Articles by Alan Levin

Southwest Air Jet Engine That Failed Was Inspected 7 Times

The fan blade that failed on a Southwest Airlines Co. plane last month, killing a passenger, had been inspected seven times since late 2012 but without the sophisticated technology airlines are now under orders to use. The inspections relied on …

U.S. Transportation Agency Sets Process for Approval of Drone Taxis

On-demand robotic flying taxis and drone deliveries are years away from reality, but the U.S. Department of Transportation has removed at least one barrier to their operation. Responding to work by companies including Boeing Co., Intel Corp. and Uber Technologies …

Amtrak Failed to Observe Speed Warnings Before Fatal Maryland Crash

Five months ago, in a scathing report on a 2016 accident in which two track workers were killed, U.S. safety investigators urged Amtrak to slow its trains when they pass work crews. The nation’s passenger rail service didn’t follow the …

Southwest Fatality First for a U.S. Airline in 9 Years

One passenger was killed when an engine blew out on a Southwest Airlines Co. jetliner carrying 149 people, marking the first fatality on a U.S.-registered airline in more than nine years. The plane, bound for Dallas from New York’s LaGuardia …

Safety Worry: Keeping Humans In and Around Autonomous Vehicles Engaged

After partially faulting Tesla Inc.’s automation system for a 2016 fatal crash, U.S. safety investigators last year called on carmakers to do more to ensure drivers stay engaged as next-generation cars start to steer themselves. Since then, the National Transportation …

New York Copter Straps That Trapped Riders May Have Also Cut Fuel

The pilot of the photo-tour helicopter that crash-landed in New York’s East River this month said a safety tether designed to keep passengers inside the open-door flight may have accidentally shut off the craft’s fuel, causing it to lose power. …

FAA Grounds ‘Doors-Off’ Helicopter Tours After New York Crash

Federal aviation regulators are grounding “doors-off” helicopter tour flights in which passengers are tethered to the aircraft as a result of the March 11 crash in New York that killed five people. The Federal Aviation Administration is taking immediate actions …

Helicopter Trade Group Had Fought Open-Door Tours for Years

The leading trade group for helicopter operators has, for at least two years, urged a halt to open-door tours such as the one that ended in the death of five people in the East River off Manhattan on March 11. …

Fatal Copter Tour Flew Under Looser Rules of Crop-Dusters

The open-door helicopter tour in which five people died in a crash landing in the East River off Manhattan on Sunday was operating under safety restrictions reserved for photography flights that are looser than those for commercial air-tour rides. Federal …

Drone Suspected in Helicopter Crash Landing in South Carolina

A helicopter’s crash landing in South Carolina this week may have been triggered by a civilian drone, which would make it the first drone-related crash of an aircraft in the U.S. The incident on Wednesday involved a student pilot and …