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28 March 2008

The FAA Inspection Process and Southwest Airlines

In this podcast, Dr. Todd Curtis discusses a proposed $10.2 million dollar fine against Southwest Airlines and how problems with FAA safety inspection process allowed the airline to continue to fly airplanes that were not in compliance with a mandatory safety inspection. Dr. Curtis also discusses the role the FAA played in allowing Southwest to fly out of compliance aircraft, and how subsequent actions by the FAA may ensure that all airline operators may be following the rules but may also inconvenience passengers and undermines their confidence in the FAA.

You can download several versions of this episode:
Audio: MP3 | Video: iPod/MP4 | WMV | Google Video | YouTube

If you visit, you will find links to the podcast, as well as a transcript and links to additional resources.

You can also find other podcasts at

05 March 2008

Interview with Airline Pilot Patrick Smith, Author of the Book "Ask the Pilot"

Patrick Smith,in addition to being a pilot for a major U.S. airline, is also an air travel columnist and author of the 2004 book "Ask the Pilot."
In this Conversation, Patrick Smith and Dr. Todd Curtis discuss several issues, including popular misconceptions about airline safety, the role of the Internet in shaping the public's perception of airline safety, as well as how the TSA should be changed in order to enhance airline security.

You can download the episode directly at
You can also find other podcasts at

Related Resources
Notes page from the interview
Buy the book "Ask the Pilot"

03 March 2008

Lufthansa A320 Has Close Call in Hamburg

On 1 March 2008, a Lufthansa Airbus A320 arriving from Munich was attempting a landing at Hamburg, Germany under high crosswind conditions. The left wingtip struck the ground during the attempt, and the crew successfully executed a go-around. The aircraft landed without further incident. At the time, winds at the airport were gusting up to 49 knots. The left wingtip and winglet were damaged, and there were no injuries to any occupants..

Video of the Event

Photos of Event and the Aircraft Damage