

It is standard industry practice to provide air to the cabin by compressing outside air in the plane’s engine, conditioning it, and then circulating it into the body of the plane. (The air inside the cabin is also constantly recirculated.)

“Your average passenger has no idea that the air that they’re breathing is coming off the engine,” Murawski explained. “Sometimes the engines leak oil and those oils are highly toxic.”

Engine oil contains toxic chemicals including tricresylphosphates (TCPs) and carbon monoxide. Hydraulic fuel, while slightly less serious, also contains toxic chemicals. Leaks involving those substances are often the source of a foul odor that many describe as a “dirty sock” smell.

“It came out of nowhere…lasted for about 5 minutes. Just a strong smell, like smelling in your shoe,” described one flight attendant, who experienced cabin air contamination on a flight last year. She spoke to NewsChannel 36 on the condition of anonymity, to protect her job. “Passengers noticed it. Flight attendants — immediately we were alarmed.”

That flight attendant says crew members on her flight suffered from headaches, loss of taste and flu-like symptoms. Some are still experiencing health problems.

She believes passengers may never know what happened. “Flight attendants went off that plane sick, and most likely passengers did as well, but they have no idea,” she said.

“If they smell a dirty sock smell they think the person before them has taken off their shoes,” Murawski said. “It doesn’t occur to them that they are being exposed to engine oil fumes.”

Some people who have been exposed to the chemicals from engine leaks have complained of long-term neurological effects, including tremors, memory loss and loss of vision. A pair of twins who were passengers on a Southwest flight have sued the airplane manufacturer. A former flight attendant is also involved in litigation against Boeing.

(Boeing told our news partners at KING5 in Seattle that “cabin air in airplanes is safe.”)

Alisa Brodkowitz, who represents the plaintiffs in both suits, says the airlines and airplane manufacturers have simply refused to act.

“They have the science to monitor bleed air contamination on these planes, and they are not doing it. They have the science to install sensors on this aircraft, and they are not doing it,” Brodkowitz told NewsChannel 36. “This problem has been kept under the radar screen. Passengers are exposed to fumes and become sick on a flight and they scatter to the four corners of the world and no one ever tells them why they may be sick.”

http://www.wcnc.com/home/Plane-with-sick-passengers-had-toxic-fume-incident-before-82127832.html