RFT 597: Divine Intervention - Let's Stop Believing Our Own Press!
Sully Sullenberger: "I'm very glad that the Federal Aviation Administration has ensured the safety of the traveling public by wisely denying the waiver request by Republic Airways to cut in half the pilot experience requirement. U.S. airlines have attained an extraordinarily good safety record, with no fatal crashes in more than 13 and a half years." Sorry, Sully, not true. An Atlas Air B767 flying for Amazon crashed on Feb 23, 2019, killing the three crew members. The first officer, who caused the crash, had 5073 flying hours. He had falsified his flying history and lied about failing seven check rides. The 2009 Colgan Air crash that was the impetus for the 1500 hour rule was caused by a captain with a history of three proficiency check failures at Colgan. In July 2017 Air Canada Flight 759 had two pilots with more than 1500 hours each. They missed crashing into several aircraft on a taxiway, clearing the closest plane by 14 feet. If they had crashed, the death toll would have eclipsed the Teneriffe crash. The crash was averted by a United Airlines pilot telling them they were lined up on a taxiway. In December, B777 UA1722 took off from the Kahului Airport at 14:49 local time, where it was met with stormy conditions. Looking at data provided by FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft reached 2,200 ft approximately a minute after departing. However, it quickly began descending just north of the island's Baldwin Beach Park. At 14:50, the calibrated altitude of the aircraft was just around 775 ft as the aircraft dropped over the waters along the coast of Maui. From CNN Business: Five recent near-collisions on US runways, including one more this week in Boston, have prompted federal safety investigators to open multiple inquiries and a sweeping review. Boston Air traffic controllers stopped JetBlue flight from running into a departing private jet as it was coming in to land on the evening of February 27 night in Boston. The FAA is investigating the incident. The two planes involved in the apparent close call at Boston Logan International Airport came within 565 feet (172 meters) of colliding, according to Flightradar24's preliminary review of its data. According to a preliminary review, the pilot of a Learjet 60 took off without clearance while JetBlue Flight 206 was preparing to land on an intersecting runway," the FAA said in a statement. "JetBlue 206, go around," said the controller in Boston Logan's tower, according to recordings archived by LiveATC.net. The FAA says its air traffic controller told the crew of the Learjet to "line up and wait" on Runway 9 as the JetBlue Embraer 190 approached the intersecting Runway 4 Right. "The Learjet pilot read back the instructions clearly but began a takeoff roll instead," the FAA said in a statement. "The pilot of the JetBlue aircraft took evasive action and initiated a climb-out as the Learjet crossed the intersection." Burbank Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board said that a crew of a landing Mesa Airlines CRJ900 "executed a pilot-initiated go-around" as a SkyWest Embraer E175 was taking off from the same runway. A go-around is a routine measure to abort a landing on the approach. The NTSB says neither airplane was damaged and nobody on board was hurt. LiveATC.net recordings from the time of the incident chronicle confusion over whether the SkyWest flight was off the runway at Bob Hope Burbank Airport in California. It's unclear how close the two planes came to a collision. "Is he off the runway yet?" asked one unidentified voice. "We're going around," responded the crew of the Mesa flight. "The Mesa pilot discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out," said a FAA statement, which is also investigating the incident. "Meanwhile, the SkyWest aircraft continued with its departure, which prompted an automated alert to sound on the flight deck of the Mesa aircraft," the FAA said. The controller instructed the Mesa crew to turn to a course that took it away from the other aircraft." Austin A Southwest passenger jet and a FedEx cargo plane came as close as 100 feet from colliding on February 5 at the main airport in Texas' capital, and it was a pilot -- not air traffic controllers -- who averted disaster, a top federal investigator says. Controllers at Austin's airport had cleared the arriving FedEx Boeing 767 and a departing Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 jet to use the same runway, and the FedEx crew "realized that they were overflying the Southwest plane," Jennifer Homendy, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told CNN. The FedEx pilot told the Southwest crew to abort taking off, she said. The FedEx plane, meanwhile, climbed as its crew aborted their landing to help avoid a collision, the FAA said. Honolulu On January 23, there was an incident at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport involving a United Airlines 777 jet and a smaller, single-engine cargo plane at the Hawaii airport. The United jet improperly crossed a runway, while the cargo aircraft was landing, the FAA said. At the closest point, the aircraft were separated by 1,170 feet. The cargo aircraft involved in the incident is a smaller Cessna 206 turboprop operated by Kamaka Air, which ferries goods between the Hawaiian islands. The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The NTSB announced the investigation the day after Billy Nolen, the acting FAA administrator, directed his agency in a memo to "mine the data to see whether there are other incidents that resemble ones we have seen in recent weeks." New York - JFK On January 13, a close call between an American Airlines and Delta Air Lines flights sparked alarm. The crew of a Delta Boeing 737 aborted its takeoff, ultimately stopping within 1,000 feet of the taxiing AA's Boeing 777, the FAA said. No one was hurt in the incident, which took place around on a Friday evening. Air traffic controllers had "noticed another aircraft crossing the runway in front of the departing jetliner," the FAA said in a statement. "According to a preliminary analysis, Delta Air Lines Flight 1943 stopped its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet before reaching the point where American Airlines Flight 106, a Boeing 777, had crossed from an adjacent taxiway." According to Delta, its flight -- a 737-900 bound for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic -- had 145 customers and six crew members on board. Audio recordings detail swift action by an air traffic controller kept the airplanes from colliding as they drew closer. "S--t!" exclaimed the controller from the tower of John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday night. "Delta 1943 cancel takeoff clearance!" All of these crashed were averted by - predominantly - devine intervention. Sully's successful outcome was clearly the result of devine intervention that had the Hudson River devoid of the normal plethora of ferries and boats. The aircraft did not suddenly sink even though the Ditching Switch was not used. Here is another opinion about the 1500 hour rule.