Update: The Fear of Landing
In the comments section of an earlier item today, our good (and beleaguered) Friend Tim Wagner -- ya know, The Voice of American Airlines -- offers further details regarding the airline's compensation package for those left stranded by the airline's copious cancellations this week. (As in: "For those who were stranded overnight, they're eligible for refunds, hotel and meal vouchers, and above and beyond all of that -- a $500 voucher for future travel.") Also, he notes, "You still don't want to be me today." No. Kidding.
Also wouldn't wanna be Nicholas Sabatini, the Federal Aviation Administration's associate administrator for safety, who today was among those being barbecued during the Senate's Aviation Safety Oversight Hearing. Reports The New York Times, it wasn't friendly: "A Senate subcommittee chairman compared [the FAA's] handling of its lapses to the Pentagon’s handling of the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib." Also noted, for those looking for further reasons not to ever again get on an airplane, there's news of an incident at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport over the weekend:
The agency is investigating an incident last weekend at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in which a tug pulled a Boeing 777 across a runway as another jet, an MD-80 was landing, F.A.A. officials said.
The tug tried to stop but the momentum of the airplane pushed it into the runway.
Incidentally, that one's not anywhere to be found on the FAA's Preliminary Accident and Incident Reports page. --Robert Wilonsky