John Croft

John
Croft
Articles
MH17 wreckage
Obama: Missile shot down MH17; Malaysia Airlines says Eurocontrol approved route
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that crashed over Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 on board, was shot down by a surface-to-air-missile (SAM) from territory controlled by Russian-supporting militants, US President Barack Obama said Friday.
ATSB studies possible routes, fuel exhaustion for MH370 
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is studying whether missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have been navigating between waypoints in the southern Indian Ocean when the aircraft’s satellite communications system last exchanged “handshakes” with an Inmarsat satellite and ground station in Perth, Australia, as it descended, most likely after running out of fuel.
FAA secures T-SAP, ATSAP from public disclosure 
FAA has dismissed requests for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) access to data from two of its voluntary safety reporting systems, one for technical services employees and one for air traffic controllers.
Stall recovery, simulator fidelity improvements in new FAA training rule 
FAA on Tuesday issued a final rule that will give airlines and training providers five years to upgrade flight simulators and begin more comprehensive training of pilots for stall and upset incidents as well as for crosswind and gust events.
Cockpit Regeneration 

WHEN COMMERCIAL JET goes looking for customers for its 737-300/-400 cargo conversions later this year, the Miami-based maintenance and refurbishment center plans to offer a differentiator it thinks will set it apart from the competition: The best new avionics in cookie-cutter cockpits. Along with its partner in the effort, Universal Avionics, Commercial Jet is planning to retrofit a slew of 737 Classics with large-format liquid crystal displays, flight management systems, terrain awareness warning systems and even Universal's new synthetic vision product. Once its supplemental type

Connectivity Post-Connexion 

Spring is the time of year associated with renewal, but this year it is the holiday season that will herald regeneration for inflight connectivity. By year end, a host of new services for airline passengers are scheduled to be springing to life. Counterbalancing the arrivals will be the departure of the 800-lb. gorilla of connectivity: Connexion by Boeing.

All or Nothing

When information overload hit the information technology department at Vancouver International, officials concluded that IT support wasn't one of the airport's core businesses and outsourced it. By contrast, when the same thing happened at Las Vegas McCarran International, officials decided to beef up their in-house team to take on the new work.

The Drive to Self-Handling 

When Catherine Mayer found herself waiting in an airline customer service line to find out why her luggage didn't show up after an international flight in early April, she knew there had to be better way. In fact, she knew exactly what that way should be. Mayer is VP-airport services for SITA, which is at the forefront of an industrywide push to accelerate passenger self-service options.

IT at the mile-high airport

Frontier Airlines knows that its customers are quite enamored with the animals pasted on the tails of its aircraft. With help from Denver International, the carrier now hopes to bring that brand recognition inside the airport.

Avionics: Beaming Bits & Bytes 

FAA and several contractors in March will begin testing a prototype communications scheme that theoretically could save millions of dollars per year for airlines and possibly give them some extra revenue to boot. The concept, called Aerosat Airborne Internet, calls for using the thousands of en route aircraft in the skies at any moment to create a communications "mesh" that proponents say could increase bandwidth dramatically and reduce the cost of existing communications pipes.

Real-Time Runways

FAA may be closer to weeding out a thorny safety issue persistent enough to have made the National Transportation Safety Board's "Most Wanted" list for 15 straight years: Coming up with a real-time cue to warn pilots of an impending on-airport collision.

IFE: Home Theatre in the Skies 

Consumer electronics advances and airline expansion, particularly overseas, have rekindled an inflight entertainment industry that faded considerably following 9/11.

Registered Traveler Redux

A hare has joined the tortoise in the race to bring so-called trusted traveler programs to US airports. At Orlando International, a private company called Verified Identity Pass Inc. is taking a lead role in a program that promises a speedier trip through airport security in return for an $80 fee. Industry observers say the entrance of businesses into a realm where the government has held the reins is sure to speed up the eventual rollout of an interoperable program nationwide, though concerns about privacy and profit- making could pose hurdles.

Taking the Oops Out of Vehicle Ops

In education circles, it is understood that an intense experience teaches more than a boring one. John E. Ostrom can see the principle in action every time he watches the reaction of one of his drivers as the truck's windshield fills with the hulking mass of an airliner about to ruin everyone's day. "I call it the 'Oh (expletive) factor,' " he says. "I guarantee they'll remember that."

New Legs for 

When Southwest Airlines decided to retrofit Blended Winglets on its 170 737-700s two years ago, managers had the advantage of a clear, concise cost-benefit tradeoff: The $750,000 drag-reducing devices would save the discount carrier an average of 92,000 gal. of jet fuel per aircraft per year and boost payload by about 6,000 lb., paying for themselves long before the aircraft would have to be retired.

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