Boeing Company's 787 Dreamliner jets are made up of composite parts to a greater extent than any airliner that preceded them. The heavy reliance on carbon-plastic parts may now pose a threat of aviation accidents as the aircraft are showing signs of stress in the fuselage. Boeing insists the problems are easily repairable and hopes to avoid further delays in the production of Dreamliners in 2012. So far, the five Dreamliners currently in use have suffered no failures and are operating as expected.
Traffic accidents are a common occurrence on Chicago roads, but these crashes are always unexpected for the drivers involved. One of the most disturbing recent trends in Chicago car accidents is the number of wrong-way crashes occurring throughout the metro area. Wrong-way crashes typically result in serious personal injuries and local officials are scrambling to figure out how to prevent them.
Both pilots were able to walk away from a mid-air collision that brought a plane and a helicopter down on Sunday. The aviation accident occurred on Sunday evening between Sacramento and San Francisco. Despite significant damage to the helicopter, the pilot was only shaken up after coming down in a field a few miles outside of the nearest airport. The pilot of the airplane, a single-engine plane, was able to fly the craft 20 miles south before coming down near Byron Airport. The fact that no one was seriously injured in a mid-air collision was incredibly fortunate.
When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed new restrictions on the hours of service a truck driver could operate, there was no doubt there would be controversy. Trucking industry insiders believe that the new rules are needlessly restrictive and will not make a significant difference in the number of truck accidents. The American Trucking Association (ATA) is petitioning the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the validity of the newly proposed rules.
While many states have adopted bans on texting while driving, the acceptance for a total ban on portable electronic device use while driving has not caught on to the same level. The National Transportation Safety Board called for such a ban last December in response to mounting evidence that cell phones are a growing cause of serious car and truck accidents. The Vice Chairman of the NTSB is testifying on that recommendation for the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation today as part of the effort to gain the support of lawmakers across the nation.
The A380 had a tumultuous beginning, suffering significant delays before finally beginning passenger flights in 2007. Last month, technicians discovered numerous cracks in the wing ribs of an A380 that had been grounded after having an engine disintegrate in 2010. To prevent an airline accident, the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered roughly 100 of the aircraft inspected and repaired. On Wednesday, Qantas workers found similar cracks in the wing rib feet of one of their A380s and ordered the plane grounded. This has prompted questions over how widespread the cracking problem is and what threat, if any, that poses to passengers and flight crew operating the planes.
The Indiana State Fair disaster that left seven people dead and 58 seriously injured drew national headlines. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited three groups in connection with the fatal accident. The Mid-America Sound Corp. of Greenfield, Indiana, the Indiana State Fair Commission and the International Alliance of Theatrical and State Employees Local 30 all received hefty fines for actions related to the stage collapse. The findings point to violations of workplace safety. It is not clear what impact the findings will have on the individuals who were harmed and the loved ones of those who lost their lives in the disaster.
An Illinois truck driver was struck and killed over the weekend when a trailer towed by an SUV came loose, crossed the median and struck the semi on Interstate 80-90. The driver of the UPS semi truck was declared dead on the scene from blunt force trauma caused by the trailer. The fatal truck accident raises questions as to how the empty trailer became un-hitched from the SUV. According to police, the driver of the SUV was not intoxicated and was not swerving when the trailer came off. He did not receive a traffic citation, nor is he facing criminal charges at this time.
An Amtrak train headed to Chicago derailed yesterday, injuring at least ten people. The train collided with a semi truck at a railroad crossing in Michigan. The engine was overturned and all 68 passengers and five crew members had to be evacuated. The truck driver was also taken to the hospital. Thankfully, none of the injuries suffered were life-threatening.