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national transportation safety board 80 articles

Lax Regulations Of Commercial Hot Air Balloons Could Expose Passengers To Injury, Death

The fiery crash of a hot air balloon north of San Antonio July 30 that killed all 16 people on board has reignited concerns that the commercial ballooning industry isn’t being held to the same stringent and requirements and regulatory oversight as other commercial aviation aircraft and pilots. According to a report by the Associated Press, if the pilot of the doomed “Heart of Texas” balloon that crashed in Lockhart, Texas, had been a commercial airplane pilot, he would have been grounded a long time ago. Alfred “Skip” Nichols, 49, started flying hot air balloons commercially 20 years ago, but ... Read More

Airplane crash near San Antonio kills family of four

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorities arrived in San Antonio, Texas, Sunday to investigate an airplane crash that killed a family of four Saturday afternoon. Initial reports say a single-engine Piper PA-24 took off from Kestrel Airpark, a residential community in Spring Branch, Texas, that includes a 3,000-foot runway, just north of San Antonio. But just after takeoff the airplane plunged into the parking lot of Strutty’s Feed Store on Highway 281 North in Spring Branch and burst into flames. Witnesses began calling 911 to report the crash just after 12:30 p.m. Saturday. All four people ... Read More

Bus driver didn’t give students safety demos before fatal California crash

Emergency evacuation tips can sometimes be a painful routine before traveling, but for the California college students who narrowly escaped from a burning tour bus last year, the safety information they never received despite company policy could have helped spare them from injury. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) members investigating the bus crash say that Silverado Stages bus drivers never showed the passengers a safety video or told them about the emergency exit windows on the bus, even though it was company policy to do so. In April 2014, the Silverado Stages bus was carrying several Southern California students to ... Read More

Parents of woman killed in Santa Monica plane crash file wrongful death lawsuit

The parents of a 28-year-old woman killed in a Santa Monica airplane crash last year have filed a lawsuit against the pilot’s estate and several others, alleging negligence in the design and handling of the airplane as well as the air strip on which the airplane attempted to land. Lauren Winkler died when the Cesna 525A Citation airplane piloted by her boyfriend’s father crashed on the evening of Sept. 29, 2013, at Santa Monica Airport. The other three occupants of the plane were also killed; they were identified as: Mark Benjamin, 63, the pilot; his girlfriend Kyla DuPoint, 53; and ... Read More

Walmart blames Tracy Morgan’s crash injuries on his failure to use a seatbelt

In response to comedian Tracy Morgan’s lawsuit against Walmart blaming it for the six-vehicle crash that left him and others critically injured and one man dead, the retail giant said Monday that Mr. Morgan and the others failed to use their seatbelts properly. According to court documents filed in a New Jersey federal court, Mr. Morgan’s injuries “were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device.” Mr. Morgan, still recovering from the June 7 crash, was traveling from Delaware to New York in a limousine van with his assistant Jeffrey ... Read More

Tractor trailer, bus crash kills four college softball players in Texas

Four college softball players are dead and at least 15 others injured after a tractor trailer veered across the median of a Texas interstate Friday and collided with a bus carrying the North Central Texas College women’s softball team. The crash occurred on Interstate 35 near the Oklahoma-Texas border around 9 p.m. Friday as the bus was headed back to Gainesville, Texas, after a scrimmage against Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla. Oklahoma authorities investigating the crash told the Associated Press that “right now, it’s being investigated like a homicide.” “Something happened to cause [the tractor trailer] to depart the ... Read More

FAA to investigate possible link between jetBlue engine failure and metal fragment

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a metal panel that fell from the sky last week and nearly struck a cyclist around the same time that a jetBlue flight bound to Austin, Texas, from Long Beach, Calif., experienced engine failure and had to make an emergency landing. Four passengers suffered smoke inhalation-related injuries aboard jetBlue flight 1416 Thursday morning after the airplane cabin filled with acrid smoke minutes after taking off. Passengers aboard the plane said they heard a loud boom, immediately followed by a dense caustic smoke that began to fill the cabin. Flight attendants passed out oxygen ... Read More

Pilot fatigue, errors top causes of UPS plane crash in Birmingham, NTSB says

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Multiple pilot errors likely caused a UPS cargo plane to crash into a hill near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport last summer, killing the captain and first officer, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators said in a Thursday meeting and announcement. NTSB investigator Robert Sumwalt stressed that discussion of the crew’s errors was necessary to learn from them and was not in any way intended to judge their characters. “I want to make the point to begin with that these were very good people. They were loved by many, had many friends. I don’t want to sound like I ... Read More

California gas utility faces $1.4-billion fine for deadly 2010 pipeline explosions

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) has been hit with $1.4-billion in penalties for thousands of safety violations that led up to a violent 2010 gas pipeline explosion that ripped through a San Francisco suburb and killed eight people. The proposed fine is the largest safety-related penalties ever levied against a public utility company in California history, but the administrative law judges that issued it said it is “meant to send a strong message to PG&E, and all other pipeline operators, that they must comply with mandated federal and state pipeline safety requirements, or face severe consequences.” The ... Read More

Last unresolved lawsuit from Continental Flight 3407 crash headed to trial

One wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, New York, has not been resolved, and the case appears to be headed to trial in the coming months. Flight 3407 crashed on Feb. 12, 2009, as the twin-turbo prop airplane was making its final approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The crash killed all 49 people aboard the airplane and one person on the ground — 61-year-old Doug Wielinski, who was at home with his wife and daughter when the airplane hit his house. It’s the Wielinski family’s lawsuit that remains unresolved out ... Read More