As I write this from my seat on a Boeing 777 bound for China, I realize I no longer have the same degree of nonchalance I had on previous long-haul flights. I am aware the airplane, one of the most modern jetliners in the sky, is functioning exactly as intended, the comforting whoosh of its powerful engines omnipresent as it courses smoothly through the air above the Arctic Circle, yet in the back of my mind, thoughts drift to another triple-seven, also China-bound, which more than a month after its disappearance still has given investigators little clue as to where it actually ended up and why.
Korean Air Lines Flight 007
One of the unfortunate but unavoidable facts of aviation is that accidents happen. While investigators work to determine why, and attorneys debate over who is responsible, in nearly every case there is a tragic human element involved-families of victims, who suddenly have their lives torn apart. It is a situation no one wants to be in.
Former FAA Administrator J. Lynn Helms died on December 11 at age 86. Appointed FAA Administrator by President Ronald Reagan, Helms served for nearly three years through January 1984. He was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and a graduate of the Navy Test Pilot School.
Marinus Heijl has joined the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA) as that organization’s first representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal (ICAO).
Heijl retired from ICAO last December after a 27-year career. He served as acting director and deputy director of the Air Navigation Bureau as well as chief of the Air Traffic Management Section.