On The Fly...

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American and United Airlines have agreed to cut five percent of flights (that's 62 flights) between 1 p.m. and 8p.m. in and out of O'Hare. The Department of Transportation hopes the reduction will cut down on flight delays. Delays at O'Hare ripple through the rest of the system causing problems at other airports. O'Hare's stated capacity is about 100 flights an hour but it handles about 2,800 flights a day...

Officials have narrowed the location of a new Central Texas GA airport to three. Taylor Airport, Birds Nest Airport and an area just southeast of Hutto, Texas are on the short list. Public meetings on the final selection will be held Jan. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hutto City Hall and Jan. 8, same time at Manor Middle School...

Japan Air System grounded all its MD-80s after cracks were found in six engines on five of the jets. A total of 120 flights were cancelled so the Pratt and Whitney JT8D-2000 engines could be checked. The cracks were found on a stationary blade inside the engine that guides compressed air. No word on similar checks being done on the other 10,000 or so engines of that type in service...

Bradley International Airport, near Hartford, was evacuated Tuesday after cleaning crews discovered a "cutting instrument" in a bathroom. There was no immediate word on what the item was, exactly, or how long the airport was emptied...

An Air Midwest pilot claims he was demoted for pointing out safety problems but the airline denies it. Capt. David Bumpus says he lost his training status a day after telling his boss he believed he was being asked to do things that violated safety regulations concerning alcohol consumption and weight-and-balance limits. The airline said he was demoted for telling a crew scheduler that she must be "smoking crack" after she put him in a hotel an hour away from the airport...

Pilot error is being blamed for the crash of a Flash Airlines 737 in Egypt Jan. 3. Officials originally blamed a technical problem with the plane but changed their opinion after reviewing the flight data recorder. All 148 people aboard died when the plane crashed into the Red Sea shortly after takeoff from a resort...

A New Zealand helicopter pilot is on trial for six poaching-related charges. Michael Bradbury was flying the helicopter that a passenger shot seven deer from on a farm in Marlborough. Aerial hunting is apparently legal in New Zealand but Bradbury and his passenger are alleged to have taken the deer outside the permitted area and on private property.