Carry-On Bag Catches Fire At The Savannah Airport.

Here’s What Happened

By Lisa Wilson

Carry On Bag Smoked Savannah Airport TSA Carried Out.pngWhen a carry-on bag started smoking last month at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, quick action by a Transportation Security Administration officer kept passengers and screening equipment safe, a news release said. Mark Howell, regional spokesman for the TSA, said on Thursday that a passenger at the security checkpoint July 20 called attention to the smoking bag. The carry-on bag had been scanned and was waiting to be searched at the security checkpoint, he said. Darrell Wade, a lead TSA officer, grabbed the bag and got it safely outside the terminal, according to the news release from the TSA.


Photo (TSA lead officer Darrell Wade (right side of Photo) reacted quickly when a bag started smoking at the security checkpoint at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport on July 20, 2018. The item causing the smoke turned out to be an e-cigarette. By Transportation Security Administration


Law enforcement officers were called and determined the bag contained a malfunctioning vape battery, the news release said.“The battery caught fire, and the bag started smoking real quick,” Howell said, explaining that the heat melted a hole in the bottom of the bag. The news release said that the checkpoint was able to remain open, and no one was injured. Battery-powered e-cigarettes, vape pens and other such devices are allowed in carry-on bags but not checked luggage, the news release reminded flyers. The devices should be taken out of bags that are checked at the gate.

Should airline reimburse couple who waited for lost luggage? By Sean P. Murphy

The Ferrises wound up losing two days of their vacation while holed up in a hotel at the airport, constantly checking online for updates on their luggage. Once they got their bag back, they quickly hit the road, but there was no way to recoup the days they lost. The Ferrises did, however, want to be reimbursed for the cost of the hotel they stayed in and other expenses they considered direct consequences of the missing bag. Neil Ferris tallied the cost at about $1,500, including new and missed hotel reservations, the price of their missed connecting flight, and the car rental they needed to get on with their trip. But Norwegian offered a paltry $54. “Basically, Norwegian said, ‘Sorry, we don’t owe you anything,’ ” said Neil Ferris. “I thought, ‘You got to be kidding. That’s outrageous.’ ”

Question: Is Norwegian responsible for paying the expenses the Ferrises incurred while they waited for the luggage? I’ve looked at Norwegian’s contract with its passengers, the international rules on delayed baggage, and the e-mail exchange between Ferris and Norwegian over who bears the cost. About half of the Ferrises’ claim is for two nights at a Sheraton hotel at the airport. That’s a lot of money. I think I would have insisted on something in writing from Norwegian before checking in, but the Ferrises did not do so. Still, I think the airline owes something more than an apology and nominal amount to the couple. It comes down to reasonable conduct, and I think the Ferrises understandably worried about the difficulty of getting the missing piece of luggage to them once they left Charles de Gaulle airport. It would have been different if the Ferrises had been planning to stay in Paris. When my wife and I traveled to Barcelona two years ago, our luggage was lost. But we were staying in the heart of the city. And early the next morning, a cheerful driver delivered the goods. No harm, no foul. (My wife had wisely stashed spare toothbrushes and other essentials in our carry-on bags.) But Paris was never on the Ferrises’ itinerary. They were heading to the countryside and planned to keep moving from one place to another every couple of days. Could the Ferrises really count on Norwegian to hit a moving target by dispatching a driver over rural roads?

Sure, Norwegian says. “It would take some time, of course, but we have contracts with a number of delivery firms for this and do this on a regular basis,” said Anders Lindstrom, a Norwegian spokesman. Lindstrom also said the airline could find no employee at the airport who acknowledged telling the Ferrises to wait at the airport for bags. “Norwegian’s ground handler would/should not ask a customer to stay at the airport,” he said. The airline’s policy, he said, is to encourage travelers to move forward with their travel plans even without their luggage.

© Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff Neil and Maureen Ferris sought to be reimbursed about $1,500 by Norwegian Air. They were offered $54. “I really expected them to reimburse me,” Neil Ferris said. “It feels like a case of mistreatment.” Disputes like this are one reason travelers should document everything. Of course, when you are in the moment, the stress can cloud your usual impulse to write it down. The Ferrises’ failure to keep records is understandable: The couple at first thought they faced only a short-term delay, only to have the crisis drag on for two days. Neil Ferris, 72, is a retired high tech business executive who has traveled extensively. He said he loves Norwegian, which has made a name for itself by offering low prices, and praises the airline for taking good care of him after a flight got canceled at the last minute recently in Ireland. But Ferris said he wants to get the word out to other travelers to be wary in such circumstances.

“I really expected them to reimburse me,” he said. “It feels like a case of mistreatment.” The Ferrises wound up having a grand time, but a mishap at the beginning of a vacation can color the entire experience, Ferris said. Instead of basking in the sun in Saint-Emilion, a tiny wine-making town that was to be their first stop, they were stuck at the airport. Ferris compiled his expenses and submitted them to Norwegian, including $850 for the hotel, $175 for the flight to Bordeaux they missed, and $120 for the hotel in Bordeaux that they skipped.The airline’s response: “Norwegian apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the delay in your bag.” (The “any” in this sentence bothers me; better to say “We apologize for the inconvenience caused . . .” There was inconvenience; own it.) 

Norwegian said it would give the couple $54 — the maximum allowable reimbursement of $47 for toiletries, plus $7 for two T-shirts Neil Ferris purchased. “To ensure all passengers are treated equally, all airlines follow common rules when handling delayed baggage claims,” the airline wrote. “Our liability is limited in line with these international regulations.” That suggests that all airlines are severely limited in how much they can reimburse passengers, right? Not so. The international agreement among airlines imposes a limitation of about $1,600. It says airlines are liable for expenses incurred due to delayed baggage. It does, however, say airlines aren’t liable when they can prove they “took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid” losing baggage and causing delay. Well, c’mon. Norwegian failed to get Neil Ferris’s suitcase on the plane with him. The airline failed at one of its core functions. There’s nothing reasonable about that. Norwegian, make a better offer than $54.

American Airlines Flight From Reagan National Airport Delayed - By 635 Kg Of Paperwork

By Lori Aratani, Washington Post

Washington: There are days when paperwork weighs you down - and there are days when you are weighed down by so much paperwork your flight can't take off. Monday was such a day, when American Airlines Flight 163 bound for Los Angeles found itself literally grounded by 635 kg of what the pilot termed "government documents." The excess weight had to be unloaded before the flight could take off from Reagan National Airport in suburban Arlington, Virginia. It seemed fitting for Washington, a town where documents - shredded or not - figure prominently in the daily narrative. Robert Hernandez, an associate professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California, couldn't help but chuckle when he heard the announcement."Sooooo... my flight is delayed because it has too much weight. The pilot announced that they are now going to unload 1,400 lbs of FEDERAL PAPERWORK. wut" - Robert Hernandez @webjournalist 6 Aug "I don't know if the pilot was kidding or not, but we were overweight," he said.

Hernandez, in town for an academic journalism conference, joked that perhaps it had something to do with the Robert Mueller investigation, which has amassed more than a million pages of documents since it began last year, according to some reports. Matt Miller, an American Airlines spokesman, confirmed that a flight was delayed about 30 minutes and that the airline removed 635 kg of cargo. As to whether all that weight was federal paperwork, he's not certain. The captain's comment, he said, may have been in jest. American Airlines has a contract with the US Postal Service to transport mail, he said, so some of that weight could have been overstuffed flat rate boxes and birthday cards bound for the West Coast. Miller said the cause was a weather-related weight restriction - there were storms followed by intense heat on Monday - and that meant the crew had to lighten up the plane. As was shown during last year's heat wave in Arizona, when American was forced to cancel dozens of flights in and out of Phoenix, air is less dense when it's hot, which can affect an aircraft's ability to get off the ground. Other than the paperwork problem, Hernandez said, the flight was uneventful, but the memory still makes him laugh.

Washington Post

U.S. Airlines Hired Over 4,000 Pilots This Year. Here's Why They'll Be Hiring Even More Written

By Conor Shine,

Aviation Writer, Dallas News

After a decade of instability and bankruptcies that saw hiring slow to a crawl, U.S. airlines have been adding pilots at a breakneck pace over the last three years amid rising revenues and renewed growth ambitions. Major U.S. commercial and cargo airlines have hired more than 3,000 pilots in each of the last three years and have hired 4,353 more through October of this year, surpassing the total hires in 2016. Regional airlines are raising entry-level pay and adding bonuses in hopes of attracting more new pilots to fend off a looming pilot shortage. Add in continued waves of departures as more aviators hit the federally mandated retirement age of 65, and arguably there's never been a better time to become a pilot.“Right now, the demand is so strong, when you qualify, you’re going to get multiple job offers,” said Louis Smith, a retired Northwest Airlines pilot and president of career-counseling company Future & Active Pilot Advisors. “It’s a sellers market.”

Smith’s group is hosting a free pilot career forum at DFW Airport Saturday to introduce potential pilots to the profession and the steps it takes to make it into the cockpit. It’s a career Smith said that can yield $10 million dollars in lifetime earnings and benefits at a major airline, with a job description that's unlike any other. But getting there means investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, thousands of hours of training and years working up the airline food chain. “We always tell future pilots to avoid becoming a pilot if it’s specifically for the money or if you want to work a 9 to 5 job,” Smith said. “Airlines never close. The time away from home can be very stressful on families. You get sick of those little bars of soap. You need a passion for flying to enjoy the cockpit profession.” Southwest Airlines captain Kyle McDaniel arrives for work at Dallas Love Field, Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

Taking off

For aspiring pilots who aren’t in the military — the faster growing segment of the workforce — there are a number of paths to an airline job. But they all center around one goal: building towards the minimum number of flight hours, typically 1,500, needed to start at a regional airline. That journey usually starts at a flight school or four-year university that offers aviation-related degrees, Smith said. Training and education costs regularly stretch into the six figures, he said, with a range that can go from $50,000 to upwards of $200,000, depending on the length and type of program

Latest MH370

Report Remains Inconclusive

By Mary Grady

Despite an all international effort to discover why the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 crashed in March 2014, the accident investiga-tion team has concluded in a report released Monday that it was “unable to determine the real cause for the disappearance.” The team said they were hampered by the lack of evidence, since the airplane has never been found. About two dozen pieces of wreckage have washed ashore in southeast Africa, but only three have been confirmed as part of the lost B777. The report concludes, “Without the benefit of the examination of the aircraft wreckage and recorded flight data information, the investigation was unable to identify any plausible aircraft or systems failure mode that would lead to the observed systems deactivation, diversion from the filed flight plan route and the subsequent flight path taken by the aircraft.”


The report also declines to suggest the crew was to blame, noting there was “no evidence” that either the pilot-in-command or the first officer had “experienced recent changes or difficulties in personal relationships or that there were any conflicts or problems between them.” Communications with ATC prior to the disappearance were routine, and no evidence of anxiety or stress was detected. “There had been no financial stress or impending insolvency, recent or additional insurance coverage purchased or recent behavioral changes for the crew,” according to the report. The leader of the investigation, Kok Soo Chon, said at a news conference, “We are not of the opinion that it could be an event committed by the pilot.” Kok also said the report is not considered final, since it was not possible to examine the wreckage or flight recorders.

Re-enactments of the final flight, undertaken in a simulator using the available flight data, established that the aircraft’s turn off course was “likely made while the aircraft was under manual control and not the autopilot.” It could not be established whether the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilots. The report noted that air traffic controllers who were monitoring the flight didn’t follow procedures and failed to watch radar displays as required. They also delayed activating emergency processes, which delayed the start of search-and-rescue operations.

The investigative team included experts from the U.S., China and Australia. Kok said the report is not considered final, since it was not possible to examine the wreckage or flight recorders. Malaysia’s transport minister, Anthony Loke Siew Fook, said the government would review the safety recommendations in the report and take steps to prevent similar future air accidents, according to The Wall Street Journal. The government will also conduct a “thorough investigation” and punish those found guilty of any misconduct, he said.

American, Southwest and United pilots agree: No one-pilot cockpits By Yahoo News

Tens of thousands of pilots for United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines and nearly 50 other commercial airlines raised their collective voices today and said “no way” to a bill now before the U.S. Congress with a provision in it authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration to launch a research and development program for single pilot all-cargo flights.


The operative phrase there is “single pilot,” an operating option that has sent a collective chill down the spines of commercial airline pilots who fear that if cargo flights are allowed to operate with just one pilot in the cockpit, commercial passenger flights could be next. The bill before Congress states that remote-piloting or computer-piloting technology would be used in conjunction with the single pilot in the cockpit manning the plane.But pilots say such an approach to flying a commercial aircraft doesn’t take into account everything that happens in a cockpit, including interacting with air traffic control, communicating with dispatch, checking weather conditions, visually scanning for other aircraft, and monitoring engines and fuel, among other responsibilities.


 What’s worse, during non-routine situations (think engine explosion, for instance), the workload in the cockpit can very suddenly increase exponentially. That is why pilots are sending a message to Congress that a cockpit needs to be manned with two well-trained, fully qualified pilots, not just one. Noted Dan Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association the represents more than 15,000 pilots who work for American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL), the world’s largest airline: “Given the threat posed by computer hacking and accident rates for autonomous vehicles and military and civilian drones, it’s astonishing that policymakers would even consider this notion.” Added Pedro Leroux, president of NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots that represent 2,700-plus pilots who fly for NetJets Aviation: “The two-person flight deck model exists not for the sake of redundancy, but to promote safety through shared decision-making and communication-.”

Finally, firebrand Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, underscored the most important concern about flying a commercial aircraft with just one pilot in the cockpit:  “Air travel has never been safer. In fact, 2017 was the safest year in aviation history. Yet, the U.S. Congress is attempting to pass legislation that would allow operators to eliminate one of the most vital safety features of commercial aviation — two pilots in the cockpit.”

Hard Landing Creases 767 Fuselage By Russ Niles 

It is likely the flying days of an Atlas Air Boeing 767 are over after “hard landing” at Portsmouth Airport in New Hampshire on Friday. The old airliner, filled with troops returning home, hit the ground hard enough for the fuselage to buckle and leave a crease in the skin. There were also reports that the collision with earth ripped fixtures from the ceiling inside the cabin. There were no reported injuries among the troops.

The number of passengers aboard wasn’t immediately released but the aircraft, a 300 model, can carry up to 351 people in all economy configuration and the troop flights normally fly full. As of Sunday, accident websites were reporting the aircraft was still on the ground in Portsmouth. The sites are reporting that an inspection revealed serious damage to the aircraft.

Aeroméxico Crash Investigation Recovers Flight Recorders

By AirwiseNews

Investigators from Mexico’s civil aviation authority have recovered the flight recorders from the Aeroméxico aircraft that crashed on takeoff from Durango airport on Tuesday. Flight AM2431 was on a domestic flight to Mexico City when it came down shortly after takeoff in Durango in what has been reported as poor weather. All 103 passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft, with most sustaining only minor injuries. Mexico’s Secretary of Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said in a tweet that of the injured, only four people remain in a serious but stable condition. Aeroméxico said there were 88 adult passengers, nine minors, two infants, two pilots and two flight attendants on the flight to Mexico City. Many of the passengers are US citizens, with American consular officials in Mexico providing assistance.

The airline said a dedicated team in Durango continues to provide help to passengers and their families. Aeroméxico chief executive Andrés Conesa said the company has allocated all available resources to dealing with the accident. “Our priority is attending to passengers and their families. We’ve aligned all our efforts to taking care of their needs the best we can at this time.” The airline said the actions taken by the crew during the evacuation of the aircraft were critical in avoiding loss of life.  “We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to all who responded to the accident and have provided care to those affected, their professionalism and support have helped immeasurably.” Mexico’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) is leading the investigation with help from Brazil and the United States. The Embraer E190 was made in Brazil and its engines supplied by General Electric of the US.

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