NC Aviation Law Attorney


The cruise ship industry’s spin on the Costa Concordia’s grounding makes the tragedy worse.

A spokesman said that compared to the airline industry the cruise ship industry death rate is lower.  Even if true, we  have been sailing for centuries and we should have figured it out by now.  And although I would never say the sea is without peril, it somehow seems wrong to me to compare a vessel cruising on the earth’s surface at a relatively slow speed to an aircraft hurtling through the air at a high rate of speed.  Plus, what is the ratio of cruise ship operations vs. airline operations and what is the total number of ship passengers vs. airline passengers on any given day?

The comment that was especially offensive was the one that came close to calling the ship’s evacuation successful by saying that “almost all of the 4,000 people onboard the ship got away … safely…But in the scale of the event, the evacuation was achieved.” “Almost all” is not good enough—not this close to shore, or anytime. The fact that “almost all got away” is not the measure for a safe, efficient evacuation. Passengers are not supposed to just “get off” from a ship in distress. They are supposed to be evacuated safely and orderly by the crew. The crew of this ship, without its Captain, failed in providing this most basic of services.

This is an industry with even bigger boats and even bigger profits.  This will happen again and will be worse unless the industry and government address these issues.

Posted by 2:19 pm

Delta Makes Emergency Landing Because Of Windshield Cracks

The pilot came on over the public address system and calmly advised his passengers they had to make an emergency landing because the Boeing 737 had a  cracked windshield.  Delta Flight 1795 was headed for Southern California from Atlanta and diverted to the Dallas-Ft. Worth.  The plane landed in Texas without problems and the passengers were put on another plane to continue their flight to John Wayne Airport in Orange County.  The FAA is investigating. 

This is not the first incident for Delta.  In December 2009, Delta flight 0444 left Bogota, Columbia bound for Atlanta and had to turn back when the pilot noticed cracks on the surface of the outer layer of the windshield of the Boeing 757 about 35 minutes into the flight.  Following this incident, the FAA was to review the incident to find the cause and to see if the cracks on the Boeing 757 are connected to a string of windshield problems on Boeing 757s. 

 An FAA spokesman, Kathleen Bergen, pointed out there are several layers of glass in the windshield and this was only one layer, but if there was a trend, “we will look into it.”  Delta spokesman, Anthony Black told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this problem was not related because the cracks were on the outside of the windshield, not the interior.

Hopefully, the FAA and Boeing will work together to find the cause of windshield cracks on airliner jets.  In my career, I have seen too many tragedies which were the result of known problems which could have been fixed and save lives.

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Posted by 12:51 pm

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