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Is Qantas Really the Safest Airline?

Posted August 13, 2014 by Patrick Smith

Qantas history is scarred by at least seven fatal incidents prior to 1951, and the carrier has been perfect ever since. Its record is an outstanding one.

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The Ugliest Planes of All Time

Posted July 30, 2014 by Patrick Smith

I passionately submit that it does, absolutely, matter what the airplane looks like. Do we not care what our bridges and skyscrapers look like, functionality aside?

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The Media’s Airplane Problem

Posted July 23, 2014 by Patrick Smith

When it comes to airplanes and pilots, mainstream journalism, like Hollywood, usually gets it wrong. Movies we can forgive. The press, however, we hold to a much higher standard.

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Automation Myths: Do Planes Really Fly Themselves?

Posted July 16, 2014 by Patrick Smith

Flying is mysterious, and information is hard to come by. If the “experts” say automatic planes are possible, then why not?

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Airline News

“The Why” Behind Accidental Door Slide Deployments

Posted July 9, 2014 by Patrick Smith

An Emergency Slide Inflated into the Cabin of a United Airlines 737. What Went Wrong? Plus: Evacuation Etiquette, and Everything You Need to Know About Doors.

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The Yin & Yang of Airline Identity (Part One)

Posted July 2, 2014 by Patrick Smith

Since the dawn of civil aviation, airlines have been devising and revising what they believe to be meaningful identities. But it’s the logo around which everything else revolves.

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Terminal Madness: What is Airport Security? (Part Two)

Posted June 25, 2014 by Patrick Smith

Why can’t TSA exhibit common sense now and then? If we’re to believe that TSA screeners are well-trained professionals, why can’t they handle an occasional judgment call?

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Terminal Madness: What is Airport Security? (Part One)

Posted June 18, 2014 by Patrick Smith

In America and much of the world, security enhancements put in place following the catastrophe of September 11th, 2001, have been drastic and of two kinds: those practical and effective, and those irrational and pointless.

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COMMENTARY: Economy Class Done Right

Posted June 11, 2014 by Patrick Smith

When it comes to economy class gripes, it’s legroom, or lack thereof, that most people whine about. There’s less and less of it, as airlines cram in extra rows, eager to squeeze out every last penny of revenue in the face of razor-thin profit margins.

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The Noisy, Sweaty Hell of Small Planes

Posted June 4, 2014 by Patrick Smith

I spent the better part of five years immersed in general aviation. Frankly, as I see it, those are 1,500 hours that I’m never getting back.

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