Amanda Ripley


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Flying Lessons

23rd Feb 2009 posted in Disaster Behavior

It’s no secret that the crash of Flight 3407 may have been weather related.  Recordings reveal that Capt. Marvin Renslow and copilot Rebecca Shaw both commented on the plane’s ice buildup, thus activating the plane’s de-icing system. According to USA Today, the NTSB warned the FAA that icing prevention rules aren’t always adequate:

In response, the FAA mandated that newly designed aircraft receive improved testing in icing conditions. But the agency has not required that existing models receive the new testing.

“The pace of the FAA’s activities in response to all of these recommendations remains unacceptably slow,” the NTSB said in a release last fall. “Before another accident or serious incident occurs, the FAA should evaluate all existing turbo propeller-driven airplanes in service.”

Several other icing-related recommendations by the NTSB have not been acted on by the FAA. And it seems that icing-related recommendations weren’t the only ones to fall by the wayside.  A 1999 recommendation concerning the threat of birds on runways has yet to be enacted by the FAA.

Certainly, we can’t change the past, but can’t we demand answers about the FAA’s role in determining safety standards for our friendly skies? If we do, perhaps we can help prevent the next Flight 3407 or 1549.