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December 17, 2013 at 6:15 AM
Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, chastised two of Washington’s top political leaders for being “absolutely disrespectful to the Machinists and to the labor movement.” Yes, they had the audacity to be concerned about the long-term economic welfare of thousands of Boeing employees. The nerve!
Johnson was as bent out of shape as a piece of an outsourced 787, with his finger wag published Monday on the state labor council’s online news site, The Stand.
The headline read: “Outside pressure on Machinists disrespectful.” Gov. Jay Inslee and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, were entitled to their opinions, Johnson opined, but he was upset they were so publicly supportive of Boeing’s offer. Inslee and Larsen wanted the members of IAM District Council 751 to have another vote on a revised offer from the company. Let union members decide on the adequacy of the offer, described here at a union site, and vote it up or down. (more…)
July 15, 2013 at 7:38 AM
On Friday, KTVU TV in the Bay Area reported the names of the Asiana pilots on air, and named four fake Asian-sounding names: “Captain Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.” Here is the video of the news report.
Get it? Captain Sum Ting Wong rhymes with Captain Something Wrong.
After the social media world went after KTVU and the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association started asking questions, the National Transportation Safety Board apologized and acknowledged that a summer intern “erroneously confirmed the pilot names,” in a Friday news release. KTVU also issued an apology Friday.
AAJA released a statement saying, “Those names were not only wrong, but so grossly offensive that it’s hard for us at the Asian American Journalists Association to fathom how those names made it on the broadcast.” In fact, a KTVU staff member hung up on AAJA President Paul Cheung when he called to ask how the names appeared on air, according to Cheung.
To put this in context, this is an aviation disaster in which three people died, many were critically injured, possibly paralyzed, and the government agency charged with investigating the crash made a joke of it.
When the agency held a news conference reporting the final minutes of pilot dialogue before the crash, should we consider that a joke too? Perhaps it would be helpful if the agency’s final report about the Asiana 777 crash in San Francisco was issued in gibberish, which the NTSB could claim was Korean. (more…)
July 10, 2013 at 6:08 AM
As horrifying as the Asiana plane crash was to watch, the most amazing outcome was the small loss of life. As I watched, and rewatched, the video of the crash and saw the violence of the impact and the smoke on Saturday, massive loss of life seemed certain.
Instead, almost everyone escaped. Two people died out of the 307 passengers and crew. Some remain critically injured. Much of this was due to the heroism of the crew, as detailed in many news reports, the rescuers on the ground, the plane’s slow speed upon impact and the fact that the fuel tanks were nearly empty.
Boeing also deserves credit. The 777 is one of the most modern planes in Boeing’s fleet. Outside aviation experts in this AP report talked about improved safety features, particularly seats that can withstand 16 times the force of gravity, as well as interior seats and insulation designed to burn slowly, giving passengers time to evacuate.
Check out this picture of the seats after the crash from the National Transportation Safety Board’s Twitter feed. They stayed remarkably intact. (Hat tip to this thread on the crash at FlyerTalk.com for the alert about the tweet.
I mourn the deaths of two Chinese girls and am troubled by severe injuries suffered by passengers, who no doubt face a long recovery. The NTSB is continuing to investigate. But the Boeing workers who designed and built this 777 in Everett in 2005 deserve a hug and a fruit basket.
July 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM
In the days following Saturday’s Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport, everyone wants to know what happened. I commend the National Transportation Safety Board
and its chair, Deborah Hersman, for being on the ground and carefully delivering information to a curious public. The Korean-based airline’s public relations department has also been forthright about the names and experience of the pilots involved. We can’t ask for much more as the investigation continues.
Below, scroll down to see a helpful interactive by the Associated Press explaining how many people were on the plane at the time, where they’re from, the flight route and photos of the crash.
June 18, 2013 at 6:20 AM
The Pacific Northwest’s reputation for building the world’s best airplanes is getting its proper respect , according to U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens.
Larsen is filling in for Gov. Inslee, who was grounded in Olympia by the Legislature’s failure to launch the next state budget.
Larsen, in a conference call with reporters Monday from the 50th Paris Air Show, had an upbeat tone as news accounts wondered about the role for Boeing’s Everett plant in the final assembly of the 787-10. In the absence of a definitive corporate announcement, Larsen talked about the appreciation he was hearing for Washington at the state’s busy and popular exhibit.
Possibilities come not only from Boeing, but also European companies who want into the supply chain for Boeing and Airbus. Mergers or new facilities that put them close to the action here. Europe is looking a little stodgy these days, and the word is that European manufacturers recognize the need to diversify to sell back to Airbus and be part of Boeing. A dour exchange rate helps fuel their imaginations.
Larsen said Washington needs to be mindful the region competes in a global market for jobs and customers. The state’s efforts to stay competitive via education get noticed. “When we compete, we will win,” Larsen said.
Opportunities abound if we are prepared to respond to them. That is what Washington is doing with STEM education with an eye toward aerospace jobs. Preparation that creates options.
March 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM
The lunacy of the federal budget sequester continues to be revealed in stunning ways.
The air traffic control tower at Paine Field in Snohomish County is on the Federal Aviation Administration’s list of possible tower closures. You know Paine Field, the one next to the nation’s largest exporter, The Boeing Company. The place where planes are built and others come to be maintained and repaired at Aviation Technical Services. That one, FAA.
Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, made the impacts clear in a letter last week to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Boeing is the hub of air transport manufacturing in the United States, and ATS is the largest third-party aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operation in North America, Larsen reminded Huerta.
The FAA is looking at its contract tower program and FAA control towers to decide what could be closed and what needs to stay open to avoid adversely affecting the national interest.
Paine Field serves all manner of aviation needs, and it serves a vital function in the regional and national economy. Tower operations not only help land planes and get them safely aloft, but also direct planes to their destination on the ground.
Larsen makes the point: “The production, transportation and repair of large airplanes need a fully operating air traffic control tower. Closure of the air traffic control tower at Paine Field would significantly limit Paine Field’s ability to support the cornerstone of the Pacific Northwest aviation economy and would hurt the national economy by impacting the operations of the country’s largest exporter.”
Larsen, as ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Aviation, is in a good spot to be heard.