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  • Air France Concorde: Criminal Conviction Against Continental Airlines Mechanic Reversed

    Today a French court of appeals reversed the conviction for criminal manslaughter against the Continental Airlines mechanic involved in the Air France Concorde crash. That brings the criminal proceedings to a close 12 years after the airliner went down.  I wrote here that the proceedings would do nothing for the families.  To the extent that the...

  • Yemenia Airlines Case Stays in US

    The Yemenia Airline flight that crashed near Moroni three years ago didn’t involve an aircraft built in the U.S. The flight had no Americans on board, and no part of the flight was through U.S. airspace. The families filed suit in California against International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), the Los Angeles company that had leased...

  • FDA Links Diabetes Drug Actos to Bladder Cancer

    Actos has become one of the most popular treatments for type 2 diabetes mellitus.  Now the FDA is warning of a link between Actos and bladder cancer. A recent study showed that the risk increases by 40% after 12 months on the drug.  That risk is significant enough that the use of the drug has been suspended in...

  • Brazilians Sentence American Pilots to Prison: Not in Best Interests of Safety

    In many countries, criminal prosecution of those involved in aviation accidents is the rule, not the exception.  For example, the French courts began a criminal investigation almost immediately after the crash of Air France Flight 447. The Indonesian legal system convicted a Garuda Airlines 737 pilot of negligence and sentenced him to two years in prison following a 2007...

  • US Court Tosses Out All Air France Flight 447 Cases

    Most of the families of the 228 passengers who were aboard Flight 447 filed suit in the United States. The reason they chose to file suit in the United States was simple. The courts of other countries provide little compensation to those who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of another.  And resolving cases in other...

  • Concorde Trial: Criminal Prosecution of Chief Engineer Not in Best Interests of Safety

    Ten years ago, an Air France Concorde SST departing from Charles de Gaulle Airport ran over a strip of metal on the runway.  One of the Concorde’s tires exploded.  A chunk of the debris from the tire punctured the Concorde’s fuel tank. Fuel leaked from the tank, and into an engine. The ensuing fire and engine failure brought...

  • First Air France Flight 447 Lawsuit: Questions and Answers

    The families of Michael and Anne Harris, the American couple on board Air France Flight 447, filed suit this week in Houston federal court.  It’s the first lawsuit arising from the crash. The most frequently asked questions about this suit are: Question:  Aren’t the families jumping the gun?  The black boxes haven’t yet been recovered, and may never be.  For all we...

  • Weather Analysis Suggests Air France Flight 447 Penetrated Thunderstorms

    Tim Vasquez is a meteorologist with Weather Graphics in Oklahomoa.  He has plotted Flight 447’s flight path against GOES-10 satellite and other weather data. Vaquez’ work suggests Flight 447 penetrated two thunderstorm cells. The image below, according to Vasquez, is similar to what the Flight 447 crew would have seen on its weather radar screen, assuming its...

  • Compensating the Families of Air France Flight 447

    Are the passengers’ families entitled to compensation for their loss? From whom? Does it matter what caused the crash? Can the families sue in the United States? Air France is Responsible Regardless of the Cause of the Accident.  The Montreal Convention requires Air France to compensate the families as long as the crash was caused...

  • Air France Flight 447: Lightning, Thunderstorms, and the Airbus

    Did the Pilots Attempt to Fly Through a Thunderstorm Intentionally? That’s very unlikely. Pilots avoid thunderstorms at all costs, because they know a thunderstorm can destroy any aircraft. Pilots use the aircraft’s on-board weather radar system to make sure they keep a safe distance. During the day, they can see the towering thunderstorms rising up to...

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