The move represents the first time that workplace monitoring could extend into the nation’s cockpits and has drawn intense fire from pilots’ unions who say that the plan is intrusive.
Archive for February, 2010
The National Transportation Safety Board has transferred control of the investigation into yesterday’s crash of a small aircraft into an office building in Austin, Texas to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On the morning of February 18, 2010, a Piper PA-28 struck a 7-story building housing federal offices in Austin, Texas. The NTSB immediately initiated an investigation and dispatched a team of investigators to the scene.
Information developed about the circumstances of the crash since that time point toward an intentional act rather than an accident.
Last night, NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman consulted with the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder. They agreed that given the apparent criminal nature of the event, the primacy of this investigation should be transferred to the FBI. NTSB investigators will remain at the scene to assist the FBI.
All inquiries about the progress of the investigation should be directed to the FBI office in San Antonio at (210) 225-6741.
NTSB Media Contact: Peter Knudson
WASHINGTON — A diverse cast of cosmic characters is showcased in the
first survey images NASA released Wednesday from its Wide-field
Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.
Since WISE began its scan of the entire sky in infrared light on Jan.
14, the space telescope has beamed back more than a quarter of a
million raw, infrared images. Four new, processed pictures illustrate
a sampling of the mission’s targets — a wispy comet, a bursting
star-forming cloud, the grand Andromeda galaxy and a faraway cluster
of hundreds of galaxies. The images are online at:
“WISE has worked superbly,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator of
the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
“These first images are proving the spacecraft’s secondary mission of
helping to track asteroids, comets and other stellar objects will be
just as critically important as its primary mission of surveying the
entire sky in infrared.”
One image shows the beauty of a comet called Siding Spring. As the
comet parades toward the sun, it sheds dust that glows in infrared
light visible to WISE. The comet’s tail, which stretches about 10
million miles, looks like a streak of red paint. A bright star
appears below it in blue.
“We’ve got a candy store of images coming down from space,” said
Edward (Ned) Wright of UCLA, the principal investigator for WISE.
“Everyone has their favorite flavors, and we’ve got them all.”
During its survey, the mission is expected to find perhaps dozens of
comets, including some that ride along in orbits that take them
somewhat close to Earth’s path around the sun. WISE will help unravel
clues locked inside comets about how our solar system came to be.
Another image shows a bright and choppy star-forming region called NGC
3603, lying 20,000 light-years away in the Carina spiral arm of our
Milky Way galaxy. This star-forming factory is churning out batches
of new stars, some of which are monstrously massive and hotter than
the sun. The hot stars warm the surrounding dust clouds, causing them
to glow at infrared wavelengths.
WISE will see hundreds of similar star-making regions in our galaxy,
helping astronomers piece together a picture of how stars are born.
The observations also provide an important link to understanding
violent episodes of star formation in distant galaxies. Because NGC
3603 is much closer, astronomers use it as a lab to probe the same
type of action that is taking place billions of light-years away.
Traveling farther out from our Milky Way, the third new image shows
our nearest large neighbor, the Andromeda spiral galaxy. Andromeda is
a bit bigger than our Milky Way and about 2.5 million light-years
away. The new picture highlights WISE’s wide field of view — it
covers an area larger than 100 full moons and even shows other
smaller galaxies near Andromeda, all belonging to our “local group”
of more than about 50 galaxies. WISE will capture the entire local
The fourth WISE picture is even farther out, in a region of hundreds
of galaxies all bound together into one family. Called the Fornax
cluster, these galaxies are 60 million light-years from Earth. The
mission’s infrared views reveal both stagnant and active galaxies,
providing a census of data on an entire galactic community.
“All these pictures tell a story about our dusty origins and destiny,”
said Peter Eisenhardt, the WISE project scientist at NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “WISE sees dusty comets and
rocky asteroids tracing the formation and evolution of our solar
system. We can map thousands of forming and dying solar systems
across our entire galaxy. We can see patterns of star formation
across other galaxies, and waves of star-bursting galaxies in
clusters millions of light years away.”
Other mission targets include comets, asteroids and cool stars called
brown dwarfs. WISE discovered its first near-Earth asteroid on Jan.
12 and first comet on Jan. 22. The mission will scan the sky
one-and-a-half times by October. At that point, the frozen coolant
needed to chill its instruments will be depleted.
JPL manages WISE for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The mission
was competitively selected under NASA’s Explorers Program, which
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages. The
Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, built the science
instrument, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder,
Colo., built the spacecraft. Science operations and data processing
take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
For more information about WISE, visit:
To read about the near-Earth asteroid WISE discovered Jan. 12, visit:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
NASA’S WISE MISSION RELEASES MEDLEY OF FIRST IMAGES
New York-based Lonnie Soury of Soury Communications has positioned his company as an expert in dealing with race relations, with clients including Boeing, General Motors and Coca Cola. He thinks CitationAir’s choice of Imus is a good idea. “Don Imus has a proven track record in the industry and has talked a lot about private air travel in the past.”
Read rest of the Aviation Week article
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the
captain of Colgan Air flight 3407 inappropriately responded
to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an
aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover.
In a report adopted today in a public Board meeting in
Washington, additional flight crew failures were noted as
causal to the accident.
On February 12, 2009, a Colgan Air, Inc., Bombardier DHC-8-
400, N200WQ, operating as Continental Connection flight
3407, was on an instrument approach to Buffalo-Niagara
International Airport, Buffalo, New York, when it crashed
into a residence in Clarence Center, New York, about 5
nautical miles northeast of the airport. The 2 pilots, 2
flight attendants, and 45 passengers aboard the airplane
were killed, one person on the ground was killed, and the
airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash
fire. The flight was a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Part 121 scheduled passenger flight from Newark, New Jersey.
Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the
time of the accident.
The report states that, when the stick shaker activated to
warn the flight crew of an impending aerodynamic stall, the
captain should have responded correctly to the situation by
pushing forward on the control column. However, the
captain inappropriately pulled aft on the control column and
placed the airplane into an accelerated aerodynamic stall.
Contributing to the cause of the accident were the
Crewmembers’ failure to recognize the position of the
low-speed cue on their flight displays, which indicated that
the stick shaker was about to activate, and their failure to
adhere to sterile cockpit procedures. Other contributing
factors were the captain’s failure to effectively manage the
flight and Colgan Air’s inadequate procedures for airspeed
selection and management during approaches in icing
As a result of this accident investigation, the Safety Board
issued recommendations to the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) regarding strategies to prevent flight
crew monitoring failures, pilot professionalism, fatigue,
remedial training, pilot records, stall training, and
airspeed selection procedures. Additional recommendations
address FAA’s oversight and use of safety alerts for
operators to transmit safety-critical information, flight
operational quality assurance (FOQA) programs, use of
personal portable electronic devices on the flight deck, and
weather information provided to pilots.
At today’s meeting, the Board announced that two issues that
had been encountered in the Colgan Air investigation would
be studied at greater length in proceedings later this year.
The Board will hold a public forum this Spring exploring
pilot and air traffic control high standards. This
accident was one in a series of incidents investigated by
the Board in recent years – including a mid-air collision
over the Hudson River that raised questions of air traffic
control vigilance, and the Northwest Airlines incident last
year where the airliner overflew its destination airport in
Minneapolis because the pilots were distracted by non-flying
activities – that have involved air transportation
professionals deviating from expected levels of performance.
In addition, this Fall the Board will hold a public forum
on code sharing, the practice of airlines marketing their
services to the public while using other companies to
actually perform the transportation. For example, this
accident occurred on a Continental Connection flight,
although the transportation was provided by Colgan Air.
A summary of the findings of the Board’s report are
available on the NTSB’s website at:
NTSB Media Contact: Keith Holloway