On The Fly...

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A man who stole a motorglider and threatened to crash it into a Frankfurt bank building landed the aircraft safely Sunday after talking by phone with the brother of an astronaut killed in the Challenger space shuttle explosion. The man was arrested after he spent more than an hour circling over downtown Frankfurt, at least once diving the aircraft before pulling up. The man spoke with Charles Resnick, brother of late astronaut Judith Resnick. Resnick said he didn't know the man and doesn't know if his sister knew him. "I can't say I understand any of this," Resnick told CNN.

Frontier Airlines officials are scratching their heads (perhaps right where their headsets go) as to why one of their mechanics allegedly threw a wheel chock into a running aircraft engine to prevent it from taking off from Denver last week. An FBI spokesman said the mechanic apparently thought there might be something wrong with the plane. "There certainly were other options he probably could have taken to prevent the flight from departing," Frontier spokeswoman Elise Eberwein was quoted as saying in the Washington Post...

The National Aviation Hall of Fame opens Thursday with a ribbon cutting by four of its inductees. Test pilots Scott Crossfield and Joe Kittinger, Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets and astronaut Joe Engle will officially open the facility, which is adjacent to the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Festivities start at 10 a.m...

Two Lufthansa pilots who tested positive for alcohol as they were getting ready for a flight from Helsinki to Frankfurt reached a deal with the airline to leave their jobs. "We did not fire them, but they are no longer working for Lufthansa," said a company spokesman. The two were in the cockpit Dec. 20 when police, acting on tips from people in the airport, asked them to take an alcohol test. Their blood-alcohol readings were not released...

There were no airline fatalities in the U.S. in 2002, the third time in 10 years (1993 and 1998, too) that's happened. The banner year came after a tragic 12 months in 2001 when a total of 525 died on U.S. airliners. A total of 265 of those were on four airliners hijacked and deliberately crashed by terrorists on Sept. 11. The November 12 crash of American Airlines flight 587 in Belle Harbor, New York took the lives of all 260 aboard.