American Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Las Vegas

An American Airlines flight made and emergency landing in Las Vegas todayAn American Airlines Boeing 757 was forced to make an emergency landing at Las VegasMcCarran International Airport earlier today after pilots detected smoke in the cockpit.

AA Flight 431 was traveling from Miami to San Francisco, and was over Utah, when the crew diverted from their course to make the landing. They touched down at 11:10 AM Pacific time and were met by emergency crews who assisted with the evacuation of the plane. All 159 passengers and six crew, exited without incident or injury.

A spokesperson for American Airlines said that the emergency landing is standard procedure for pilots after smoke is detected on a plane, and that the crew was just acting properly to ensure the safety of all those on board.

At this time, it is unclear as to the cause of the smoke, but investigations by AA flight mechanics and the FAA are ongoing. In the meantime the company is working to re-book all the stranded passengers and get them back on their way to San Francisco.

Cracks on American Airlines Boeing 767 planes “cause for concern”

Experts from American Airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing are working overtime to inspect all Boeing 767 aircraft in the AA fleet.

The inspections were ordered after cracks were detected on a 767 which regulators say could have resulted in the loss of an engine.

During the past two weeks, inspectors found problems on three of the planes, promoting calls for “additional action.”

The cracks were found in engine pylons, which are the structural members that hold the engines on the wings, though none of the parties involved are going as far as to claim there is any danger.

This is not the first time Boeing planes have had issues with engine pylon structures – cracks in engine fuse pins were to blame for the 1992 El Al Boeing 747 crash in Amsterdam, killing 43 people.

According to FAA records, one of the planes found to have serious safety issues had only flown 500 trips since its last major inspection – which is prompting Boeing to recommend more regular safety inspections. At the moment, the pylons are only inspected after 1500 flights.

Of course, everyone involved is quick to point out that the safety concerns are not the result of missed or botched inspections. American Airlines says it expects to finish all inspections of its 56 Boeing 767s today.

If the FAA does alter current safety inspection rules, about 360 Boeing 767s will have to be inspected in the United States, along with hundreds more in use abroad.

[Image from: Flickr/Deanster 1983]

American Airlines delays start of Chicago-Beijing flights

Yesterday, American Airlines was scheduled to start a new non-stop route from Chicago O’Hare to Beijing – but a last minute snag has forced them to delay the launch. American had requested a preferential take-off and landing slot from the Chinese Government, but was handed slots for a 2:20am arrival, and a 4:40am departure – making the whole thing pretty useless.

American Airlines is working behind the scenes to negotiate a better schedule, and as of right now, the first Chicago-Beijing flight should leave on Tuesday May 4.

Customers who were supposed to be on the inaugural flight are being offered a full refund or free date change to the later flights. Of course, nobody knows yet whether those dates will stay put, or what the final departure and arrival times are, so keep checking AA.com for updates.

Pocketknife found on plane causes major security drama at Dallas airport

The discovery of a pocket knife on an American Eagle plane at Dallas Fort Worth airport triggered an aircraft evacuation, passenger rescreening and a two hour delay.

The knife was found by a passenger between two seats, and while common sense tells us that someone probably found it in their pocket after simply forgetting to remove it, the TSA treats these incidents as a major breach of security.

Of course, the stupid knife should never have made it through the checkpoint in the first place, but items making it past the checkpoint is barely news any longer.

I fully understand asking the TSA to come pick up the knife, but to force everyone off the plane is just stupid – and reinforces the idea that they are not doing their job correctly. If the TSA had faith in what it does to protect us, they should have taken the knife, apologized to all the passengers, and let the plane depart on time.