Episode 10

John and Greg explore what was said and what wasn’t said when Boeing executives recently spent two days on Capitol Hill testifying before congress. Their take: the hearings were an emotional platform for congressmen to point fingers, not an opportunity for fact finding.

As always, John and Greg use the podcast format to go deeper than 30 second soundbites. They talk in detail about the questions that need to be asked. They refocus the discussion on the facts of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) final report.

The narrative that the crash was caused solely by the 737 Max Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) isn’t the whole story. Join John and Greg as they dive into the complex issues that deserve attention.

Photo credit: By User:Acefitt - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69781313

Episode 9

The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) has released its final report regarding the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 and John and Greg are far from satisfied. One thing is clear to these aviation experts: the focus was on returning the plane over and over again to revenue service, rather than fixing known issues. 

In this episode, John and Greg focus on critical maintenance issues, some of which are presented as little more than footnotes in the NTSC final report. They find that the report presents selectively filtered information and lacks analysis, falling far short of providing much-needed answers. They apply their expertise to analyze critical failures.

Lion Air Flight 610 was a scheduled domestic flight operated by the Indonesian airline Lion Air from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang. On October 29, 2018, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating the route crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew.

Photo credit: PK-LQP, the Lion Air Flight 610 aircraft. Photo credit: PK-REN from Jakarta, Indonesia - Lion Air Boeing 737-MAX8; @CGK 2018, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73958203

Episode 8

John and Greg take listeners inside NTSB aircraft accident investigations. They use the case of Valujet Flight 592 to illustrate how the process works and the types of issues encountered.

The parties and technical experts involved can be forthcoming and not so helpful, with serious consequences. They also highlight how these investigations uncover the facts that can lead to everything from criminal proceedings to new safety procedures.

Valujet Flight 592 was a regularly scheduled flight from Miami International Airport to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. On May 11, 1996, the ValuJet Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9 operating the route crashed into the Everglades about 10 minutes after taking off from Miami as a result of a fire in the cargo compartment.

Episode 7

Accidents and other issues created by distracted driving make headlines across the country. Prompted by listener questions, John and Greg talk about the issue of distractions and flight safety.

They share recent incidents and observations involving pilots, mechanics and line crews where distractions of cell phones, iPads and cockpit technology are creating room for mistakes.

Is “distracted flying” leading to more things being missed?

Episode 6

Pilot training and confidence is everything when it comes to safety in the air according to this week’s guest, Captain Chinar Shah. She’s a professional pilot, flying for more than 19 years,13 as a pilot in the airline ranks including a number of months in the Boeing 737 Max.  
 
Shah used to fly for Jet Airways in India. She converted her license in the U.S. with the FAA and she has seen all sides of training in the United States and worldwide. 
 
In this week’s episode, Shah and the Flight Safety Detectives talk about the training, confidence, knowledge, steel nerves and experience it takes to be the best of the best. According to Shah, pilots need to know what “The Normal” is in the air so when there is an extraordinary dangerous situation, the pilot knows immediately what is wrong and how to correct it.
 
She says, “The concern here is the reaction to the malfunction, rather than the malfunction itself....You can’t have a complete power outage, for example, with only three minutes to land and not know what to do.”   
 
The culture of a country, the training and the airline may play a part in the way pilots react. Will a relatively new first officer with only 1,500 hours in the air comment on and help correct a mistake made in the cockpit by an experienced captain with more than 20,000 hours? She says, “There are times when I’ve seen people be completely submissive.”  
 
Shah has a deep respect for all of the professionals who inspect, repair and approve an aircraft before it takes to the air. She says, “I’ve always had great rapport with engineers and mechanics and they always teach you a thing or two about the airplane. Sure, it’s always the PIC (Pilot in Charge) who says whether the plane goes but it’s a collective decision.”
 
Shah started her flying in general aviation in India. She says that introduced her to a system she says might inhibit the growth of decision making skills because it is so restrictive. “[Overseas] they are very reluctant to let you go solo…In my opinion, that does hamper your growth as a pilot - your decision making.  In many parts of the world, you have someone telling you ‘do this, do that.’”

Episode 5

Flight safety Detectives Greg Feith and John Goglia welcome Kathy Yodice, Managing Partner, Law Offices of Yodice Associates, for a lively discussion of aviation regulations and legalities.

An important theme is the role that maintenance and maintenance technicians play in airplane safety for both air carriers and general aviation.

Episode 4

In their latest podcast (#4) Former NTSB Board Member John Goglia and former NTSB Lead Investigator Greg Feith dissect the recently released Boeing 737 MAX Safety recommendations issued by the NTSB.
 
The Detectives criticize the recommendations because they task the FAA and aircraft manufacturers with “dumbing down” the latest generation commercial airplanes to make up for the incompetent or unqualified pilots who may be flying these airplanes in the future.
 
Feith says that “these recommendations are an embarrassment and an insult to the well-trained men and women who spend hundreds of hours in training and are capable, competent and well qualified to handle any issue that they may face.”  
 
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its first wave of safety recommendations in the wake of the October 2018 Lion Air and the March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crashes involving Boeing 737 Max planes. In this episode, Greg Feith and John Goglia not only question the validity of those recommendations, but also highlight the importance of pilot experience and training.
Episode 3
 

"In the US we have the NTSB which is an independent investigative authority.  Ethiopia does not have that. How is it that that they are going to be held accountable?" 

 
"Some preliminary information...indicates that the AoA vane (an exterior part that measures the plane's angle of attack) was in question - either it failed on takeoff or because of a possible bird strike."  
 
Captain George H. Snyder, President and CEO of GHS Aviation Group and former Vice President of safety for USAir and Korean Airlines, discusses the preliminary findings of the March 2018 Ethiopian Airlines crash with Flight Safety Detectives Greg Feith and John Goglia.
 
As we wait the full report's findings, the trio discuss the fact that the worldwide aviation industry is waking up to the certification process, training standards and the power of investigation. This was essentially a brand new airplane and there was no reason to  believe it was not airworthy.  
 
Episode 2
 

"That was a brand new airplane. If they had a problem, why didn't they go back to Boeing for a brand new part?"

 
"Many airlines today are outsourcing both line maintenance and their heavy base maintenance functions."
 
"While the services can be outsourced, the accountability and and responsibility must remain with the operator!"
 
Flight Safety Detectives John Goglia and Greg Feith discuss the deadly October 2018 Lion Air crash with Captain George H. Snyder, President and CEO of GHS Aviation Group and former Vice President of safety for USAir and Korean Airlines. They discuss the importance of maintenance accountability, life and death issues around language barriers, misinterpretation in operating procedures worldwide, and the process of verifying whether new or used parts are airworthy. 
Episode 1
 
Why would two guys with 100 years of flight safety experience between them want to dive back into the politics, the technology, the human factors and other aspects of the worldwide aviation industry? Because, often, it's a matter of life and death and billions of dollars are at stake. 
 
In the debut episode, John Goglia and Greg Feith tell you why this podcast series is taking flight, they discuss critical issues facing the aviation industry, and preview what they'll discuss in future episodes. Whether you're part of the industry or an executive who spends a big part of your life in the air, this podcast is the most timely, authoritative and factual one around. 
 
Welcome.