Later this morning I’ll hop on a train for my biennial pilgrimage to the Paris Air Show. Thanks to the tunnel beneath the Channel connecting the UK to the mainland of Europe, and the speedy Eurostar train, it is not a long or arduous journey–not least because it no longer involves having to endure one of London’s accursed airports.
One result of our Netflix subscription is that my wife and I are watching many films that we probably would have missed. Two such films are Michael Ferguson’s “Inside Job,” which won the Academy Award for best documentary last year, and Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Gordon Gekko from 1987’s “Wall Street,” also directed by Stone.
Most of the time, business aviation makes air travel painless and trouble-free. That’s what you’re paying for and that’s why you love it.
Congressman John Mica keeps ratcheting up his war against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which he shoulders the blame for creating in the aftermath of 9/11. And judging from anti-TSA sentiments at the recent National Air Transportation Association Air Charter Summit, he probably can enlist a lot of spearchuckers to help win the battle.
Just as the flight data recorders from Air France Flight 447 were first being read–a few weeks shy of the two-year anniversary of the aircraft’s fatal plunge into the Atlantic Ocean four hours after takeoff from Rio de Janeiro en route to Paris–I started receiving calls from reporters asking for comment on word leaking out that pilot errors had caused the aircraft to stall and crash, killing all 228 people aboard.
Even if you are really tired of reading about Donald Trump, I encourage you to take a look at the June/July 2011 edition of Business Jet Traveler, where you will find him on our cover.
Brendan Gallagher died last Sunday morning at his home in London, just days after participating in press trips to Geneva, Belfast and Turkey with his usual enthusiasm and good humor. He was taken at a youthful 60.
In releasing its annual summer travel forecast recently, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) projected modest, 1.5-percent growth in passengers over last year and expressed relief that people continue flying despite the overall economic impact of higher fuel prices. I would venture that ATA should worry as well about the cumulative impact of wedging people in unbearable economy-class seating.
Dassault Aviation’s grounding on May 26 of the entire 112-aircraft Falcon 7X fleet because of a runaway trim incident is extraordinary in many ways. (Dassault didn’t actually ground the 7X fleet, but it did ask the EASA to issue an emergency airworthiness directive; EASA, then the FAA, followed through quickly.)
At the same time as the Southwest 737 Flight 812 debacle was unfolding–almost as rapidly as the fuselage skin tore off the aircraft shortly after departure from Phoenix–a book crossed my desk that could have been written for the aviation industry, and Boeing and Southwest in particular. But the FAA could also take a lesson.