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Feb 9th 2010 11:42PM I think that Jordan is on the right track in considering the adverse aerodynamic effects of any amount of ice on wings or tail control surfaces. As every student pilot has drilled into his or her head by their instructor, it doesn't take a lof of ice on the wings to dramatically affect the aerodynamic behavior of an aircraft. Cycling the gear and/or flaps usually makes matters worse. Do this on "T" tail and you may even further alter the aerodynamic properties of the aircraft. To the poster that said that recovering from stalls is "no big deal," that may be true when icing isn't involved you have the luxury of generous altitude, but as this tragic accident showed, it's another matter entirely when you're low & slow, iced up late at night and you're fatigued on top of having demonstrated proficiency problems with the type you're flying. They would have had to make a perfect recovery. I doubt any of us will ever know why the Captain pulled back on the yolk, or what possessed the FSO to start retracting the flaps instead of following the training that was repeatedly drilled into them during their flight training in the type (or maybe they don't actually practice real stall recoveries anymore, just push the nose over at the first activation of the stick shaker). Such a damn shame. May all their souls they all RIP. Maybe now the FAA has enough tombstomes that they'll take action on crew scheduline and more rigorous certification standards for turboprop regional aircraft that will be flown into known icing conditions. If they don't, I sure hope Congress steps in and makes them. With all due respect to the poster who prefers propjets so he can study the ice on the wings throughout the flight, I vastly prefer to spend as little time as possible in icing conditions and not be relying on pneumatic rubber boots and pumps to crack it off periodically. That technology is back there with "steam guages" on "classic" types. It's really time to insist that propjets be equipped with better anti-icing technology.
Feb 7th 2010 11:54PM While I agree that fatigue was probably a significant contributing factor, I also believe that the FAA and NTSB need to take a hard look at allowing turboprop commuter aircraft to fly into the type of known icing conditions that were encounered on this flight. Conducting additional in-flight icing studies may result in revised operational requirements for turboprop commuter aircraft in known severe icing conditions. I've never been a big fan of cracking ice that has built up on the leading edges of the wings and tail control surfaces with pneumatically activated boots as used on this type of aircraft. Give me a jet any day, because it will have a much greater rate of climb to get through an icing layer during the climbout phase as quickly as possible, heated leading edges of the wings, tail flight control surfaces and engine nacelles for use during flight through the icing layer, the ability to cruise well above mid-altitude icing layers where turboprop aircraft normally operate, and then rapidly decend through an icing layer during the decent phase. Also, I question who approved the FSO for that route given she had no known icing experience in that type of aircraft.
Jan 27th 2010 7:50PM I'm an adult adoptee who searched and found not only my birth mother but two full siblings, two half-siblings and several aunts, uncles and even more cousins. My birth father predeceased me, so knowing that heart problems run on his side of the family was a secondary benefit. Since I won't get to meet my birth father in this life, I have come to know him through the stories of my birth family members. KNOWING is an essential ingredients for the completion of some adoptee's identity. Not searching keeps these adoptees in a state of incompleteness and longing, always wondering about what was and what might have been. Better to know the truth than to know nothing at all. The truth shall set you free! Today I realize that I am part the product of my birth family, part the product of my adoptive family, and most importantly, since finding have become my own person. I am now able to fully embrace who I am. I am also incredibly fortunate to have two families that love and accept me, each in their own way. You go Matt!
Jan 8th 2010 6:39PM Knowingly and willfully circumventing federal security regulations and disobeing a direct order from a federal agentis a federal crime. Legally speaking, being in love is neither a mitigating factor nor an adequate defense. At the least this pair should be hauled into a federal district court and fined $10,000 for being idiots and disrupting air travel. Having said that, it is becoming increasingly obvious to most Americans that it is equally idiotic that everyone at the airport is presumed "guilty" and treated like terrorist criminals until proven innocent. 99+ percent of the traveling public are not terrorist threats. All because of a few rotten apples. The recent events have shown that even security systems with multiple levels of safeguards aren't 100% effective 100% of the time. Security needs to focus on where the threat is coming from, i.e., profiling, and I don't mean racial/ethnic or religious, whether foreign or domestic terrorists (let's not forget about them either).
Jan 5th 2010 11:03PM The references to "beef filler" (aka "processed whatever") is even more disturbing (and disgusting) than the ammonia part. The consumer is partly to blame for this insofar as s/he wants the convenience of ready-made hamburger, but the corporations are (IMHO) more to blame by slipping in this kind of crap and then not telling us about it! It's time consumers demand FULL DISCLOSURE and the only way we'll get it is by voting with our pocketbooks. There is an easy answer to this issue - stop buying hamburger at the supermarket or restaurant and grind your own at home like our parents used to do (or eat steak when dining out). There is another related issue that I noticed when shopping at some stores - The sticker on beef will sometimes say that it is "a product of the U.S., Canada or Mexico." I absolutely refuse to buy a meat product where they won't even tell me where it's from. I am not convinced that Mexico in particular has a meat inspection system that is capable of preventing "downer cows" (think "mad cow disease") from being slaughtered and being processed and distributed. Even the Canadians and the U.S. have had incidents in the past few years which call into question the effectiveness of a system that doesn't test for this disease in cattle (like they do in some other countries) before they are slaughtered. Thank goodness I don't eat hamburger much anymore, prefering healthier alternatives.
Dec 20th 2009 11:47PM Careful attention to precisely following engineering manufacturing specifications is just as important on metal aircraft components as composite. Recall that United 232 (a McDonnell Douglas DC-10) experienced an uncontained engine failure of the #2 (center) engine on July 19, 1989 while in flight between Denver and Chicago due to an improperly manufactured fan disk, and that airline maintenance procedures subsequently failed to detect the resulting crack. As a result, all hydraulic control of the tail control surfaces was lost, and the aircraft crash landed at Sioux City Iowa with loss of 110 passengers (out of 285) and one of the 11 crew members.
Dec 20th 2009 11:24AM I just love Susan Boyle. She is what we call a "sleeper." You'd never guess looking at her external appearance that she's got a suped up hotrod engine under the hood. But more importantly, I think she makes a statement that you don't have to conform to the world's notions of "beauty" to be successful. From all us guys who love real women (and not what the media tries to sell us as "beatiful," Go Susan! A fan.
Dec 19th 2009 9:44PM I appreciate the position coaches are in. It obviously isn't realistic to have a neurosurgeon at every high school or even some college football games, but you do need someone with sufficient medical training (it can be a paramedic or nurse as well as a physician) in recognizing traumatic brain injury to determine when a referral to such a specialist is needed for a formal assessment. The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts is one organization dedicated to providing training to coaches and medical professionals about the dangers of concussions in athletics. Former NE Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson is one of their professional athelete spokespersons.
Dec 19th 2009 8:16PM My heart goes out to this young man and his family. It is also an inspirational story of how they are dealing with the aftermath. Football is a contact sport and will inherently have risks. I feel this is a tragic example of when non-medical people (e.g., coaches) are left to make medical decisions. The NFL physicians at all games that can conduct a preliminary neurological assessment and determine if a player needs to be evaluated by a neurosurgeon, and if necessary, initiate treatment right on the field to reduce brain/spinal cord swelling. For example, this type of immediate response saved Buffalo Bill's Kevin Everett's life after a severe neck/spinal cord injury in the 2007 season opener . All colleges that can afford a football program should be able to afford a team doctor with special training that includes the ability to conduct initial neurological assessments. This would take this type of decision-making out of coaches hands, and put them in the hands of trained, objective medical personnel. The players who give their all every game deserve nothing less.
Nov 27th 2009 6:25PM It's important to realize that, statistically speaking, adoptees who search and find have a pretty decent chance of having a good reunion outcome with at least one member of their birth family. My reunion had the best outcome with my biological siblings, not my birth parents. Genetics isn't destiny. The emerging field of epigenetics is showing us how much environment can influence gene expression. Mr. Roberts sounds like a great guy and I wish him all the best.