How Safe Is the Boeing 737?
Viewpoint 2: "The Problem Can't Be Fixed Until It Is First Understood"
 »

POINT AND COUNTERPOINT. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive mandating special crew training for Boeing 737 pilots in the event of a rudder system malfunction, and subsequently issued another A.D. requiring various modifications to the 737's rudder system. Vince Massimini an ATP, retired military pilot, and aviation consultant in Washington DC feels that T. D. Ponder's approach to this issue is counterproductive. Massimini says that until the NTSB, FAA and Boeing are able to figure out the cause of the fatal 737 crashes at Colorado Springs and Pittsburgh, cries for action and anecdotal pilot stories don't do any good. More

How Safe Is the Boeing 737?
Viewpoint 1: "The FAA Should Fix the Airplane, Not the Pilots!"
 »

POINT AND COUNTERPOINT. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive mandating special crew training for Boeing 737 pilots in the event of a rudder system malfunction, and subsequently issued another A.D. requiring various modifications to the 737's rudder system. In an article written after the crew training A.D. was issued but before the rudder system A.D. was announced, T. D. Ponder a 10,000-hour ATP from Birmingham Alabama wrote a guest editorial to say the plane should be fixed, not the pilots, and to solicit input from 737 pilots who have experienced rudder system anomalies. More

You Don't Start with a Rolls Royce »

EDITORIAL. After returning from November's huge NBAA convention in Orlando, AVweb's publisher takes NBAA and the business aircraft industry to task for its fixation on multimillion dollar bizjets. There are plenty of piston singles and twins in the business fleet, and there needs to be more if the business aircraft industry is to continue to flourish. The author contends that "entry level business aircraft" shouldn't mean a CitationJet, but rather a Skylane, Bonanza, Saratoga, Mooney 252 or Commander 114. More

Who Benefits from Airworthiness Directives? »

The FAA is supposed to issue Airworthiness Directives only when an unsafe condition has been identified, a solution is available, and the cost to owners can be justified in terms of increased public safety. But lately, we've noticed a disturbing trend toward ADs where the FAA's justification seems questionable and the primary beneficiary appears to be the manufacturers, not the public. Case in point: two recent proposed ADs against the crankshafts in 60,000 TCM and Lycoming engines. More

The Vision Thing »

Corrective eye surgery for pilots has become routine. The FAA says it's okay and it's relatively low risk. More

The Jessica Bill: Nice Work, AOPA and EAA! »

The April 1996 crash in Wyoming that killed 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff along with her father and CFI Joe Reid generated a firestorm in the mass media that threatened to generate a knee-jerk legislative response from Congress. But working quickly both in public and behind-the-scenes, the general aviation alphabet organizations AOPA and EAA did exactly what we members pay them to do. The result: the public furor has died down quickly, and the bill introduced in the house is one we can live with. More

The Last FAM »

A look at the ATC system in the year 2011 in which cockpits and ATC are fully automated, the FAA has been privatized, and GPS provides the sole means of navigation. Written by an FAA air traffic controller, this biting satire originally appeared in THE NATCA VOICE, the newsletter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. More

AVweb's Mission Statement »

Does the world really need an aviation magazine on the web? Don't aviators already have too damned much to read? Editor and co-founder Mike Busch talks about his vision for AVweb. More

Will General Aviation Survive? »

EDITORIAL. Although the industry went through a near-death experience for 15 years, things actually seem to be looking up for the first time in recent memory. More