New Rules for Musical Instruments on Planes Take Flight

Thursday, January 01, 2015

After nearly three years in legal limbo, the government has finalized federal rules for bringing musical instruments onto commercial flights.
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Arias at 34,000 feet

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Flyers often take refuge in inflight entertainment to pass the time when sleeping proves impossible. But blogger Fred Plotkin finds the classical music offerings variable.
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Video: Cellist Plays Duet with Beatboxing Flight Attendant on Airplane

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Southwest Airlines flight to Denver was the scene of an inventive duet recently when Francisco Vila, a cellist, and Maximillian, a beatboxing flight attendant, performed Bach.
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Transportation Nation

New Airport Ebola Screening: How It Works

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The U.S. is now limiting entry to the U.S. for people from Ebola-affected nations and they'll soon have to self-monitor for symptoms.
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Conducting Business

Senator Jack Reed: We Need Carry-On Rules for Instruments

Friday, August 01, 2014

In this exclusive interview with WQXR, Senator Jack Reed says that without clear regulations, airlines will operate in a gray area and musicians will face more troubles.

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99% Invisible

120- Skyjacking

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The term "hijacking" goes back to prohibition days, when gangsters would rob moonshine trucks saying, "Hold your hands high, Jack!" However, in the early days of commercial air travel, the idea that someone would hijack a plane was scarcely even consid...


The Takeaway

A Fight for the Skies During the Heyday of Hijacking

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

From 1961 to 1972, more than 150 commercial flights were hijacked in the U.S. As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, the search for answers moves to the motives of hijackers in the past.

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On The Media

The Internet Is Searching For Missing Flight 370 Using Satellite Imagery

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A satellite imaging company called Digital Globe has launched a campaign to use the manpower of the internet to find the missing Malaysian Air flight 370. 

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The Takeaway

With Dreamliner Still Grounded, How Much Does Boeing Stand to Lose?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

With Boeing's 787 Dreamliner planes still grounded around the world, analysts are asking how much money the company stands to lose. Carol Hymowitz has been covering Boeing for Bloomberg News, where she's the editor-at-large.

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Top 5 @ 105

Top Five Flying Machines in Classical Music

Friday, August 31, 2012

From astronaut flutists to a string quartet played on helicopters, here are five far-out examples of airplanes and aerospace technologies in classical music.

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Transportation Nation

U.S. Airlines Set On-Time Record: Feds

Thursday, August 09, 2012

According to the Department of Transportation: "The nation’s largest airlines set record marks during the first half of this year for on-time performance, the fewest long tarmac delays, and the lowest rates of canceled flights and mishandled baggage."

The press release goes on to say: "The 15 largest U.S. airlines posted an 83.7 percent on-time arrival rate during the first six months of 2012, the highest mark for any January-June period in the 18 years the Department has collected comparable data. The previous high was 82.8 percent in January-June 2003."

You can read the full report here.

Also this morning, a department within the DOT (the Bureau of Transportation Statistics) released data breaking out June's on-time numbers by airport. The upshot: you want to fly in or out of Salt Lake City, and avoid Newark. "Salt Lake City (90.59) had the highest and Newark (68.51) had the lowest on-time departure performance of the 29 busiest airports in June."

Other highlights:

  • There was one international flight with tarmac time of more than four hours: Air Canada Flight 711 from New York LaGuardia to Toronto, which was on the LaGuardia tarmac on June 25 for 248 minutes before taking off.
  • In June, the most delayed flights were: JetBlue Flight 24 from New York JFK to Syracuse and JetBlue Flight 23 from Syracuse to New York JFK. Both flights operated 10 times during the month and were 30 minutes late or canceled 80.0 percent of the time, averaging 81 minutes late.

You can see that data here.


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The Brian Lehrer Show

Crosscheck: Restructuring the Airline Industry

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jad Mouawad, airline correspondent for The New York Times, kicks off the January series on flying and the airline industry with a discussion on how the industry has restructured over the past decade.

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The Takeaway

Boeing To Close Wichita Facility

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Wichita, Kansas has been known as the "Air Capitol of the World" since the 1920s. Building aircrafts for the army and for the jet-set, the city is to airplanes what Detroit is to cars. But, after September 11th, new orders plummeted, and Wichita-based manufacturers cut over 15,000 jobs between 2001 and 2004. The latest blow to the industrial city came on Wednesday when Boeing announced plans to close its Defense, Space and Security facility.


Transportation Nation

FAA Unveils New Pilot Fatigue Rules

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(image courtesy of U.S. DOT)

Airline pilots will fly shorter shifts and get longer rest periods under new rules issued by the  Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday.

The rules update current pilot work schedule regulations -- which largely date back to the 1960s -- to reflect studies on how much time pilots need for rest and an understanding of how travel through time zones and the human body clock's response to light and darkness can affect performance.

"This new rule gives pilots enough time to get the rest they really need to safely get passengers to their destinations,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.

The new rules come nearly three years after a Colgan Air jet flown by two exhausted pilots crashed outside of Buffalo, killing 49 people -- a day U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called "one of my worst days in this job."

Carriers have two years to adapt to the new rules. The FAA estimated the cost to the industry at $297 million over 10 years.

Cargo carriers -- who do much of their flying overnight -- are exempted from the new rules. The FAA said forcing cargo carriers to reduce the number of hours their pilots can fly would be too costly compared to the safety benefits. The FAA is encouraging cargo carriers to opt into the new rule voluntarily

Congressman John Mica, who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued a statement tepidly praising the new rules, but said: "Pilots must take personal responsibility for coming to work rested and fit for duty.  The government cannot put a chocolate on every one of their pillows and tuck them in at night.”

You can read more about the new rules on the FAA's website here.

(Additional reporting from AP)

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JFK Passenger Flight Grounded Due to Engine Failure

Monday, November 22, 2010


Delta flight lands safely at JFK after engine failure.


Transportation Nation

Moving Stories: 42 killed in Chinese plane crash; LA mayor: give bikes 3 feet; Twin Cities two-tier bus system

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Survivor of Chinese plane crash describes descent, malfunctioning exits on Embraer (LA Times)

Poor Visibility may have caused Alaska crash that killed former Sen. Stevens (WSJ)

China Railway in talks to build $30 Billion South African bullet-train (Bloomberg)

LA mayor backs law requiring motorists to give cyclists three feet on roads (Streets Blog)

Twin Cities asks: Are two tiers of bus service really fair?  (Star Tribune)

LA city officials debate parking regulations that will keep food trucks away from restaurants (KPCC)

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Studio 360

1970s Psychedelia: West African Style

Monday, June 14, 2010

With perfect BBQ weather already here, it's an ideal time to dig out your kaftan and get some world music tunes pumping on your stereo. And there’s no one better at making you want to groove and grill than 'Sir' Victor Uwaifo. The 'Sir' is entirely unofficial, but ...

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Studio 360

Up In the Air

Saturday, November 29, 2003

A sound portrait of the world at 6,000 feet from recreational pilots and radio producers Kim Green and Hal Humphreys.