Mar 102019

An Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, carrying 157 people aboard, on the way to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed on Sunday, March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa. (Largely gone unnoticed, this crash occurred two days after the 5th-anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370’s Boeing 777ER on March 8, 2014.) According to an Ethiopian airline spokesman (like from a Malaysia Airlines spokesman 5-years ago), there were no survivors. The Boeing 737Max plane, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, lost contact at 8:44 am local time, six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital.

“Few details about the crash are yet available, but according to Ethiopian Airlines the pilot, who was experienced with an excellent flying record, reported difficulties and asked to turn back,” according to The Guardian (U.K.).

“Flight data showed erratic climbs and descents before the plane, also a MAX 8, came down 12 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta.

Ethiopian Air announced on March 11, 2019, both cockpit voice and flight data recorder have been recovered.

“Two listeners on frequency reported independently the crew declared emergency shortly after normal departure, while in the initial climb, reporting they had unreliable airspeed indications and had difficulties to control the aircraft. The listeners could not hear later transmissions due to frequency changes,” according Aviation Herald.

United States Holds Off as the European Union suspends all Boeing 737 Max aircraft in Europe at 3 p.m. ET on March 12, 2018, according to CNN and The New York Times.

“As a precautionary measure, European Union Aviation Safety Agenda (EASA) has published today an Airworthiness Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC (3 pm ET), suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX airplanes in Europe.”

“In addition EASA has published a Safety Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU of the above mentioned models.”

The announcement follows a growing tide of European countries that grounded or banned the airplane from flying overhead.

The New York Times reports on March 12, 2019: “European authorities banned the planes, one of the most important aviation regulators in the world to do so. The decision followed earlier moves by aviation regulators in China, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia, as well as carriers in Africa, South America, North America (Canada) and Russia, to ground the jets.

With the decision by European authorities, roughly two-thirds of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in the world have been pulled from use since an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people.

One country holding back: the United States.

Such groundings of the Boeing 737-8 Max and 737-9 Max series by President Trump and the United States Federal Aviation Administration on March 13, 2019 are rare in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration, the American regulator, is typically hesitant to ground an entire fleet without concrete findings of an inherent design or manufacturing problem.


March 13, 2019Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.  However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.

“On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, Chairman of The Boeing Company.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.


Early Tuesday, March 12, 2019, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation.

“The investigation of the Ethiopia Air crash is in its initial phases, as the authorities analyze the plane’s flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders,” Muilenburg said.

This is to determine more information, knowledge and understanding about the 737 Max in the aftermath of both the Ethiopian Air and Lion Air crashes spaces 5 months apart, which is so closely resonate in global business crisis management we’ve observed in the aftermath of Malaysia Airlines MH370 Boeing 777ER crash disappearance on March 8, 2014 and MH17 Boeing 777ER  airliner crash on July 17, 2014, spaced 4 months apart.

What will be the effect of grounding all these 737 Max flights?

Very little effect especially for Americans Airlines and Southwest Airlines, which owns 60 percent of America’s aircraft fleet and both carriers have back up assets of old school workhorse pilot-favorite Boeing 737s to fly outside of the new school 737 Max Series. This is causing a upward push on Boeing’s stock price on March 13, 2019, which primarily forecasts the airliner company’s future growth value going forward, as the 737 Max series fixes, like the 787 Dreamliner ones, are effectively redeveloped and efficiently completed off-line from service, as a result of President Trump’s grounding executive order Wednesday.

What will this mean for U.S. travelers?

More reliable environment for travelers to receive aviation services safely and more secure with the old school Boeing 737s, as a new “clean sheet” redesign of the 737 Max series commences off-line, so Boeing can get the 737 Max series up to speed aerodynamically and structurally to globally compete with Airbus’ A320 New Engines Options series – flying travelers safely and not falling out of the sky in the last 5 months frightening U.S. and international airline consumers and travelers.

New Autonomous Boeing 737 Max Series

More than 300 Boeing 737-Max planes are in operation and more than 5,000 have been ordered worldwide since 2017. It is the latest iteration of the 737, the world’s bestselling plane, ever more capable of flying autonomously.”

The disaster in Ethiopia in the aftermath of the recent crash of Lion Air’s 737 Max off the coast of Indonesia on October 29, 2018 has raised concern across the international aviation safety and security community.

A preliminary report (see Appendix B) into Lion Air Flight 610 indicated that “pilots struggled to maintain control following an equipment malfunction.” The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing on “a possible software change to reduce the chances that such a failure could cause an accident in the future.”

According to Bloomberg, “Boeing responded to the earlier crash (see Appendix A) by advising pilots that Boeing 737 Max’s so-called “angle-of-attack sensor can provide false readings, causing the plane’s computers to erroneously detect a mid-flight stall in airflow. That in turn can cause the aircraft to abruptly dive to regain the speed the computer has calculated it needs to keep flying. Pilots could counteract the sudden downward tilt by following a checklist in their training manual,” Boeing has said.

Background to Boeing’s 737 MAX Series’ Autonomous Flying
(via, Bjorn Fehrm, November 14, 2018 Leeham News)

Reports Leeham News’ Bjorn Fehrm: “Boeing 737-8 Max (autonomous flying or) automatic trim (as they say in the airliner industry) we described (in November 2018) has a name, MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Automation System – anti-stall software. 

It was news to the Pilots flying the MAX since 18 months as well.

Boeing and its oversight, the FAA, decided the Airlines and their Pilots had no need to know. The Lion Air accident can prove otherwise.

It’s unique to the MAX because the 737 MAX no longer has the docile pitch characteristics of the 737NG at high Angles Of Attack (AOA). This is caused by the larger engine nacelles covering the higher bypass LEAP-1B engines.

The nacelles for the MAX are larger and placed higher and further forward of the wing, according to Boeing 737NG (cropped nacelle, left) and MAX (un-cropped nacelle, right) compared. Source: Boeing 737 MAX brochure.

The 737 Max’s larger CFM LEAP 1A or 1B turbofan engine nacelles are placed further forward and higher on the wings. Combined with a higher nose landing gear, which raises the nacelles even further, the same ground clearance could be achieved for the nacelles as for the old-school 737NG airliners, whose aerodynamic and structural design has been known for a generation (about 30 years).

The drawback of using larger nacelles, placed further forward, is it destabilizes the aircraft in climbing pitch. All objects on an aircraft placed ahead of the Center of Gravity (C.G.) (the line around which the aircraft moves in climbing pitch) will contribute to further destabilizing the aircraft in (climbing) pitch.”

How Boeing’s Automated System Works (via ReutersThe New York Times)

“When the nose is elevated … (via Reuters)

The angle of attack rises and when it becomes too high, the anti-stall system activates. MCAS then tilts the smaller wing (horizontal stabilizer) in the tail of the aircraft to force the plane’s nose down and restore airflow.”


Bottom-Line: This has been all about global competitive strategic interdependence between the Boeing 737 series versus the Airbus A320 series.

Basically, in order for the Boeing 737 Max series to globally compete on overall flight range capacity with the A320neo (Next Generation Engines) for short-haul transatlantic and transpacific aviation markets, Boeing had to place larger, cleaner, fuel efficient CFM LEAP 1A-1B turbofans forward on an older Boeing 737NG (Next Generation) structural airframe, having a more nose-forward center of gravity.

The 737 series was developed over 35 years ago, when low ground clearance was essential to operate out of smaller air fields. In contrast, the A320 series was development in the newer age of high-bypass turbofan engines. As a consequence, the A320 series was structurally designed with a higher front-nose and back landing gear-fuselage ground clearance.

Now that the A320 series has matured, Airbus is competitively advantaged with its A320 design to flexibly install more higher-range, larger, cleaner, fuel efficient turbofans for short-haul transatlantic and transpacific aviation markets.

This has forced Boeing to compete by installing larger turbofan engines onto an older 737 structural airframe that was not designed for A320’s modern use purposes.

Reports Leeham News’ Bjorn Fehrm: “But if the pilot for whatever reason maneuvers the aircraft hard, generating an angle of attack close to the stall angle of around 14°, the previously neutral engine nacelle generates lift. A (differential lift) which is structurally felt by the aircraft as a pitch up moment (as the engine nacelle differential lift is ahead of the Center of Gravity Line), now stronger than on the older-generation 737NG.

This destabilizes the MAX in climbing pitch at higher Angles-of-Attack (AOA). The most difficult situation is when the maneuvers has a high pitch ratio. The aircraft’s inertia can then provoke an over-swing into stalling Angles-of-Attack.

To counter the 737 MAX’s lower stability margins at high Angle-of-Attack, Boeing introduced their anti-stall MCAS software. Dependent on Angle-of-Attack value and rate, altitude (air density) and Mach (changed flow conditions), the MCAS, which is a digital software loop in the Automated Flight Control computer, initiates a nose down trim above a stalling threshold Angle-of-Attack.”

Bottom-line: Basically, the artificial intelligence of the MCAS anti-stall software is saying that the Boeing 737 Max airliner is stalling ahead of it actually stalling. In response the artificial intelligence of the MCAS software continues to push the airliner’s noise down, as the human intelligence and old-school Boeing 737 experience of the pilot attempts to correct with inadequate 737 Max training or proper 737 Max simulation training with realistic MCAS anti-stall conditions of malfunctioning and/or proper functioning.

Optimally, the Boeing 737 Max series’ aeroelastic dynamic stability planners should’ve opted for an innovative “clean-sheet” design over a rudimentary “re-engine” design (by shoving a bigger wing-mounted turbofan engine wing-forward by any means necessary at a lower cost of design).

Boeing first submitted a proposed certification plan to the FAA in January for the update, and the FAA has since participated in simulator tests to the new software, according to CNN. On March 12, the FAA went up on a Boeing certification flight to test the new software, a Boeing official said.
“The updated software will include data from a second angle of attack sensor and will no longer be able to produce an angle that cannot be counteracted manually by a pilot.
The update design had appeared to be going smoothly and approaching conclusion last week. A Boeing official had said then that the company was planning to send the update to the FAA for final certification by last Friday, and that Wednesday, Boeing unveiled the new software to a gathering of aviation officials at its Renton, Washington, facility.”
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg was aboard a test flight of the 737 Max in Seattle on Wednesday for a demonstration of the updated MCAS software, according to Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
The software worked as designed and the plane landed safely, Johndroe said.
Later in the week, however, Boeing employees going through a final check, called the non-advocate review process, identified integration issues with the new software, a Boeing official said. That review process, a regular layer of oversight at the company, involves inspection of a program by Boeing employees that did not work on its development.
A Boeing spokesman later said the problem in the updated software that was discovered in the non-advocate review process was unrelated to MCAS and “relatively minor.”
On Monday, Boeing notified airlines that flew the Max and aviation regulators that there would be a delay in submitting the final certification for the update, two people familiar with the timeline said.
Boeing has said the completed update will be sent to the FAA for final review in “the coming weeks.”
“The fact is that the FAA decided to do safety on the cheap, which is neither safe or cheap, and put the fox in charge of the henhouse,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said at a hearing last week.
Michael Goldfarb, a former FAA chief of staff, said the fixes to the 737 Max will likely take months, not weeks, because Boeing does not want to “create a bigger problem than was fixed.”
“This will be treated differently from the way business is done,” Goldfarb told CNN of the FAA review of the update. “This will be micromanaged from Secretary Chao down.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told a Senate panel last week that she was “concerned” about the allegations of coziness between FAA and Boeing but she defended the practice of company employees handling certification responsibilities.
“I am of course concerned about any allegations of coziness with any company, manufacturer,” Chao said. “These questions, when they arise, if they arise, are troubling because we should have absolute confidence in the regulators that they are certifying properly.”
In an April 2, 2019 Forbes interview, MIT Professor John Hansman emphasized that Boeing’s installation of the MCAS software system “fixes the pitch-up problem. It is not a bad design.”
“This case is not dissimilar to the initial problems with the A320, when it initially entered service. Boeing must get the improved software and training material approved by the FAA, EASA and Canadians and get the airplane flying again. There is not a fundamental problem in the design of the aircraft.”
I must respectfully disagree with the MIT professor, as fundamentally inaccurate here in his Forbes interview, as he’s leaving out that Boeing has a clear “center of gravity” placement problem that affects fundamentally the core flight maneuverability of the Boeing 737 MAX creating flight instabilities both aerodynamically and structurally through its load factors (life-to-weight) and thrust factors (engine thrust-to-weight)!
I have always know that Boeing is trying to get its anti-stall MCAS software patches “fully-integrated” into its Boeing 737 MAX. And, right now that “complete-integration” into the Boeing 737 MAX remains somewhat problematic to meet FAA, EASA and Canadian safety regulation requirements, perhaps ground the airliner for weeks, maybe even months?
But I have also called out publicly on numerous Fox Business and Fox News broadcasts first and early exclusively to them that the Boeing 737 MAX needs a “clean-sheet” redesign to match what its competitor Airbus A320neo (New Engines Options) has in its fundamentally superior maneuverability airliner that is flexible enough for various wide-mouth heavy engine mounts, while at the same time maintaining proper load factors and thrust factors aerodynamically and structurally.
FAA, EASA and Canadian Aircraft safety regulators and certification issuers absolutely can’t ignore this fundamental aircraft “center of gravity” maneuverability and flight stability fact! International aviation safety and security regulations also must respect FAA Level C and D pilot simulator certification requirements (which is very costly to airlines) before flying the Boeing 737 MAX – which Boeing wants to leave at FAA’s Level B “no pilot simulator certification requirements!”
Right now pilots have to undergo only a 30-minute MCAS anti-stall software training video! This places the Boeing 737 MAX up to only FAA’s regulated “hazardous risk level” – which is a mjor injurious loss to passengers and crew, but not a total loss of the aircraft – and which is one-step below FAA’s regulated “castastrophic risk level” – which is a complete losss of the aircraft and all passengers and crew on board!

Here’s How Pilots Are Seeing The Complex Problem of Flying Autonomously Boeing’s 737 Max Airliners

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Allied Pilots Association (APA), including the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) utilize NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Database, which is according to its website, “the world’s largest repository of voluntary, confidential safety information provided by aviation’s frontline personnel, including pilots, controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, and dispatchers. The database provides a foundation for specific products and subsequent research addressing a variety of aviation safety issues.

ASRS’s database includes the narratives (see Appendix C) submitted by reporters (after they have been sanitized for identifying details). These narratives provide an exceptionally rich source of information for policy development, human factors research, education, training, and more. The database also contains coded information by expert analysts from the original report which is used for data retrieval and analyses.”

For example, consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1593017

“The recently released 737-8 MAX Emergency Airworthiness Directive directs pilots how to deal with a known issue, but it does nothing to address the systems issues with the Angle-of-Attack system.

MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is implemented on the 737 MAX to enhance pitch characteristics with flaps UP and at elevated angles-of-attack. The MCAS function commands nose down stabilizer to enhance pitch characteristics during steep turns with elevated load factors and during flaps up flight at airspeeds approaching stall. MCAS is activated without pilot input and only operates in manual, flaps up flight. The system is designed to allow the flight crew to use column trim switch or stabilizer aisle stand cutout switches to override MCAS input. The function is commanded by the Flight Control computer using input data from sensors and other airplane systems.

The MCAS function becomes active, when the airplane Angle-of-Attack exceeds a threshold based on airspeed and altitude. Stabilizer incremental commands are limited to 2.5 degrees and are provided at a rate of 0.27 degrees per second. The magnitude of the stabilizer input is lower at high Mach number and greater at low Mach numbers. The function is reset once angle of attack falls below the Angle-of-Attack threshold or if manual stabilizer commands are provided by the flight crew. If the original elevated angle-of-attack condition persists, the MCAS function commands another incremental stabilizer nose down command according to current aircraft Mach number at actuation.

This description is not currently in the 737 Flight Manual Part 2, nor the Boeing FCOM, though it will be added to them soon. This communication highlights that an entire system is not described in our Flight Manual. This system is now the subject of an AD.

I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models. The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag. Now we know the systems employed are error prone–even if the pilots aren’t sure what those systems are, what redundancies are in place, and failure modes.

I am left to wonder: what else don’t I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient. All airlines that operate the MAX must insist that Boeing incorporate ALL systems in their manuals.


B737 MAX Captain expressed concern that some systems such as the MCAS are not fully described in the aircraft Flight Manual.”


Boeing 737-8 Max Deliveries Worldwide

Ethiopian Air’s plane was a 737-8 Max, one of the newer models produced by Boeing, that generates almost one-third of the company’s operating profit. Ethiopian Air’s 737-8 Max is similar to the aircraft used by Lion Air, the largest 737 Max customer for Boeing outside of North America. Lion Air has ordered 201 737 Max planes and taken delivery of 14, according to Boeing’s website. Ethiopian Airlines had 5 Boeing 737 Max planes in operation as of the end of January 2019 and another 25 on order.

China Southern Airlines Co. has 16 Boeing 737 Max aircraft through January 2019 (updating the September 2018 data charted below), with another 34 on order, according to data through January 2019 on Boeing’s website. China Eastern Airlines Corp. has 13, while Air China Ltd. has 14, Boeing says. Other Chinese airlines that have bought the Boeing 737 Max aircraft include Hainan Airlines Holdings Co. and Shandong Airlines Co., the data show.

Boeing aircraft deliveries had been highly cyclical compared to upstart Airbus, between 1990-2003. After 2003, Boeing and Airbus deliveries have tracked competitively close with Boeing delivering 24 aircraft a month in 2003 up to 67 aircraft a month in 2018. At the time of the October 29, 2018 Lion Air 610 crash and the March 10, 2019 Ethiopian Air 302 crash, Boeing has been delivering around 50 aircraft a month.


International Response, according to Bloomberg and Associated Press (AP)

On March 11, 2019, “China ordered its carriers to ground all 96 of Boeing’s newest 737 model, while Indonesia said it would also halt flights after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down in a field shortly after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. While the flight recorders have now been recovered and must be analyzed, the disaster bore similarities to the doomed Lion Air 737 Max that crashed in October,” reports Bloomberg.

“While the groundings in China and elsewhere are important, most nations typically wait to act until the U.S. and Europe issue findings on aviation matters. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) oversee the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers and take the lead in ensuring the safety of their planes.”

“A Boeing technical team is at the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. It is still early in the investigation, as we seek to understand the cause of the accident.” – Aviation

Aviation Herald reports on March 11, 2019: “In the morning of Mar 11, 2019 (Chinese Time) Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) released an instruction to all operators to stop using the Boeing 737-8 MAX (editorial note: the instruction does not include the 737-9 MAX series) by Mar 11th 2019 18:00 Chinese time.

The CAAC reasoned: “In view of the fact that the two air crashes are newly delivered Boeing 737-8 aircraft (editorial note: see the other crash at Crash: Lion B38M near Jakarta on Oct 29th 2018, aircraft lost height and crashed into Java Sea, wrong AoA data), and they all occur in the take-off phase, they have certain similarities. In line with the management principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards and strict control of safety risks, in order to ensure Flight Safety of Civil Aviation in China, at 9:00 on March 11, the Civil Aviation Administration issued a notice requesting domestic transportation airlines to suspend the commercial operation of the Boeing 737-8 aircraft before 18:00 on March 11, 2019.”

A number of airlines, in particular Ethiopian Airlines, decided to stop using their Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until clarification of the causes of the two crashes so far.

The FAA announced: “Today, the FAA will issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) for Boeing 737 MAX Operators.” The FAA released the CANIC for both Boeing 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX stating, they continue to monitor pending changes in the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system, AoA Sensor Signal improvements and MCAS maximum command limits as well as training requirements associated with MCAS following their initial reaction to the crash of LionAir JT-610.

The FAA states: “External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and the Lion Air Flight 610 accident on October 29, 2018. However, this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions.”

“The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.”

The CAA added: “The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s safety directive will be in place until further notice. We remain in close contact with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and industry regulators globally.” Other European Civil Aviation Authorities, e.g. France and Ireland, followed suit.

Bloomberg reports on March 12, 2019: “After China became the first major market on March 11, 2019 to halt take-offs and landings of Boeing’s latest single-aisle model, flight halts quickly cascaded around the globe. Singapore barred all 737 Max service in and out of the city-state, a move that was followed by Australia and Malaysia.

Elsewhere in Asia, a South Korean carrier suspended its 737 Max planes, while two airlines in Latin American also halted operations of the jet, which entered service just a few years ago and has become Boeing’s fastest-selling aircraft, with nearly 4,700 orders. The suspensions have put about a third of the 350-strong global fleet out of action.

In a sign that the tragedy in Ethiopia, which killed everyone on board, threatens to become a commercial fiasco for Boeing, launch customer Lion Air is said to be considering a complete switch to Airbus SE planes, a person familiar with the discussions said, with the carrier suspending further 737 Max deliveries this year.”

Associated Press reports on March 12, 2019: “No U.S. airlines have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 models that they fly, but at least one group representing flight attendants at a major carrier says it does not want to put its members on the plane until further investigations are completed.

After the second deadly crash involving the model in five months, several airlines and countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East have grounded it or banned it from their airspace.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents more than 26,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, called on CEO Doug Parker to “strongly consider grounding these planes until an investigation can be performed.” The group said flight attendants will not be forced to fly if they feel unsafe.

Brian Parrish, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines which flies 34 Max 8s, said the carrier remains confident about the plane’s safety. American Airlines Group, which flies 24 of the planes, said it has full confidence in the model.

Turkish Airlines says it is grounding all Boeing 737 Max aircraft in its fleet until further notice.

In a statement issued on Twitter on Tuesday, Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi said all Boeing 737 Max flights are suspended until the “uncertainty affecting safety is cleared.” He added that passenger safety was the company’s priority.

Turkish Airlines is the latest company around the world to ground the planes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

The French Civil Aviation Authority has joined several other nations and closed French airspace to all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

In a statement Tuesday, the authority says that “France is carefully following the progress of the inquiry” relating to the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in Addis Ababa on Sunday that left 157 people dead.

It says French airline companies do not possess any of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

But as a precautionary measure, French authorities have decided to “forbid all commercial flights on a Boeing 737 Max departing from, traveling to, or flying across, France.”

Irish aviation authorities have suspended all variants of Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of Ireland’s airspace as European aviation regulators respond to recent crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Irish authorities say they made the decision “based on ensuring the continued safety of passengers and flight crew.”

The decision comes shortly after UK civilian aviation authorities took a similar step, motivated by the lack of information coming from the flight data recorder involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

Experts are chasing details on why the plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 on board. But answers could take months and regulators are taking steps in the interim.

Germany’s transport ministry says the country is closing its airspace to Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, following a similar decision by Britain.

The ministry confirmed to news agency dpa on Tuesday comments made by Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer to n-tv television.

The broadcaster quoted Scheuer on its website as saying safety is the priority, and “until all doubts are cleared up, I have ordered that German airspace be closed for the Boeing 737 Max with immediate effect.”

Germany joins a rapidly growing number of nations and carriers either grounding the planes or barring them from their airspace.”

The Dutch Aviation Authority has ordered its airspace closed for Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, according to Roel Vincken, a spokesman for the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water management.

“The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Monday issued its support of the aircraft, saying the plane remains safe to fly and that there wasn’t conclusive evidence so far to link the loss of the Ethiopian 737 Max 8 on Sunday and the fatal Lion Air disaster. Boeing echoed the FAA’s statement, saying it stood by the aircraft, a revamped version of its workhorse single-aisle jet. Airbus competes in this lucrative segment of the market with its family of A320-neo (“New Engines Option”) models,” Bloomberg reports.

“Speculating about the cause of the accident or discussing it without all the necessary facts is not appropriate and could compromise the integrity of the investigation,” Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said in a message to employees. Boeing said late Monday that in the coming weeks it plans to roll out software improvements for the anti-stall function that contributed to the Indonesian disaster.

The Boeing Company said it currently “does not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators” of its 737 Max 8 model.

“We have engaged our customers and regulators on concerns they may have — and would refer you to them to discuss their operations and decisions,” a Boeing spokesperson told ABC News in a statement Monday morning. “Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

U.S. carriers such as Southwest Airlines Co., American Airlines Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. are still flying the 737 Max.

“Chinese airlines accounted for about 20 percent of 737 Max deliveries worldwide through January, and further purchases of the Chicago-based plane-maker’s aircraft are said to have been touted as a possible component of a trade deal with the U.S.”


Boeing 737 Max Flight-Control System to Prevent a Stall

“The 737 Max is the newest version of Boeing’s most important aircraft type, a plane family that generates almost one-third of the company’s operating profit. The narrow-body jet forms the backbone of many global airline fleets who use the model and Airbus’s competing A320 line on shorter routes.”

Lion Air’s Boeing 737-8 Max, performing as Flight 610 and registered as PK-LQP, crashed in Indonesia on October 29, 2018, killing 189 people on-board.

According to Wikipedia, “This was the first major accident involving the 737 MAX and the deadliest involving a 737 aircraft surpassing Air India Express Flight 812 in 2010. It is also the worst accident for Lion Air in its 18-year history, surpassing the previous crash in Surakarta that killed 25.

A preliminary investigation (see Appendix B) revealed problems noticed by passengers and crew on the aircraft’s previous flight, as well as signs of instrument failure on previous flights. As a result, Boeing issued a warning to all operators of the 737 MAX series to avoid causing an abrupt dive similar to the Lion Air flight.”

Photo Credit: The Air Current

Human intelligence needs to catch up with the artificial intelligence inside the advancements of digital cockpits inside modern big jumbo jets. Big jumbo planes are designed to fly by themselves autonomously. Humans who are responsible and accountable inside the digital cockpits must be trained to work with the autonomous nature of artificial intelligence.

Newer Boeing 737 Max series aircraft, reports The Guardian (U.K.) “automatically (or digitally) compensates if it believes its angle puts it at a risk of stalling (see Appendix A), a safety feature that worked in a slightly different way to that which 737 pilots were used to. Lion Air’s black box suggested the pilots of flight 610 had been wrestling with this issue.

The crash may show insufficient training for the new stall prevention systems on the 737 Max (see Appendix A). It’s unlikely due to design flaws, and the plane is likely to stay in service.” — George Ferguson, global aviation analyst

Boeing argued that if pilots followed existing procedures, there should be no danger. Past crashes, however, and most famously the Air France Flight 447 disaster in the south Atlantic (off the coast of Brazil), have shown that the sensors on which aircraft computer systems rely can malfunction, and that pilots who have grown to trust the technology can become rapidly bewildered when things go wrong. All too (common) human (factor errors and) reactions led to disaster.”

Photo Credit: The Air Current

According to Aviation Herald: “For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer. This includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The enhanced flight control law incorporates angle of attack (AOA) inputs, limits stabilizer trim commands in response to an erroneous angle of attack reading, and provides a limit to the stabilizer command in order to retain elevator authority.

The FAA says it anticipates mandating this software enhancement with an Airworthiness Directive (AD) no later than April. We have worked with the FAA in development of this software enhancement. 

It is important to note that the FAA is not mandating any further action at this time, and the required actions in AD2018-23.5 continue to be appropriate.

A pitch augmentation control law (MCAS) was implemented on the 737 MAX to improve aircraft handling characteristics and decrease pitch-up tendency at elevated angles of attack. It was put through flight testing as part of the certification process prior to the airplane entering service. MCAS does not control the airplane in normal flight; it improves the behavior of the airplane in a non-normal part of the operating envelope. 

Boeing’s 737 MAX Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM) already outlines an existing procedure to safely handle the unlikely event of erroneous data coming from an angle of attack (AOA) sensor. The pilot will always be able to override the flight control law using electric trim or manual trim. In addition, it can be controlled through the use of the existing runaway stabilizer procedure as reinforced in the Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB) issued on Nov. 6, 2018.”

According to the International Air Transportation Association, the worst disasters have been attributed to deliberate acts – terrorist attacks (Russian Metrojet 9268), pilot suicide (Lufthansa low-cost subsidiary Germanwings 9525), Russian missiles (Malaysia Airlines MH17) – or, in the case of Malaysia Airlines MH370, left unexplained.

Industry Reactions, according to Bloomberg

Airline or Authority


Southwest Airlines Says it’s “confident in the safety of our fleet” including its 34 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes
American Airlines Will closely monitor the investigation via Boeing and NTSB
Singapore Airlines Monitoring the situation; the 737 Max 8 flights operated by SilkAir are flying as scheduled
Iceland Air Says it’s had no issues with its three 737 Max 8s
Korean Air Due to receive its first Max in April, is monitoring the situation
Cayman Airways Grounds both its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft
Thailand Says it currently has no plans to ground Boeing 737 Max jets
China Grounds entire fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8 jets. China Eastern to talk with Boeing about losses caused by grounding.
Fly Dubai Says it’s monitoring situation and in touch with Boeing

Airbus Learned From Its Errors of “Fly-By-Wire” Autonomous Digital Cockpit Aircraft Technology

(via Wikipedia)

“Air France Flight 296 was a chartered flight of a new Airbus A320-111 operated by Air France.[1] An Airbus A320-111, registration F-GFKC, serial number 9, first flew on January 6, 1988, and was delivered to Air France on June 23, 1988. It was the third A320 delivered to Air France, the launch customer.[2] 

On June 26, 1988, it crashed while making a low pass over Mulhouse–Habsheim Airport (ICAO airport code LFGB) as part of the Habsheim Air Show. Most of the crash sequence, which occurred in front of several thousand spectators, was caught on video. The cause of the crash has been the source of major controversy.

This particular flight was not only the A320’s first passenger flight (most of those on-board were journalists and raffle winners), but it was also the first public demonstration of any civilian fly-by-wire aircraft. The low-speed flyover, with landing gear down, was supposed to take place at an altitude of 100 feet (33 meters); instead, the plane performed the flyover at 30 feet, skimmed the treetops of the forest at the end of the runway (which had not been shown on the airport map given to the pilots), and crashed. All the passengers survived the initial impact, but a woman and two children died from smoke inhalation before they were able to escape.

Official reports concluded that the pilots flew too low, too slow, failed to see the forest and accidentally flew into it. The captain, Michel Asseline, disputed the report and claimed an error in the “fly-by-wire” computer prevented him from applying thrust and pulling up. In the aftermath of the crash, there were allegations that investigators had tampered with evidence, specifically the aircraft’s flight recorders (“black boxes”).

This was the first crash of an A320 aircraft.”

The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 carried passengers from 35 different countries. At least four of the crash victims were United Nations officials traveling to an environmental conference in Nairobi, Bloomberg reports.

Altogether 35 nationalities of passengers were on-board. Kenya’s transport minister has tallied 3 Austrians, 1 Belgium, 18 Canadians, 8 Chinese nationals, 5 Dutch Netherlands, 1 Dijoubti, 6 Egyptians, 2 Spanish nationals, 9 Ethiopians, 7 France, 7 United Kingdom, 1 Indonesian, 8 Italians, 2 Israelis, 4 Indians, 1 Ireland citizen, 32 Kenyans, 2 Morocco nationals, 1 Mozambique, 1 Norwegian, 2 Poland nationals, 3 Russians, 1 Rwanda national, 1 Saudi, 1 Sudan, 1 Somalian, 1 Serbian, 4 Slovakians, 4 Swedes, 1 Togo national, 1 Uganda national, 8 Americans, 1 Yemeni, 1 Nepal national, 1 Nigerian, and 2 unknown.

Ethiopian Airlines posted a photo that showed its CEO standing amid the wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff.

In this photo taken from the Ethiopian Airlines Facebook page, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, looks at the wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday March 10, 2019. (Facebook via AP)

A message of condolence by the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed suggested that there were some deaths.

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning”, the message on government’s Twitter handle read.

The airline’s social media post said that “Tewolde Gebremariam, who is at the accident scene now, regrets to confirm that there are no survivors. He expressed his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident.”

The State Department confirmed that Americans were among the among the dead.

“Our U.S. embassies in Addis Ababa and Nairobi are working with the Government of Ethiopia and Ethiopian Airlines to offer all possible assistance,” the State Department said in a statement to Fox News. “The U.S. Department of State will contact directly the family members of U.S. citizens who died in the crash. ‎Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we won’t have any additional comments about the victims.”

“This is the second crash of a brand new 737-8 MAX in just six months,” writes Editor Brittan Ladd, Founder and CEO of Six-Page Consulting.

“According to aeronautical engineers I spoke with while researching a story about the 737-8 MAX and Boeing, I was told the odds against such a crash happening is one in 11,000,000. The odds of a brand new aircraft crashing months after a previous crash of the same type of aircraft is one in 10,000,000,000.

Boeing must insist that all 737-8 MAX aircraft globally are removed from service; inspect all planes to identify any mechanical issues; and improve the controls on the aircraft to eliminate any chance of pilot error. Although pilots must be certified to fly an aircraft, pilots believe the 737-8 MAX requires additional flight simulation and certification.

Brand new airplanes aren’t supposed to crash. Ever. Two crashes in six months of the same model aircraft…unheard of in modern aviation. I for one am anxiously awaiting the results of the investigation. It is entirely possible that the crash is just a coincidence and Boeing is not at fault in any way.”

The last deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was in January 2010, when the aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff from Beirut, killing all 90 people (83 passengers and 7 crew) on board, according to the AP.

According to The Hindu, Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi said the pilot initially followed the tower’s guidance, but then abruptly changed course and went in the opposite direction.

“They asked him to correct his path but he did a very fast and strange turn before disappearing completely from the radar,” Mr. Aridi told The Associated Press.

It was not immediately clear why the pilot veered off the recommended path. Like most other airliners, the Boeing 737 is equipped with its own onboard weather radar, which the pilot may have used to avoid flying into thunderheads rather than following the flight tower’s recommendation, according The Hindu.

“Nobody is saying the pilot is to blame for not heeding orders,” Mr. Aridi said, adding: “There could have been many reasons for what happened. … Only the black box can tell.”

“On 25 January 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 409, a Boeing 737-800, on its way from Beirut to Addis Adeba, crashed just after take-off from Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, into the Mediterranean Sea. All 90 persons on-board were killed. The investigation concludes that pilot error was the cause of the accident. Ethiopian Airlines refutes the outcomes of the investigation.”


Appendix A

Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin for The Boeing Company

Number: TBC-19 IssueDate: November 6, 2018 Airplane Effectivity: 737-8 /-9

Subject: Un-commanded Nose Down Stabilizer Trim Due to Erroneous Angle of Attack (AOA) During Manual Flight Only

Reason: To Emphasize the Procedures Provided in the Runaway Stabilizer NonNormal Checklist (NNC)

Information in this bulletin is recommended by The Boeing Company, but may not be FAA approved at the time of writing. In the event of conflict with the FAA approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), the AFM shall supersede. The Boeing Company regards the information or procedures described herein as having a direct or indirect bearing on the safe operation of this model airplane.


Background Information The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air flight 610 experienced erroneous Angle-of-Attack (AOA) data. Boeing would like to call attention to an AOA failure condition that can occur during manual flight only. This bulletin directs flight crews to existing procedures to address this condition.

In the event of erroneous AOA data, the pitch trim system can trim the stabilizer nose down in increments lasting up to 10 seconds. The nose down stabilizer trim movement can be stopped and reversed with the use of the electric stabilizer trim switches but may restart 5 seconds after the electric stabilizer trim switches are released.

Repetitive cycles of un-commanded nose down stabilizer continue to occur unless the stabilizer trim system is deactivated through use of both STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches in accordance with the existing procedures in the Runaway Stabilizer Non-Normal Check.

It is possible for the stabilizer to reach the nose down limit unless the system inputs are counteracted completely by pilot trim inputs and both STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches are moved to CUTOUT.

Additionally, pilots are reminded that an erroneous AOA can cause some or all of the following indications and effects:

• Continuous or intermittent stick shaker on the affected side only.

• Minimum speed bar (red and black) on the affected side only.

• Increasing nose down control forces.

• Inability to engage autopilot.

• Automatic disengagement of autopilot.

• Indicated Airspeed DISAGREE alert.

• Altitude DISAGREE alert.

• Angle-of-Attack DISAGREE alert (if the AOA indicator option is installed)


Operating Instructions

In the event an un-commanded nose down stabilizer trim is experienced on the 737-8 /-9, in conjunction with one or more of the above indications or effects, do the Runaway Stabilizer Non-Normal Check ensuring that the STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches are set to CUTOUT and stay in the CUTOUT position for the remainder of the flight.

Note: Initially, higher control forces may be needed to overcome any stabilizer nose down trim already applied. Electric stabilizer trim can be used to neutralize control column pitch forces before moving the STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches to CUTOUT. Manual stabilizer trim can be used after the STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches are moved to CUTOUT.

Administrative Information Insert this bulletin behind the Bulletin Record page in Volume 1 of your Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM). Amend the FCOM Bulletin Record page to show bulletin TBC-19 “In Effect” (IE).

This Bulletin remains in effect until Boeing provides additional information on system updates that may allow this Bulletin to be canceled.

Please send all correspondence regarding Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin status, to the 737 Manager, Flight Technical Data, through the Service Requests Application (SR App) on the home page.

Southwest Airlines Directive to Pilots Flying New Boeing 737-8 Max Aircraft in Response to Lion Air Flight FNI043 Crash

Southwest Airlines exclusively employs Boeing 737 airplanes as a competitive advantage in the airline industry. Here’s what Southwest Airlines uses out of their QRH (Quick Reaction Handbook) to deal with Runaway Stabilizer Trim on the Boeing 737-8 Max airplane fleet. 

In the Boeing 737-8 Max that could mean either a runaway horizontal stabilizer trim motor condition or, in the case of erroneous AOA indications, flight control logic “can cause the pitch trim system to trim the stabilizer nose down in increments lasting up to 10 seconds, when in manual flight with flaps retracted.” This is likely what happened in the recent Lion Air Flight 610 crash on October 29, 2018.  In either condition above, pilots are directed to the procedure below to remedy the condition. 

In all non-normal situations, U.S. trained pilots are completely indoctrinated to do the following first and foremost:

1.       Maintain aircraft control

2.       Analyze the problem

3.       Take appropriate action (Checklist, procedures, etc)

4.       Maintain Situational Awareness

These four steps will always keep an aircraft flying no matter how poorly a crew identifies a problem or applies subsequent procedures.

Here are our QRH procedures for a Runaway Stabilizer. This is a Boeing QRH verbatim. Southwest chose to use Boeing’s checklist 3-5 years ago vice creating our own and then having to receive FAA approval for each and every change:


Condition:  Un-commanded stabilizer trim movement occurs continuously

  1. Control Column – Hold firmly.
  2. Autopilot (if engaged) – Disengage. Do not reengage the Autopilot. Control Aircraft pitch attitude manually with control column and main electric trim as needed.
  3. Auto-throttle (if engaged) – Disengage.
  4. If runaway stops after the autopilot is disengaged … checklist complete.
  5. If runaway continues after the autopilot is disengaged: (a) STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT SWITCHES (both) – CUTOUT; (b) If the runaway continues: (i) Stabilizer Trim Wheel – Grasp and Hold.
  6. Stabilizer – Trim Manually.
  7. Anticipate trim requirements.


Appendix B


Aircraft Accident Investigation Report

PT. Lion Mentari Airlines Boeing 737-8 (MAX)

PK-LQP Tanjung Karawang, West Java Republic of Indonesia

October 29, 2018

“On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft, performing as Flight FNI043 and registered as PK-LQP, was being operated by PT. Lion Mentari Airlines (Lion Air) as a scheduled passenger flight from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (WADD), Denpasar to Jakarta, Indonesia.

During pre-flight check, the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) discussed with the engineer about the maintenance actions that had been performed, including replacement of the Angle-of-Attack (AoA) sensor and had been tested accordingly.

The aircraft departed at 1420 UTC (2220 LT) at night time or 9:20am Eastern Time (ET), the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) showed the stick shaker activated during the rotation and remained active throughout the flight. About 400 feet, the Pilot-in-Command noticed on the Primary Flight Display the Indicated Air Speed DISAGREE warning appeared.

The Pilot-in-Command handed over control to the Second-in-Command and cross checked the Primary Flight Displays with the standby instrument and determined that the left Primary Flight Display had the problem.

The Pilot-in-Command noticed the aircraft was automatically trimming. In response the Pilot-in-Command moved the stabilizer trim switches to CUT OUT. The Second-in-Command continued the flight with manual trim without auto-pilot until the end of the flight.

The Pilot-in-Command declared “PAN PAN” to the Denpasar Approach controller due to instrument failure and requested to maintain runway heading. According to Wikipedia, “PAN PAN” is “the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard an aircraft uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone’s left or to the aircraft itself.”

The Pilot-in-Command performed three Non-Normal Checklists and none contained the instruction “Plan to land at the nearest suitable airport.”

The remainder of the flight was uneventful and the aircraft landed in Jakarta about 1556 UTC (around 11am ET).

After parking, the Pilot-in-Command informed the engineer about the aircraft problem and entered Indicated Airspeed and Altitude Disagree and FEEL DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE problem on the Aircraft Flight Maintenance Log. The engineer performed flushing the left Pitot Air Data Module and static Air Data Module to rectify the Indicated Airspeed and Altitude Disagree followed by operation test on ground and found satisfied. The Feel Differential Pressure was rectified by performed cleaned electrical connector plug of elevator feel computer. The test on ground found the problem had been solved.

At 2320 UTC, (0620 Local Time on 29 October 2018), the aircraft departed from Jakarta, Indonesia with intended destination of Pangkal Pinang. The Digital Flight Data Recorder showed a difference between left and right Angle-of-Attack of about 20° and continued until the end of recording. During rotation the left control column stick shaker activated and continued for most of the flight.

During the flight the Second-in-Command asked the controller to confirm the altitude of the aircraft and later also asked the speed as shown on the controller radar display. The Second-in-Command reported experiencing “flight control problem.”

After the flaps retracted, the Digital Flight Data Recorder showed automatic Aircraft Noise Down trim active followed by flight crew commanded Aircraft Noise Up trim. The automatic Aircraft Noise Down trim stopped when the flaps extended. When the flaps retracted to 0, the automatic Aircraft Noise Down trim and flight crew commanded Aircraft Noise Up trim began again and continued for the remainder of the flight.

At 23:31:54 UTC, the Digital Flight Data Recorder stopped recording.

Until the publishing of this Preliminary Report, the Cockpit Voice Recorder has not been recovered, the search for Cockpit Voice Recorder is continuing. The investigation will perform several tests including the test of the Angle-of-Attack sensor and the aircraft simulator exercises in the Boeing engineering simulator. The investigation has received the Quick Access Recorder data for flight for analysis. The investigation involved the National Transportation Safety Board of the United States of America as State of design and State of manufacturer, the Transportation Safety Investigation Bureau of Singapore and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of Australia as State provide assistant that assigned accredited representatives according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13.”

The ICAO Annex 13 “defines an accident as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a person is fatally or serious injured, or in which an aircraft sustains damage of structural failure that adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft and would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component, or in which an aircraft is considered to be missing or is completely inaccessible.”

History of the Flight

“On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) aircraft registered PK-LQP was being operated by PT. Lion Mentari Airlines (Lion Air) as a scheduled passenger flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (WIII), Jakarta1 with intended destination of Depati Amir Airport (WIPK), Pangkal Pinang2.

The scheduled time of departure from Jakarta was 0545 LT (2245 UTC3 on October 29, 2018) as LNI610.

At 2320 UTC, the aircraft departed from Jakarta using runway 25L and intended cruising altitude was 27,000 feet.

The LNI610 pilot was instructed to follow the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) of ABASA 1C4.

According to the weight and balance sheet, on board the aircraft were two pilots, five flight attendants and 181 passengers consisted of 178 adult, one child and two infants.

The voyage report(5) showed that the number of flight attendant on board was six flight attendants. The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) recorded a difference between left and right Angle-of-Attack (AoA)(6) of about 20° and continued until the end of recording. During rotation the left control column stick shaker7 activated and continued for most of the flight. Shortly after departure, the Jakarta Tower controller instructed LNI610 to contact Terminal East (TE) controller.

At 23:21:22 UTC, the LNI60 SIC made initial contact with the TE controller who responded that the aircraft was identified on the controller Aircraft Situational Display/ASD (radar display). Thereafter, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to climb to altitude 27,000 feet.

At 23:21:28 UTC, the LNI610 SIC asked the TE controller to confirm the altitude of the aircraft as shown on the TE controller radar display. The TE controller responded that the aircraft altitude was 900 feet and was acknowledged by the LNI610 Second in Command (SIC).

At 23:21:53 UTC, the LNI610 SIC requested approval to the TE controller “to some holding point.” The TE controller asked the LNI610 the problem of the aircraft and the pilot responded “flight control problem.” The LNI610 descended from altitude 1,700 to 1,600 feet and the TE controller then asked the LNI610 of the intended altitude. The LNI610 SIC advised the TE controller that the intended altitude was 5,000 feet.

(2) At 23:22:05 UTC, the DFDR recorded the aircraft altitude was approximately 2,150 feet and the flaps were retracted. After the flaps reached 0, the DFDR recorded automatic aircraft nose down (AND) trim active for 10 seconds followed by flight crew commanded aircraft nose up (ANU) trim.

At 23:22:31 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to climb and maintain altitude of 5,000 feet and to turn left heading 050°. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:22:48 UTC, the flaps extended to 5 and the automatic AND trim stopped.

At 23:22:56 UTC, the LNI610 SIC asked the TE controller the speed as indicated on the radar display. The TE controller responded to the LNI610 that the ground speed of the aircraft shown on the radar display was 322 knots.

At 23:24:51 UTC, the TE controller added “FLIGHT CONT TROB” text for LNI610 target label on the controller radar system as reminder that the flight was experiencing flight control problem.

At 23:25:05 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn left heading 350° and maintain altitude of 5,000 feet. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC. At 23:25:18 UTC, the flaps retracted to 0.

At 23:25:27 UTC, the automatic AND trim and flight crew commanded ANU trim recorded began again and continued for the remainder of the flight.

At 23:26:32 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn right heading 050° and maintain altitude of 5,000 feet. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:26:59 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn right heading 070° to avoid traffic. The LNI610 pilot did not respond to the TE controller‟s instruction, thereafter, the controller called the LNI610 twice who responded at 23:27:13 UTC.

At 23:27:15 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn right heading 090° which was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC. A few second later, the TE controller revised the instruction to stop the turn and fly heading 070° which was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:28:15 UTC, the TE controller provided traffic information to the LNI610 who responded “ZERO.” About 14 seconds later, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn left heading 050° and maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:29:37 UTC, the TE controller questioned the LNI610 whether the aircraft was descending as the TE controller noticed that the aircraft was descending. The LNI610 SIC advised the TE controller that they had a flight control problem and were flying the aircraft manually.

At 23:29:45 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to maintain heading 050° and contact the Arrival (ARR) controller. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

(3) At 23:30:03 UTC, the LNI610 contacted the ARR controller and advised that they were experiencing a flight control problem. The ARR controller advised LNI610 to prepare for landing on runway 25L and instructed them to fly heading 070°. The instruction was read back by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:30:58 UTC, the LNI610 SIC stated “LNI650 due to weather request proceed to ESALA8” which was approved by the ARR controller.

At 23:31:09 UTC, the LNI610 PIC advised the ARR controller that the altitude of the aircraft could not be determined due to all aircraft instruments indicating different altitudes. The pilot used the call sign of LNI650 during the communication. The ARR controller acknowledged then stated “LNI610 no restriction.”

At 23:31:23 UTC, the LNI610 PIC requested the ARR controller to block altitude 3,000 feet above and below for traffic avoidance. The ARR controller asked what altitude the pilot wanted.

At 23:31:35 UTC, the LNI610 PIC responded “five thou”. The ARR controller approved the pilot request.

At 23:31:54 UTC, the FDR stopped recording. The ARR controller attempted to contact LNI610 twice with no response.

At 23:32:19 UTC, the LNI610 target disappeared from the ASD and changed to flight plan track. The ARR controller and TE controller attempted to contact LNI610 four more times with no response. The ARR controller then checked the last known coordinates of LNI610 and instructed the assistant to report the occurrence to the operations manager. The ARR controller requested several aircraft to hold over the last known position of LNI610 and to conduct a visual search of the area. About 0005 UTC (0705 LT), tug boat personnel found floating debris at 5°48’56.04″S; 107° 7’23.04″E which was about 33 Nm from Jakarta on bearing 56°. The debris was later identified as LNI610.”


1 Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (WIII), Jakarta will be named as Jakarta for the purpose of this report.

2 Depati Amir Airport (WIPK), Pangkal Pinang will be named as Pangkal Pinang for the purpose of this report.

3 The 24-hours clock in Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) is used in this report to describe the local time as specific events occurred. The Local Time (LT) is UTC +7 hours.

4 The detail of ABASA 1C Standard Instrument Departure (SID) is described in subchapter 1.8 Aids to Navigation.

6 Angle of Attack (AOA) is the angle between wing mean aerodynamic chord and direction of relative wind.

7 Stick shaker is an artificial warning device to alert the flight crew when airspeed is at a minimum operating speed and is close to a wing stall condition (Boeing 737-8 System Description Section of the Aircraft Maintenance Manual).



Appendix C

NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Database

“Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Allied Pilots Association (APA), including the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) utilize NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Database, which is according to its website, “the world’s largest repository of voluntary, confidential safety information provided by aviation’s frontline personnel, including pilots, controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, and dispatchers. The database provides a foundation for specific products and subsequent research addressing a variety of aviation safety issues.

ASRS’s database includes the narratives submitted by reporters (after they have been sanitized for identifying details). These narratives provide an exceptionally rich source of information for policy development, human factors research, education, training, and more. The database also contains coded information by expert analysts from the original report which is used for data retrieval and analyses.”

Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1590012

“After 1000 feet I noticed a decrease in aircraft performance. I picked up that the auto-throttles were not moving to commanded position even though they were engaged. I’m sure they were set properly for takeoff but not sure when the discrepancy took place.

My scan wasn’t as well developed since I’ve only flown the MAX once before. I manually positioned the thrust levers ASAP. This resolved the threat, we were able to increase speed to clean up and continue the climb to 3000 feet.

Shortly afterwards I heard about the (other carrier) accident and am wondering if any other crews have experienced similar incidents with the auto-throttle system on the MAX? Or I may have made a possible flying mistake which is more likely.

The FO (First Officer) was still on his first month and was not able to identify whether it was the aircraft or me that was in error.


B737-MAX8 Captain reported the auto-throttles failed to move to the commanded position during takeoff and climb.”


Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1593701

“We were climbing from FL 330 given a clearance to FL 360. Aircraft briefly leveled at initial cruise altitude FL 340 before Aircrew intervention. [Center] queried if we received the clearance to FL 360.

As a result of the brief delay [Center] issued brief off-course vectors to both us and converging traffic.

Causal factors were equipment: not much experience in MAX-800, as a result, still have to search for everything.

Automation: Upon receipt of FL 360 clearance and after the Captain dialed the Flight MCP (Mode Control Panel) to Altitude 36,000 FT, I should have, but failed to, ensured the cruise altitude reflected FL 360. Engaging the ALT INTV (Altitude Intervention) button would have facilitated the process.

The solution is to Verify/Verbalize/Monitor. Verifying the CDU (Control Display Unit) cruise altitude (NAVIGATION 2/3) would have prevented the temporary level off. Monitoring would have mitigated the delay at FL 340 but could have been timelier.

As a relatively new First Officer, I had not seen this issue. However, I could have done a better job with VVM (Verbalize, Verify, Monitor) to back up the Captain with his duties while flying. Had I seen the momentary level off, I might have been able to alert ATC (Air Traffic Control) of it, avoiding any confusion or deviation of what the expectations were.


B737 MAX8 First Officer reported an altitude deviation due to an intermediate level off by the aircraft automation.”


Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1597286

“Day 3 of 3 departing in a MAX 8 after a long overnight. I was well rested and had discussed the recent MAX 8 MCAS guidance with the Captain.

On departure, we had strong crosswinds (gusts > 30 knots) directly off the right wing, however, no LLWS (Low-Level Wind Shear) or Micro-burst activity was reported at the field. After verifying LNAV (Lateral Navigation) , selecting gear and flaps up, I set “UP” speed.

The aircraft accelerated normally and the Captain engaged the “A” autopilot after reaching set speed. Within two to three seconds the aircraft pitched nose down bringing the VSI to approximately 1,200 to 1,500 FPM.

I called “descending” just prior to the GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) sounding “don’t sink, don’t sink.”

The Captain immediately disconnected the autopilot and pitched into a climb. The remainder of the flight was uneventful. We discussed the departure at length and I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can’t think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively.


B737 MAX First Officer reported that the aircraft pitched nose down after engaging autopilot on departure. Autopilot was disconnected and flight continued to destination.”


Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1597380

“It was day three of six for me and day three with very good FO (First Officer). Well rested, great rapport and above average Crew coordination. Knew we had a MAX. It was my leg, normal Ops Brief, plus I briefed our concerns with the MAX issues, bulletin, MCAS, stab trim cutout response etc.

I mentioned I would engage autopilot sooner than usual (I generally hand fly to at least above 10,000 ft.) to remove the possible MCAS threat.

Weather was about 1000 OVC (Overcast) drizzle, temperature dropping and an occasional snow flake. I double checked with an additional personal walk-around just prior to push; a few drops of water on the aircraft but clean aircraft, no deice required.

Strong crosswind and I asked Tug Driver to push a little more tail east so as not to have slow/hung start gusts 30+. Wind and mechanical turbulence was noted.

Careful engine warm times, normal flaps 5 takeoff in strong (appeared almost direct) crosswind. Departure was normal. Takeoff and climb in light to moderate turbulence.

After flaps 1 to “up” and above clean “MASI (Mach Speed Indicator) up speed” with LNAV (Lateral Navigation) engaged I looked at and engaged A Autopilot. As I was returning to my PFD (Primary Flight Display) PM (Pilot Monitoring) called “DESCENDING” followed by almost an immediate: “DON’T SINK, DON’T SINK!”

I immediately disconnected AP (Autopilot) (it WAS engaged as we got full horn etc.) and resumed climb. Now, I would generally assume it was my automation error, i.e., aircraft was trying to acquire a miss-commanded speed/no auto-throttles, crossing restriction etc., but frankly neither of us could find an inappropriate setup error (not to say there wasn’t one).

With the concerns with the MAX 8 nose down stuff, we both thought it appropriate to bring it to your attention.

We discussed issue at length over the course of the return to ZZZ.

Best guess from me is airspeed fluctuation due to mechanical shear/frontal passage that overwhelmed automation temporarily or something incorrectly setup in MCP (Mode Control Panel).

PM’s callout on “descending” was particularly quick and welcome as I was just coming back to my display after looking away. System and procedures coupled with CRM (Cockpit or Crew Resource Management) trapped and mitigated issue.


B737 MAX Captain reported an autopilot anomaly in which led to an undesired brief nose down situation.”




“RUSH: I’ve done some more look-see investigation into this whole 737 Max 8, Max 9 business, and I now think that I have a real good understanding of what happened here. And the basics are these. The competitor for Boeing and the 737 series is A20 (author’s note: A320 series), the Airbus A20 (author’s note: the Airbus A320). And back in 2011 the 737 was getting long in the tooth, they needed to modernize it, make it more fuel efficient, new engines. And the debate was, “Okay, do we re-engine the airplane or do we reengineer the entire plane?”

Well, Airbus decided just to put new engines on their planes thereby not spending much at all to upgrade them. They just put new engines on them and made whatever retrofits on them to handle the increased power, but they didn’t redesign a new airplane, any of that.

Boeing couldn’t do that with the 737. If they’re gonna add bigger engines, they had to change the design of the airplane, and they tried to do this as cost efficiently as possible. Trump was right in a way. I mean, these airplanes have gotten very complex in pursuit of economy, in pursuit of having them as cheaply as possible to use and to fly.

And it’s exactly what I thought. Because of the redesign of the airplane and the change in center of gravity brought about by the bigger engines — the nose gear’s eight inches longer, for example — it has changed the entire angle of attack that the airplane takes in normal flight (author’s note: the nose gear being 8 inches longer plays no role in the aircraft’s angle of attack, only the forward engine mount onto the wing’s leading edge, producing unwanted differential lift from the engine’s wide-mouth nacelle changes the aircraft’s angle of attack). If you’ve ever paid any attention to flying, you feel like sometimes on certain airplanes you’re always climbing even though you’re at cruising level. That’s the angle of attack, the nose and the wings as they fly through the air. This airplane’s angle of attack was made much steeper because these new engines are incredible. They have their own aerodynamic lift in addition to that which they get from the wings and the tail.

And because of that rapid elevation of the nose promoting stalls or making the airplane think it’s in a stall, they put in a computer system that automatically trimmed some of the lift back on the tail, elevators on the tail to keep the nose lowered. And if something went wrong with that system, the nose after takeoff would be up and down and up and down and none of this was explained in the flight manual.

So the pilots were not aware of what was going on. This is what they think happened in the Lion Air crash, and they’re pretty sure it’s what happened with Ethiopia, although it’s still unknown. So you have to disconnect the autopilot (author’s note: MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, is not active when the autopilot is on; MCAS is specifically for manually operated flying) and the computer programming that takes the airplane off the runway and into flight.

And it really is gonna be nothing more than a simple software fix, but the whole thing happened because of competition with Airbus, at least the best anybody can tell, that Boeing had to hurry and they couldn’t just add new engines to the existing 737. They had to basically design a new airplane and build a new airplane. It’s obviously much more complicated than that, but that’s the root of this.

All this dates back to 2011. This is eight years old, this whole process. There are 5,000 of these 737 Max 8s and Max 9s on order. It is the future of Boeing, so they have to get this fixed. And they will.


RUSH:  I got a bunch emails during the break that I checked asking me to explain further (and not so hurriedly) what I was saying about the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9.  All right.  But, folks, it gets kind of technical here, and I have to also specify that I’m not an aeronautical engineer; so I’m only gonna share with you that which I have learned on my own consulting various authorities, experts and so forth.  It all starts, apparently, back in 2011 when Airbus, the A320, decides that they’re gonna modernize by simply putting new engines on the A320, which is a much cheaper upgrade than having to redesign the entire airplane.

If you can put more powerful engines, if you retrofit engines on an existing airplane without having to redesign it in any way, then you are way ahead of the cost competition game with your competitors.  And Airbus is a consortium of the French and the U.K. with governments involved subsidizing the manufacture of these airplanes versus American private sector aircraft manufacturers — in this case, Boeing.  So the 737 was a cash cow for Boeing.  The Boeing 737 and its success is what allowed Boeing to develop the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner.

They’re selling the Dreamliner, the 787, for more than it costs to make it. But they’re still running a $23 billion manufacturing deficit on the 787.  So the 737… Once Airbus decides to put new engines on the A320, they’re gonna become cheaper to operate.  That’s the whole point of putting new engines on.  New engine technology always includes more efficiency — more power for less operating cost — and if Airbus had found a way to put new engines on without having to rebuild the wings and without having to change the center of gravity of the existing A320, then that gave them a leg up on Boeing in selling aircraft to airlines.

So Boeing needed to keep up with this, and they rejected the idea of simply putting bigger engines on the existing 737.  It was pretty much maxed out design-wise.  All airplane development is a series of compromises.  When you have something that weighs as much as an airplane does, to develop the power and the aerodynamics to get it off the ground and fly at a competitive commercial speed of 450 to 550 knots loaded with passengers so that you can make money doing so, you have to make a whole series of compromises for that to happen.

Because devices that weigh that much need all kinds of propulsion in order to fly.  So the compromises that are made… And then you start requiring increasing innovation in the engines for fuel efficiency and all of that.  And as it was described in one article, Boeing had to find a way — with the 737 Max 8 — to fit 12 gallons into a 10-gallon jug, if you can visualize this.  The bigger engines that they designed required a different airplane.  It really isn’t a Boeing 737.  They call it a 737; it’s got the basic overall shape, but it isn’t.

It’s got entirely new flight characteristics because of these new engines and the changed center of gravity.  The nose gear, for example, is eight inches longer. You’ve noticed 737s. They’re really low to the ground, and the engines on a 737 at the bottom are flat because they’re so close to the ground.  Well, you can’t put a bigger engine on that airplane.  You have to change the design. So you need to have it higher off the ground with longer nose gear.  Not main gear.

Just the longer nose gear, which has to do with the perceived angle of attack as the airplane is taking off — which is the key to all this, if you strip it all down.  They changed some of the aerodynamics of the tail cone.  They added some new winglets and fly-by-wire spoilers and they put gigantic new big displays in the cockpit for Millennial-age pilots, who love screens.  So the 737 Max ends up with a nose pointed higher in the air to begin with, and it has larger engines.  And the design of engines is such now that they create lift on their own, of course, with their aerodynamic thrust, in addition to the lift created aerodynamically over the wings.

So that makes the airplane nudge even higher. The nose nudges even higher in terms of angle of attack flying through the air.  Now, Boeing discovered through analysis and flight testing that under certain high-speed conditions both in wind-up turns and wings-level flight, that upward nudge of the nose created a greater risk of stalling.  Stalling is when you don’t have power to maintain your level of ascent.  So the natural way to correct for a stall is to drop the nose and ram the throttles forward full-fledged power.  You have to have enough altitude to do that.

Well, since this airplane’s design naturally raised the profile of the nose and created a higher angle of attack, they had to have a computer solution to lower the nose in both takeoff and cruise flight.  That solution was called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.  It was a computer program that was also used and adapted to the existing 737 (author’s note: MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System is not on the existing 737) and the 737 Max.  What it did was automatically trim the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down.  It just barely elevated the trim tabs on the stabilizer to lower the nose to compensate for the angle of attack.

The computer program was supposed to do that independent — it’s part of the autopilot system — and the pilots just trust that that was happening.  But, for it to work, the angle-of-attack data that is fed into the computer has to work in concert with the MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System that’s handling the trim tabs on the horizontal stabilizer.  If they’re not in sync, then the airplane is gonna compensate by lowering the nose and raising the nose and lowering it and raising it. This apparently was happening in Lion Air and the pilots were having trouble disconnecting the MCAS system in the autopilot.

And eventually I think what happened was the airplane — because of the way all this was designed — lowered the noses full throttle right into the ground, and the pilots were unable to get control of it.  So the fix for this… And none of this was explained.  Apparently, the pilots are upset ’cause none of this was explained in the flight manual for the 737 Max 8.  Look, I love Boeing.  I’ve had a tour of their manufacturing plant out in Renton, Washington, where they were making 747s.  I was blown away by it.

One of the things I most wanted to see was: How do you make an airplane? What’s the first thing you do if you’re gonna build a gigantic airliner like this? So they let me take a tour. They guided me through it, like three hours.  But what they attempted to do here was convince people the 737 Max 8 was a 737, so that it wasn’t gonna need a bunch of new training, and it wasn’t gonna need new adaptations.  If you knew how to fly a 737, if you knew how to handle behaviors of the aircraft — the 737 — you’d do the same thing with the 737 Max 8.

It’s apparently not the case.  So the fix for this is gonna be a relatively simple software update.  But then they’re gonna have to flight test this to the satisfaction of the FAA.  They’ve got 5,000 of these airplanes on order.  There aren’t that many in service in the United States relative to how many have been ordered.  Their future is wrapped up in this airplane.  It is the best-selling plane. The 737 Max 8 and Max 9 are the best-selling airplanes Boeing has ever made in the commercial airline inventory, and I hope they get it right, ’cause aside from this, it is a fantastic airplane.

A number of pilots, by the way, have advocated for not grounding it, for not banning it, that it’s perfectly fine.  They don’t know what all this is about.  Other pilots have said, “Well, you need to upgrade the flight manual because there’s stuff happening here that the manual does not tell us what to do with.”  So there’s conflict.  But it’s all rooted in trying to keep up with… You put increased complexity in these gigantic manufactured airplanes. You put in increased complexity all for the purposes of flying them as cheaply as possible, all for the purposes of economics — and you reach a point where the complexity may end up harming the pursuit of the most efficient manner of flying a loaded airplane at a profitable speed.

Anyway, they’ll get it fixed at some point.

It’s then gonna be a matter of convincing everybody to trust that it has been rectified.

But they’ll get it.


RUSH: I’ll tell you how I got interested in all this. Back in 1989, 1990, I was flying on an American Airlines 767, and I was seated next to an off-duty pilot who was being ferried out to the West Coast to make a flight. His base was New York, and they were dispatching him. I had a long talk with him. And my question to him — and this is 1990, this is 30 years ago. Well, 28 years. “Why is it that with all the technological advances we’re making throughout our lives, why is it we cannot fly any faster commercially than 550 or 600 miles an hour?”

And that’s when he gave me the flight is a series of compromises speech. He said, “If you want to fly supersonic, we can do it, but nobody’s gonna pay for it. Do you realize how much fuel it takes to fly supersonic?” He gave me the aerodynamics. The faster you go through the air, the greater resistance the air is, the more power you need, the more power you’re using.

And he said, “Look, we could manufacture airplanes to get you to London in three hours, we’ve done it, the Concorde, but nobody can afford to fly it.” And he said, “We can barely fuel the Concorde. It doesn’t have any reserves. It’s got to land when it has to land. It can’t go into a holding pattern very long and people just aren’t gonna pay for it. But we’ve got the technology to do it. It’s just not sensible cost-wise in a mass market situation.”

And that’s true. So now the entire pursuit of commercial aircraft is forever cheaper to operate engines. The margins are so small and so tiny and the competition is so intense that people are only gonna pay what they’re gonna pay to fly commercially. First class, business, coach, whatever, they’re only gonna pay what they’re gonna pay. And so everything has been pared down to make sure that people can get from point A to point B at a price they’re willing to pay as efficiently as possible for the airline so they can stay in business.

And if some airline comes up with a brand-new way of really having a brand-new cost efficient engine on an existing airplane without having to redesign it, they have a leg up on their competitors that you can’t believe. And this is what Boeing faced.

So they tried to combine the existing airframe of the 737, modifying it to handle the new bigger engines they were gonna put on it, and it changed the characteristics, the aerodynamics of the airplane enough that it doesn’t fly like a standard, ordinary issue 737.

Anyway, Doug in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. I’d say dittos on almost everything you ever say, and today I say double dittos. I don’t know where you get your info, but you’re spot on.

RUSH: I appreciate hearing that, because I’m not an expert in this, but I’ve tried to inform myself as best I can, so I’m glad to get your endorsement.

CALLER: Well, you’re well informed. I would say one of the problems was the design on the Max — and I’ve gotta preface first. I’ve never flown a 7-3. I flew the 7-2, 7-5, 7-6, and triple 7. And about 20,000 hours. And I will say that they were trying to make the common type rating because that makes it cheaper for the airline. So if an airline flies a version of a 300, a 500, a 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the 7-3, the common type rating, all you have to do is get differences training. So they do the same type rating ride by the FAA and then you take a little test for the differences between the airplanes.

Now, for example, I flew the triple seven about 12 years and we had two versions of it, 200ER and LR. Different engines. Pretty much the same systems, but they handle a little bit differently. You could take off with an LR from Johannesburg to Atlanta about 750,000 pounds with a two-engine airplane. Your nose is still way on up there ’cause you’re climbing out at about 5,000 foot per minute. Now, in the ER, the same one, you can only fly that at about 600, which is under the gross weight.

RUSH: Wait, wait. Is the LR longer range than the extended range?

CALLER: Yeah. It will do about 8,000 miles point A to point B with reserves.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: Longest commercial aircraft there is other than, say, a Gulf-stream 650ER. That will do the same mileage or greater. But, as far as commercial passenger aircraft, the triple seven LR is the longest range airplane currently flying. Now, the Airbus 350 tried to compete with it, but personally if it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going.

RUSH: Right, but back to your original point because time is limited. The idea of the manufacturer is to build airplanes that have similar type ratings so that if you fly one you can fly the other with just a few hours in a simulator. You don’t have to relearn how to fly every new airplane that’s made.

CALLER: That’s correct. Spot-on. Exactly. It’s cost of training.

RUSH: And with the 737 Max, they had to hurry things along, and it is a different experience, it does have a different rating, but they weren’t quite up front enough about that. Right?

CALLER: That’s correct. And you also have to look at who’s flying those airplanes. The latest one that went down, I feel bad for everything, but you have to also look at the training and the experience of the pilots flying.

RUSH: Well, I tell you what. If these two crashes, if those two airplanes had been a Southwest Airlines or an American Airlines jet, if either one of those, that airplane would have been grounded that day. But since it was Ethiopian and Lion Air, there was a little bit of a — and that’s just a difference in the perceived quality experience of various nations and their airline system. I gotta run.


RUSH:  The system that I described — the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System — is designed to compensate for the increased angle of attack, the elevation of the nose as the airplane takes off and is flying through the air.  That’s the angle of the attack, and the higher the angle of attack, the greater — even though it’s remote, but the greater — the risk of a stall or that the airplane’s computer can think it’s in a stall.

You don’t want that.  You don’t want to be in a stall. You don’t want the aircraft’s computer to think.  So they put this system in to compensate for the higher angle of attack called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, and that is a computer program that automatically trims the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down.  So you’ve got two things working against each other here which should not happen.  You shouldn’t need to have something on an airplane that… A pilot would probably call this a “jury-rig.”

So they set up this MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, to keep the nose down using the rear stabilizer to compensate for the higher angle of attack brought about by the redesign necessary for the new engines.  So a pilot would probably tell you that any time you require a jury-rig like this to fly airplane, that it’s a red flag.  It shouldn’t be necessary.  It’s something that you shouldn’t need a computer. Now, if you’re flying something like the stealth bomber which has no elevators — the B-2, which is just a flying wing — that thing can’t fly without a computer flying it.

A human being cannot keep the B-2 in the air because there’s no vertical elevator.  That thing is a flying wing, and the computer is making precise, infinitesimally microscopic changes in the flight control systems to keep that airplane from spiraling down and crashing, because there’s no way it flies without a computer being able to do it. On a commercial aircraft, you shouldn’t have to need things like that.  That’s why you have pilots.  Pilots can be able to manually run the trim on the rear stabilizer and compensate.

But the more you put this up to a computer… We all know computer glitches, and if there’s a disagreement in the sensors in the cockpit that are calculating the angle of attack — if there’s any kind of a disparity or disagreement between that and the MCAS system — then you should ground the airplane.  You shouldn’t take it off if there’s a massive disparity in agreement between the sensors and the MCAS system.  So I just wanted to wrap that up because most pilots would probably call this a jury-rig.

I’m putting words in their mouths, but it shouldn’t require that.


RUSH: Okay.  Here’s Stewart, West Hartford, Connecticut.  Somebody still lives in Connecticut.  Great to have you on the program, sir.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  I’m an 81-year-old retired Pratt & Whitney engineer, and I just wanted to give you a little update on the difference in the engines.  I don’t want to talk about the incidents.  This is basically trying to educate the listeners and yourself.  Most commercial engines are twin-spool engines.  There’s really no difference between a GE engine or a Pratt & Whitney engine in performance.

However, many years ago Pratt & Whitney discovered a way of changing the performance of an engine by incorporating what they call a geared turbine in the engine itself.  GE elected not to do that, and it continued on its path of engines.  Pratt worked feverishly for 20 years developing this concept.  It came about recently, and they sold it to Airbus.  The benefit of that is the performance of that is phenomenal.  The fuel burn is unbelievable.  The other engine by GE, under CFM, is the same old kind of engine.  They tried to sell the —

RUSH:  Now, wait a minute.  Some people… The CFM is what’s on the 738 Max.  Is that what you’re saying?

CALLER: Correct.  Right.

RUSH:  Just wanted to stipulate that.  I knew that, but I wanted to make sure everybody else knew.

CALLER: (chuckling) Right.  I’m a little nervous here.

RUSH:  Well, you don’t sound nervous.  My God, you’re 81.  You’ve seen everything.  There’s no way you can be nervous.

CALLER: (laughing) That’s true.  But I’ve been a follower of you all these years, and it’s an honor to talk to you.

RUSH:  I appreciate that.  I really do.  So the bottom line is Airbus has a distinct advantage with that engine —

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH: — in terms of fuel efficiency and economy?

CALLER:  Absolutely, and emissions.  There’s low emissions.  It is so quiet that you can almost be standing next to it and you don’t hear it.  I know I’m exaggerating some of these things, but if people would look into it — and it’s their latest and greatest engine.  They were shocked.  They were so shocked — I’m talking about CFM — that they didn’t know what to do.

RUSH:  Right, and this was Boeing’s trying to keep up with this.

CALLER:  Correct.  So they’ve been tweaking and tweaking and tweaking — and it’s very hard to tweak these engines to get more and more out of it.  The one that’s Pratt & Whitney — called the GTF, Geared Turbofan — is totally in a different class by itself.  All I’m saying is, because of that, whatever changes they had to make to the airplanes on the Max is a result of not being to have an engine like the Pratt engine which would have been a smaller engine and there probably would have been no changes to the body or anything.

RUSH:  Right.  But since they couldn’t do that, they had to make modifications in the body, meaning the design of the airplane.  If you get right down to it, it’s not a 737.  It looks like a larger 737, but engineering-wise it’s a different airplane. Look, I really don’t want to come down on Boeing here.  They may deserve it for certain things, but they’re such a great company, and they’re gonna rebound from this.  But they just… The previous caller talked about it.

In your whole fleet… Like, Boeing has the 7… Well, the don’t have the ’27 no longer. The ’37, the ’47, and all the different series, the ’57, ’67, the 777, 787. They try to make the flight experience for the pilots similar enough that it’s not a major deal to get pilots type rated in each different upper.  And for manufacturing purposes, you want to be able to have at least some consistency from model to model to model just for the cost of it.

And they tried. They went a little bit too far in the 737 Max 8 and Max 9.  There’s a Max 9 out there flying around too.  Anyway…  But it was the competition with Airbus.  Airbus, all they had to do was put these new engines on their existing airplanes.  Boeing could not do that.  They couldn’t put new engines on an existing 737.  They needed a bigger plane to be able to compete.  I appreciate the call, Stewart, and I’m glad you waited.  I appreciate your patience as well.


RUSH: Hey, I got a quick airplane question for you, folks. When you’re in an airliner taking off/landing when you’re flying, do you want to hear the sounds? Do you want to hear the engines rev up for takeoff? Do you want to know you’re taking off by virtue of what you’re hearing? Do you want to be able to hear the flaps being lowered, do you want to hear the landing gear going up and down, do you want to be able to hear when descent happens — feel its slowdown, the rush of air in descent and the nose dropping?

Do you want to know all that when you’re flying? (interruption) Airbus designs its airplanes to limit as much of that noise as possible. It’s just a competitive thing, especially the A380, that gigantic two-story thing? You cannot… If you’re inside most planes, you cannot tell when the engines are revved. The only sense that you have that you’re taking off is you have a sense of a higher speed. But the sounds associated with the airplane and flight you don’t hear. That’s how quiet they’ve made the cabin and the engines.

It’s kind of unnerving for some people. (interruption) Not… (interruption) Well, no, no, no. They can’t change turbulence. Just you don’t hear the engine. You’re rolling down for takeoff, but you don’t know it because you don’t hear the engine. The only way you can know it is the sense of speed. Some people, this makes ’em nervous. They want to hear the evidence that everything’s working! Other people love the quiet.

When you’re on a boat… Like, let’s say you’re on a Bill Kristol cruise. The only noise you can hear is those Never Trumper flap-gummer lecturers. You don’t hear the engine on a big cruise ship, do you? You do not. For a whole host of reasons, you don’t. You just have a sense you’re plowing through the waves there. You can see it, but if you’re in your cabin… You know, you feel the roll of the waves. You don’t hear the chop.

But you never hear the engine of a cruise ship. Most airplanes you can’t avoid it. Now, Boeing wants customers to hear. They want customers to have the comfort that the systems are working. The reason I ask is this is a factor in the new engines that they put on the A320 that Boeing was trying to compete with the 737 Max. The competition… Capitalist competition, I have to say, folks, it is just vicious out there, and most people are not taught to respect it. They’re taught to hate it so. But it’s fascinating stuff to me.

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Feb 112019
The Honorable U.S. President Trump’s 2017-18 Accomplishments
* Almost 4 million jobs created since the November 8, 2016 election with 2.8 million jobs added in 2018.
* More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
* We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
* Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
* Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
* New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
* Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
* African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
* Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
* Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
* Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
* Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
*Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
* Under Trump’s Administration, veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
* Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.
* The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans. We are committed to VOCATIONAL education.
* 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future—the highest ever.
* Retail sales surged last month, up another 6 percent over last year.
* Signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. After tax cuts, over $300 billion poured back in to the U.S. in the first quarter alone.
* As a result of our tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
* Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.
* Opened ANWR and approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
* Record number of regulations eliminated.
* Enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
*Obamacare individual mandate penalty GONE.
* Donald J. Trump’s Administration is providing more affordable healthcare options for Americans through association health plans and short-term duration plans.
* Last month, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. And thanks to our efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
* We reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
* Signed Right-To-Try legislation.
* Secured $6 billion in NEW funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
* We have reduced high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent during my first year in office.
* Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA tele-health services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
* Increased our coal exports by 60 percent; U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high.
* United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
* Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
* Cancelled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan.
* Secured record $700 billion in military funding; $716 billion next year.
* NATO allies are spending $69 billion more on defense since 2016.
* Process has begun to make the Space Force the 6th branch of the Armed Forces.
* Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.
* Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
* Withdrew from the horrible, one-sided Iran Deal.
—> * Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. <—

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, right, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attend the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Monday, May 14, 2018. Amid deadly clashes along the Israeli-Palestinian border, President Donald Trump’s top aides and supporters on Monday celebrated the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as a campaign promised fulfilled. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

* Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Ban, upheld by Supreme Court.
* Issued Executive Order to keep open Guantanamo Bay.
* Concluded a historic U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal to replace NAFTA. And negotiations with Canada are underway as we speak.

President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

* Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
* Imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security.
* Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
* Net exports are on track to increase by $59 billion this year.
Improved vetting and screening for refugees, and switched focus to overseas resettlement.
* We have begun BUILDING THE WALL. Republicans want STRONG BORDERS and NO CRIME. Democrats want OPEN BORDERS which equals MASSIVE CRIME.
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Feb 092019

Below is President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address entitled “Choose Greatness.”


“Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans: We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential.

As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.

Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as TWO PARTIES but as ONE NATION.

Peace, Health and Sovereignty for America

The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the Agenda of the American People.

Many of us campaigned on the same core promises:

  • to defend American jobs and demand FAIR TRADE for American workers;
  • to rebuild and revitalize our nation’s infrastructure;
  • to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs;
  • to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure; and
  • to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.

There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it.

Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our COUNTRY.

This year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the Majesty of America’s Mission, and the Power of American Pride.

In June, we mark 75 years since the start of what General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the Great Crusade — the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II.

On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, fifteen thousand young American men jumped from the sky and sixty thousand more stormed in from the sea, to save our civilization from tyranny.

Here with us tonight are three (3) of those heroes:

  1. Private First Class Joseph Reilly,
  2. Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and
  3. Sergeant Herman Zeitchik.

Gentlemen, we salute you.

In 2019, we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon.

Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin.

This year American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets.

In the 20th century, America saved freedom, transformed science, and redefined the middle class standard of living for the entire world to see.

President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Creating a New Standard of Living for America’s Sovereignty

Now, we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this Great American Adventure, and we must create a new standard of living for the 21st century.

An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within our reach.

We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our Middle Class bigger and more prosperous than ever before.

But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate.

We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future.

The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.

Tonight, I ask you to Choose GREATNESS.

  • Over the last two years, my administration has moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of BOTH parties over many decades.
  • In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.
  • We have created 5.3 million new jobs, and more importantly, we’ve added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs –something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.
  • Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else.
  • Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.
  • The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.
  • Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century.
  • African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded.
  • Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low.
  • More people are working now than at any time in our history — 157 million.
  • We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit.
  • We virtually ended the estate, or death, tax on small businesses, ranches, and family farms.
  • We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty — and to give critically ill patients access to life-saving cures, we passed RIGHT TO TRY.
  • My Administration has cut more regulations in a short time than any other administration during its entire tenure.
  • Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers thanks to our historic reductions in taxes and regulations.
  • We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
  • And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.
  • After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day.

Members of Congress: The State of our Union is Strong.

Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.

On Friday, it was announced that we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone — almost double what was expected.

An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.

If there is going to be peace and legislation, then there can’t be war and investigation.

It just doesn’t work that way!

We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.

This new era of cooperation can start with finally confirming the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are still stuck in the Senate — some after years of waiting.

The Senate has failed to act on these nominations, which is unfair to the nominees and to our country.

Now is the time for bipartisan action.

Believe it or not, we have already proven that it is possible.

In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new Farm Bill, historic VA reforms, and after four decades of rejection, we passed VA Accountability so we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans.

And just weeks ago, both parties united for groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reform.

Last year, I heard through friends the story of Alice Johnson.

I was deeply moved.

In 1997, Alice was sentenced to life in prison as a first-time non-violent drug offender.

Over the next two decades, she became a prison minister, inspiring others to choose a better path.

She had a big impact on that prison population — and far beyond.

Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing — and the need to remedy this injustice.

She served almost 22 years and had expected to be in prison for the rest of her life.

In June, I commuted Alice’s sentence –when I saw Alice’s beautiful family greet her at the prison gates, hugging and kissing and crying and laughing, I knew I did the right thing — Alice is here with us tonight.

Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny.

Inspired by stories like Alice’s, my administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the First Step Act into law.

This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community.

The First Step Act gives non-violent offenders the chance to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.

Now, states across the country are following our lead.

America is a nation that believes in redemption.

We are also joined tonight by Matthew Charles from Tennessee.

In 1996, at age 30, Matthew was sentenced to 35 years for selling drugs and related offenses.

Over the next two decades, he completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, and mentored fellow inmates.

Now, Matthew is the very first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act.

Matthew, on behalf of All Americans: WELCOME HOME.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Secure Our Southern Border

Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis.

Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland, and secure our Southern Border.

Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers OUT OF BUSINESS.

As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States.

We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.

I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our Southern Border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught.

This is a MORAL issue.

The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.

We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens.

This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws.

LEGAL immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways.

I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally.

Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of LOVE and DEVOTION to our fellow citizens and to our country.

No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s WORKING CLASS and America’s POLITICAL CLASS than illegal immigration.

Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders, while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.

Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.

Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel.

1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.

Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country.

Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities — including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in at least 20 different American states, and they almost all come through our Southern Border.

Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City.

We are removing these gang members by the thousands, but until we secure our border they’re going to keep streaming back in.

Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.

I’ve gotten to know many wonderful Angel Moms, Dads and families –no one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache they have endured.

Here tonight is Debra Bissell.

Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada home by an illegal alien.

They were in their eighties and are survived by 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter, Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.

To Debra, Heather, Madison, please stand: few can understand your pain.

But I will never forget, and I will fight for the memory of Gerald and Sharon, that it should never happen again.

Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border.

In the last two years, our brave ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings.

We are joined tonight by one of those law enforcement heroes: ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez.

When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic.

At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent.

Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking.

Elvin says: “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve done my job.”

Thanks to his work and that of his colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from horror and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars.

Special Agent Hernandez please stand: We will ALWAYS support the brave men and women of Law Enforcement –and I pledge to you tonight that we will NEVER Abolish our heroes from ICE.

My administration has sent to Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on our Southern Border.

It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.

This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall.

It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.

San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in the country.

In response, a strong security wall was put in place.

This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.

The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country,and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.

Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.


So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America SAFE.

As we work to defend our people’s safety, we must also ensure our economic resurgence continues at a rapid pace.

No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year.

All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than ever before.

As part of our commitment to improving opportunity for women everywhere, this Thursday we are launching the first ever government-wide initiative focused on economic empowerment for women in developing countries.

Square Deal on Fair Trade with America

To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount – reversing decades of calamitous trade policies.

We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.

Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion dollars of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars.

But I don’t blame China for taking advantage of us — I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen.

I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China.

But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.

Another historic trade blunder was the catastrophe known as NAFTA.

I have met the men and women of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire, and many other states whose dreams were shattered by NAFTA.

For years, politicians promised them they would negotiate for a better deal.

But no one ever TRIED — until now.

Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or USMCA — will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers: bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: MADE IN THE USA.

Tonight, I am also asking you to pass the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an American product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the same product that they sell to us.

Rebuilding America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure. I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill –and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future.

This is not an option.

This is a necessity.

Reforms of America’s Healthcare System

The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs — and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.

But we must do more. It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place.

This is wrong, unfair, and together we can stop it. I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American Patients.

We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs down.

No force in history has done more to advance the human condition than American Freedom.

In recent years we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach.

My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years.

Together, we will defeat AIDS in America.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: First lady Melania Trump with Grace Eline and Joshua Trump, special guests of President Donald Trump, attend the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Tonight I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind: the fight against childhood cancer.

Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10 year old girl, Grace Ee-line.

Every birthday since she was 4, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself.

Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Immediately, she began radiation treatment.

At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 dollars for the fight against cancer.

When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered with tears in their eyes, as she hung up a poster that read: “Last day of Keemo.”

Grace — you are an inspiration to us all. [PAUSE]

Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades.

My budget will ask Congress for $500 million dollars over the next 10 years to fund this critical life-saving research.

To help support working parents, the time has come to pass SCHOOL CHOICE for America’s children.

I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leaveso that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days.

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

These are living, feeling, beautiful, babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

Sixth grade student Joshua Trump (R) attends the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

America’s Sovereignty and National Security

The final part of my agenda is to protect America’s National Security.

Over the last two years, we have begun to fully rebuild the United States Military –with $700 billion dollars last year and $716 billion dollars this year.

We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share.

For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by NATO — but now we have secured a $100 billion dollar increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the United States is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Under my Administration, we will never apologize for advancing America’s interests.

For example, decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities.

While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms.

That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can’t –in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months.

If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.

Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.

Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela, and its new interim President, Juan Gwydo.

We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.

Principled Realism

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country.

America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control.

We are BORN FREE, and we will STAY FREE.

Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will NEVER be a socialist country.

One of the most complex set of challenges we face is in the Middle East.

Our approach is based on “Principled Realism — not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress.

For this reason, my Administration recognized the TRUE capital of Israel — and proudly opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American Heroes have given their lives.

More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded.

We have spent more than $7 trillion dollars in the Middle East.

As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach.

Great nations do not fight endless wars.

When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria.

Today, we have liberated virtually all of that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers.

Now, as we work with our allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS, it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.

I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Our troops have fought with unmatched valor — and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.

In Afghanistan, my Administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban.

As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism.

We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for PEACE.

Above all, friend and foe alike must never doubt this nation’s power and will to defend our people.

18 years ago, terrorists attacked the USS Cole — and last month American Forces killed one of the leaders of the attack.

We are honored to be joined tonight by Tom Wibberley, whose son, Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, was one of the 17 sailors we tragically lost.

Tom: we vow to always remember the heroes of the USS Cole.

My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime

in Iran.

To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.

And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country.

We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants Death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish People.

We must never ignore the vile poison of Anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed.

With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.

Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an Anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer.

Timothy has just had his 12th surgery — but he made the trip to be here with us tonight.

Officer Matson: we are forever grateful for your courage in the face of evil.

Tonight we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet.

He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began.

But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall — more than 7 decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps.

Today is Judah’s 81st birthday.

Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp.

Suddenly the train screeched to a halt.

A soldier appeared.

Judah’s family braced for the worst.

Then, his father cried out with joy: “It’s the AMERICANS.”

A second Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau [Dah-kow] Concentration Camp.

He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks.

“To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.”

I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the Second World War.

One of them was Herman Zeitchick.

But there is more to Herman’s story.

A year after he stormed the Beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of those American Soldiers who helped liberate Dachau [Dah-kow].

He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on earth.

Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight –seated side-by-side, here in the home of American Freedom.

Herman and Joshua: your presence this evening honors and uplifts our entire nation, and is very much appreciated, thank you very much.

When American soldiers set out beneath the dark skies over the English Channel in the early hours of D-Day, 1944, they were just young men of 18 and 19, hurtling on fragile landing craft toward the most momentous battle in the history of war.

They did not know if they would survive the hour.

They did not know if they would grow old.

But they knew that America had to prevail.

Their cause was this nation, and generations yet unborn.

Why did they do it?

They did it for AMERICA — they did it for us.

Everything that has come since –our triumph over communism, our giant leaps of science and discovery, our unrivaled progress toward equality and justice — ALL of it is possible thanks to the blood and tears and courage and vision of the Americans who came before.

Think of this Capitol –think of this very Chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure Civil Rights, to face down an evil empire.

Here tonight we have legislators from across this magnificent Republic.

You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii; from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona; from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California.

Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.

What will we do with this moment?

How will we be remembered?

I ask the men and women of this Congress: Look at the opportunities before us!

Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead.

Our most exciting journeys still await.

Our biggest victories are still to come.

We have not yet BEGUN TO DREAM.

We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them.

We must choose whether we squander our inheritance — or whether we proudly declare that WE ARE AMERICANS:

We do the incredible.

We defy the impossible.

We conquer the unknown.

This is the time to re-ignite the American Imagination.

This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set our sights on the brightest star.

This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

This is our future –our fate — and our choice to make.

I am asking you to CHOOSE GREATNESS.

No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.

We must keep America FIRST in our hearts.

We must keep Freedom alive in our souls.

And we must always keep FAITH in America’s Destiny –that One Nation, Under God, must be the HOPE and the PROMISE and the LIGHT and the GLORY among all the nations of the world!

Thank you. God Bless You, God Bless America, and Goodnight!”


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Jan 162019

“An Airbus A321 carrying Russian tourists back from Egypt in 2015 suddenly disappears from radar minutes after takeoff. Air Force jets locate the charred wreckage in the Sinai Desert. There are no survivors. How did this modern airplane just fall from the sky? Follow Egyptian investigators and their Russian counterparts as they work through political tensions and wild rumors to discover the truth behind the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268. With 224 passengers and crew on board killed, the Russian Metrojet crash is the worst air accident in the history of Russian aviation.”

“Did an old accident cause the October 31, 2015 crash of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 Airbus A321, or were more nefarious forces to blame for killing 224 passengers and crew on board? 

Watch below “Terror Over Egypt,” the Season Premier of  Smithsonian Channel.” 

“On October 31, 2015, Metrojet Flight 9268 disintegrates in mid-air and crashes into the Sinai Peninsula during a routine chartered flight from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport to Pulkovo Airport, killing all 224 people on board.”

“Did a serious 2001 accident to Metrojet 9268 cause it to fatally crash on October 31, 2015? Investigators look closely at the affected part of the plane – the rear fuselage – hoping for a breakthrough.”

From the Series: Air Disasters: Terror Over Egypt 

FBI agents in the United States have agreed to help with forensic analysis after last week’s crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
The British government suspects a bomb exploded on board, plunging all 224 passengers and crew to their deaths. Egyptian crash investigators are complaining about the lack of intelligence sharing – and insist it’s too early to say what caused the disaster.
Amid the confusion and uncertainty, thousands of tourists are still stranded in Sharm El Sheikh trying to fly home. So, who can we trust to tell the truth? And how much politics is involved?
Jane Dutton
Martin Reardon, Senior Vice President of the Soufan Group.
Igor Sutyagin, Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.
Oliver McGee, Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation and aviation specialist.
Published on Nov 8, 2015SUBSCRIBED 2.8M

Metrojet Airbus A321 Reg #EI-ETJ -- 7

Russian Metrojet Airbus A321-231 crashed minutes after takeoff, fatally resulting in the death of 224 people, in mountainous Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 04:12 Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time, GMT) or 12:12 am ET.

Photo Credit: 1993 REUTERS/Kim Philipp Piskol. Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268taxis at Antalya, Turkey before the tragic crash.

Operated by Russian air carrier, formerly known as Kogalymavia, Kolavia (Moscow-Domodedovo), and branded as MetroJet, according to the Egyptian aviation ministry, Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, was performing flight 7K-9268 en route from Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) to St. Petersburg (Russia) with 217 passengers and 7 Metrojet crew on board, Russia’s Rosaviatsia (Civil Aviation Authority) confirms.

Speculatively and preliminarily speaking, ahead of detailed analysis of the flight deck recorders or “black-boxes” recovered today from the extensive crash site wreckage at Al Arish (Sinai, Egypt) on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, a technical malfunction in the airliner’s International Aero Engines AG V2533-A5 turbofan engines is only at first-glance attributed to the aerodynamic stalling of the Airbus A321-231 (losing altitude from 31,000 feet at nearly 6,000 feet per minute) about 23 minutes after takeoff from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has said.

IAE International Aero Engines AG “manages engineering, sales, production, customer support and aftermarket services for the V2500® series engine – one of the most successful commercial jet-engine programs in production today.”

“Approximately 190 airlines and lessors from about 70 countries operate the V2500 series engine. To date, the V2500 series engine has accumulated over 125 million flight hours,” according to the IAE website.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Wednesday, November 4 spoke of a “significant possibility” that Metrojet flight 7K-9268 was “caused by a bomb and Britain immediately suspended all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, the Red Sea resort where the flight originated,” Daily Mirror (U.K.) reports in an extensive rolling timeline of developments in this ongoing crash investigation by the French BEA, Egyptian government officials, Russian Metrojet airline officials, and British and U.S. intelligence.

“Egyptian officials have condemned Britain’s travel ban as an overreaction. Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is in London on a state visit, facing what is likely to be a tense meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron,” says the Daily Mirror (U.K.).

However, until the Airbus A321-231 cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and the flight data recorders (FDRs), known as “the black boxes” are fully analyzed by the French BEA investigators, nobody really knows what happen during the final moments of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 on Saturday, October 31.

The Telegraph (U.K.) and French television channel France 2 is reporting on Friday, November 6 that the black boxes “distinctly show the sound of an explosion during the flight”, according to an investigator who had access to them.

They said: “the explosion would not be secondary from engine failure.”

In other words, “there is no sign of mechanical malfunction during the initial part of the flight,” France 2 reported. “Everything is fine during the first 24 minutes, then in a fraction of a second there is a blackout and no more cockpit conversation, convincing investigators there was a bomb on board,” according to France 2.

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, Egypt’s Air Accident Investigation Commission (EAAIC) in a news conference stated, according to the Aviation Herald:

  • “The wreckage is distributed over a length of more than 13 kilometers consistent with in-flight breakup with several parts of the wreckage missing.
  • Initial observation of the wreckage does not yet allow for a definitive determine of the exact cause of the in-flight break up.
  • The flight data recorder (FDR) was successfully downloaded and preliminary review of the data suggests the recording stopped 23 minutes and 14 seconds after Metrojet flight 7K-9268 Airbus A321-231 was airborne. The last FDR recorded altitude was 30,888 feet MSL, last FDR recorded airspeed was 281 knots, the autopilot 1 was engaged, the aircraft was still climbing.
  • The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was successfully downloaded and a first listening by French BEA investigators has been completed. The CVR transcript is currently being compiled, a noise has been heard in the last second of the CVR recording. A spectral analysis (or spectrum analysis – a statistical and signal processing mathematical algorithm that estimates the strength of varying frequency components of a time-domain noise signal) – is being performed to determine the frequency nature and location of this noise (now widely reported as an alleged explosion). 
  • Parties reporting facts outside of the investigation should provide their evidence to the accident investigation commission (Editorial note: this appears to be a reference to British and US Intelligence suggesting the aircraft was brought down by a bomb).”

The head of the Egyptian technical committee investigating the crash has confirmed that the recording from the plane’s black box reveals a sound in the last second of the recording, The Telegraph (U.K.) adds and CNN confirms further.

Ayman el-Mokkadem said: “Initial observations… do not allow for identifying the origin of the in-flight break-up” of the Airbus A-321 last Saturday 23 minutes and 14 seconds after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

He said: “A noise was heard in the last second of the recording by the cockpit voice recorder” and “a spectral analysis will be done to determine the origin of this noise”.

When answering a question about what the sound represented he said: “The sound is not the only evidence – we need to have a lot of evidence to indicate that something specific happened.”

“All the scenarios are open, it could be a fatigue at the plane body, or an explosion of something…,” said Ayman el-Mokkadem. 

Current expert theories speculating about how the Airbus A321-231 airliner broke apart at 31,000 feet in clear weather cruise flying align along two fronts proposing either engine malfunction and failure or alleged bomb on-board perhaps inside the luggage compartment, originating from a significant security breach at the originating airport in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt). 

On Thursday, November 5, it appears the U.K. Prime Minister David Kameron alongside U.S. Intelligence officials are going forward on the probable cause of the crash as a “most likely bomb on board theory,” pushing swiftly on their aviation security investigations, ahead of the aviation safety investigation, comprising the French BEA analysis of the Airbus A321-231 black boxes, which could reveal a probable cause of significant engine malfunctioning failure, The Telegraph (U.K.) reports in its extensive rolling timeline of current developments in the crash investigation by the French BEA, Egyptian government officials, Russian Metrojet airline officials, and British and U.S. intelligence.

France’s air accident investigation agency, BEA, told CNN on Friday, November 6 that “Egyptian officials will make an announcement about the crash investigation within the next 24 hours.”

An Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said on Twitter that “the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation will hold a new conference at 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) Saturday.”

On Friday, November 6, “Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to suspend Russian air traffic with Egypt until the cause of the crash can be determined,” the Kremlin said.

“Putin has accepted the recommendations of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee to suspend flights with Egypt. … The President has also instructed to provide assistance to Russian citizens to return from Egypt. In addition, the President has instructed to engage with the Egyptian side to ensure the safety of air traffic,” the Kremlin said.

A separate source, also not authorized to speak on the record, said on Thursday, November 12, that “based on the facts so far, one of the working theories is that a bomb was planted at or near the fuel line or where it attaches to the engine, with the fuel burning off the explosive. This theory would explain the apparent lack of residue immediately found,” the source says, according to Fox News.

Fox News was told both scenarios point to an “airport insider.”

Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that operates Egypt’s civilian airports, said “except for three Ukrainian passengers all on board were Russian citizens.”

An Egyptian cabinet statement said the 217 passengers included 138 women, 62 men and 17 children.

Russian television showed scenes of relatives and friends gathering at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, awaiting word on the fate of their loved ones. 

Our collective thoughts, prayers, and sympathies remain with the families, friends, and loved ones of those 224 persons lost, as they try to endure in deep anguish for their terribly devastating losses, surrounding today’s Metrojet flight 7K-9268 crash.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared November 1, 2015, a national day of mourning, according to a statement posted on the Kremlin’s website.

Relatives_of_passengers (Telegraph UK)

Photo Credit: The Telegraph (U.K.). In St. Petersburg (Russia) Pulkovo Airport, grieving relatives of victims on board learn of the fate of Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268.

Two of the passengers on the Metrojet flight, Elena Rodina and Alexqander Krotov, were newlyweds, a friend of the couple told the Associated Press at a hotel near the airport. They were both 33.

Yulia Zaitseva said Rodina “really wanted to go to Egypt, though I told her ‘why the hell do you want to go to Egypt?’”

“We were friends for 20 years,” she said. “She was a very good friend who was ready to give everything to other people. To lose such a friend is like having your hand cut off.”

She said Rodina’s parents feel “like their lives are over.”

Roughly three million Russian tourists, or nearly a third of all visitors in 2014, come to Egypt every year, mostly to Red Sea resorts in Sinai or in mainland Egypt.

“It is too premature to detect the impact this will have on tourism. We need to know what happened first,” Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Rasha Azazi told the Associated Press.

Immediate question among the flying tourists is whether it is indeed safe to fly given today’s rare aviation safety circumstances, surrounding the crash of Russian Metrojet flight 7K-9268 in Sinai (Egypt). 

The answer is yes, of course, supported by a poignant U.S. federal government statistics. 

For air and space transport (including air taxis and private flights), the National Safety Council (NSC) says the relative risks of flying are extremely favorable odds of 1 in 7,178 for a lifetime against one receiving death or injury as a result of flying in a commercial passenger airliner. These relative risks of flying are compared by the NSC to the odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident at 1 in 98 for a lifetimeUSA Today reports.

Google Map of Crash Event

The Airbus A321-231 vanished from radar as the airliner was flying to 30,700 feet out of Sharm el Sheikh over the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 04:12 Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time, GMT) or 12:12 am ET. 

The crew told air traffic control in the region they had technical problems.

The flight was reported to be at 31,000 feet, when it disappeared from the radar screens after 23 minutes of flight. Flight-tracking service FlightRadar24 said the plane was losing altitude at about 6,000 feet per minute before the signal was lost, Reuters reported.

Specifically, “FlightRadar24 acquired a signal from the aircraft shortly after takeoff and tracked it until 04:13:22 Zulu (12:13 am ET). At the time of last contact, FlightRadar24 were receiving a signal from the aircraft to three of its receivers, all of which stopped receiving data from the aircraft at the same time. The chart below represents the final data FlightRadar24 received from the aircraft. At no time did we receive a 7700 squawk from Metrojet flight 7K-9268.” 

Flightradar24 Tracking of Metrojet 7K-9268

The Russian air carrier, Metrojet, whose Airbus A321-231 crashed in the Sinai region on Saturday, says the aircraft was in good shape and the pilot was experienced.

In a statement on its website, Moscow-based Metrojet says the Airbus A321-231 received required factory maintenance in 2014.

The statement also identified the captain of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 was Valery Nemov, who reported technical problems from the flight deck and requested to return to Sharm el Sheikh over the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. 

Egyptian media reports, referring to an Egyptian government meeting, that the flight crew reported trouble with the IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engines, then subsequently lost control of the aircraft, and flight deck communication ceased.

This is confirmed by Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority’s, Mohamed Hossam Kemal, who told media at a news conference today that there was no Mayday Call from the flight deck, and communication with the Airbus A321-231 was normal until the airliner disappeared from radar.

“The plane did not request a change of route,” Kemal said (via Reuters).

It is being preliminarily surmised in media reports that a probable cause of the crash is the Airbus A321-231 slowed significantly at 31,000 feet and may have gone into an aerodynamic stall, as a result of “technically malfunctioning” turbofan engine stall and surge.

Such a clear-weather, high-altitude cruise flight occurrence of “literally falling out of the sky” is most extremely rare.

Officials say they recovered the aircraft’s flight’s recorders, or “black box,” Fox News reports, which will confirm exactly what occurred during the communication-silence “hot cockpit” final moments of Metrojet flight 7K-9268.

Egypt’s Accident Investigation Commission has initiated an official crash investigation into Metrojet flight 7K-9268. The chairman of the commission stated “preliminary facts point towards a technical failure.”

Turbofan engines could in very rare instances perhaps encountered deeper combustion instability, and even more critical, axial-flow compressor instability, resulting in “engine surge” – an engine air flow reversal pre-induced by “rotating stall” – an engine thrust reducer. Such engine dynamic instabilities are altogether rare catastrophic turbofan engine events during airborne takeoff, and again most extremely rare during high-altitude cruise at 31,000 feet, which typically induces aerodynamic stall of an airliner (see a brief detailed explanation for laypersons of these rare catastrophic turbofan engine instabilities in the Appendix section).
During such circumstances of engine surge instability, the pilots would then immediately have to shut off the turbofan engine, and immediately attempt to land the airliner with a single turbofan engine, provided it is in functioning operation. This is how these massive jumbo commercial passenger airliners are designed, manufactured, and tested to do.
Lufthansa and Air France announced they are going to “avoid over-flying the Sinai until the cause of the crash has been determined.” In addition, warnings have been issued until further notice by the United States Federal Aviation Administration to U.S. air carriers, as well as, by Germany to German air carriers to operate all flights above 26,000 feet, while air traveling over the Sinai.

Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, powered by IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engines, was originally built and delivered/leased to Middle East Airlines (MEA), Registration number F-OHMP, on May 27, 1997, later it was leased to Onur Air, Registration number TC-OAE, and finally, the Russian Metrojet air carrier under its last Registration number EI-ETJ on May 27, 1997. The airliner had been also briefly in service with Saudi Arabian Airlines and Kolavia, and had accumulated approximately 55,772 flight hours in 21,175 flight cycles.

Metrojet flight 7K-9268 Captain Valery Nemov had 12,000 air hours of flying experience, including 3,860 hours flying Airbus A321 airliners.

Airbus said the aircraft was 18 years old and had been operated by Metrojet since 2012, Reuters reported. The plane had accumulated around 56,000 flight hours in nearly 21,000 flights.

Russian media said the airliner was a charter flight under contract with the Brisco tour company in St. Petersburg.

Ayman al-Muqadem, an Egyptian official with the government’s Aviation Incidents Committee, said the plane’s pilot, before losing contact, had radioed that the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and that he intended to attempt a landing at the nearest airport.

It was not immediately possible to independently confirm that technical problems caused the plane to crash.

The wife of the co-pilot of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 said her husband had complained about the plane’s condition,” according to a Russian TV channel (via Associated Press).

State-controlled NTV ran an interview Saturday with Natalya Trukhacheva, identified as the wife of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 co-pilot, Sergei Trukachev. She said that a daughter “called him up before he flew out. He complained before the flight that the technical condition of the aircraft left much to be desired.”

Earlier, Egyptian Aviation Incidents Committee, Ayman al-Muqadem told local media that the plane had briefly lost contact but was safely in Turkish airspace. The aircraft crashed at a site near the al-Arish airport, Ayman al-Muqadem said.

Egyptian authorities have said the aircraft had successfully undergone technical checks while at Sharm el-Sheikh’s airport. A technical committee from the company was headed to Sharm el-Sheikh to collect security camera footage of the Airbus A321-231, while it sat at the airport, including operations to supply the airliner with fuel and passenger meals, as well as security checks, he said.

The scattered wreckage of the Airbus A321-231 airliner was later located by military forces in the mountains of the Sinai about 20 nautical miles south of el-Arish (Sinai, Egypt, shown on the map above) on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Read more also on CNN.

A security officer at the crash site who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity described it as “tragic.”

“A lot of dead on the ground and many who died (were) strapped to their seats,” the officer said. “The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rock. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside.”

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (below) visited the crash site today with several cabinet ministers on a private jet, Egypt’s tourism ministry said, according to Reuters. He told a news conference today, “there did not appear to be any unusual activity behind the crash, but the facts would not be clear until further investigations had been carried out.”

metrojet_a321_crashsite 5

metrojet_a321_crashsite 3

Metrojet Airbus A321 Reg #EI-ETJ -- 3

Photo Credit: Alamy Live News. Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268, flying out of Moscow earlier this month.

The Russian Embassy in Cairo along with Egyptian security and military officials told the Associated Press there were no survivors and that all on board have died in the tragic crash.

Reuters quoting an Egyptian Official, who requested anonymity, involved in the ongoing rescue operation, says “the aircraft has broken up in two major parts, a small part being the tail plane caught fire, the other larger part impacted a rock.”

There are now reports of bodies being recovered. “The bodies of 150 victims, some still strapped to their seats, had been pulled from the wreckage,” Sky News reported, as 50 ambulances have been dispatched to the crash site.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail reported that 129 bodies have been recovered and flown by helicopters to Cairo.

Metrojet Airbus A321 Reg #EI-ETJ -- 6

Photo Credit: Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268.

There is no evidence of hostile or missile activity around the flight path of the Airbus A321-231. Russia’s Transport Ministry called a video surfacing in the Internet claiming to show the shoot down of Metrojet flight 7K-9263 by Islamic State as “not credible and fabricated.”

An Egyptian aviation ministry statement said, “Egyptian military search and rescue teams found the wreckage of the passenger jet in the remote mountainous Hassana area 44 miles south of the city of el-Arish, an area in northern Sinai where Egyptian security forces are fighting a burgeoning Islamic militant insurgency led by a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group.”

The group claimed responsibility for downing the jet, Sky News reported.

The Wilayat Sinai group claimed on Twitter Saturday that “the fighters of the Islamic State were able to down a Russian plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders. They were all killed, thanks be to God.” The statement was also posted on a website that serves as an unofficial news agency for the terror group, Sky News reported, adding that the claim has not been verified and it is unclear whether Sinai militants have the capability to attack a plane flying at a high altitude. 

Separately, Russia’s top investigative body opened its own investigation into the crash. 

Militants in northern Sinai have not to date shot down commercial airliners or fighter-jets. There have been persistent media reports that they have acquired Russian shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles. But these types of missiles can only be effective against low-flying aircraft or helicopters. In January 2014, Sinai-based militants claimed to have shot down a military helicopter; Egyptian officials at the time acknowledged the helicopter had crashed, but gave no reason.

Click here for more on Sky News.

The Associated Press is credited to this report.


Photo Credit: 2014 International Aero Engines (IAE) A.G. V2533-A5 series turbofan engine (cutaway)


How do aircraft engines achieve catastrophic mechanical failure and how can this be mitigated?

Air enters the IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engine (cutaway shown above) through the front fan section (indicated in the photo below on a Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D) at a mass flow rate of about a ton of air per second.

Five parts of this massive volume of air passes bypasses over the engine core into an exit nozzle past the turbine section, producing a substantially large amount of exit thrust. Whereas, one part of the inlet fan volume of air passes into the engine core begin at the compressor section.

From here air then continues to flow into the combustion chamber (where it is mixed with fuel for combustion).

Subsequently, those combusted, hot gases pass into the turbine section (which not only produces additional exit thrust force of the engine, but also the turbine section serves to turn the engine core shaft, which turns the compressor blades inside the compression section and also the fans blades inside the fan section, and thus, start all over again the dynamic loop of how an aircraft engine properly operates).

The rotor blades in the turbine get very hot at about 1,800 degrees Kelvin or even more, so it is necessary to cool the turbine blades based on limiting thermal restrictions on material science. The tangential on-board injector’s job is to channel cool air from the compressor section into passages between the turbine blades in the turbine section.

Here is a cut-away of an actual IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engine in a museum, marked it up to help us see where the main engine components of the fan, compressor (including the air-fuel combustion chamber), and turbine sections are (including the identified portion of a Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D engine that landing on Church and Murray Street, below the World Trade Center fire on 9-11):

PW_jt9d_cutaway_high 2

The operating range of aircraft turbofan engine compression systems is limited by two classes of aerodynamic instabilities (Fig. 1) known as rotating stall and surge [1].

Rotating stall is a multidimensional instability in which regions of low or reversed mass flow (i.e., stall cells) propagate around the compressor annulus due to incidence variations on adjacent airfoils [2–5].

Surge is primarily a one-dimensional instability of the entire pumping system (compressor, ducts, combustion chamber, and turbine). It is characterized by axial pulsations in annulus-averaged mass flow, including periods of flow reversal through the machine.

In high-speed compressor hydrodynamics across compressible flow regimes [6], rotating stall is generally encountered first, which then (loosely) “triggers” surge (often after a few rotor revolutions [2]).

This work [13] proposes schemes to passively control compressible rotating stall of high-speed compressors.

Nonetheless, with either instability, the compression system experiences a substantial loss in performance and operability, which sometimes result in catastrophic mechanical failure.

An experience-based approach for avoiding such performance loss is to operate the compressor at a safe range from the point of instability onset (i.e., imposing a stall margin). The stall margin ensures that the engine can endure momentary off-design operation. The margin also reduces the available pressure rise and efficiency of the machine.

It is proposed here [13] that incorporating tailored structures and aeromechanical feedback controllers, locally-sensed by unstable compressible perturbations in annulus pressure, and actuated by non-uniformities in the high-speed flow distribution around the annulus, can be shown to inhibit the inception of a certain class of modal (long wave) stall of high-speed compressor devices. As a result, the stable operating range will be effectively extended allowing higher compressible performance and operability.

The fundamental proposition here [13] is high-speed stall onset just does not happen—it is triggered by an interdependent compressibility chain of critical Reynolds (boundary layer) and Mach (kinetic-thermal energy transfer) events. The commencement of these interdependent Reynolds and Mach events can be passively controlled, once their proportional sensitivity are monitored, sensed, and mechanically mitigated adequately in balance of performance, operability, weight, and reliability integrated with more conventional schedule-type control to justify the risk of such passive approaches offered herein.

In theory, fundamentals of a number of sensor-actuator schemes for rotating stall control were originally proposed early-on in Hendricks and Gysling [7]. In practice, a passive stall control program [13] could potentially be integrated with conventional control schedules of adequate change of fuel valve position, bleed valves, and re-staggered stator programs developed appropriately for profitable usage on compression systems operating in a highly-sensed compressible flow environment.


Photo Credit: Pratt & Whitney V2533-A5 series turbofan engine

Fundamental References for Additional Readings in the Field of Aircraft Engine Propulsion Stability

  1. Emmons, H. W., Pearson, C. E., and Grant, H. P., 1955, ‘‘Compressor Surge and Stall Propagation,’’ Trans. ASME, 77, pp. 455–469.

  2. Greitzer, E. M., 1976, ‘‘Surge and Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors, Part I & II,’’ ASME J. Eng. Power, 99, pp. 190–217.

  3. Greitzer, E. M., 1980, ‘‘Review: Axial Compressor Stall Phenomenon,’’ ASME J. Fluids Eng., 102, pp. 134–151.

  4. Greitzer, E. M., 1981, ‘‘The Stability of Pumping Systems, The 1980 Freeman Scholar Lecture,’’ ASME J. Fluids Eng., 103, pp. 193–242.

  1. Day, I. J., 1993, ‘‘Stall Inception in Axial Flow Compressors,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 115, pp. 1–9.

  2. Gysling, D. L. et al., 1991, ‘‘Dynamic Control of Centrifugal Compressor Surge Using Tailored Structures,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 113, pp. 710–722.

  1. Gysling, D. L., and Greitzer, E. M., 1995, ‘‘Dynamic Control of Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors Using Aeromechanical Feedback,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 117, pp. 307–319.

  2. Moore, F. K., 1984, ‘‘A Theory of Rotating Stall of Multistage Compressors—Parts I – II – III,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 106, pp. 313–336.

  1. Moore, F. K., and Greitzer, E. M., 1986, ‘‘A Theory of Post Stall Transients in Axial Compression Systems: Part I—Development of Equations,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 108, pp. 68–76.

  2. Greitzer, E. M., and Moore, F. K., 1986, ‘‘A Theory of Post-Stall Transients in Axial Compression Systems: Part II—Application,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Tur- bines Power, 108, pp. 231–239.

  3. Haynes, J. M., Hendricks, G. J., and Epstein, A. H., 1994, ‘‘Active Stabilization of Rotating Stall in a Three-Stage Axial Compressor,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 226–239.

  1. Longley, J. P., 1994, ‘‘A Review of Non-Steady Flow Models for Compressor Stability,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 202–215.

  2. McGee, O. G., and Coleman, K. L., 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part I: Control-Theoretic Models,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135, March 2013. Coleman, K.L., and McGee, O.G., 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part II: Assessments of Methodologies,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135, May 2013.

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Jan 082019

Trump’s Oval Office Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

“My fellow Americans,

Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Every day customs and border patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But, all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.

This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the united States, a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system.

This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem.

Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the department of homeland security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.

The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy.

Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support. Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier (at a cost of just one-tenth of one-percent of our Federal Budget). At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall.

This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.

The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year. Vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress.

The wall will always be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president.

Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only, because Democrats will not fund border security.

My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government. This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is for the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., pose for photographers after speaking on Capitol Hill in response President Donald Trump’s prime-time address on border security, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.

Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history.

In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading and dismembering his neighbor.

In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.

Over the last several years, I have met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices and the sadness gripping their souls.

How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?

For those who refuse to compromise in the name of in the name of border security, I would ask, imagine if it was your child, your husband or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken.

To every member of Congress, pass a bill that ends this crisis.

To every citizen, call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.

This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice.

This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.

When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do so help me God. Thank you and good night.”


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Jun 082018

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by BBC, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), 3-time world heavyweight boxing champion and world statesman, passed away Friday, June 3, 2016 at 74. RIP Champ! As we humbly honor your soul of a Monarch butterfly (as you spoke about to students graduating at Harvard in 1974, wishing people could love one another as much as we loved him) and your sting of a bumble bee (as a conscientious objector) worldwide here on #beBee!

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali leaves behind four wives he loved and nine children, seven daughters and two sons, he adored, who surrounded him as he passed away Friday night.

Muhammad Ali was gifted at making himself a point of interest by people around the world. He made a sensational show out of a sporting event that for the first time made it permissible for athletes after him to speak out openly on social, education, religious, economic and political issues in life. How his freedom of speech fundamentally shaped his legacy as an athlete-statesman on peace and inclusion is specifically addressed herein.

Watch and listen to the simplicity this side of the complexity of the great mind of The Greatest, Mohammad Ali that eloquently frames his phenomenal statesmanship on peace and inclusion in this remarkable answer to a young lads question on British live television in 1974.

I Float Like A BUTTERFLY and Sting Like A BEE!” For Always & Forever, He’s #TheGreatest #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Pictured above is his iconic knockdown punch in the first round against then-heavyweight champion Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida. His ultimate victory over Liston here was widely seen as a stunning upset that earned Muhammad Ali (then just a 22 year old Light Heavyweight Boxing 1960 Rome Olympics Gold-Medalist, Cassius Clay) his first world heavyweight boxing title.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

He was the greatest boxer ever, but his greatest bouts were outside the boxing ring.

A World-Class Athlete Thrusted Into Being A World-Class Statesman on Peace and Inclusion

On March 22, 1967, Ali was stripped of all of his boxing championship titles by the New York State Athletic Commission and all other boxing commissions, and he received a suspension of his boxing license by the state of New York. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Three years after gaining his championship, as a social conscientious objector on April 28, 1967, Muhammad Ali in Houston, Texas three times immediately refused induction into the United States Army and the Vietnam War. Outspoken Ali was publicly tried in a court tribunal, convicted on a felony charge of draft evasion on June 20, 1967, receiving a mandatory sentenced of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He paid a bond and remained free from prison, as his felony conviction was being appealed through appellate court, and eventually to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Afterwards, Ali was prohibited from securing a boxing license to participate in the sport in any state for the next three years, including having his passport evoked so the world champion boxer could not travel abroad and continue his boxing career and personal livelihood he had been accustomed to at that time.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

During this time also, as public opinion turned against the Vietnam War in 1967 (in the wake of the federalized 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act), Ali’s appeal to the lower appellate court was denied. A much sought after national and international advocate and spokesman, he spoke on college and university campus across the world, criticizing the Vietnam War and advocating African American pride in civil rights, and the great ideas of equality, racial justice, peace and inclusion.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

In a stunning decision on June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned his June 20, 1967 felony conviction of draft evasion and upheld Ali’s conscientious objector exemption on April 28, 1967 in his refusal to enter the armed services and participate in the Vietnam War of which he was publicly protesting against, explosively exclaiming at that time, “No Vietcong ever called me (The N-word),” a constitutional freedom of speech statement that costed Ali dearly at about $40 million over his three years away from boxing, both personally and professionally. Financially broke during this period, one time riding in a car with Joe Frazier the fighter actually lent Ali a couple hundred bucks so he could just feed himself.

He was a man of principle on peace and inclusion, yet remarkably, public opinion was strongly against him. 

Be that as it may, the U.S. Supreme Court saw this by overturning his conviction in an unanimous 8-0 ruling (with Justice Thurgood Marshall electing to abstain from the case).

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Immediately thrusted into the public eye now as statesman, Muhammad Ali also inspired civil rights peace activist turned anti-war activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 1964 Nobel Peace Laureate, who had been “reluctant to address the Vietnam War for fear of alienating the Johnson Administration and its support of the civil rights agenda.” After Ali’s public profile in courage, “King began to voice his own opposition to the war for the first time,” (quotes courtesy of Wikipedia). 

This subsequently ignited the most explosive period of social violence and unrest ever displayed in American history in the 1968 shooting deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 just after 6pm ET on that second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Just a couple months later that year on June 5, 1968 at Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, 1968 democratic U.S. presidential candidate, New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy was mortally wounded by gun shoots at 12:15am PT, and later died in Los Angeles Good Samaritan Hospital at 1:44am PT, June 6, 1968.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

In speaking of the cost on Ali’s career (between his most powerfully athletic ages of 25 to 28) of his refusal to be drafted, his boxing trainer Angelo Dundee said, “One thing must be taken into account when talking about Ali, he was robbed of his best years, his prime years.” (quote courtesy of Wikipedia).

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Three Epic Boxing Battles of Coronations and Comebacks

Ali is known the world over as #TheGreatest for these iconic boxing exhibitions. First, there was his greatest upset fight against Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida, which he earned a surprising defeat over Liston for his first title as world heavyweight champion. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Later, there were three battles with rival Joe Frazier. The first fight, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 8, 1971, was dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” mainly because it brought to the global sporting stage two undisputed world heavyweight undefeated boxing champion sports icons, each claiming their legitimate claim to be crowned the single undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. A phenomenal media sensation at the time, this Rocky-like global spectacle sporting event of Olympiad proportions was broadcast to 35 countries around the world.

Underscoring the epic battle in the boxing ring was an ongoing explosive American domestic agenda of social injustice, class warfare, and race. This revealed in particular how blacks and “black-pride” socially, educationally, economically, and politically shaped ourselves as an evolving black community at the dawn of the seventies. Such evolutionary societal change was demanded by blacks just coming off an emotionally-wrenching King-Kennedy dual assassination and its aftermath of brutally destructive riots across the American social fabric in 1968.

Symbolically, Ali portrayed Frazier as a “dumb tool of the white establishment … Frazier is too ugly to be champ,” Ali said. “Frazier is too dumb to be champ.” Ali also frequently insulted Frazier by calling him an Uncle Tom. Dave Wolf, who worked in Frazier’s camp, recalled that, “Ali was saying ‘the only people rooting for Joe Frazier are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. I’m fighting for the little man in the ghetto.’ Joe was sitting there, smashing his fist into the palm of his hand, saying, ‘What the f**k does he know about the ghetto?'”

After an epic 15-round brutal beating of both Ali and Frazier, Ali lost to Frazier by unanimous decision by the judges, his first professional defeat.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

It is in fact 45 years ago March 8, 1971 that the sports history-making #MuhammadAli vs. #JoeFrazier bout (shown above) was dubbed “The Fight of the Century” in a 15-round showdown!

Here’s whereupon the rivalry between the iconic boxers began. “Ali’s characterizations of Frazier during the lead-up to the fight cemented a personal animosity towards Ali by Frazier that lasted until Frazier’s death. Frazier and his camp always considered Ali’s words cruel and unfair, far beyond what was necessary to sell tickets. Shortly after the bout, in the studios of ABC’s Wide World of Sports during a nationally televised interview with the two boxers (with iconic Howard Cozell), Frazier rose from his chair and wrestled Ali to the floor after Ali called him ignorant,” according to Wikipedia.

Subsequently, a second Ali-Frazier rematch at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 1974, resulted in an unanimous decision for Ali recapturing his undisputed heavyweight boxing title from Joe Frazier—who had recently lost his undisputed heavyweight boxing belt to a huge younger 1968 Olympian Gold-Medalist “Big George” Foreman.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Dubbed as a “Rumble in the Jungle, Ali at 32 years old was considered extremely outmatched by the imposing figure of George Foreman, who was then a much younger opponent than Ali by ten years. After earlier in the year defeating Joe Frazier, Ali went on to defeat George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974 in a stunning upset strategy he used in the bout called “Rope-A-Dope.” 

Ali was wildly popular in Zaire, with crowds chanting “Ali, bomaye” (“Ali, kill him”) wherever he went in the African nation, which cemented his iconic global status as a world-class athlete-statesman.

Ali worked the media, like a magician and a poet, as he waved the rhyme and rhythm of his magical prose to English interviewer David Frost, “If you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait ’til I whup Foreman’s behind!” 

He further crafted his impromptu poetry, like Miles Davis’ jazz improvisatio, across the world media, “I’ve done something new for this fight. I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

The “Rope-A-Dope” strategy was simply a brilliant militarist strategic approach used by Ali inside the formidable Foreman boxing ring. 

Such a strategic approach is when your opponent is angry, irritate them, when you’re physically outmatched, evade them, and when you’re overwhelmingly outgunned, leave them, and live to fight another day.

Ali laid on the ropes, resting much of the match, and tiring the more aggressive Foreman, swinging endlessly at Ali and pounding damaging body blows, but not critical knockout punches to Ali’s “pretty face,” as he oftentimes referenced in the media about himself. Ali simply covered up and counter-punched, landing judges’ point-mounting blows on Foreman—as he also hugged him often to rest and verbally taunt Foreman, messing with his head and actually psyching him out of the bout.

“Is that all you got, George? They told me you could hit,” Ali verbally abused into Foreman’s head in the game.

By an eighth round, Ali had exhausted Foreman with a flurry of blows causing Foreman to stagger to the floor of the center ring, as he couldn’t rise to his feet again when the referee finished his countdown. Against the odds, the “Rumble in the Jungle” was over and Ali had regained his third heavyweight boxing title by knockout.

Reflecting on Ali’s brilliant strategy in the epic battle, George Foreman poignantly and humbly said: “I’ll admit it. Muhammad outthought me and outfought me.”

Ali not only had regained his third world heavyweight boxing championship, but also finally got fully recrowned his previous boxing titles that were stripped seven years before as a result of his 1967 conscientious objector and subsequently overturned felony conviction on draft evasion by the highest legal court in the land. But just as important, Ali favorably captured the global court of public opinion that now saw Ali as a world-class athlete-statesman of peace and inclusion.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

The following year, Ali agreed to a third rematch bout with rival Joe Frazier in Manila, the capital city of The Philippines. The bout, known as the “Thrilla in Manila”, was held on October 1, 1975 in temperatures approaching 100 °F (38 °C). The intense Southeast Asia heat made the pounding by each of these much older boxing rivals extremely brutal to a point of near death for each of these longstanding stellar athletes. 

Emotionally-wrenching to watch for millions of viewers around the world, the brutal fight, going down the stretch through 14 brutal rounds, as each competitor tore into each other, never succumbing to the other in the name of history, “was eventually stopped, when Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, refused to allow Frazier to answer the bell for the 15th and final round, despite Frazier’s protests. Frazier’s eyes were both swollen shut. Ali, in his corner, winner by a technical knockout (TKO), slumped on his stool, morbidly exhausted,” Wikipedia summarizes.

Ali had retained his third heavyweight boxing championship, a triple-crown title held until he retired. 

Both boxing Titans later required extensive hospitalization, exhibiting the magnitude of the beating each of these rivals gave each other in the “Thrilla in Manila” on October 1, 1975. 

After this bout Ali called Frazier “the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.”

This epic boxing battle of Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, just two years later had inspired actor Sylvester Stallone to create the groundbreaking dramatic intensity of the boxing scenes in the enormously popular Oscar-winning film, Rocky in 1977, which was not previously achieved in cinematic portrayals of boxing matches in the ring. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Athlete-Statesman Muhammad Ali’s Conscientious Objector Legacy of Peace and Inclusion

So, here we are today reflecting on what a world-class athlete-statesman has left us upon his passing, as we look at ourselves through his mirror – more distrusting of others, and more closeted in our views. 

For Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objector profile in courage to work today, we must allow ourselves in the age demography shift and heightened engagement on rapid-fire digital communication devices to discuss our true feelings and biases, and not be chastised for what we believe.

We must evolve as a society where we can relegate those who harbor views of what can be described as racist, to the commonly viewed and reasonable point of distaste or disdain. 

Yet, along the way on the course to this new destination of societal norms and conventions, Ali’s legacy compels us to ask ourselves what have we done to understand why we feel this way?

Has diversity divided us into divisiveness to mask us away from the real problems in social injustice, equality, racial tension, peace and inclusion we see when we face the nation inside Ali’s mirror?

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

According to Scientific American on September 16, 2014 (later edited October 1, 2014), “The first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult. In the U.S., where the dialogue of inclusion is relatively advanced, even the mention of the word “diversity” can lead to anxiety and conflict. Supreme Court justices disagree on the virtues of diversity and the means for achieving it. Corporations spend billions of dollars to attract and manage diversity both internally and externally, yet they still face discrimination lawsuits, and the leadership ranks of the business world remain predominantly white and male.”

What has a world-class athlete-statesman’s conscientious objector polemic on freedom, diversity and inclusion, accomplished by Muhammad Ali in the late 1960s through the 1970s, that has nowadays truly permeated across the social fabric in an age now generationally dominated by Millennials?

Ali’s magically poetic polemic today would perhaps pose that America is suffering inside its biggest bubble ready to explode. 

If we don’t focus our attention on the most immediate concerns of building roads and bridges to schools and hospitals that need rehabilitation and healing, then the country may become “technically bankrupted” for our children and grandchildren.

Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objection poignantly would ask why aren’t we still not quite truly diverse in our boardrooms, in our C-suites, in our colleges and university leadership and faculty ranks, and in our highest ranking public-sector and private-sector charitable institutions or other bastions of real power and influence.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

With all of the time, infrastructure and resources allocated to making us all more accepting of our differences, here we are reflecting upon Muhammad Ali’s legacy upon us 16 years after the start of the millennium with racial tensions, LGBT issues, women’s rights, pay equity, economic disparities, political divisiveness, voting rights and civil rights dominating our daily lives. There seems to be a rising plethora of racially-charged incidents of late coming from multiple segments of our society.

Harvard Business Review blog argues that diversity training can promote prejudice.

“Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it,” the prestigious college periodical cites.

The blog, citing a study of 829 companies over 31 years, showed that diversity training had “no positive effects in the average workplace.” Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes — and the diversity of the organizations — remained the same.

It gets worse. The researchers — Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota — concluded that “In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity.”

The solution proposed by the Harvard Business Review for the divisiveness of diversity initiatives is rather than engaging people through the lens of race, gender, age, heritage, religion, disability, sexual orientation and parenting, we need to engage people as people.

This kind of engagement of people is what the conscientious objector Mohammad Ali pledged as an athlete-statesman in principle.

“Stop training people to be more accepting of diversity. It’s too conceptual, and it doesn’t work,” says the Harvard Business Review. “Instead, train (people) to do their work with a diverse set of individuals. Not categories of people. [Just as] People.”

Mohammed Ali actually engaged in difficult conversations with a global public during the turbulent late 1960s and seventies.

“Teach (people) how to have difficult conversations with a range of individuals. Teach (people) how to manage the variety of employees who report to them. Teach (people) how to develop the skills of their various employees,” argues the Harvard Business Review.

“Move beyond similarity and diversity to individuality.”

Athlete-statesman Muhammad Ali was definitely one of a kind. He was indeed about individuality and that was his true freedom to be just as the people who loved him around the world.

At its core, “diversity”, as it is used in relation to the workplace, is a divisive and rather weird concept, reports The Guardian (U.K.). “In claiming certain groups into its fold, it suggests that some people are “diverse” and some are “not diverse”. It suggests, in other words, a nucleus of normal and goes about classifying everyone off-centre into check-box categories that can be totted [or totaled] up and turned into tables for the annual report.”

“What’s more, definitions of diversity tend to be skin-deep, about differences you can see […],” The Guardian (U.K.) concludes.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Photo Credit: Muhammad Ali hugs U.S. President George W. Bush (above), in a White House Ceremony in 2005, awarding Statesman #Ali, who “defined the terms of his public reputation,” as a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both in 2005.

It appears that whenever a high profile and potentially racially divisive incident occurs, the battle lines are drawn. Even if the incident or issue (albeit health, human services, housing, education, energy, sports, entertainment or environment) itself has nothing to do with race, it quickly turns into a racial issue, when racial stereotypes surrounding those involved come into play.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

We all tend to speak over each other and not with each other so fast nowadays in which conventional wisdom spreads with such exponential virility, like a brush fire, that no containment or quarantine of information, knowledge or understanding is possible.

We have seen countless instances that demonstrate that we are much less tolerant of others, much more outspoken in our politically incorrect views, and with very little to show for all of the dollars spent on conferences and programs aimed at making us more diverse and more racial and gender tolerant.

Take the explosive case of Paula Dean. She honestly answered a question that was asked of her. Yet, she was slaughtered in the press alongside her food empire being attacked. Blacks surprisingly came to her defense. For them, what she said and did was troubling of course. But also blacks see in her own, southern charming way, this woman, who grew up in the height of racial segregation, simply told the truth. Some could say she was too naïve to know better. However, her naivety is what endears her to us. She admitted what she said and felt. Since then, she has taken steps to face her inbred prejudices.

Contrast the case of Paula Dean’s comments, to what takes place in corporate offices, where discussions about the racial makeup of the leadership teams surely take place.

Some would say, “We have become a very diverse nation and diversity, due to its very nature, breeds disagreement. People have always had trouble getting along with each other, but in our day we find ourselves in a divided country.”

In part, “we are a nation divided because of two things which are mutually exclusive – liberty and government. While some people seek a government that passes binding laws that infringe on personal freedom, others seek a more libertarian form of government. While one group sees the government as the solution to our problems, another sees it as the cause of our problems,” some would add.

Yes, America, we have a long way to go before we truly accept each other and our differences so as “to run so as to win,” much as Muhammad Ali did (in his foggy morning training photo below). We need to learn how to fully appreciate the rainbow of colors, ideas, lifestyles and philosophies in each other. We must learn not to judge others, because they hold views and opinions quite dissimilar to ours. It is only then will we be a society that truly appreciates our differences, and values those perspectives that we all have.

Our long and winding road across our risky and uncertain world is no longer the same without the conscientious objection spirit and voice of peace and inclusion from The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, leading among us.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)


Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Thank you so much for your time in reading this article. Will you please share it across your Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn social media? I do await your comments on this article.
Apr 242018

Southwest 1380: Micro-Aging Aircraft, Why Jack Lincoln Matters

BREAKING NEWS on April 2, 2018: A Boeing 737, performing as Southwest Flight 957, en-route from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, carrying 73 passengers, landed safely at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport for maintenance on a window that cracked on the outside pane. No fatalities occurred during the aircraft’s emergency landing. The crew made the decision to divert for a “maintenance review” of a layer of the aircraft’s window pane, Southwest said Wednesday. The flight landed in Cleveland a little more than an hour after leaving Chicago’s Midway Airport, according to FlightAware.

What are the Actual Incidences of Cracked or Shattered Cockpit Windshields and Passenger Cabin Windows?

It is a Delta spokesperson’s statement on May 7, 2014 that gets folks thinking about the actual likelihood or rarity of cracked or shattered cockpit windshield or cracked passenger cabin window occurrences and such aircraft safety breaches.

In fact, cracked or shattered cockpit windshield or cracked passenger cabin window occurrences, during commercial aircraft flights at normal cruise altitudes, ranging 20-38 thousand feet, happen more often than one might think. Every week or two there is a cracked or shattered cockpit windshield incident happening on one of the nearly 90 thousands flights airborne each day (or nearly 33 million flights annually) around the world.

Remarkably, for every cracked or shattered cockpit windshield or cracked passenger cabin window incident reported, there is likely one that is not reported. International aviation safety protocols among airlines and international transport ministries have varying reporting standards of such incidents. Airlines typically do not like to widely disclose such safety breaches for obvious reasons of natural passenger and crew uneasiness, apprehension, and discomfort.

During an aircraft safety breach of a cracked or shattered cockpit windshield, as similarly during spasmodic occurrences of aircraft engine malfunctions or failures, the standard procedures in such safety breaches is for the pilots to immediately go on oxygen, and to divert the flight plan. Whereupon communication with air traffic controllers, the pilots immediately lands the aircraft at the nearest airport.

The nearly 5-6 thousand flight-cycles an airlines’ aircraft asset undergoes produces extreme thermal changes across the cockpit windshields and passenger cabin windows. This can cause moderate flight-cycle fatigue failures of the windshields, inducing face-plate and/or windshield layered construction cracks.

Above Photo Credits: via Twitter, Southwest 952 Passenger Alejandro Aguina (@Dro_AA)

Aircraft Cockpit Windshield Loading and Layered Construction

An aircraft at normal horizontal level cruise, at say 38,000 feet, like that of Delta flight 110, has four primary forces, which are: (i) an upward lift, L, (ii) a downward weight, W, (iii) a forward thrust, T, and (iv) a backward drag, D. The lift-to-drag ratio, L/D, is an aircraft aeronautical design parameter. The aircraft vehicle structural weight opposes the lift, which is also closely-aligned to the vehicle drag, D, (as an inherent function of the lift-to-drag ratio, L/D), and which is also equally-aligned to the thrust, T, (defined as a ratio of the aircraft’s fully-loaded weight, W, to the aircraft’s aeronautical design parameter, L/D).

An aircraft cockpit windshield principally carries two components of surface loads, a backwardly-directed, horizontal surface drag, d, (opposing some portion of forward vehicle thrust, T), and an upwardly-directed, vertical surface lift, v (opposing some portion of the downward vehicle weight, W).

From a materials engineering standpoint, cockpit windshields, typically weighing between 25-40 pounds, depending on the type of windshield build, are typically constructed of several layers:

(1) A glass face-plate, roughly 1/10″ thick;

(2) A Polyvinyl Butryal (PVB) layer, about 1/8″ thick;

(3) A stretched acrylic layer, approximately 1″ thick;

(4) An additional PVB layer, nearly 1/10″ thick;

(5) An additional stretched acrylic layer, approximately 1″ thick.

During a commercial flight, pilots have to heat the cockpit windshields to address the external environmental elements impacting cockpit windshields. Some aircraft will engage the window heater before descent to “soften” the acrylic layer in case of a strike. Aircraft cockpit windshields are typically designed to withstand the impact of an eight pound bird striking the aircraft front, according to Boeing aircraft engineers. Heating of the windshield makes the windshield more pliable and able to withstand an impact from a ‘bird-strike’.


A Boeing 737-700, performing as Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 about 20 minutes into its journey from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on its way to Dallas, and carrying 144 passengers and 5 crew members onboard, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia International Airport at about 11:20am on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Cover Photo Credit: Taylor Lewis

This after its left CFM56 engine exploded (shown above) with engine debris flying off during a 500 miles per hour cruise-speed flight at 32,000 feet over Philadelphia, and smashing an over-the-wing window (shown below).

This immediately resulted in about a 30-45 second depressurization of the passenger cabin that pulled a woman partly out of the cabin, according to her naturally distraught family speaking to reporters. 

Fellow passengers frantically worked to yank her back inside the airliner as it depressurized and quickly descended about three thousands of feet per minute from its 500 miles per hour cruising speed and altitude of 36,000 feet, recounts a number of nearby passengers.

“The plane dropped immediately,” said Matt Tranchin, who was sitting three rows behind the broken window. “Plane smelled like smoke. Ash was all around us.” (via NBC Philadelphia News)

The late woman, who died later in a nearby Philadelphia hospital (whose family and loved ones have our sincere condolences and sympathies), was identified as 43 year old Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She became the first and only passenger fatality on a Southwest Airlines flight in the carrier’s 51 year history. She was on a business trip for Wells Fargo, where she worked. She was pulled out of the plane up to her waist — her blood splattering other windows, passengers said.

“You hear the pop and she was sucked out from the waist up,” one passenger told NBC Nightly News. “There was blood on the windows … her arms were actually out of the airplane and her head was out of the airplane.”

According to local NBC Philadelphia reporting: “Eric Zilbert, another passenger, said “several heroic gentlemen” pulled Riordan back into the plane and immediately performed CPR. Tranchin said she was covered in blood.

Peggy Phillips, a nurse, said she and another passenger performed about 20 minutes of CPR on the victim.

“It just wasn’t going to be enough,” Phillips said.”

The heroic pilot of the Boeing 737-700, Tammie Jo Shults, as trained in the military (shown above and below today), had calmly put the airliner into a sudden dive at a controlled 3,000 feet per minute decent to a lower altitude leveling out at 10,000 feet. 

Oxygen masks dropped immediately to the faces of the rest of the 144 passengers and 5 crew members onboard terrified and strapped in their seats.

“We left LaGuardia heading to Dallas and we were west of Philly, when we lost the left side engine and diverted to Philly,” a passenger told CNN. “Shrapnel hit the window causing a serious injury (to one passenger who later died in a nearby hospital in Philadelphia). 

“We have a part of the aircraft missing,” the pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, said to Philadelphia air traffic control.

Asked whether the plane was on fire, she responded: “No, it’s not on fire, but part of it is missing. They (crew members in the cabin) said there is a hole and someone went out.”

“It definitely was a stable landing,” passenger Kristopher Johnson told CNN. “When we finally landed, it was relatively smooth. Kind of a typical landing.”

Pilot Tammie Jo Shults had performed a brilliantly cool “Sully-Like Landing on the Hudson” onto the Philadelphia International Airport runaway.

“We are aware that Southwest flight #1380 from New York La Guardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL) has diverted to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). We are in the process of transporting customers and crew into the terminal. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, has 143 Customers and five crew members onboard,” Southwest Airlines said in a released statement on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

“We are in the process of gathering more information. Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time.”

“Southwest is statistically the world’s safest airline. Since starting operations in Texas in 1971, no passenger had been killed in any crash in the 51 year history of the domestic carrier (until Southwest Flight 1380, which killed one passenger),” The Independent (U.K.) reports.

“The airline, based in Dallas, is likely soon to overtake Delta to become the carrier that flies the highest number of domestic passengers.”

Reuters recently reported: “Airlines recorded zero accident deaths in commercial passenger jets last year, according to a Dutch consulting firm and an aviation safety group that tracks crashes, making 2017 the safest year on record for commercial air travel … In comparison, there were 16 accidents and 303 deaths in 2016 among airliners.”

Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported on January 1, 2018, there were no commercial passenger jet fatalities in 2017.

“2017 was the safest year for aviation ever,” said Adrian Young of To70.

According to Reuters: “To70 estimated that the fatal accident rate for large commercial passenger flights is 0.06 per million flights, or one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.

The Aviation Safety Network also reported there were no commercial passenger jet deaths in 2017, but 10 fatal airliner accidents resulting in 44 fatalities onboard and 35 persons on the ground, including cargo planes and commercial passenger turbo prop aircraft.”

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt and a team of investigators landed in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon to inspect the Boeing 737-700. During a Tuesday night press conference, Sumwalt said “a part of the plane’s engine covering was found in Bernville, Pennsylvania, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia. He also said one of the engine’s fan blades was separated and missing.”

“The blade was separated at the point where it would come to the hub and there was evidence of metal fatigue,” according to Sumwalt.

Flight 1380’s engine — a CFM56 — is widely used in commercial aircraft. The $10 Million (list price) CFM International CFM56 series is “a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines made by CFM International, with a thrust range of 18,500 to 34,000 pounds-force,” according to Wikipedia.

Southwest 1380 Boeing 737-700 engine’s nacelles are designed to prevent debris from breaking off the engine and flying into the fuselage. The engine will eventually be detached from the plane and taken to an off-site facility for study.

NTSB investigators are looking into why a metal fatigued fan blade on the engine caused the catastrophic engine explosion, and why the left CFM56 engine nacelle casing didn’t contain the engine debris from hitting the left wing and left-side fuselage and breaking the passenger cabin window.

Sumwalt said the NTSB investigation will be conducted for over a year.

The CFM56 engine manufacturer put out a service bulletin in the fall, telling all airlines to inspect the fan blades after a similar incident as the aircraft loss event on Tuesday involving another Southwest flight. Maintenance crews of the air carrier checked Flight 1380 on Sunday, April 22. 

According to NBC Philadelphia News: “In 2016, a Southwest Airlines flight traveling from New Orleans to Orlando diverted to Pensacola, when an engine blew out mid-flight. No injuries were reported, but the plane sustained extensive damage similar to what happened on Southwest Flight 1380 on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, as the engine’s inlet was torn away revealing additional damage to the fuselage, wing, winglet, and tail stabilizer.”

On Sunday, April 22, 2018, Southwest Airlines suspended flights of about 48 aircraft with CFM56 engines, among all flights of the carrier’s roughly 4000 Boeing 737 fleet for CFM56 engine fan blade inspections. This as the FAA on Friday called for more broader mandatory aircraft and CFM56 engine fan blade inspections for micro-cracking and high-cycle metal fatigue.

Southwest said in a news release that this move to cancel flights on Sunday comes as a part of their accelerated engine fan blade inspection program, announced on Tuesday night — not the emergency directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday. The directive requires operators to inspect fan blades on certain engines within 20 days, according to the FAA’s website.

Southwest 1380 Fallout is Emerging Micro-Aging Aircraft and Engine Micro-cracking Detection Technologies.

Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: What more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved.” ─ Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., Aviator

The advanced technology of the world’s aircraft (via, Boeing vs Airbus) manufacturers and aircraft engine manufacturers (via, United Technologies Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, and Rolls Royce) allow travelers by air to consider such extraordinary transportation as routine nowadays in their daily lives. Sixty years ago, such human mobility activities inside air transport vehicles, weighing over 750,000 pounds, and carrying 400-500 people across 6,000 miles of land and sea at 500-650 miles per hour, was unthinkable.

According to a November 2016 FAA report entitled, “The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy,” “American aviation means so much for so many people. Things like safety, security, efficiency, freedom, adventure and commerce come to mind. Aviation accounts for more than 5% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributes $1.6 trillion dollars in total economic activity, and supports nearly 11 million jobs. Aviation manufacturing continues to be the nation’s top net export (as one of the few scientific and technological positive balances of global trade for America).”

Photo Credit: Wikipedia. “Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (IATA: AQ243, ICAO: AAH243) was a scheduled Aloha Airlines flight between Hilo and Honolulu in Hawaii. On April 28, 1988, a Boeing 737-297 serving the flight suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight, but was able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui. There was one fatality, flight attendant Clarabelle Lansing, who was ejected from the airplane. Another 65 passengers and crew were injured. The safe landing of the aircraft, despite the substantial damage inflicted by the decompression, established Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (like the Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 incident on Tuesday, April 17, 2018as significant events in the history of aviation, with far-reaching effects on aviation safety policies and procedures.”

We need to rebuild our “Fast Transportation Infrastructure Technology” to keep up with our now “Fast Growing Economy,” so we can put our “Fast Capital” to work and create JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, especially to unite rural and urban regions across this country.

So, here’s how government, university, and industry partners inside the micro-aging aircraft research community are responding. 

First of all, Aging Aircraft Conferences, including the 2018 Aircraft Airworthiness and Sustainment Conference, address sustainability and structural integrity concerns that have significantly escalated in the micro-aging of military aircraft, space vehicles, and commercial aircraft fleet in the past decade. These technical conferences focus on safety of micro-aging aircraft operating near or beyond their original design service criteria. Also addressed are conventional aging aircraft issues alongside aircraft fleet life cycles, and new aircraft entering the fleet with advanced materials and structures and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Still further, the 2018 Engine Propulsion Safety and Sustainment Conference brings together government, academic, and industry representatives, who are addressing advanced turbine engines technologies used in space vehicles, military aircraft,  and commercial passenger aircraft aimed at improving performance and operability, reducing engine mishaps, maintenance costs, and increasing average service time on the aircraft wing.

I attended the 2017 Aircraft Airworthiness and Sustainment Conference and the 2017 Engine Propulsion Safety and Sustainment Conference held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona on May 22-25, 2017.

Thereat we’ve learned that crack detection and statistical assessments of damage tolerant design of aircraft structures and engines is a quantitative measure of our capacity of nondestructive evaluation inspection technologies (including fluorescent penetration, eddy currents and ultrasound) to detect flaws. These techniques provide mathematical statistical input to probabilistic fracture science and mechanics to estimate the probability that a structural flaw or micro-crack could go undetected in manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of aircraft engines or main aircraft structures (wings, fuselage or tail section). 

Such mico-aging or micro-cracking detection technologies have been in place for several decades and employed by the United States Air Force in its Engine Structural Integrity Programs, which has been adopted by the Micro-Aging Aircraft research community and industrial firms, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, General Electric, United Technologies Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce.

The need remains acute for standardized procedures, criteria, innovative methodologies for recognition of aircraft structures and aircraft engine micro-aging inspections, and fundamentals of flaw detection systems capabilities affected by these three detection factors in aircraft engines parts, particularly:

(1) new materials design (and blade subsurface inhomogeneity associated with powder metallic and titanium blades and integrated bladed rotors, even in the future involving emerging micro-nano architectured-material additive manufacturing 3-D printing technologies);

(2) fatigue cracks, scratchesflaw or defects (because not all scratches are critical, and not all flaws and defects are created equally);

(3) parts design considerations and inspection conditions ─ USAF, DOD, FAA, Lockheed Martin, NASA, and Deloitte are leading the evolution of additive manufacturing as a promising new tool in the application, maintenance and safety of aircraft engines parts. Re-engineering is often required to use additive manufacturing to make a load-bearing, fatigue critical replacement part. This emerging parts design and inspection technology has implications for aircraft airworthiness and sustainability of aircraft propulsion systems.

Micro-aging Aircraft research and development is also driven nowadays by real parts micro-crack detection technologies for aircraft structures and engines technical communities. Real parts micro-crack detection is extremely complex, because it is influenced by these four aspects: 

(1) material properties ─ composition, heat treatments, and cleanliness of the material of engine parts;

(2) flaw or defect characteristics ─ character, size, shape, and location of engine parts flaws or defects;

(3) design and manufacturing considerations ─ accessibility, surface condition, and repairs of engine parts;

(4) inspection conditions ─ such as lighting and temperatures.

This allows aerospace scientists and engineers to share fracture science and mechanics technology and airframe and engines structural integrity experience to best arm FAA regulators with better damage tolerance guidance, particularly in the area of nondestructive evaluation systems development and implementation. 

This also calls for ongoing needs in micro-aging and micro-cracking detection models of parts, capacity building of inspection equipment and techniques, and improved methods of measuring inspection systems capabilities. 

Overarching above all this is the urgent need for synergy among government, universities, and industry to create complete organizational integration of parts quality, manufacturing, and engineering for field implementation of laboratory-developed inspection systems across the Micro-Aging Aircraft community.

Micro-aging of Aircraft is an Established Engineering Science. 

Evolving over four decades has been the United States Air Force (USAF) Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP). Below are the United States Department of Defense F-22 ASIP Case Study Lessons Re-Learned in the fallout of the recent Southwest Flight 1380 crash landing from micro-cracking of its aircraft engine fan, which led to the Boeing 737-700 Aircraft Structural breach from an engine “fan blade debris salad” spread, killing one woman fatally impacted by the sudden passenger cabin decompression for a horrific 30-45 seconds.

Looking back in history, the original national research and development solicitation for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) was issued by the USAF in July 1986. At that time back in the Reagan Administration locked-in an escalating arms race with the former Soviet Union, a new air superiority fighter was needed to strategically compete with emerging Soviet fighter capability (Su-27, MIG-29), and to effectively replace the F-15 and F-16 military fighter fleet.

In April 1991, a United States Defense Department contract was awarded to a joint-industrial partnership between Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Boeing.

The F-22 aircraft specification included “durability and damage tolerant design tasks” (including structural micro-cracking of aircraft engines and structural micro-aging of aircraft frame systems) laid out in a seminal 1975 USAF Report on “Aircraft Structural Integrity,” originally outlined by The Late Jack Lincoln (see Appendix). This report also serve to task the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Safety Oversight for the next four decades.

F-22 design was fully compliant with Aircraft Structural Integrity Program requirements in structural fracture mechanism and controls (considering parts durability, micro-aging damage tolerances, micro-cracking propagation science, and aircraft structural sizing criteria ─ established at the Aircraft Structural Integrity Program’s inception ─ alongside fail-safe design requirements for damage tolerant micro-mechanical (and even nano-mechanical and genomics of) materials, and for probabilistic mechanics approaches for solutions of micro-aging aircraft concerns.

Photo Credit: John W. Lincoln, “Risk Assessments – USAF Experience,” Aeronautical Systems Division of USAF/AFSC, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Structural Integrity of Aging Airplanes, March 31 – April 2, 1992, Atlanta, Georgia.

DOD, USAF, and FAA overall aircraft safety risk assessment goals over the next four decades to today have been guided by a “determination of the probability of failure of an aircraft selected at random from a population of similar aircraft. The primary result of the calculation is the single flight probability of failure. This is the probability that failure will occur on a single flight of an aircraft selected randomly from the population. From this, the probability of failure after a given time and the expected number of aircraft losses may be determined” ─ in Jack Lincoln’s own words in describing the USAF’s experience in aircraft risk assessments back in 1992.


Photo Credit: John W. Lincoln, “Risk Assessments – USAF Experience,” Aeronautical Systems Division of USAF/AFSC, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Structural Integrity of Aging Airplanes, March 31 – April 2, 1992, Atlanta, Georgia.
Since then, micro-aging aircraft risk assessments have been the standard protocol on numerous USAF aircraft, including “the B-52 Wing, KC-135 wing, C-5A wing, C-141B fuselage and wing, F5 fuselage, T-38 fuselage and wing, and the T-37 complete aircraft,” according to Dr. Lincoln. 
The USAF generally concludes “for military aircraft that a single flight probability of 1 in a millionth or less is adequate for long term operations.” If this extremely low probability number is multipled by the size of the military aircraft fleet (or even by the size of Southwest Airlines’ commercial passenger exclusively Boeing 737 fleet for about 4000 flights a day), consequently, an expected level of aircraft loss events may be reasonably estimated.
Imagine these astronomical odds for the commercial passenger Boeing 737 performing as Southwest Flight 1380! Crash landing this aircraft was the work akin to Scully’s Landing on the Hudson in New York City.

The Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) dates back to a 1950’s Air Force publication on structural integrity requirements. It was known from an early stage that ASIP was a vital program in prolonging the life and ensuring the structural safety of all aircraft. Meetings began in the 1970’s, but it wasn’t until 1984 that it was reshaped into the current conference format. Incidents like the 1988 Aloha Flight 243 Air Disaster highlighted the importance of ASIP requirements and the contributions of the ASIP community, to preclude the recurrence of such tragedies in the future. The ASIP Conference helps to accomplish this through the personal interactions of its attendees, resulting in the exchange of vital ideas and technology. In 1996, the ASIP Committee established the Lincoln Award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions throughout their distinguished careers to ensure the structural integrity and safety of our aircraft.

Why John (Jack) W. Lincoln, Ph.D., P.E. (1928 – 2002) Matters!

Credit: Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) Conference, November 26-29, 2018, Downtown Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Arizona.

The Accomplishments of Dr. John (Jack) W. Lincoln

“Dr. John (Jack) W. Lincoln is still recognized internationally as an expert in structural integrity and a champion of aviation safety. From his early days as an aviator, piloting a DC-3 aircraft for his father’s Dallas, Texas based “Lincoln Airlines,” his contributions as Chief of Structures at Vought Aerospace, to his career with the United States Air Force (USAF), Dr. Lincoln was a pioneer in aerospace engineering.

Dr. Lincoln is credited with maturing the Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) into a robust process that is now institutionalized within the Air Force and recognized worldwide as the model for ensuring aircraft structural airworthiness. The USAF’s unparalleled worldwide aircraft structural safety record since 1980 is directly attributable to Dr. Lincoln’s leadership in the field of structures technology.

In 1971, Dr. Lincoln brought 22 years of structural design experience from Vought Aerospace to the Aeronautical Systems Division (ASD) of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and accumulated another 29 years of service to both military and commercial structural integrity processes over his distinguished career. Dr. Lincoln’s initial assignment with the Air Force in 1971 was to direct an independent review of the C-5A aircraft. This work determined the structural modifications required to achieve the originally planned service life for this aircraft. For his outstanding contributions in this area, Dr. Lincoln was awarded the 1973 USAF Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. During his career in the Air Force, he has influenced the design of many aircraft including the C-5B, B-1B, F-15E, F-16, T-46, C-17, F-22 and Joint Strike Fighter.

As a Technical Expert and then Technical Advisor for Engineering, he directed the execution of damage tolerance assessments for many of the USAF major aircraft weapon systems. This effort defined the inspection, maintenance, repair and modification programs required to maintain flight safety of each of these aircraft. Dr. Lincoln participated in a multitude of engine damage tolerance assessments and was the driving force behind development of the damage tolerance approach for Air Force helicopters.

Dr. Lincoln worked tirelessly with leaders in the military and commercial aerospace technology arena and developed industry standards for transition of new structural technologies to full-scale development. He served as an advisor and principal participant in ad hoc panels of the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board addressing structural integrity issues on systems including the C-5A, KC-135, C-130 and the C-141.

In the interest of commercial aviation safety and the advancement of damage tolerance principles, he worked extensively with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), acting in a capacity as a senior technical advisor. Dr. Lincoln’s affiliation with and contributions to the FAA spanned many years. For example, in 1979 at the request of the FAA, he led the damage tolerance assessment by Douglas Aircraft Company of the DC-10 pylon following the crash of a DC-10 at Chicago, Illinois. His findings and recommendations permitted the FAA to identify the cause of failure and institute a maintenance program that would preclude a reoccurrence of this problem in the future.

Dr. Lincoln was an active member of the FAA sponsored Technical Oversight Group on Aging Aircraft (TOGAA). This group was charged with examining the problems of aging in the commercial fleet and advised the FAA on design and maintenance actions required for aircraft ranging from small commuter class to large transports. Dr. Lincoln drafted rules for the application of damage tolerance to commuter aircraft design. As a part of the effort with TOGAA, he has established guidelines for the continued airworthiness of commuter class aircraft.

USAF Career Highlights

In 1972, amidst significant public debate over structural shortfalls in the Air Force’s newest transport aircraft, the C-5A Galaxy, Lieutenant General Stewart, commander of the Aeronautical Systems Division, requested that Dr. Lincoln lead an Independent Review Team (IRT) for that program. The IRT was a major challenge since the hundred people composing the independent team, recruited from all over the United States and the United Kingdom, had no previous experience with this aircraft. Further, damage tolerance procedures were developed and applied to the C-5A by the IRT under the direction of Dr. Lincoln, the first application of these procedures to a transport aircraft and thus formed the basis for future aircraft damage tolerance assessments undertaken by the USAF. The culmination of this one-year effort included a briefing by Dr. Lincoln to the Secretary of the Air Force where he successfully championed the IRT recommendations for the C-5A program modifications.

In a follow-on evaluation in 1979, Dr. Lincoln chaired the C-5A Structural Information Enhancement Program. Dr. Lincoln pioneered a new application of aircraft inspection data, structural testing and fail-safe analysis in the use probabilistic software he developed to perform a risk analysis and made projections for the onset of widespread fatigue damage in the fleet. The results of his evaluation permitted the Air Force to continue safe operations with limitations until wing replacements could be implemented. Dr. Lincoln’s impact on this system survives today with the decision to extend the operational life of the C-5A by another 20 years.

During the period from 1975 to 1990, he directed the damage tolerance assessments of many of the major weapon system in the USAF inventory. These efforts involved all major aerospace manufacturers and included multidiscipline structural analysis representing over a million man-hours of work. In addition to providing the Air Force critical information on operational utility, this effort defined and implemented individual aircraft tracking programs based on damage tolerance principles. This approach to fleet management is a mainstay in Air Force aircraft fleet management and a principal basis for the operational safety record enjoyed by the USAF. The work performed by Dr. Lincoln during this period made possible a significant life extension program for the KC-135 and provided critical information in the decision to perform major upgrade modifications on the C-141 and B-52 programs. Dr. Lincoln served as a member of the steering group for damage tolerance assessments of the F100 and TF34 engines. These assessments were pioneering efforts that established the procedures for many engine damage tolerance assessments that followed in both the military and commercial worlds.

He served as chairperson of the F-15 Structural Review Committee. This committee investigated the cause of an in-flight wing failure from overload and provided oversight on activities relating to fatigue problems on the vertical tail and wing. This activity led to the development and implementation of damage tolerance criteria on the F-15 and resolution of the F-15 buffet issues that had caused numerous failures in the vertical tail.

In 1986, he led an independent review of the T-37 aircraft to determine the modifications needed to permit this aircraft to remain in operational service for an additional fifteen years. Again, he applied the probabilistic methods he had developed in a risk assessment of the aircraft structure, permitting continued fleet operations with provisions for inspections.

He served as chairperson of a review team in 1988 to assess the impact of a full-scale static test failure of the F-16 wing. Performing a risk assessment of the aircraft based on data from operational aircraft, he provided rationale for a redesign to restore the aircraft to its original static strength requirement.

He served on a National Aeronautics and Space Administrative (NASA) committee for the certification of hypersonic vehicles. This activity led to the establishment of a specification for a facility to perform hypersonic testing of aircraft such as the National Aerospace Plane. It also served to introduce damage tolerance requirements in the design of spacecraft.

In response to a 1990 request from Mr. Jack Welch, Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, he performed an independent study on the structural modification program for the F-16 aircraft. This effort was difficult because of the early cracking of aircraft that had seen operational usage approximately eight times more severe than the design usage. This effort provided senior Air Force leadership with the assurance that the aircraft needed these modifications and also gave them an independent assessment of the costs of implementing them.

In response to a 1991 request from Major General Gillis, Commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Dr. Lincoln performed a risk assessment of the C-141 structural wing containing multi-site fatigue damage type cracking. Dr. Lincoln’s risk assessment involved the assessment of the airworthiness of cracked (a) span-wise splices, (b) wing plank weep holes and (c) multiple critical structural frames. His analysis identified repair, replacement and inspection options for maintaining the safety of the C-141 aircraft during the Desert Shield/Desert Storm conflict and permitted the full operational capability of the aircraft to be used. He briefed his findings to General Johnson, Commander of the Air Mobility Command, which resulted in an extensive inspection program. In a follow-on Scientific Advisory Board Review, Dr. Lincoln’s recommendations on implementation of recently developed composite patching of the wing skins on the C-141 were accepted and the fleet was restored to full operational capability. Without Dr. Lincoln’s efforts, the complete C-141 fleet would have been grounded. Subsequently, Dr. Lincoln responded to a request by the Department of Defense (DOD), and conducted an independent assessment of the remaining life of the C-141 aircraft. His findings and recommendations were used in the decision to press forward with the development of the C-17 as a future replacement aircraft.

At the request of Lieutenant General Fain in 1992, he served as leader of the USAF team working with the US Navy to develop the Joint Structures Specification Guide. These criteria served as the principal guidance for contemporary USAF and Navy aircraft design. He was the Senior Civilian Participant in an USAF Scientific Advisory Board Summer Study in 1994; tenets developed by Dr. Lincoln were briefed to the Chief of Staff and served as the basis for aging aircraft research and development.

At the request on Major General Franklin, Program Executive Officer (PEO) for the C-17, he acted as senior advisor in the executive independent review of the C-17 test wing failure that occurred in 1992. He briefed his findings and recommendations to Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff. His input and the work of this committee outlined a recovery plan that resulted in the successful retest of a modified wing.

In 1995 he chaired an independent review team assessment of F-16 service life. The review determined actions required to ensure that the aircraft could reach its 8,000-life goal. Included was a recovery action for the significant cracking being experienced in the fuselage bulkhead that supports the vertical tail.

Contributions to Commercial and International Aviation

At the request of the FAA, Dr. Lincoln performed an independent assessment of the Boeing 747 structure in 1987. His evaluation led to a series of detailed inspections of the aircraft in prescribed locations. In 1979 he oversaw the damage tolerance assessment performed on the DC-10 engine pylon following the mishap of a DC-10 in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Lincoln served as a tenured member of the TOGAA chartered by the FAA after the highly publicized 1988 Aloha Airlines incident. Dr. Lincoln’s work in this group focused on issues of widespread fatigue damage in commercial aircraft. In support of the evaluation of the Aloha incident, Dr. Lincoln helped formulate the Airworthiness Directives permitting safe operations of both the 737 and the 727. In 1990, following the in-flight structural failure of the DC-10 engine resulting in the mishap at Sioux City, Iowa, he was called on for his technical expertise in the development of a recovery plan for the material issue that contributed to the engine disc failure.

As a senior technical advisor with the TOGAA, Dr. Lincoln advised the FAA on research and development initiatives related to aging commercial aircraft. His interaction with researchers at Iowa State University, Wayne State University, The Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University and Sandia National Laboratory resulted in significant technological gains in the area of non-destructive inspection techniques. He wrote the Advisory Circular for the FAA Administrator for Certification and Regulation, which serves as the standard for the structural integrity of commuter class aircraft operated in the United States. His technical expertise was key in the development of a recovery program for the hard alpha problem, which is a material contamination issue in the titanium engine disc, that caused the crash of the DC-10 at Sioux City, Iowa.

Starting in 1990, Dr. Lincoln figured prominently in the work of the International Committee on Fatigue (ICAF), presenting papers recognized internationally for their contribution to aircraft structural integrity. In this forum, he shared his extensive knowledge of aircraft damage tolerance, probabilistic methods, technology transition, widespread fatigue damage in aircraft, full-scale aircraft structural testing and aircraft repair concepts. He has been acknowledged as an international expert in his field by aircraft structural experts from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, Dr. Lincoln was awarded the F.J. Plantema Award, the highest international honor for contributions for solving structural fatigue issues, by unanimous vote of the delegates of those nations forming the ICAF, and he was the plenary speaker at their conference.

He was a member of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) AER-TP4 Panel Structures and Structural Dynamics and MAT-TP8 Panel on Composite Materials. The TTCP is a cooperative program among Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In this capacity, he has acted as the principal contributor to specifications for the use of composites in aircraft structures.

He was a prominent member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development (AGARD) and later RTO Advanced Vehicles Technology Panel. He presented his works on probabilistic methods and structural integrity to international experts in Lindau, Germany, Bath, United Kingdom, Bordeaux, France, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. At the request of the FAA and NASA, he was a long-standing member of the organizing committee of FAA/NASA international meetings forum.

Beginning in 1984, Dr. Lincoln served as chairperson of the annual Aircraft Structural Integrity Program Conference and as host to domestic and international aerospace experts promoting military and commercial aircraft structural integrity. In 1996, Dr. Lincoln was recognized for his lifelong contributions during the annual international ASIP conference by being selected as the first recipient of the Dr. John W. Lincoln Award. This record is spectacular in view of the fact that many of the aircraft in the USAF inventory have flown safely well beyond their original design service life and continue to meet the United States’ vital military missions.

The South Korean government solicited Dr. Lincoln’s assistance in 1995 in assessing the viability of their new trainer. He proposed and the government adopted his recommendations on structural integrity actions. Also in 1995, Israeli Air Force (IAF) requested Dr. Lincoln’s support in addressing several structural issues with aircraft mechanical systems. His recommendations led to a cooperative USAF/IAF development program that substantially enhanced mechanical system integrity.


Dr. Lincoln was a highly respected engineer, recognized both nationally and internationally, for his outstanding knowledge of structural technologies and probabilistic risk assessment methods for ensuring aircraft airworthiness. His legacy as a pioneer in the field of structural integrity and damage tolerance has undoubtedly made a significant contribution to the continuing airworthiness and safety of military and commercial fixed and rotary wing aircraft and engines. Dr. Lincoln influenced foreign and domestic commercial and military aircraft development through industrial and/or governmental agency representatives and through organizations such as NATO, TTCP, ICAF and the FAA.

He was a leader in his field and a mentor to aspiring young engineers and maintenance personnel. Through his vision, demeanor and leadership he guided and greatly influenced the design and maintenance philosophy of today’s aircraft. In particular, his technical expertise was critical to the development of maintenance policies and operation of United States Air Force aircraft. Dr. Lincoln’s enduring legacy continues to advance the engineering sciences that are essential to prolonging the safe operational life of our military fleet of air vehicles. In his work in both commercial and government sectors, he made substantial contributions to the structural integrity of over fifty-five aircraft and missiles.

Dr. Lincoln was internationally recognized for his work in structural integrity and probabilistic risk assessment methods. In 2005, the revision of the Department of Defense’s MIL-STD-1530C (ASIP) incorporated Dr. Lincoln’s probabilistic risk assessment concepts and criteria so that his approaches would be promulgated and provide direction to those responsible for ensuring the initial and continuing airworthiness of aircraft and missile structures.

Thanks to Dr. Lincoln’s influence, the area of Structural Fatigue and Risk Analysis techniques, the USAF’s record of structural failures in flight has gone to near zero. This has also translated into near zero structural failures in flight in the commercial world, even though some of the aircraft are well over 60 years old and are still flying revenue passengers. Finally, even though Dr. Lincoln’s work has been in the aircraft structures, it has seen global applications in areas such as trucks and cars.“

Previous Lincoln Award Winners

Year Lincoln Award Winners

2017 Mr. Robert J. Burt

2016 Dr. Anders Blom

2015 Mr. Ed Ingram

2014 Mr. Larry Perkins

2013 Dr. Thomas R. Brussat

2012 Mr. James L. Rudd

2011 Mr. Len Reid

2010 Professor Graham Clark

2009 Mr. Robert M. Bader

2008 Dr. Joseph P. Gallagher

2007 Dr. Alan P. Berens

2006 Dr. Ulf G. Goranson

2005 Mr. Charles R. Saff

2004 Mr. Robert Bell

2003 Mr. Ward Rummel

2002 Mr. Royce Forman

2001 Prof. James C. Newman, Jr.

2000 Prof. Alten Grandt, Jr.

1999 Prof. Jaap Schijve

1998 Mr. Thomas Swift

1997 Mr. Charles F. Tiffany

1996 Dr. John W. Lincoln


About The Author

Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is former department chair (2016-17) and professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He is former professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance (2007-08) at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former department chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Mar 162018

FIU Bridge Collapse: Why Müller-Breslau Matters

Speculation continues to mount regarding the cause of Florida International University’s deadly Pedestrian Bridge Collapse. After a day has passed with no knowledge of the origins of the bridge’s collapse, this article addresses a principal cause of the FIU Bridge Collapse, and why a 19th century German structural engineering principle known as Müller-Breslau Matters Most (as depicted in the above cover diagram of this piece constructed with the help of my fine students at Texas Tech University, Mr. Virgilio A. Gomez (@virgilioAgomez), mechanical engineering masters degree candidate under my guidance inside the Edward Whitacre College of Engineering, and Ms. Alexandria Reeves (, undergraduate junior business major inside the Jerry Rawls College of Business).

Video Credit: @OliverMcGee on #FIUBridge Collapse, #FoxNews Your World with Neil Cavuto (3-16-18)

Five dozen kids currently enrolled in my Aircraft Structures, and Aircraft Jet Engines and Rocket Propulsion classes at Texas Tech University, including receiving my Elementary Structural Analysis and Intermediate Structural Analysis principles are entering into a brief introduction to Herr Müller-Breslau.

These students can now understand why Müller-Breslau‘s proven structural engineering principle is as relevant for them to learn today in the wake of the tragic FIU Bridge Collapse in Miami, Florida, as it was for me decades ago. I had my similar training at The Ohio State University Department of Civil Engineering’s elementary and intermediate structural analysis classes and highway bridge analysis and design class of The Late Professor Charles B. Smith. This led me to the privilege to teach similar structural analysis classes at Ohio State, Georgia Tech, MIT, Howard University, and Texas Tech.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the backstory here, specifically at what occurred to cause this catastrophic bridge collapse?

A newly installed bridge heralded days earlier, as an innovation of prefabricated construction engineering suddenly collapsed on Southwest Eighth Street, an eight-lane high-traffic highway near Florida International University’s (FIU) campus in Miami on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at about 1:30pm Eastern, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Multiple automobiles were trapped underneath the collapsed pedestrian bridge. Firefighters, who are now in “search and rescue mode,” are utilizing trained canines, search cameras and sensitive listening devices, throughout the night and into the morning. They have pulled out at least six deceased people from the rubble, as of Friday, March 16, 2018, and ten other people were taken to nearby Kendall Regional Medical Center, Miami-Dade Fire Chief Dave Downey said at a Thursday evening press conference and Associated Press.

This is how the FIU Bridge of integrated truss and post-tension prestressed concrete construction appeared in this video days before collapsing.

This surveillance video shows the moment the bridge collapsed and local commentary reveals that the bridge lacked necessary mid-span support as suggested in the cover diagram of this piece. In addition, the local commentary questions why the traffic along Southwest Eighth Street was not halted as construction engineers performed their stress tests on Thursday.

President Trump tweeted: “Continuing to monitor the heartbreaking bridge collapse at FIU – so tragic. Many brave First Responders rushed in to save lives. Thank you for your courage. Praying this evening for all who are affected.”

FIU officials said in a statement: “We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge.”

“This bridge was going to provide a safe transportation for pedestrians to cross between the university and the City of Sweetwater,” said Orlando Lopez, mayor of Sweetwater.

FIU, one of the 10 largest American universities with nearly 54,000 students enrolled, has been rocked by this tragic transportation infrastructure collapse.

The 174-foot long pedestrian bridge was assembled on-site days earlier on Saturday from prefabricated post-tension prestressed concrete spans along the closed sidewalk of the highway. After which, the assembled prefabricated continuous prestressed concrete beam that was hinging on one support was swung 90 degrees across the highway, and was then hinged on the other support on the other side of the Southwest Eighth Street highway.

“The $14.2 million dollar bridge had been partially assembled by the side of the highway, in order to not obstruct the flow of traffic on the seven-lane highway during construction, and was slated to open in 2019,” according to the Miami  Herald. But its “innovative installation,” which “saw workers move the walkway into place before the main support tower had been installed, was risky,” University of California, Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea told the Associated Press.

As reported in Time: “The bridge was also unusually heavy, employing concrete elements, such as trusses and a concrete roof, rather than lighter weight steel,” according to Ralph Verrastro, an engineer and expert in accelerated construction projects.

Munilla Construction, a family-own firm that worked on the bridge, called the accident a “catastrophic collapse” and promised to conduct “a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong.”

“Munilla Construction has also been fined more than $50,000 for 11 safety violations over the past five years,” according to Occupational Safety Health Administration records, Time reports.

Two construction workers were on the pedestrian bridge when it collapsed, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue confirmed, and “were believed to be conducting a stress test on the unfinished bridge,” reports the Miami Herald. “Over tightening steel cables that run through the bridge slab sections can lead the structure to “camber,” or buckle,” experts told the Miami Herald.

Construction engineers were performing post-tension moment stress tests across the 8-span continuous prestressed concrete bridge, when it suddenly collapsed onto the 8-lane Southwest Eighth Street highway, akin to what we recently observed with the Amtrak 501 derailment outside of Seattle, Washington!

The prefabricated concrete bridge down at #FIU is called “virtual construction” of structural engineering akin to “virtual manufacturing” used in aircraft designs at #Boeing & #Airbus. Prefabricated Civil Engineering Systems are the future of construction & installation of America’s Infrastructure.

Who is Müller-Breslau?

Let me introduce you to a German  structural designer and classical structural engineering pioneer. 

Heinrich Franz Bernhard Müller (born May 13, 1851 in Wroclaw, Poland and died April 24, 1925 in Grunewald, Germany, “known as Müller-Breslau from around 1875 to distinguish him from other people with similar names”) was a German civil engineer. He made early advances in the structural analysis of continuous beams and rigid frames used in modern pedestrian and highway bridges and tall buildings.

Essentially, Müller-Breslau establishes a longstanding principle utilized by structural engineers to sketch qualitative influences of continuous bridge supporting forces, spanwise forces, transverse shear stresses, and transverse bending moment stresses, as a basis for pedestrian and highway bridge design and analysis, including experimental stress testing of bridges.

Why Müller-Breslau Matters in the FIU Bridge Collapse.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted on Thursday: “The cables that suspend the #Miami bridge had loosened and the engineering firm ordered that they be tightened. They were being tightened, when it collapsed today.”

This FIU Bridge Collapse, I add, is a result of a missing essential center safety support tower mechanism located at midspan across the enormously long 174-foot span of the integrated truss post-tension prestressed concrete continuous beam construction, as shown in the cover diagram of this article. 

Thus, the bridge’s failure collapse mechanism occurred around the center (as shown as a red (failure deflected) dashed line in the cover diagram of this piece), as a result of positive moment distribution stress failure (which could have been mitigated by the missing negative moment distribution stress over the missing midspan support) of the bridge under its own dead-load weight of 950-tons or 5.5 tons per linear foot of bridge span length of uniformly-distributed deadweight loading.

Essentially, as shown in the above cover diagram, the post-tension prestressed concrete pedestrian bridge is supposedly fundamentally designed to deflect as a “smile” under positive bending moment stress between end-span supports. 

And,  it is supposedly designed to deflect as a “frown” under negative bending moment stress over middle-span supports – which was apparently missing during Thursday’s stress tests. This essentially caused the FIU bridge to collapse through a huge 140% over traverse bending deflection (as discussed below) during its prefabricated construction and installation. 

Ultimately, the FIU pedestrian bridge’s designed live-loading was to withstand a Category 5 Hurricane over a hundred years!

Müller-Breslau‘s principle demands that a middle support tower mechanism is essential to prevent the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse mechanism, as indicated by the red (failure deflected) dashed line in the cover diagram. The green (true deflected) dashed line in the cover diagram is the properly midspan tower supported equilibrium shape of the FIU pedestrian bridge, carrying its 5.5 tons per linear foot uniformly-distributed deadweight loading. This is shown atop the idealized depiction of the integrated truss post-tension prestressed concrete continuous span bridge.

Under the FIU pedestrian bridge deadweight loading, including ideally the properly constructed midspan support tower mechanism, Müller-Breslau’s principle says the bridge’s shear stress distribution is actually proportional to a linear function of the spanswise coordinate (x) shown: V(x)=wL((5/8)-(x/L)) with a midspan support tower maximum shear stress proportional to (5wL/8). 

The bridge’s bending moment stress distribution is actually proportional to a quadratic function of the spanwise coordinate (x): M(x)=wL(Td+(x/L)Tr)(L/8), wherein as first introduced by Müller-Breslau, Td is a sensitivity of the bridge’s bending moment stress undergoing a linearly distributed transverse shear stress, and wherein Tr is a sensitivity of the bridge’s transverse bending moment stress undergoing a constant transverse shear stress distribution. This altogether leads to a midspan support tower negative transverse bending moment stress proportional to (wL)(L/8). 

Finally, the bridge’s properly midspan supported transverse deflection must actually be according to code: Ely(x)=(x/L)(2Wr+Wd)(wL**4)/48, (where L**4 symbolizes now and hereafter the bridge span length, L, raised to the fourth exponent power). And wherein, as first originated by Müller-Breslau, Wd is the bridge’s transverse bending moment stress undergoing a linearly distributed transverse shear stress, and wherein Wr is the bridge’s transverse bending moment stress undergoing a constant transverse shear stress distribution. 

This altogether leads to a maximum transverse deflection according to code at Ely(at x=50 feet from the midspan support equal to (27/5000)(wL**4), or about 0.0054(wL**4), wherein E is the elastic modulus of the bridge’s concrete material and I is the bridge’s moment of inertia or second moment of cross-sectional area transverse to the bridge’s span-wise coordinate (x).

Under the FIU pedestrian bridge deadweight loading without the midspan tower support, as it happened during Thursday’s collapse, Müller-Breslau’s principle says the bridge’s transverse shear stress distribution is actually proportional to a linear function of the span-wise coordinate (x) with V(x)=Tr(wL/2) vanishing at the bridge’s midspan. 

The bridge’s transverse bending moment stress distribution is actually proportional to a quadratic function of the spanwise coordinate (x) with M(x)=(wL/2)L, having a midspan non-supported positive transverse bending moment stress maximum proportional to (wL)(L/8). 

Finally, as the bridge’s midspan is non-supported, its transverse bending deflection is Ely(x)=(x/L)(Wd-(x/L)Wr(x/L))(wL**4)/24, having a maximum transverse bending deflection of Ely(at x=87 feet, at the non-supported midspan) equal to (5/384)(wL**4) or about 0.013(wL**4).

In conclusion, Müller-Breslau’s principle says the FIU pedestrian bridge collapsed mathematically under an absolute value of (1-(0.013/0.0054))(100%)=140% error in its failure collapse transverse bending deflection mode (shown as a red dashed line in the cover diagram) underneath the bridge’s own deadweight. This is measured relative to its ideally proper midspan tower supported transverse bending deflection mode (shown as a green dashed line in the cover diagram) underneath the bridge’s own deadweight.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragedy and their families. Incidents such as this, while thankfully rare, remind us of the complexity of structural systems and the great responsibility that structural engineers and contractors have to public safety,” says Indianapolis-based practicing structural engineer, Michael I. Owings, P.E., S.E. “Many eyes in this industry will be focused on the investigation over the coming weeks to ascertain the cause of the FIU bridge collapse, prevent future loss of life and restore the public’s trust.” 

I wholeheartedly agree with my very dear friend and former masters degree graduate student at Ohio State, Mr. Owings.

We are reminded that the FIU Bridge Collapse is still an ongoing investigation. We all hope to have some definitive answers very soon, that we enable us to better understand structural engineering and infrastructure safety and security threats, whether accidental or resulting from unintentional consequences, so as to avoid this kind of catastrophic and tragic extreme event in the future.

It’s just a matter of time, as people will be thinking about this bridge collapse continuously before we all really know completely all the truths behind this extreme infrastructure event and its aftermath of human recovery.

Danke Herr Müller-Breslau

Our most compelling interest in pedestrian and historic bridge safety and security in the age of America’s crumbling infrastructure remains an ongoing and essential contemporaneous priority in discussing advanced structural engineering technology and education, as well as, considering the public’s understanding of science, engineering and technology. And, most of all, we must facilitate the diverse cultural participation in structural engineering safety and security by a global workforce of experts, working through the aftermath investigation of a pedestrian bridge collapse on the 10th largest university campus in America at Florida International University.

Besides all the talk of prefabricated concrete bridge construction, midspan tower support mechanisms, innovative bridge installation procedures, German structural engineering, post-tension prestressed concrete materials, and so forth, what investigators also have on their side are basic scientific and engineering principles.

Bridges don’t just collapse, and they don’t just fall onto busy highways. They go up and they don’t fall down.

Like everything else in this world, bridges are bound by fundamental rules of science and engineering — things like transverse shear stresses, transverse bending moment stresses, bridge deadweight to live-load ratios and, not the least, simple gravity of Sir Issac Newton.

We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Herr Heinrich Franz Bernhard Müller-Breslau for his pioneering innovations in structural engineering analysis and design, and for his fundamental Müller-Breslau principle. This is now aiding America’s ongoing efforts in managing our stressed infrastructure and rebuilding and retrofitting it in preparation for the next generation and the generation after – On Getting to 2076 – America’s Tercentennial!

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Dec 192017

America First: The Trump Doctrine of National Security

A dignified constitutional convention mandates a new American president to put forth a national security strategy at some point early in a new administration. In an unprecedented move as early as the first year – well before his second State of the Union Address in January – President Donald Trump detailed a new “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” on Monday, December 18, 2017, outlining The Trump Doctrine of “America First,” including his administration’s defense against threats from “rogue regimes” like North Korea’s imperial nuclear threats on global security.

“America is coming back and coming back strong,” President Trump said.

The speech touched on the U.S. relationship with China and Russia, who the president described as “rival powers” that “seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth.” The Trump Doctrine also promised “firm action against unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.”


President Trump on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 predicted the already-humming U.S. economy is about to get a big boost, as the final version of the $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill heads to the floors of the House and the Senate, and ultimately to his desk for signature. “Stocks and the economy have a long way to go after the Tax Cut Bill is totally understood and appreciated in scope and size,” Trump tweeted. “Immediate expensing will have a big impact. Biggest Tax Cuts and Reform EVER passed. Enjoy, and create many beautiful JOBS!”

#USHouse in a 224-201 vote and #USSenate in a 51-48 vote passes the $1.5T #TaxCutsandJobsAct for President Trump’s signature on Friday, December 22, 2017 well before Christmas Day, as he promised! Here’s 3 Easy Pieces of the #TaxBill for #Jobs #Savings #Investments and #Growth:

☑️ Repeals #Obamacare Individual Mandate!

☑️ Cuts Corporate Taxes at 35% to 21%!

☑️ Reduces Tax Rates to 10-37% in just 7 Brackets!

On this day as U.S. markets sees the Dow rise a record 5,000 points in a year, rapidly approaching a record high of 25,000 points, and as the emerging decentralized network ledger digital currency Bitcoin stretches over its 20,000 market value threshold,

“A Growing Nation with a Crumbling Infrastructure is a Slowing Nation!”

Today is about Speed!

The Speed of our Transportation Technologies! 

The Speed of our National Security Response! 

The Speed of our High-Growth Economy!

Transportation Security is Economic Security which is National Security!

Atlanta Airport Blackout closely followed by the Washington State Train Derailment is a classic case study of moving people, planes, trains and automobiles all at once during a high-tech disaster placed upon our national security strategy integrated with our national infrastructure system.

Look Up America, our infrastructure science and technology is integrated into these 7 Grand-Challenges: Info-Tech, Bio-Tech, Wireless-Tech, Micro-Tech, Nano-Tech, Cogno-Tech, and Elder-Tech – moving people, ideas and things!

Altogether, we must salute the Trump Administration’s FAA, FRA, FHWA, and USDOT and it’s local agencies in not only getting America back up in the air in Atlanta, but also moving forward again on the ground on Amtrak and Interstate 5 in Washington State, as local police, fire, hospitals, government and investigation officials, including the National Transportation Safety Board, move into place to determine exactly what happened.

The challenge of revitalizing and updating America’s transportation and infrastructure will be a focus of President Trump’s upcoming State of the Union Address.

President Trump has promised a $1T 10-year, revenue-neutral investment in the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Following the upcoming Tax Bill vote this week with 21% corporate tax rates, with 15.5% cash repatriation rates, and that will accelerate an already speedy economy, a proposed $1T Infrastructure Bill would encourage private sector investment in partnership with the public sector to repair, rehabilitate, and rebuild major, high-cost, revenue-supported Infrastructure Projects on highways, historic bridges, tunnels, airports, airplanes, schools, hospitals and our inner cities.

We need to rebuild our “Fast Transportation Infrastructure Technology” to keep up with our now “Fast Growing Economy,” so we can put our “Fast Capital” to work and create JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, especially to unite rural and urban regions across this country.

Build America Bonds” is President Trump’s 82% Tax Credits in equity private investments in infrastructure development and jobs creation.

Remarkably, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s Crumbling Infrastructure a D+ Grade! This puts the state of our homeland and national security in deep jeopardy akin to a ”banana republic” operating with a world-class economy!

President Trump is now rapidly turning his “Make America’s Infrastructure Great Again” vision into federal policy and legislation with the help of the Republican-controlled Congress, particularly through its “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act” – providing authorization through FY 2020; The U.S. Senate’s FAA Reauthorization Act (S. 2658); and The U.S. House’s ”Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 4441) – providing comprehensive reforms to the Air Traffic Control System, and even provisions for enhanced airport security and airport modernization; and ”Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)” discretionary grant program – providing operations of public transportation and passenger rail agencies to continue their transportation safety and security improvements!

#Amtrak501, derailed Monday, December 18, 2017 in its inaugural ride on a new rail near Seattle, Washington, was traveling at 80mph in a 30mph zone, says #NTSB citing train data recorder! .@OliverMcGee, civil engineer, tells #FoxNews positive train control can prevent train derailments! Watch #FoxNews Video here:

Most of all, President Trump’s White House “America First” National Security Doctrine is 4-fold connected to his proposed National Transportation and Infrastructure Strategy:

☑️ Protects Our Homeland & Way of Life!

☑️ Promotes American Prosperity!

☑️ Demonstrates Peace Through Strength!

☑️ Advances American Influence in an Ever-Competitive World!

GDP Growth NOW Ranks 5th!

LBJ (‘64-68) 5.3%

JFK (‘61-63) 4.3%

Clinton (‘93-00) 3.9%

Reagan (‘81-88) 3.5%

Carter (‘77-80) 3.3%

IKE (‘53-60) 3.0%

Nixon (‘69-74) 2.8%

Ford (‘75-76) 2.6%

Bush1 (‘89-92) 2.3%

Bush2 (‘01-08) 2.1%

Truman (‘46-52) 1.7%

Obama (‘09-16) 1.5%

Trump 2017 3.3%!

A Growing Nation with a Crumbling Infrastructure is a Slowing Nation!

President Trump’s Administration and the White House is shifting America from a “Hard Power, Soft Power” international politics of efficiency to a “Values-to-Storytelling” international sovereignty of dignity and wealth at home and abroad with Infrastructure, Science & Technology Policy tied to our Economic Policy of Growth & Global Trade! It’s all about Democracy (Liberty), Markets (Efficiency), Communications (Communities) & Technology (Equality)!

A video of President Trump’s full speech can be seen here. Below is a full White House transcript of the President’s remarks as delivered.


“Thank you very much. Thank you. Please. I want to thank Vice President Pence, along with the many members of my Cabinet here with us today.

I also want to thank all of the dedicated professionals — military, civilian, and law enforcement — who devote their lives to serving our nation. In particular, I want to recognize General Dunford and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.)

In addition, we are honored to be joined by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

Let me begin by expressing our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt prayers for the victims of the train derailment in Washington State. We are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local authorities. It is all the more reason why we must start immediately fixing the infrastructure of the United States.

We’re here today to discuss matters of vital importance to us all: America’s security, prosperity, and standing in the world. I want to talk about where we’ve been, where we are now, and, finally, our strategy for where we are going in the years ahead.

But to seize the opportunities of the future, we must first understand the failures of the past.

Over the past 11 months, I have traveled tens of thousands of miles to visit 13 countries. I have met with more than 100 world leaders. I have carried America’s message to a grand hall in Saudi Arabia, a great square in Warsaw, to the General Assembly of the United Nations, and to the seat of democracy on the Korean Peninsula. Everywhere I traveled, it was my highest privilege and greatest honor to represent the American people.

Throughout our history, the American people have always been the true source of American greatness. Our people have promoted our culture and promoted our values. Americans have fought and sacrificed on the battlefields all over the world. We have liberated captive nations, transformed former enemies into the best of friends, and lifted entire regions of the planet from poverty to prosperity.

Because of our people, America has been among the greatest forces for peace and justice in the history of the world. The American people are generous. You are determined, you are brave, you are strong, and you are wise.

When the American people speak, all of us should listen. And just over one year ago, you spoke loud and you spoke clear. On November 8, 2016, you voted to make America great again. (Applause.) You embraced new leadership and very new strategies, and also a glorious new hope. That is why we are here today.

But to seize the opportunities of the future, we must first understand the failures of the past. For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another. To many of our leaders — so many who forgot whose voices they were to respect and whose interests they were supposed to defend — our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations, but sent thousands of American factories, and millions of American jobs, to those other countries.

Our leaders engaged in nation-building abroad, while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home. They undercut and shortchanged our men and women in uniform with inadequate resources, unstable funding, and unclear missions. They failed to insist that our often very wealthy allies pay their fair share for defense, putting a massive and unfair burden on the U.S. taxpayer and our great U.S. military.

They neglected a nuclear menace in North Korea; made a disastrous, weak, and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran; and allowed terrorists such as ISIS to gain control of vast parts of territory all across the Middle East.

They put American energy under lock and key. They imposed punishing regulations and crippling taxes. They surrendered our sovereignty to foreign bureaucrats in faraway and distant capitals.

And over the profound objections of the American people, our politicians left our borders wide open. Millions of immigrants entered illegally. Millions more were admitted into our country without the proper vetting needed to protect our security and our economy. Leaders in Washington imposed on the country an immigration policy that Americans never voted for, never asked for, and never approved — a policy where the wrong people are allowed into our country and the right people are rejected. American citizens, as usual, have been left to bear the cost and to pick up the tab.

On top of everything else, our leaders drifted from American principles. They lost sight of America’s destiny. And they lost their belief in American greatness. As a result, our citizens lost something as well. The people lost confidence in their government and, eventually, even lost confidence in their future.

But last year, all of that began to change. The American people rejected the failures of the past. You rediscovered your voice and reclaimed ownership of this nation and its destiny.

On January 20th, 2017, I stood on the steps of the Capitol to herald the day the people became the rulers of their nation again. (Applause.) Thank you. Now, less than one year later, I am proud to report that the entire world has heard the news and has already seen the signs. America is coming back, and America is coming back strong.

This strategy recognizes that, whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition.

Upon my inauguration, I announced that the United States would return to a simple principle: The first duty of our government is to serve its citizens, many of whom have been forgotten. But they are not forgotten anymore. With every decision and every action, we are now putting America first.

We are rebuilding our nation, our confidence, and our standing in the world. We have moved swiftly to confront our challenges, and we have confronted them head-on.

We are once again investing in our defense — almost $700 billion, a record, this coming year. We are demanding extraordinary strength, which will hopefully lead to long and extraordinary peace. We are giving our courageous military men and women the support they need and so dearly deserve.

We have withdrawn the United States from job-killing deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the very expensive and unfair Paris Climate Accord. And on our trip to Asia last month, I announced that we will no longer tolerate trading abuse.

We have established strict new vetting procedures to keep terrorists out of the United States, and our vetting is getting tougher each month.

To counter Iran and block its path to a nuclear weapon, I sanctioned the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support of terrorism, and I declined to certify the Iran Deal to Congress.

Following my trip to the Middle East, the Gulf states and other Muslim-majority nations joined together to fight radical Islamist ideology and terrorist financing. We have dealt ISIS one devastating defeat after another. The coalition to defeat ISIS has now recaptured almost 100 percent of the land once held by these terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Great job. (Applause.) Great job. Really good. Thank you. Thank you. We have a great military. We’re now chasing them wherever they flee, and we will not let them into the United States.

In Afghanistan, our troops are no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies of our plans. We are beginning to see results on the battlefield. And we have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory. And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.

Our efforts to strengthen the NATO Alliance set the stage for significant increases in member contributions, with tens of billions of dollars more pouring in because I would not allow member states to be delinquent in the payment, while we guarantee their safety and are willing to fight wars for them. We have made clear that countries that are immensely wealthy should reimburse the United States for the cost of defending them. This is a major departure from the past, but a fair and necessary one — necessary for our country, necessary for our taxpayer, necessary for our own thought process.

A nation without borders is not a nation.

Our campaign of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime has resulted in the toughest-ever sanctions. We have united our allies in an unprecedented effort to isolate North Korea. However, there is much more work to do. America and its allies will take all necessary steps to achieve a denuclearization and ensure that this regime cannot threaten the world. (Applause.) Thank you. This situation should have been taken care of long before I got into office, when it was much easier to handle. But it will be taken care of. We have no choice.

At home, we are keeping our promises and liberating the American economy. We have created more than 2 million jobs since the election. Unemployment is at a 17-year-low. The stock market is at an all-time high and, just a little while ago, hit yet another all-time high — the 85th time since my election. (Applause.)

We have cut 22 regulations for every one new regulation, the most in the history of our country. We have unlocked America’s vast energy resources.

As the world watches — and the world is indeed watching — we are days away from passing historic tax cuts for American families and businesses. It will be the biggest tax cut and tax reform in the history of our country. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And we are seeing the response we fully expected. Economic growth has topped 3 percent for two quarters in a row. GDP growth, which is way ahead of schedule under my administration, will be one of America’s truly greatest weapons.

Optimism has surged. Confidence has returned. With this new confidence, we are also bringing back clarity to our thinking. We are reasserting these fundamental truths:

A nation without borders is not a nation. (Applause.)

A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad.

A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war.

A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future.

And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.

Today, grounded in these truths, we are presenting to the world our new National Security Strategy. Based on my direction, this document has been in development for over a year. It has the endorsement of my entire Cabinet.

Our new strategy is based on a principled realism, guided by our vital national interests, and rooted in our timeless values.

This strategy recognizes that, whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition. We accept that vigorous military, economic, and political contests are now playing out all around the world.

We face rogue regimes that threaten the United States and our allies. We face terrorist organizations, transnational criminal networks, and others who spread violence and evil around the globe.

We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth.

We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values, and wealth. We will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interest.

As an example, yesterday I received a call from President Putin of Russia thanking our country for the intelligence that our CIA was able to provide them concerning a major terrorist attack planned in St. Petersburg, where many people, perhaps in the thousands, could have been killed. They were able to apprehend these terrorists before the event, with no loss of life. And that’s a great thing, and the way it’s supposed to work. That is the way it’s supposed to work.

But while we seek such opportunities of cooperation, we will stand up for ourselves, and we will stand up for our country like we have never stood up before. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We know that American success is not a forgone conclusion. It must be earned and it must be won. Our rivals are tough, they’re tenacious, and committed to the long term. But so are we.

To succeed, we must integrate every dimension of our national strength, and we must compete with every instrument of our national power.

Under the Trump administration, America is gaining wealth, leading to enhanced power — faster than anyone thought — with $6 trillion more in the stock market alone since the election — $6 trillion.

With the strategy I am announcing today, we are declaring that America is in the game and America is going to win. (Applause.) Thank you.

Our strategy advances four vital national interests. 

First, we must protect the American people, the homeland, and our great American way of life. This strategy recognizes that we cannot secure our nation if we do not secure our borders. So for the first time ever, American strategy now includes a serious plan to defend our homeland. It calls for the construction of a wall on our southern border; ending chain migration and the horrible visa and lottery programs; closing loopholes that undermine enforcement; and strongly supporting our Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, and Homeland Security personnel. (Applause.)

In addition, our strategy calls for us to confront, discredit, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism and ideology and to prevent it from spreading into the United States. And we will develop new ways to counter those who use new domains, such as cyber and social media, to attack our nation or threaten our society.

The second pillar of our strategy is to promote American prosperity. For the first time, American strategy recognizes that economic security is national security. Economic vitality, growth, and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad. Any nation that trades away its prosperity for security will end up losing both.

That is why this National Security Strategy emphasizes, more than any before, the critical steps we must take to ensure the prosperity of our nation for a long, long time to come.

It calls for cutting taxes and rolling back unnecessary regulations. It calls for trade based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity. It calls for firm action against unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. And it calls for new steps to protect our national security industrial and innovation base.

The strategy proposes a complete rebuilding of American infrastructure — our roads, bridges, airports, waterways, and communications infrastructure. And it embraces a future of American energy dominance and self-sufficiency.

The third pillar of our strategy is to preserve peace through strength. (Applause.) We recognize that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unrivaled power is the most certain means of defense. For this reason, our strategy breaks from the damaging defense sequester. We’re going to get rid of that. (Applause.)

It calls for a total modernization of our military, and reversing previous decisions to shrink our armed forces — even as threats to national security grew. It calls for streamlining acquisition, eliminating bloated bureaucracy, and massively building up our military, which has the fundamental side benefit of creating millions and millions of jobs.

This strategy includes plans to counter modern threats, such as cyber and electromagnetic attacks. It recognizes space as a competitive domain and calls for multi-layered missile defense. (Applause.) This strategy outlines important steps to address new forms of conflict such as economic and political aggression.

And our strategy emphasizes strengthening alliances to cope with these threats. It recognizes that our strength is magnified by allies who share principles — and our principles — and shoulder their fair share of responsibility for our common security.

Fourth and finally, our strategy is to advance American influence in the world, but this begins with building up our wealth and power at home.

America will lead again. 

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but we will champion the values without apology. We want strong alliances and partnerships based on cooperation and reciprocity. We will make new partnerships with those who share our goals, and make common interests into a common cause. We will not allow inflexible ideology to become an obsolete and obstacle to peace.

We will pursue the vision we have carried around the world over this past year — a vision of strong, sovereign, and independent nations that respect their citizens and respect their neighbors; nations that thrive in commerce and cooperation, rooted in their histories and branching out toward their destinies.

That is the future we wish for this world, and that is the future we seek in America. (Applause.)

With this strategy, we are calling for a great reawakening of America, a resurgence of confidence, and a rebirth of patriotism, prosperity, and pride.

With this strategy, we are calling for a great reawakening of America, a resurgence of confidence, and a rebirth of patriotism, prosperity, and pride.

And we are returning to the wisdom of our founders. In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. What we have built here in America is precious and unique. In all of history, never before has freedom reigned, the rule of law prevailed, and the people thrived as we have here for nearly 250 years.

We must love and defend it. We must guard it with vigilance and spirit, and, if necessary, like so many before us, with our very lives. And we declare that our will is renewed, our future is regained, and our dreams are restored.

Every American has a role to play in this grand national effort. And today, I invite every citizen to take their part in our vital mission. Together, our task is to strengthen our families, to build up our communities, to serve our citizens, and to celebrate American greatness as a shining example to the world.

As long as we are proud — and very proud — of who we are, how we got here, and what we are fighting for to preserve, we will not fail.

If we do all of this, if we rediscover our resolve and commit ourselves to compete and win again, then together we will leave our children and our grandchildren a nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and, yes, an America that is greater than ever before.

God Bless You. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)”

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Oct 202017

White House Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly, and Gold Star Father, appeared at the White House briefing room podium on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to give an emotional speech on what used to be sacred in America – a fallen soldier and our government’s and president’s call to a grieving widow, parent and next-of-kin, while defending President Donald J. Trump’s phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier, in response to politically motivated criticism from Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), while American troops are facing increasing aggression out in the battlefield, as the War on Terrorism expands into Africa. 

White House Chief of Staff General Kelly’s statements at the White House press briefing room podium Thursday were very respectful and very sympathetic to the fallen soldiers, and along with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “that was what President Trump intended and said during his personal calls to fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin.”

Ms. Sanders, when asked later to respond further said, “It’s appalling the congresswoman continues to make the death of an American hero about herself instead of honoring the fallen who selflessly gave their lives for all of us,” Ms. Sanders said in an emailed statement on Thursday. The White House press secretary, added that General Kelly “absolutely” stands by his Thursday remarks.

In an interview on Friday morning, October 20, 2017 with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, President Trump said he found Florida Congresswoman Wilson’s criticism of General Kelly “sickening.” The president called his chief of staff “a very elegant man,” and added that General Kelly “is a tough, strong four-star Marine.”

General Kelly, President Trump said, was offended that Florida Congresswoman Wilson publicized what the president said was a “very nice” call to the widow of a soldier killed in action in Niger.

In response to the four fallen U.S. soldiers, who were killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017 (shown above, Clockwise from top left, Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29), President Trump “called four people the other day to express his condolences in the best way that he could,” Kelly said. “And President Trump said to me, ‘What do I say?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, there is nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.'”

Kelly continued, recalling what he was told by General Joseph Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after his own son died in battle defending our country. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke further adding that he was “stunned” and “broken-hearted” by Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s role in conveying the details of the call to the media, CNN reports.

“In his way,” Kelly said of Trump, he “tried to express that opinion — that (Johnson) is a brave man, a fallen hero. He knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist, he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.”

On Friday, October 20, 2017, “Natasha De Alencar, the widow of Army Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar, released video of her conversation with President Trump.” Source: CNN, “Gold Star widow’s full phone call with Trump

Below are the video and complete transcription of White House Chief of Staff General Kelly’s remarks in the White House briefing room on Thursday, as prepared by the White House.



JOHN F. KELLY, White House chief of staff: “Well, thanks a lot. And it is a more serious note, so I just wanted to perhaps make more of a statement than an — give more of an explanation in what amounts to be a traditional press interaction.

Most Americans don’t know what happens when we lose one of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, our Coast Guardsmen in combat. So let me tell you what happens:

Their buddies wrap them up in whatever passes as a shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine, and sends them home. Their first stop along the way is when they’re packed in ice, typically at the airhead. And then they’re flown to, usually, Europe where they’re then packed in ice again and flown to Dover Air Force Base, where Dover takes care of the remains, embalms them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals that they’ve earned, the emblems of their service, and then puts them on another airplane linked up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home.

A very, very good movie to watch, if you haven’t ever seen it, is “Taking Chance,” where this is done in a movie — HBO setting. Chance Phelps was killed under my command right next to me, and it’s worth seeing that if you’ve never seen it.

So that’s the process. While that’s happening, a casualty officer typically goes to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on. And then he knocks on the door; typically a mom and dad will answer, a wife. And if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places; if the parents are divorced, three different places. And the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member and stays with that family until — well, for a long, long time, even after the internment. So that’s what happens.

Who are these young men and women? They are the best 1 percent this country produces. Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them. But they are the very best this country produces, and they volunteer to protect our country when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required. But that’s all right.

Who writes letters to the families? Typically, the company commander — in my case, as a Marine — the company commander, battalion commander, regimental commander, division commander, Secretary of Defense, typically the service chief, commandant of the Marine Corps, and the President typically writes a letter.

Typically, the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls they could imagine, and that is from their buddies. In my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from Afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was. Those are the only phone calls that really mattered.

And yeah, the letters count, to a degree, but there’s not much that really can take the edge off what a family member is going through.

So some Presidents have elected to call. All Presidents, I believe, have elected to send letters. If you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you could imagine. There’s no perfect way to make that phone call.

When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it, because it’s not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. It’s nice to do, in my opinion, in any event.

He asked me about previous Presidents, and I said, I can tell you that President Obama, who was my Commander-in-Chief when I was on active duty, did not call my family. That was not a criticism. That was just to simply say, I don’t believe President Obama called. That’s not a negative thing. I don’t believe President Bush called in all cases. I don’t believe any President, particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high — that Presidents call. But I believe they all write.

So when I gave that explanation to our President three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the cases of four young men, who we lost in Niger at the earlier part of this month. But then he said, how do you make these calls? If you’re not in the family, if you’ve never worn the uniform, if you’ve never been in combat, you can’t even imagine how to make that call. I think he very bravely does make those calls.

The call in question that he made yesterday — or day before yesterday now — were to four family members, the four fallen. And remember, there’s a next-of-kin designated by the individual. If he’s married, that’s typically the spouse. If he’s not married, that’s typically the parents unless the parents are divorced, and then he selects one of them. If he didn’t get along with his parents, he’ll select a sibling. But the point is, the phone call is made to the next-of-kin only if the next-of-kin agrees to take the phone call. Sometimes they don’t.

So a pre-call is made: The President of the United States or the commandant of the Marine Corps, or someone would like to call, will you accept the call? And typically, they all accept the call.

So he called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could. And he said to me, what do I say? I said to him, sir, there’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.

Shown above are the four fallen U.S. soldiers, who were killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017 (from left to right) Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29).

Well, let me tell you what I told him. Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me — because he was my casualty officer. He said, Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war. And when he died, in the four cases we’re talking about, Niger, and my son’s case in Afghanistan — when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth: his friends.

That’s what the President tried to say to four families the other day. I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing. A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the President of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion — that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist; he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.

That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.

Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought — the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.

And when I listened to this woman and what she was saying, and what she was doing on TV, the only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this Earth. And you can always find them because they’re in Arlington National Cemetery. I went over there for an hour-and-a-half, walked among the stones, some of whom I put there because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed.

I’ll end with this: In October — April, rather, of 2015, I was still on active duty, and I went to the dedication of the new FBI field office in Miami. And it was dedicated to two men who were killed in a firefight in Miami against drug traffickers in 1986 — a guy by the name of Grogan and Duke. Grogan almost retired, 53 years old; Duke, I think less than a year on the job. (Editor’s note: The F.B.I. agent for which the building is named was named Jerry L. Dove, not Duke.)

Anyways, they got in a gunfight and they were killed. Three other FBI agents were there, were wounded, and now retired. So we go down — Jim Comey gave an absolutely brilliant memorial speech to those fallen men and to all of the men and women of the FBI who serve our country so well, and law enforcement so well.

There were family members there. Some of the children that were there were three or four years old when their dads were killed on that street in Miami-Dade. Three of the men that survived the fight were there, and gave a rendition of how brave those men were and how they gave their lives.

And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents, because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building. And, she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.

But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, O.K., fine.

So, I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, that let’s not let this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society — a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for our country — let’s try to somehow keep that sacred. But, it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.

So I’m willing to take a question or two on this topic. Let me ask you this: Is anyone here a Gold Star parent or sibling? Does anyone here know a Gold Star parent or sibling?

O.K., you get the question.

Q Well, thank you, General Kelly. First of all, we have a great deal of respect — Semper Fi — for everything that you’ve ever done. But if we could take this a bit further. Why were they in Niger? We were told they weren’t in armored vehicles and there was no air cover. So what are the specifics about this particular incident? And why were we there? And why are we there?

GENERAL KELLY: Well, I would start by saying there is an investigation. Let me back up and say, the fact of the matter is, young men and women that wear our uniform are deployed around the world and there are tens of thousands, near the DMZ in North Korea [sic], in Okinawa, waiting to go — in South Korea — in Okinawa, ready to go. All over the United States, training, ready to go. They’re all over Latin America. Down there, they do mostly drug and addiction, working with our partners — our great partners — the Colombians, the Central Americans, the Mexicans.

You know, there’s thousands. My own son, right now, back in the fight for his fifth tour against ISIS. There’s thousands of them in Europe acting as a deterrent. And they’re throughout Africa. And they’re doing the nation’s work there, and not making a lot of money, by the way, doing it. They love what they do.

So why were they there? They’re there working with partners, local — all across Africa — in this case, Niger — working with partners, teaching them how to be better soldiers; teaching them how to respect human rights; teaching them how to fight ISIS so that we don’t have to send our soldiers and Marines there in their thousands. That’s what they were doing there.

Now, there is an investigation. There’s always an — unless it’s a very, very conventional death in a conventional war, there’s always an investigation. Of course, that operation is conducted by AFRICOM that, of course, works directly for the Secretary of Defense.

There is a — and I talked to Jim Mattis this morning. I think he made statements this afternoon. There’s an investigation ongoing. An investigation doesn’t mean anything was wrong. An investigation doesn’t mean people’s heads are going to roll. The fact is they need to find out what happened and why it happened.

But at the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, you have to understand that these young people — sometimes old guys — put on the uniform, go to where we send them to protect our country. Sometimes they go in large numbers to invade Iraq and invade Afghanistan. Sometimes they’re working in small units, working with our partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, helping them be better.

But at the end of the day, they’re helping those partners be better at fighting ISIS in North Africa to protect our country so that we don’t have to send large numbers of troops.

Any other — someone who knows a Gold Star fallen person.


Q General, thank you for being here today and thank you for your service and for your family’s sacrifice. There has been some talk about the timetable of the release of the statement about the — I think at that point it was three soldiers who were killed in Niger. Can you walk us through the timetable of the release of that information? And what part did the fact that a beacon was pinging during that time have to do with the release of the statement? And were you concerned that divulging information early might jeopardize the soldiers’ attempt to be (inaudible)?

GENERAL KELLY: First of all, that’s a — you know, we are at the highest level of the U.S. government. The people that will answer those questions will be the people at the other end of the military pyramid.

I’m sure the Special Forces group is conducting it. I know they’re conducting an investigation. That investigation, of course, under the auspices of AFRICOM, ultimately will go to the Pentagon. I’ve read the same stories you have. I actually know a lot more than I’m letting on, but I’m not going to tell you.

There is an investigation being done. But as I say, the men and women of our country that are serving all around the world — I mean, what the hell is my son doing back in the fight? He’s back in the fight because — working with Iraqi soldiers who are infinitely better than they were a few years ago to take ISIS on directly so that we don’t have to do it. Small numbers of Marines where he is working alongside those guys. That’s why they’re out there, whether it’s Niger, Iraq, or whatever. We don’t want to send tens of thousands of American soldiers and Marines, in particular, to go fight.

I’ll take one more, but it’s got to be from someone who knows — all right.

Q General, when you talk about Niger, sir, what does your intelligence tell you about the Russian connection with them? And the stories that are coming out now, they’re —

GENERAL KELLY: I have no knowledge of any Russian connection, but I was not, in my position, to know that. That’s a question for NORTHCOM or for — not NORTHCOM — for AFRICOM or DOD.

Thanks very much, everybody.

As I walk off the stage, understand there’s tens of thousands of American kids, mostly, doing their nation’s bidding all around the world. They don’t have to be in uniform. You know, when I was a kid, every man in my life was a veteran — World War II, Korea, and there was the draft. These young people today, they don’t do it for any other reason than their selfless — sense of selfless devotion to this great nation.

We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our service men and women do — not for any other reason than they love this country. So just think of that.

And I do appreciate your time. Take care.”


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Oct 032017

#Video, Full Transcript of #Trump #WhiteHouse Speech After #LasVegas Shooting Massacre

President Trump’s speech from the White House today in the aftermath of the Las Vegas active shooter massacre was Spiritual and Godly. And, his speech established the perfect tone in a masterful use of his presidential powers of persuasion and compassion in the nation’s hour of need to have our president unite us as safe and secure citizens of community, equality and liberties.

The president praised law enforcement for their bravery in rapidly tracking down the (now deceased from suicide) active shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, high atop Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor (unleashing several hundred rounds of bullets from automatic weaponry through a busted out window) over 40,000 concertgoers at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival site Sunday evening, shortly after 10pm PT (1am ET), saying that “in moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one” in the wake of the largest domestic mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing nearly 58 people and injuring and hospitalizing over 500 other concertgoers. 

In fact, Stephen Paddock, “who killed 58 people and injured at least 515 others at a Las Vegas concert, was a retiree with no criminal history in the Nevada county where he lived,” police said Fox News reports. MGM and law enforcement officials now (as of public reports on Friday, October 13, 2017) agree their approaching hotel security guard was shot at 10:05pm PT (1:05am ET), and then shortly afterwards Stephen Paddock opened fired into the crowd of concertgoers.

David Becker, a freelance photographer, was at the scene, on Sunday evening, October 1, 2017, where he was assigned to photograph the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas for Getty Images (photos shown below).

“There were groups of people helping each other everywhere and a real sense of people running for cover. People were fleeing, they were panicking. The gun fire was sporadic, it would stop and then more shots, then a lull and then more shots. I could hear people yelling at them to shut off the lights, to be quiet. People were cowering, they were very fearful for their lives. A woman tripped right in front of me, a man shielded a woman with his body before I saw them both get up and run away, a man in a wheelchair was helped to an exit. I was trying to capture anything that was moving and that had good lighting. That was critical, it was so dark and there was limited lighting it was really hard to get a sense of what was happening. At this stage I still just thought it was a speaker popping, so I was trying to capture people’s emotions and a sense of the panic that was around me.”

David Becker, Freelance Photograher on the scene Sunday evening October 1, 2017 at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival for Getty Images 

“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” President Trump tweeted Monday morning October 2, 2017 at 6:11am ET.

President Trump said on Monday he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Below is the video and complete transcript of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump remarks from the .@WhiteHouse on Monday, October 2, 2017 in the wake of the active shooting massacre in #LasVegas on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

“Thank you.

My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief.

Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more.

It was an act of pure evil.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.

I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired, is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about.

Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you. And we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.

Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.

In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff. I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims. In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.

We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger, at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today. And always will. Forever.

In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.

Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.

May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. Thank you. God bless America. Thank you.”

Our Holy Bible inside the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says:
“He Gives Life’s Order of Events:
There’s an appointed time for everything. And there’s a time for every event under heaven — 
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what’s planted. 
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. 
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
And now, Here’s our time to speak.

America’s Gun Control Debate Continues. 
Americans’ hard choices in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, and in the wake of U.S. House Majority Whip (R-La.) Steve Scalise’s recount of the harrowing moments within a minute from death after he was shot at a 7 o’clock in the morning congressional baseball game recently back in June 2017 in northern Virginia, is not merely to support or oppose gun control, but to make the hard choices in the ongoing debate on who can own which guns under what conditions to protect ourselves, our families, our schools, our churches, our businesses, and our government (comprised of and representing us).

Historically speaking, total numbers of firearm-related incidents have actually fallen through the decades. Before 1993, the number of people killed or wounded by firearms skyrocketed. Thereafter, America has seen a precipitous drop in deaths due to firearms, including fatal firearms accidents reduced to approximately 40 percent in the last decade, and nowadays reduced to as high as 49 percent, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conservative think-tank, with such fatal firearms accidents statistics resting now at their lowest levels ever chronicled. 

Of the 31,224 people who died from gun violence, according to recent data reports on, 12,632 people died from murderous gun violence, and the difference of 18,592 people died from self-inflicted suicide by gun fire, mostly by white men statistically.


I’m at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, where this small, very conservative community still holds onto its constitutional second amendment rights and liberties.

“The right to bear arms” was bestowed to the American citizenry by the framers of the constitution, who guarded against an over-reaching government. And, the framers included that right in the constitution before many other bills of rights, such as “the right to trial by jury, and the prohibitions against illegal search and arrest.”

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, “Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason,”, Mar. 12, 2013

Be that as it may, the issue of gun ownership has remained one of the most contentious debates in this country and there are currently over 35,000 gun-control laws on the books in this nation, which attempt to control a right that the constitution says “shall not be infringed,” and many of these laws include total gun bans in many American cities (not inclusive to several states as Texas).

Source: (2013), Top 10 States with lowest gun-related death rates (in blue); Top 10 States with highestgun-related death rates (in orange)

Remarkably, the FBI finds the top weapon of choice of criminals involved in violent crimes they’ve investigated ironically is “a baseball bat” (categorized below in #9 non-firearm homicides just above #10 firearm homicides in a December 9, 2012 bar-charted statistical data comparison of Top 10 “Killers” of citizens in the U.S.).

“Why is there NO outcry to RESPECT baseball bat ownership?” asks second amendment advocates advocates, “maybe because so many law-abiding citizens enjoy (baseball bats) safely, for sport.”

And so, the debate continues with the central questions being exactly what rights do Americans have with their ability to protect themselves and their property? And how far can the government go to either violate or protect these rights?

Source: Business Insider (2016), “Where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on gun control”

Our ongoing and continuing gun ownership debate is a longstanding part of the sociopolitical process in this nation. And, it will continue to surface in public reaction to future extreme disaster events and recovery, like the history-making Las Vegas’ massacre, or the nightly gun killings on the harsh streets of several American cities, like Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

Therefore, my advice is to consider all combinations of legal frameworks and social education of domestic safety and Homeland security of our citizenry, and not just simply ‘following the herd in sociopolitical reaction after Las Vegas’ extreme event of a suicidal madman’ randomly shooting into a crowd of 40,000 peacefully festive concertgoers. Remember, we all are the future of our country and the protector of both civil and human rights of all of us as citizens!


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Sep 042017

#HurricaneHarvey #HurricaneIrma: Can private business and philanthropy play a role in disaster recovery?

#BREAKING on #ABCNews (Sunday, September 10, 2017): Center of Hurricane #Irma made landfall in Marco Island at 3:35pm ET as a Category 3 hurricane. Monday 8pm ET #Irma has been downgraded to a dangerous tropical storm packing 45 mph winds.

“In Miami (shown below), winds whipped around high-rise buildings at speeds approaching 100 mph, the National Weather Service said. A 94 mph wind gust was recorded at Miami International Airport,” ABC News reports.

“#Irma is expected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to much of Florida and portions of the southeast U.S. over the next few days @NWSWPC”

#BREAKING on #ABCNews: Florida governor Rick Scott to residents ahead of #HurricaneIrma: ‘You’ve got to get out’

“If Florida residents are unsure how to evacuate ahead of Irma, Florida Governor Rick Scott said to call the state emergency hotline or go online to”

“With more than a million Florida residents ordered to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott (shown in the photo below on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” Friday, September 9, 2017) urged people to leave without delay,” ABC News reports.

“If you’re in an evacuation zone, you’ve got to get out; you can’t wait,” Scott said in an interview today with ABC News’ “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts.

“This thing’s coming,” he warned. “It looks like it’s going to go right through the middle of our state.”

It’s all about “Your dreams are my dreams.”

The biggest story of Hurricane Harvey is President Trump’s and First Lady Melania Trump’s phenomenal empathy, humility, and caring moments with the families still suffering in the Texas Gulf Coast region. 

Hurricane Harvey has killed 44 people and caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and businesses in the aftermath of the worst natural disaster event hitting Texas Gulf Coast since 1961. And, Hurricane Harvey is one of the most expensive natural disaster reconstructions in U.S. History, potentially reaching as high as $150-200 billion dollars when this recovery is all over!

We are all Federalists. We are all Republicans” – U.S. President Thomas Jefferson’s Inauguration Address, 1801, in unifying the nation after a most contentious Election 1800 campaign.

This natural disaster is a test of the ‪.@WhiteHouse Combined Geopolitics of #HurricaneHarvey and now #HurricaneIrma, emergent and growing as #HurricaneIrma rapidly approaches the Florida coast in a state of emergency, as a Category 5 storm on this Labor Day 2017. 

“Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in the state as rapidly growing Hurricane Irma, now a Category 5 storm, is expected to make landfall later this week,” reports Fox News.

“The state of emergency has been issued for all of Florida’s 67 counties. Scott said that the state would “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” as Irma (shown below) is expected to hit the state around Friday.”

The governor tweeted on Labor Day that he urges “all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news and visit today to get prepared.”

So, we aren’t out of the woods yet in America’s long road to natural disaster recovery and relief!

Texans are in a fishbowl now, yet they’re staying dry with The President and Mrs. Trump recently hitting-on-the-ground-running by their side! 

What we are once again witnessing is an emerging “Humble Trump,” as his son Eric Trump fondly described his father, now President Trump, during his 2016 election campaign.

“Your dreams are my dreams. Your hopes are my hopes. Your future is what I’m fighting for EACH and EVERY day.” – .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump

Here’s how you can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Geopolitics of Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery.

President Trump, his Cabinet, and his FEMA has been overwhelmingly successful in its business-like management discipline during its first White House test of “The Geopolitics of Natural Disaster Management, Relief and Recovery.” (cf, Natural Disaster Management,  Aniket Pingale, via LinkedIn SlideShare)

The heart of the heavy assets of the U.S. energy and oil industry has been hit by this storm. U.S. refineries have a huge amount of assets invested along the Texas Gulf Coast region, which has received a significant shock. 

In 2014, America became “the largest exporter and the largest net exporter of refined petroleum. As of January 2015, there were 137 operating refineries in the US, distributed among 30 states, according to Wikipedia.

However, oil prices currently seem to be weathering this storm and its associated recovery ongoing this Labor Day 2017!

Fortunately, President Trump is “a builder and a rebuilder of things!” So, he’s a natural fit for leadership in extreme-events and disaster management, recovery and reconstruction engineering.

Nonetheless, a public service notice is when you’re not in a specific flood zone (with or without a severe storm), folks always need flood insurance, who’s overall cost is extremely cheap. However, many Houston-metropolitan homeowners don’t have flood insurance, due to widespread public misconceptions that you have to be inside a flood zone to receive or even carry flood insurance. This has left many folks financially strapped and stranded by the flood disaster of Hurricane Harvey.

The most immediate need in the Texas Gulf Coast region is a million ounces of “bug spray” – as the huge swarms of “health-hazard” mosquitoes, as big as most State birds, are attacking human relief and recovery efforts in the Texas Gulf Coast flood zones. Also, toxic waste is seeping from sewers, causing a severe environmental impact on neighborhoods. More importantly, animals are roaming everywhere, not only trying to gain relief from the flood zones, but also adding to the growing bacteria contamination and contagious diseases potentially harmful and spreading rampantly that could possibly cause a public health concern, stressing local healthcare capacity.

Fortunately at this point, a million liters of clean bottled water has been placed on-hand in the Texas Gulf Coast region, a million meals has been provided to folks, and a half-million families have requested FEMA relief assistance online and on-the-ground. 

President Trump has ordered nearly $8B dollars of FEMA relief assistance – running through Congress this week (and approved by the U.S. House on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, as President Trump also worked behind the scenes today with Congressional deomcrats to raise the nation’s debt ceiling well into December) with an additional $7B getting Congressional approvals through continuing resolution of supplemental funding directed to FEMA for Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery. The federal legislation now goes to the Senate and “is expected to be sent to the White House by the end of the week” — just as the more powerful Category 5 Hurricane Irma, which has already left “a trail of chaos, wreckage and flooding from Barbuda to Puerto Rico,” is now expected to slam the Florida coast. “The Senate bill, introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late Wednesday night, extends Congressional aid to $15.25 billion, in anticipation of more federal funds needed to address disaster relief from Category 5 Hurricane Irma,” according to LinkedIn’s Daily Rundown reports.

President Trump legislatively and administratively achieved and did not want Hurricane Harvey disaster relief funds tied to the U.S. debt ceiling, since such Harvey relief funds are tied to a national emergency. On the ground already in the disaster zone are 30,000 Federal workers along with tens of thousands of veterans and volunteers, assisting recovery efforts in the Texas Gulf Coast region.

“If approved, the legislation is expected to set the stage for a bruising year-end fiscal battle,” The Washington Post opines.

Photo Credit: From #Washington to .@realDonaldTrump: “So Help Me God” .@POTUS signs proclamation .@WhiteHouse declaring September 3, 2017 #NationalDayofPrayer!

Texas Resilience as “Cowboys and Christians.”

A second big story of Hurricane Harvey is the resilience of Texans, who are “Cowboys and Christians,” and neighbors helping neighborhoods recover out of massive floods in the Texas Gulf Coast region. The Lone Star State of Texas is a Second Amendment protector of “Life, Liberty, and Property” in the philosophical spirit of John Locke in the growing wake of looting of homeowners and businesses rocked by huge piles of damaged property and goods lined along neighborhood street curbs.

Following in the tradition of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, President Trump and The White House Proclaims Sunday, September 3, 2017, a #NationalDayOfPrayer for #HurricaneHarvey National Relief and Recovery. This is also in the historical tradition of the presidency, as all presidential inaugurations – from Washington to Lincoln to FDR to Reagan to Trump – have promised Texas and all states across America to the best of their abilities, to keep us safe and protect us, under the Constitution, “So Help Me God!”

America is a generous nation.

Looking forward, billions of additional dollars will be required to completely rebuild the Texas Gulf Coast region, as was needed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Photo Credit: Former Bush U.S. FEMA Director for Hurricane Katrina and I discussed the title question: Can private business and philanthropy play a role in disaster recovery? In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy 2012. 

What we learned from Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and now Harvey, is charitable individuals, and private business can play a significant role in disaster relief and recovery. Six American institutions of philanthropy and corporations have joined hands in partnership with government to provide Texas Gulf Coast disaster relief for our local institutions of families, churches and schools.

From Walmart supplying clothes, to Pizza Hut and McDonald’s providing meals, to Bush Beer shipping in clean bottle water, to NFL’s J.J. Watt raising $18M in Hurricane Harvey relief, and finally, to President Trump – as an individual citizen – donating a million dollars of his own wealth, private business and government have played a huge role in partnership to assist Texans in shelters fleeing their flooded homes.

Remarkably, Americans are an extraordinarily generous people. Most of all, our generosity is not necessarily just tied to tax planning benefits of giving forward.

Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America records the American citizenry gives forward “without reference to any bureaucracy, or any official agency.”

Inside the most recent Giving USA, Americans are indeed extremely generous in giving forward to charities and philanthropic organizations well over $300 billion dollars as of 2016-17. This is equivalent to the net income of about 20% of all corporations of the Fortune 500 today.

To achieve this exceptional $300 billion-dollar amount of charitable generosity experienced by our citizenry (including baby-boomer retirees, and the largest emerging millennial generation — which is about an 8% larger cohort than the baby-boomers), America invested an equivalency of nearly $4 trillion dollars in assets, sold about $6 trillion dollars in goods and services, and drew upon the combined productivity of more than 40 million employed workers.

That’s a lot of goodwill for all charitable Americans to feel good about giving forward, for sure!



Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor and chair of the department of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He is formerly professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Aug 212017
The US president’s approval ratings hit a new low as he is criticised by his fellow Republicans.
There has not been a dull moment in the White House since US President Donald Trump took office. In the past eight months there’s been a series of executive orders and a string of high profile departures. Yet the president insists there is “no chaos” in his administration.
But the polls tell a different story.
His approval ratings have plummeted and members of his own Republican party are questioning his capability as president, with some calling the White House a “sinking ship’.
Trump has become increasingly isolated in recent months, shunned by major business leaders and at odds with his party’s congressional leadership. And his comments after the violence in Charlottesville estranged him from more than half the nation.
Many are now beginning to wonder how long he will last as president.”
Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra
Oliver McGee – Former White House Science Office Senior Policy Advisor, Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy
David A Love – Executive Editor of Black Commentator dot com.
Jeanne Zaino – Professor of political science and international studies at Iona College.
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Dec 232016

#Barcelona #Charlottesville #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice, #911 Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

#BREAKING #BarcelonaAttack (August 17, 2017): A white van slammed into pedestrians on the famous promenade in the city center of Barcelona, Spain on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The transportation vehicle “plowed  through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona (shown above and below). Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were seriously hurt,” CNN reports. “The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain, since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains … It was the latest in a series of attacks in Europe in which vehicles have been used to mow down pedestrians in public spaces. More than 100 people have died in similar attacks in Berlin, London and Nice.”

According to numerous reports breaking at the moment, “at least 13 people are reported dead and more than 100 are injured after a terrorist in a van ploughed into pedestrians in a famous street packed with tourists and locals in central Barcelona. Spanish media cited unnamed police sources who said at least 13 people were killed. Local officials confirmed at least 90 people were hurt, 10 seriously.”

“I want to also express my solidarity with all of Spain to the city of Barcelona, today hit by jihadi terrorism, like other cities have been in the world,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in offering his condolences to the Barcelona Attack victims’ families.

Daily Mirror (U.K.) reports: “The van zigzagged as it slammed into victims on tree-lined Las Ramblas promenade before the armed attacker ditched the vehicle and took hostages in a Turkish restaurant nearby.”

Police released a photograph of a man called Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, who is suspected of renting the van which was used to crashed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas.

#BREAKING (August 22, 2017): “Court official: Terror suspect reveals the Islamist cell wanted to strike Barcelona monuments, imam planned to self-immolate.” (AP)

The #BarcelonaAttack is the latest in a wave of transportation-related truck (lorry) and automobile pedestrian plowings in #Charlottesville (Virginia, United States), #Jerusalem (Israeli), #Berlin (Germany) and #Nice (France) in recent years (including 9-11 airplane attacks on the World Trade Center (New York), Pentagon (Washington DC) and Pennsylvania (adverting an intentional 9-11 attack on the White House)). 

This attack in Spain’s largest city on August 17, 2017 has caused panic on the streets of Barcelona, Spain. Remarkably, these attacks, which were foretold and warned by terrorists in their intended use of the international transportation system as weapons of mass destruction, has now drew widespread condemnation from world leaders.

“ISIS claims responsibility,” The Telegragh (U.K.) reports, as follows:

“Soldiers” of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carried out the deadly van attack, the jihadist organisation’s propaganda outlet Amaq said.

“The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State,” Amaq said on its Telegram messenger account, without naming those it claimed were behind the attack.

Amaq said they had launched the attack in response to calls to target states taking part in the United States-led coalition battling the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said “the attack was “jihadist terrorism” which required a global response”

“Today the fight against terrorism is the principal priority for free and open societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global,” Rajoy told a news conference in Barcelona.

“ISIS which once controlled a self-declared “caliphate” across large parts of Iraq and Syria, has suffered major losses in recent months. Coalition-backed Iraqi forces recaptured its Iraqi stronghold Mosul in July.”

“The Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol have been highlighted as key threat areas with fears of a Tunisia-style atrocity being repeated in Spain.”

The Daily Star Online revealed back on July 11, 2015 “how UK tourists are being labeled as “high value” targets by ISIS extremists.”

Rising threats of domestic terrorism using our transport technology

“Europe, the United Kingdom, and Russia have witnessed terror attacks or attempted attacks every nine days in 2017 on average,” analysis of security incidents has revealed.

As the map below reveals (via Breitbart), attacks and attempted attacks have taken place in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Turkey, India, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

For instances, “Security services in Britain — population 65 million — believe there to be around 23,000 potential terror suspects or persons posing a threat,” as reported in Breitbart. “Meanwhile Belgium, with its population of just 12 million, is officially tracking around 18,000 potential jihadists, though this number has not been updated in some time. According to the British secret service MI6, there are in Germany about 7.000 terror suspects.”

#BREAKING #Charlottesville Attack (August 12, 2017): .@OliverMcGee #VIDEO LIVE #FoxHappeningNow 11:30a ET (8-16-17) .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump #Charlottesville Attack remarks .@WhiteHouse

Remarkably, there is a “clear and present danger” of increasing use of our international transportation system as domestic weapons of mass destruction. #Barcelona,  #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice, #911 #TerrorAttacks Signal A Rise in the Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction!

Have you once again noticed (in a disturbing video of a horrific motorist plowing over people in a #Charlottesville protest) how the international transportation system is the common thread being threaded between the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and #911 terror attacks, first by Al-Qaeda, now morphed into #ISIS?

Witnesses at the horrible scenes in #Barcelona, #Jerusalem (and allegedly in an analogous manner in the #Charlottesville getaway “hit and run” incident) say the attacker(s) drove his truck (car) “back and forward” over the victims as they lay on the ground underneath the lorry (car).

Remarkably, air and surface transportation systems and vehicles are increasingly becoming employed as domestic weapons of mass destruction!

God help us, if such ongoing and continuing terrorism weaponry rehearsals using the international transportation system expand further into incorporating devastatingly catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare on domestic and international “soft targets.”

In Charlottesville the alleged American domestic terrorism suspect is now identified as James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man (shown in the photo below). He employed his automobile to mow down people in a public protest in #Charlottesville (shown in the photo(s) above after Fields was caught up to in a “hit and run” getaway in the panicked aftermath of people running for their lives), killing a 32-year old woman and injuring 19 others. Horrifically, Fields allegedly and theoretically used his automobile as a domestic weapon of mass destruction. 

TMZ reports, “He’s facing a second-degree murder charge, along with three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in death … according to the superintendent of the Albemarle Regional Jail.”

In disturbing video of the crash … “the suspect Fields appears to deliberately drive his Dodge Challenger into a group of counter-protesters walking down the street, then floors it in reverse in an attempt to flee. He was captured shortly after … as a 32-year-old woman was killed in the incident.” Charlottesville police chief said “at least 35 people were injured during the Saturday, August 12, 2017 violence between white nationalist rallygoers and counter-protesters.”

On Sunday, January 8, 2017, another alleged act of terrorism involved a lorry (tracker-trailer truck) deliberately driven at high speed into soldiers pedestrians in an Israeli neighborhood of Armon Hannaiv outside of south Jerusalem, killing at least four victims – three young men in their twenties alongside one young woman also in her twenties – and injuring over fifteen people at the horrific crime scene.

Have you noticed I repeat how the international transportation system is the common thread being threaded between the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and #911 terror attacks, first by Al-Qaeda, now morphed into #ISIS?

Witnesses at the horrible scene in #Jersalem (shown above) say the attacker drove his truck “back and forward” over the victims as they lay on the ground underneath the lorry.

“It is a terrorist attack, a ramming attack,” a police spokeswoman said on Israel Radio, which reported that bodies were “strewn on the street.”

“A group of soldiers was standing with their bags near the bus. I had just let them off. The truck drove into the group of soldiers, ran over them and kept going. The soldiers shot at the driver. He reversed and ran over them again,” Moshe Aharon, the driver of the bus told Army Radio, the Times of Israel reports (via The Independent (U.K.)).

Police have said the truck driver was “neutralized” – when soldiers at the scene shot him dead.

Remarkably and horrifically, I must say again, air and surface transportation systems and vehicles are increasingly becoming employed as weapons of mass destruction! 

Remember also, when I described above on Aljazeera English, about another domestic transportation-related security breach on January 9, 2017 inside a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (United States) baggage claim area that was morphed into a “kill-zone,” as a gunman open fired upon commercial airline passengers gathering their baggage inside the Florida airport claim area!

Are we noticing a clear and dangerous pattern taking place all around us in the last 6-12 months? Do we see a noticeable safety and security breach happening on our lives? We need to be ever so visionary and vigilant about our scientific and technological security, our transportation security, our homeland security, and our international security now more than ever in our global history.

I must repeat, God help us, if such ongoing and continuing terrorism weaponry rehearsals using the international transportation system expand further into incorporating devastatingly catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare on domestic and international “soft targets.”

On January 8, 2017 as soldiers departed a nearby Israeli bus in Jerusalem, and on December 19, 2016 at a public Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, as well as, on July 14, 2016 at a public holiday gathering on #BastilleDay (French National Independence Day) in Nice, France, three multi-ton tractor-trailer surface transportation vehicles (instead of four multi-ton commercial passenger aircraft seized and hijacked in the “911 attacks”) were used as weapons of mass destruction on “soft-targets” in what the terrorists are now celebrating on social media as, once again, a double “#Nice attack” (given the recent #Barcelona, #Jerusalem and #Berlin attacks), which is horrendous.

On Friday, December 23, 2016, near Milan, Italy, Anis Amri, the Tunisian man (shown in the photos above), allegedly suspected of the multi-ton tractor-trailer truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany on Monday, December 19, 2016, killing 12 people and injuring 50 others, was killed in a police shootout at Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan, on Friday, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said.

Anis Amri was identified by anti-terrorism Digos police by chance on the spot based on his “appearance and fingerprints,” anti-terrorism sources in Milan, Italy said.

As reported in Ansa English: The Berlin attack suspect, Anis Amri, “arrived in Italy from France, according to anti-terrorism Digos police. He went from Chambery to Turin (French Alps), and then, took a high-speed rail train arriving in a suburban station in Milan, Italy. Amri later went from Milan’s Stazione Centrale to Sesto San Giovanni. He immediately ran into two police officers by chance and was killed in a shootout, as the anti-terrorism Digos police officers attempted to conduct a routine stop-check, when suddenly Amri pulled out a .22 caliber gun and started shooting at the anti-terrorism Digos police officers, sources said. 

The Tunisian man, Anis Amri, was killed by a trainee police officer, Luca Scatà, 29, said sources at the horrific scene. The other policeman, Christian Movio, 36, was hospitalized in Monza, Italy, after being injured during the anti-terrorism Digos police shootout, confirmed those immediately at the Milan suburban train station.”

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been informed, adding that the anti-terrorism Digos police shooting incident in Milan, Italy on December 23, 2016 “showed that the Italian State was doing its bit to protect the public from terrorism.”

“The level of attention remains maximum, the threats should not be underestimated, but what happened overnight shows the citizens that Italy is present, the State is present,” Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said.

What are the science and technology policy grand-challenges?

International and domestic safety and security has now been integrally united with international transportation safety and security through trains, planes, trucks and automobiles being employed as weapons of mass destruction. 

Now more than ever, we desperately need to observe 24-7 our integrated, interdependent, intermodal, international transportation system in this grand-challenge age of integrated infrastructure and cyber-communications, incorporating smarter information technologies, sophisticated biotechnologies, miniaturized wireless devices, advanced microtechologies, nanotechnology of everything, and accessible elder technologies and mobility – moving people and things safely and securely in extreme circumstances and conditions of disaster and terrorism mitigation, controls and recovery.

Above all of this, we are perhaps even talking about a whole new way of looking at “black-boxes in the cloud,” tracking integrated autonomous planes, trains and automobiles, now working amongst our crowded international urban centers in the dawn of the 21st Century.

The United States National Academy of Engineering at the request of the United States National Science Foundation convened a diverse committee of science and technology experts (including visionary sessions involving over 50 subject-matter experts from around the world and receiving inputs across the general public) to proposed 14 grand challenges achievable and sustainable to help people and the planet thrive in the post-911 age of demography shift and heighten engagements. Since the NAE’s report’s release, these 14 grand challenges have inspired numerous events (including Global Grand Challenges in London, Beijing, and most recently in late July 2017, George Washington University in Washington, DC) and educational initiatives at all levels (such as the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program), which the public can learn more about at

Of the 14 grand challenges of NAE, nine are the most relevant to mitigating circumstances of transportation-related attacks on European, Russian, and American cities and associated man-made disaster recovery: 

#5 Provide access to clean water;

#6 Restore and improve urban infrastructure;

#7 Advance health informatics;

#8 Engineer better medicines;

#9 Reverse-engineer the brain (to better understand the psychology of extreme threats on the social fabric);

#10 Prevent nuclear terror (including smaller delivery mechanism of nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare devices as weapons of mass destruction);

#11 Secure cyberspace;

#12 Enhance virtual reality (for simulations of extreme urban center threats and man-made disaster recovery);

#13 Advance personalized learning (for raising the public’ understanding of science and technology and its tools for people to use when we see something, so we can know best how to say something, or so we can know better how to do something).

Are our geopolitical leaders being blind-sided?

Remarkably, United States, French, German, and NATO intelligence briefs were blindsided by the December 19, 2016 premeditated Lorry attack in #Berlin, by the July 14, 2016 premeditated Lorry attack in #Nice, and by the recent Sunday, January 8, 2017 horrific Lorry attack on soldiers in #Jerusalem, altogether designed as transportation-related weapons of mass destruction to maximized casualties. There were no prior immediate indicators, warnings or online patterns for international intelligence to intervene, counsel and advise local public safety and security authorities on the vulnerabilities of such #Nice and/or #Berlin and #Barcelona “soft-targets.”

Many of us personally feel it is so important that free people internationally are aware of what is already upon us now, and that was remarkably right in front of our face back in October 2010 (seven years ago and nine years after the 911 attacks on the United States). 

Ironically, the Nice, France, Berlin, Germany and Barcelona, Spain attacks were remarkably spelled out online back in October 2010 inside a chilling terrorist communication provided here in the Appendix C via “The Week,” in an individual radicalism of indefensible “lone-wolf” terrorism (aka, Harvard’s Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” actualization of online social media gorilla warfare).

Detailed in the Appendix C are terrorist’s specifics of potential transportation-related terrorism attacks that can disrupt public safety and security internationally and domestically.

Akin to “Run, Hide, Fight” active-shooter online educational tools of public safety and security, this revealing piece in the Appendix serves as an analogous terrorism online educational tool of public safety and security message of “If we know it, we can see it, and then, we can report it and beat it.”

And, “if we see something, then we need to say something” or “if we see something, then we need to do something.”

What was once called “neighborhood watches” now must be called “city watches” and “boarder watches” in the post-911 age of demography shift and heightened engagement amongst terrorists across Europe, Russia, Turkey and America.

What’s going on with Transportation and Threats of Terrorism?

As the French, Germans, Spainards and Americans are left reeling, yet again, by the needless loss of human life, while people are freely participating in holiday celebrations or even protests assemblages (as in Charlottesville, Virginia), the most compelling question and geopolitical issue raised nowadays is what’s going wrong with international intelligence on transportation-related terrorism and international border security across the western world.

“Europe’s open borders are putting Britain’s security at risk, former police chiefs have warned after it emerged that the terrorist behind the Berlin Christmas market attack travelled unhindered through three countries before being killed in Italy,” reports The Telegragh (UK) on December 24, 2016.

Photo Credit: The Sun (UK):“The Berlin truck killer is said to have travelled unchallenged on Europe’s (high-speed) rail network for 72 hours despite his picture being flashed to national police forces and a European Arrest Warrant being issued.”

The Telegragh (UK) adds: “Anis Amri, the most wanted man in Europe, travelled from Berlin to the French Alps and then onto Italy without being stopped at any point on his 1,000 mile journey.”

“Police believe that in the wake of the terror attack Amri travelled from Germany to Chambery in the French Alps (Turin) before taking a high-speed train to Milan.”

Photo Credit: The Sun (UK)

Seismic Geo-political Fallouts in 2016 were shaken by domestic immigration and international border controls 

Nonetheless, the upset #Brexit vote on Thursday, June 23, 2016, and the upset United States election fallout on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, clearly said “enough is enough.” 

An autumn American Election 2016 win for President Donald Trump, rests squarely on the issue of domestic immigration and international broader controls, following a summer shocker victory for #Brexit, stunned the public and the pollsters after most predicted these seismic geo-political forces dead wrong, as Arthur Schlesinger “Cycles of American History” took ahold of geo-political events.

Indeed, these geo-political upsets and fallouts caught U.K. and U.S. officials wrong-footed on public concerns about immigration policies, as well as, international economic and trade policies, ironically as international transportation-related terrorism incidents heat up and death tolls rise.

As these transportation-related terror attacks proceed, ongoing and continuing, future U.S. and International Transport Secretaries and Ministers and future U.S. and International Science and Technology Policy Makers and Ministers will be integrally united to future U.S. and International Security Advisers and future U.S. and International Homeland Security Secretaries and Ministers in ongoing terrorism policy mitigation and abatement along with future man-made disaster recovery.

Appendix A

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Statement on #Berlin Christmas Terror Attack

German chancellor, Angela Markel, under increasing pressure of ‘exposing Germany to the risk of terrorism’ with her ‘too liberal’ approach to accepting refugees, delivered a statement at a Berlin press conference in which she said it would be “difficult for us to learn” that the attacker was a refugee welcomed into the country, following reports the Berlin attacker suspect came to Germany from Afghanistan nearly a year ago.

The German chancellor said on Tuesday, December 20, 2016:

“Twelve people that were amongst us yesterday, who were looking forward to Christmas and had plans for the festive season are no longer amongst us.

It is a terrible deed which one cannot understand. It took their lives. Many people are injured, are fighting for their lives and fighting for their health.

We don’t have any thing for certain but we must assume it was a terrorist attack. It would be very difficult for us to learn that a human being committed this deed who came to Germany to ask for refuge and asylum.

It would be terrible for all of the Germans who are very active, day by day in helping asylum seekers and refugees. It would be repugnant for them, for those that are helping people that have come to this country and asking for our help.”

Appendix B

Transportation-related Causation Linkage Between #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and 911 Terror Attacks.

We all are so stunned and sorrowful for the 13 lives lost and more than 50 people injured in Barcelona, Spain on August 17, 2017, as well as, the 12 lives lost and 50 people injured in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016 by a multi-ton tractor-trailer truck purposely plowed into a crowded Christmas market, as described above.

This traumatic transportation-related event comes upon us 6-12 months after 84 lives lost and the dozens of injuries in Nice, France on July 14, 2016. 

Shockingly thereat, like in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016, a multi-ton tractor-trailer truck pulling up slowly, suddenly slammed at an accelerated high-speed into a very large crowd of panicking people. Hundreds of people were suddenly caught off-guard and shocked by this transportation-related terror attack, while celebrating #BastilleDay (France’s National Independence Day), and watching spectacular fireworks at #Nice, the fifth most populated city in southeastern France on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea at Promenade des Angelais and French Riviera.

At about 10:40 pm (Nice, France local time), a 31-year-old man, acting as a crazed “lone-wolf” truck driver (who was a Nice, French native of Tunisian ethnicity, known to local police for petty theft and mildly violent crimes but not terrorism), deliberately shot people, as the armed “lone wolf” driver zig-zagged a rented multi-ton tractor-trailer (alledgedly carrying toy guns and inactivated grenades) as a weapon of mass destruction through thousands of people for nearly 2 kilometers (about a mile).

Photo Credit: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, (via, The Telegragh (U.K.),

NBC News confirmed the #Nice attacker has been identified by Nice’s mayoral office as Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian-born French man. He rented the large tractor trailer a week ago to perform his premeditated act of sheer terror on France’s 14th of July.

Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, the perpetrator of France’s 14th of July rampage, reportedly was not on any terrorist watch list, as French terrorism investigators continue to establish his motives.

However, most traumatizing transportation-related terror attack in United States history resulted in 2,996 (2,977 victims, 19 hijackers) lives lost and over 6,000 people injured on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 between 8:46 a.m. – 10:28 a.m. ET inside the World Trade Center in New York City (as American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 was deliberately crashed into the upper 30 floors of both 110-story twin-skyscraper towers). Moments later, the Pentagon in (Arlington County) Washington, DC was simultaneously destroyed, killing and injuring hundreds of people, as American Airlines Flight 77 was purposely crashed into the United States military complex. Remarkably at the same time, all lives were lost aboard United Airlines Flight 93 as it was heroically crash in (Stony-brook Township) near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as brave passengers aboard thwarted terrorists attempts to crash the large commercial passenger airliner, as a weapon of mass destruction, into the White House or the United States Capitol. 

For the first time in history, this was a series of four air transportation-related coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaeda, on the United States, employing the national airspace and air transportation security systems on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

“At 9:42 am, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all civilian aircraft within the continental U.S., and civilian aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately. All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and were banned from landing on United States territory for three days,” accounts Wikipedia.

Immediately afterwards, the United States Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence, were the federal government’s organizational response to the transportation-related 911-attacks on the United States.

Appendix C

We have been warned of the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin and #Nice Lorry Weapons of Mass Destruction Terror Attacks back in October 2010.

CAUTION: The following exerpt language is a blunt education and a steadfast warning and heightened safety and security awareness of what we all across the western world are now facing once again in Barcelona, Spain, in Charlottesville, Virgina USA, in Jerusalem, Israel, in Berlin, Germany and in Nice, France. Our collective sorrows and prayers worldwide goes out to the families, friends and loved ones of the hundreds of victims of the #Barcelona market attack on August 17, 2017,  the #Berlin Christmas market attack on December 19, 2016, the #Nice #BastilleDay attack on July 14, 2016, and the #Jerusalem attack on Sunday, January 8, 2017 (as shown in the photo below taken at the scene), and the most recent #Charlottesville attack (shown below) on American domestic soil on Saturday, August 12, 2017. 

These horrific surface transportation-related terrorism acts hit us all hardest straight in our guts.

“[The second issue of Inspire (2010), an English-language magazine produced by al Qaeda’s Yemen branch, has just hit virtual newsstands. Like its July (2010) predecessor, Inspire’s October (2010) edition offers “chilling tips” on how to kill Americans, though the Associated Press notes a shift from encouraging “easier-to-stop spectacular attacks” to “one-man operations, using everyday objects.”

Here’s a look at five of the most notable stories in this “how-to magazine” for jihadis:

1. How to create “the Ultimate Mowing Machine”

In a section on “Tips for our brothers in the U.S.,” Inspire (October 2010) offers a guide to creating “the ultimate mowing machine” — “not to mow grass, but mow down the enemies of Allah.” Would-be jihadis are instructed to modify a four-wheel-drive pickup truck (“the stronger the better”) by mounting steel blades on the grill, then driving on a crowded sidewalk. “To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can, while still retaining good control.” The magazine notes: “This method has not been used before.”

(Until August 17,  2017 at a public square in Barcelona, Spain, until August 12, 2017 at a public protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, until January 8, 2017 at a public facility in Jerusalem, until July 14, 2016 on #BastilleDay in Nice, France, and recently until December 19, 2016 at a public Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, where two multi-ton tractor trailer trucks, several surface transportation vehicles (instead of four multi-ton aircraft used in the “911 attacks”) were used as weapons of mass destruction in what the terrorists are now celebrating on social media as a “#Nice attack”, which is horrendous. International and domestic safety and security has now been integrally united with international transportation safety and security.)

2. Feature: “I Am Proud to be a Traitor to America”

The man, who apparently produces the magazine, 24-year-old U.S. citizen Samir Khan, tells his story of leaving North Carolina to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in this provocatively titled essay. Khan recounts how he “happily became a traitor to America,” mocks the FBI for letting him escape (“it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was al Qaeda to the core”), and says he is now “actively aware that body parts have to be torn apart, skulls have to be crushed, and blood has to be spilled” in this holy war. It’s worth noting, says Georgetown University terrorism expert, Paul Pillar, that “Inspire” is probably aimed more at Western media than would-be jihadis.

3. Tip: Shoot up D.C. restaurants at lunchtime

A writer called Yahya Ibrahim urges insurgents who want to use conventional firearms to “choose the best location” for their attacks. “A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C., at lunch hour might end up knocking out a few government employees,” Ibrahim says. “Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention.” How the mighty have fallen, says Spencer Ackerman in Wired. “Nine years ago, al-Qaeda crashed a plane into the Pentagon and came dangerously close to taking out the White House. Now, it wants to hit places, like Cosí and Potbelly, during the lunch rush.”

4. Advice to U.S. jihadis: Stay home, stay “clean

The “big takeaway” from the magazine, says Christopher Boucek at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is its message of encouragement to lone-wolf jihadis: “You can do it — you can participate in this.” Yahya Ibrahim, in another article, explicitly encourages “our brothers to fight jihad on U.S. soil,” rather than traveling “overseas to join the mujahideen.” He adds: “If you are clean, stay clean … Avoid contact with any jihadi-minded individuals. Do not visit jihadi websites.” So, al-Qaeda is so “desperate to pull something off inside the United States,” says Ackerman in Firedoglake, that instead of offering training, it is urging “the next-generation of terrorists to act like … criminals.”

5. Things aren’t all rosy in al-Qaeda-land

The magazine “seems to confirm that al-Qaeda operations are being hampered by better intelligence and drone attacks on its bases in Pakistan and Yemen,” says Richard Spencer in The Daily Telegraph (UK). One article says “it is no longer possible to operate by the methods of the old model,” since after 911 and “the onset of the American campaigns … the great majority of the existing secret organizations were destroyed.” Actually, “Inspire” and other recent messaging shows AQAP “is still active, that they’re still able to function,” says Boucek. Function, yes, says Daniel Drezner in Foreign Policy. But even if it successfully foments one of its “small beer” attacks in the U.S., “al-Qaeda is now following the narrative arc of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ franchise.” Let’s just hope there’s no “comeback hit.”]”


Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor and chair of the department of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He was formerly professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee was former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. 

He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college, and in the near centennial history of Texas Tech University’s Edward Whitacre Jr. engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is trained at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, possessing two Executive Program Certificates in Public Management (1999):

1. Program for Senior Managers in Government (SMG); 2. Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security (NISM).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Apr 222016

Who’s got the most votes after NY & 5 “Super Nor’easter”, Indiana Onwards to June 14, 2016 Washington DC Primary? Clinton-Trump Likely Party Nominees, As GOP House Chairs Endorse Trump

We’ve complied a running total here of the primary and caucus votes earned by each of the political contenders, having a considered interest in the 2016 presidential election decision, as we approach this summer the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18-21, 2016, and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 25-28, 2016.

Who’s got the most votes after NY Primary?

  • Hillary Clinton ———— 10.7M
  • Donald Trump ——–— 8.8M
  • Bernie Sanders ——— 7.9M
  • Ted Cruz ——————— 6.6M
  • Marco Rubio ————— 3.4M
  • John Kasich –———— 3.1M

Who’s got the most votes after the 5 “Super Nor’easter”, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington DC Primaries?

Here’s an updated voter tally after the 5 “Super Nor’easter” Primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Indiana Primary on May 3, 2016, Kentucky and Oregon Primaries on May 17, 2016, Washington Primary on May 24, 2016, California, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana on June 7, 2016, and Washington DC on June 14, 2016:

  • Hillary Clinton ———— 15.9M
  • Donald Trump ——–— 13.6M
  • Bernie Sanders ——— 12.2M
  • Ted Cruz ——————— 7.8M
  • Marco Rubio ————— 3.4M
  • John Kasich –———— 3.7M

Who’s closest to clinching the Democratic & GOP presidential nominations?

Clinton with 2,811 delegates (2,220 primary delegates, 591 super-delegates) to Sanders 1,879 delegates (1831 primary delegates, 48 super-delegates), making Clinton likely the Democratic presidential nomination (2,383 needed).

.@realDonaldTrump with 1,542 delegates to Cruz’s 559 & Kasich’s 161 (Rubio’s 171) has now clinched the GOP nomination (1,237 needed) on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

On May 3, 2016, Senator Ted Cruz suspended his presidential campaign, making Billionaire Mogul Donald J. Trump the presumptive GOP nominee. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain .@realDonaldTrump #Trump2016 #Decision2016.


(Washington, DCMay 13, 2016 – Today, nine Committee Chairs in the U.S. House of Representatives – Steve Chabot (Small Business), Michael Conaway (Agriculture), Jeb Hensarling (Financial Services), Candice Miller (House Administration), Jeff Miller (Veterans’ Affairs), Tom Price (Budget), Pete Sessions (Rules), Bill Shuster (Transportation and Infrastructure), and Lamar Smith (Science, Space and Technology) – endorsed Donald J. Trump for President and released the following statement:

“We stand on the precipice of one of the most important elections of our lifetime. This great nation cannot endure eight more years of Democrat-control of the White House. It cannot afford to put Democrats in charge of Congress. It is paramount that we coalesce around the Republican nominee, Mr. Donald J. Trump, and maintain control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.”

“Any other outcome is a danger to economic growth, puts our national security in peril, enshrines ObamaCare as the law of the land, entraps Americans in a cycle of poverty and dependence, and undermines our constitutional republic.”

“There is a path to winning in November, and it comes through unity. To solidify this partnership, we endorse Mr. Trump as the Republican nominee for President and call upon all Americans to support him.”

In response, Mr. Trump released the following statement upon news of the endorsements:

“It is tremendous to be working with these leaders and their colleagues on winning solutions that will really move us forward. A strong House Republican Majority is imperative to fixing the problems facing America and making our country better and stronger than ever before.”

Mr. Trump has surged in recent polls against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, both nationally and in key battleground states such as Ohio, where he leads Clinton by a significant margin.

“We all come to look for AMERICA!”




Oliver McGee is an aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineer, and author of seven books on Amazon. He is former United States deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999-2001) in the Clinton Administration, and former senior policy adviser in the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1997-1999). 

Follow Oliver on Twitter (@olivermcgee) and Google+.

Like at Facebook, Partnership Possibilities for America.

Learn more at Partnership Possibilities for America.

Book Oliver as speaker at “Great Black Speakers” or Partnership Possibilities for America.

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Mar 032016


UPDATE: Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Operational Update

March 16, 2016

“A South African citizen reported finding debris, suspected to be from an aircraft, in Mozambique. Arrangements are being made for the debris to be transported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) laboratories in Canberra,” the ATSB said in an operational update, “along with the debris that was found in Mozambique by an American citizen last week.  Both items will be examined by investigators from Australia and Malaysia, as well as specialists from Boeing, to confirm if they come from an aircraft and establish their origin.”

Officials from Malaysia are continuing discussions with French authorities about debris found on La Réunion. 

“Current advice is that it is unlikely to be from an aircraft,” the ATSB says and NBC News confirms.

UPDATE: Meeting To Determine Way Forward For MH370

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Malaysia Ministry of Transport

“Authorities from Malaysia, Australia and China will hold a meeting to determine the next step in the search for missing flight MH370, as the deadline for halting the hunt for the plane approaches, according to a brief press release by the Malaysian Transport Ministry on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, marking the second anniversary of the missing Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER, and becoming the greatest mystery in the history of commercial international aviation safety and security.

The Australian-led hunt for wreckage from the flight is expected to finish its high-tech scanning of a designated swathe of sea floor in the remote Indian Ocean by July 2016.

Speaking on the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of the plane, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says “he still holds out hope of finding the Malaysia Airlines aircraft,” which crashed en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, including six Australians.

The Malaysian Prime Minister said today that “a meeting would be held to determine the next step, if the plane is not found by mid-year. So far, only a piece of wing, known as a flaperon, discovered in July last year has been confirmed by authorities to belong to the missing Boeing 777.”

Earlier, Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said “finding the aircraft would give answers to the world, in particular the families of missing loved ones.”

Mr. Najib said the discovery of debris – the flaperon – on the island of Reunion last July 29, 2015 provided further evidence that “flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Provided in Appendix B is the MAS MH370 Second Interim Statement on the investigation on the second anniversary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, prepared by the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370. Click here for MAS MH370 First Interim Statement and Factual Information.

Video Credit: Joint Center Coordination Agency (JACC). This ‘Search for MH370’ video posted November 17, 2014 aims to explain the activities and complexity of the international search effort to date on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, the second anniversary of missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, for families affected by the aviation tragedy, and the general public.

UPDATE: MH370: Head Of Search Says Plane Will ‘Very Likely’ Be Found

Monday, March 7, 2016

Malaysia Ministry of Transport

PETALING JAYA: “The Australian official in charge of the two-year search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 says the plane will be found this year, The Guardian reported.

Martin Dolan, head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), was quoted as saying that the plane would “very likely” be found in the next four months, as search efforts entered its final phase.

Four ships had scoured more than 85,000 square kilometers of a long but narrow “seventh arc”, totaling 120,000 square kilometers of seafloor.

“We’ve covered nearly three-quarters of the search area, and since we haven’t found the aircraft in those areas, that increases the likelihood that it’s in the areas we haven’t looked at yet,” Dolan told The Guardian.

MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard, mostly Chinese.

It is thought to have crashed after diverting from its course but a huge undersea hunt in the southern Indian Ocean, led by Australia, has so far found no sign of it.

A wing fragment was discovered on an island thousands of kilometers from the search area last July, 29, 2016 and later confirmed to be from MH370, the first proof that the plane went down. Two new pieces of debris have been found in the past week, but it is not yet known if they are from MH370.”


MH370 Takeoff 9M-MRO

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, registered as 9M-MRO

Malaysian Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, says to Reuters there is a “high possibility” that an aluminum-alloy honeycomb or carbon-fibre composite airliner horizontal stabilizer debris of an airliner tail section wing washed ashore on Saturday, February 27, 2016 on the east coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar, near second debris found on the eastern shore of La Réunion Island on Thursday, March 3, 2016, could allegedly be from a Boeing 777 jet, pending further assessment and examination by Australian and United States safety investigators and Boeing engineers. Still, experts remain cautious and unsure until the next few days.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, nonetheless, confirmed in a press release on Wednesday, March 2 that “the Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris would be sent to Australia, but added that it would remain under Malaysian custody.”

THIS JUST IN: A resident on the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion Island, who last year found a “flaperon” part from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER, said on Sunday, March 6, 2016 to French news service, AFP, and The Associated Press, “he had come across a second possible piece from the missing plane,” reports The Star, NBC News, Sydney Morning Herald, and The Guardian (U.K.).

Johnny Begue, who found the “flaperon” part, while cleaning a beach on July, 29, 2015, told AFP “he handed over the new suspected object to police immediately” after finding the debris on Thursday, March 3, 2016.

He said “he was out jogging by the eastern sea shore of La Réunion Island, when he found the object measuring about 40 by 20 centimeters (or 15 by 8 inches), which had a blue mark on the surface and was grey underneath.” Begue added: “it was of the same lightweight “honeycomb” construction as the flaperon piece.”

Eastern Shore of La Reunion Island

Photo Credit: Zhang Chuanshi/Xinhua Press/Corbis “Another piece of debris, which could be related to MH370 has been found on the eastern coast of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean,” The Guardian (U.K.) reports.

The flaperon Begue found on July 29, 2015 remains the only piece of debris identified and confirmed as a part of MAS flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER.

Begue said, “he has been combing the island’s shores ever since.”

Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ASTB) Martin Dolan said on Sunday, March 6, Australian safety investigators welcome all debris found by anyone anywhere and that once found should be turned over to authorities immediately for further examination and potential identification and determination as to whether or not any such debris found is in fact a part of the MH370 airliner.

Meanwhile, Montreal Convention mandates any legal tribunal action to claim damages from a commercial airline must be made within two years from the date the aircraft arrived or should have arrived. In the case of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, the Boeing 777-200ER vanished from military radar en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing two years ago on March 8, 2014, carrying 227 passengers and 12 MAS crew aboard. International Business Times reports, “the families of 12 passengers aboard missing MAS flight MH370 filed suits against the carrier on March 4, 2016 in a frantic rush to pursue claims before a [Montreal Convention] two-year deadline for legal action expires.” 

Five defendants, MAS (the now asset-free holding entity), MAB (Malaysia Airlines Berhad, the new “value-based” carrier emerging, which is discussed at the end of this piece), Ketua Pandaran Jabatan, DCA (Department of Civil Aviation), The Royal Malaysia Air Force and the government of Malaysia,” said the lawyer representing the families, Sangeet Kaur Deo.

Sangeet said, “the families were seeking unspecified damages for negligence, breach of contract and breach of statutory duty,” reports International Business Times.

MAB holds that “it has no liability on MH370, since it was set up eight months” after MAS’ Boeing 777-200ER vanish, which has been officially declared as an accident and all lives lost.

Flight MH370 is the only missing Boeing 777 airliner in the world, since the aircraft was launched by Boeing back in 1997, which does feature manufactured carbon-fibre composites and Alcoa-developed aluminum-alloy tail section wing control surfaces to reduced the overall structural weight of Boeing 777 aircraft, which is specifically described in more detail below in this piece.

Photo Credit: AFP, NBC, University of Western Australia/JACC/ATSB/Malaysia Airlines/Boeing/Australian Government/Imarsat

Malaysian transport investigators, working alongside United States aviation safety officials and Boeing engineers on Wednesday, March 2, have examined online photos of the debris and they have suggested the possibility that it is an aluminum-alloy honeycomb or carbon-fibre composite jet horizontal stabilizer perhaps from a Boeing 777 airliner’s tail section wing, reports NBC News and The Telegraph (U.K.).

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said to The Associated Press on Thursday, March 3, “the location of the debris in Mozambique matches investigators’ drift modeling and would therefore confirm that search crews are looking in the right part of the Indian Ocean for the main underwater wreckage.” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai also said “the location of the debris lines up with investigators’ predictions.”

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson

Photos of the debris appear to show a jet part (shown above) “made of fiberglass composite on the outside, with aluminum honeycombing on the inside,” a U.S. official has said to The Associated Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, reports Fox News, and the part also “appears to show the fixed leading edge of the right-hand tail section of a Boeing 777.” 

The new Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris found has markings “NO STEP,” which has prompted experts to speculate it could be from a Boeing 777’s horizontal stabilizer, allegedly attached to the tail section wing of the missing MH370 airliner, particularly given the close proximity in which this new debris was found in relation to a barnacle-encrusted flaperon wreckage of MH370 washed ashore off La Réunion Island last year on July 29, 2015.

Photo Credit: NBC News

However, Mr. Lai added “it is yet to be confirmed and verified” that the new Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris was from Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370, missing now for two years next Tuesday, March 8, 2016, while it was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing that ill-fated early morning when it suddenly vanishes from military radar and satellite in space. Carrying 239 passengers and Malaysia Airlines crew on board, the Boeing 777-200ER is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia near Perth, and about 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) to the east of Mozambique.

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson

Is the Mozambique Debris from MH370?

At the moment, experts remain cautious and officials are unsure the part is from missing flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER, largely because three large jets are known to have crashed in the past off the east coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar near La Réunion Island.

According to the Australian News Service, “the object, believed to be from the horizontal stabilizer of an aircraft, was found by American blogger Blaine Gibson (shown above), 58-year-old lawyer from Seattle, who is conducting a private investigation into the plane’s disappearance.”

“Mr. Gibson, according to the Australian news service, upon discovering debris on Saturday, February 27, 2016, “had invited a handful of investigators to privately view images of the part on his Facebook page over the weekend, but news of the find only became public overnight,” Gibson said in an interview with The Associated Press. Gibson added: “he had wanted no publicity about his discovery until after the piece was assessed by investigators, but that news of the finding leaked.”

“The part, which has been described as a “fibre glass skin aluminum honeycomb cored panel” with no identifying features other than the printed words ‘NO STEP’,” a marking typically seen near the exit door of a commercial jet wing.

The consensus of MH370’s Independent Group (IG), including Dr. Victor Iannello (U.S.), Mike Exner (U.S.) and Don Thompson (Ireland), appears to be that it is unlikely that the Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris found came from the missing MH370 Boeing 777.

“The found item is an aluminum honeycomb panel and, as such, is not a construction that is consistent with composite components employed on a B777,” MH370 IG member Don Thompson (Ireland) posted to Reddit.

“Neither did it look like it had been in the ocean for two years, or even lying on a sandbar where allegedly found as there was no sign of sand filling the honeycomb structure.”

“I was struck by the condition of the part,” another MH370 IG member, Dr. Victor Iannello (U.S.), wrote.

”It had no barnacles, little or no algae, and no water line. The condition of the part was nothing like the flaperon that was recovered. As (Don Thompson) said, the construction is composite skin with aluminum honeycomb core, which leads me to believe it is not from a B777.”

Dr. Iannello added: “I have not been able to identify a part on the B777 of similar construction, but I don’t have access to all the drawings of a B777, so I can’t say for certain that it is not from a B777.”

Carbon-Fibre Composites and Alumimum-Alloy Structural Design of Boeing 777 Aircraft

To fill in more specific technical structural specification to MH370’s Independent Group speculation on the Mozambique debris, let’s consider the following details to shed further light on the mystery debris find, acknowledging my consultation of longstanding civil aviation expert, Philip Birtles’ finely illustrated reference treatise on the Boeing 777.

Carbon-fibre composites and Alcoa-developed aluminum-alloy tail section wing control surfaces reduces the overall structural weight of Boeing 777 aircraft.

Only about ten percent of a Boeing 777 airliner structure is non-metallic, namely composites largely in the tail surfaces and the wing trailing edge control stabilizing surfaces, flaperons, spoilers, fixed wing leading edges, engine nacelles, wing to fuselage fairings, and main undercarriage doors.

The major portion of the Boeing 777’s primary structure is manufactured using composites in the tail assembly. The main assembly box of the fin is a carbon-fibre-reinforced structure, consisting of front and rear spars and ribs. The fin skin panels are also made from carbon-fibre composites.

The main and front spars are manufactured using carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic with only the rear auxiliary spar manufactured using aluminum. The all-important rudder, containing a pair of spars and ribs, are constructed from carbon-fibre composites covered by carbon-fibre epoxy sandwich skins.

Only the small dorsal din is typically manufactured from aluminum frames and skins. Use of composites on the Boeing 777 is intended to save about 2,595 pounds (or 1,180 kilograms) of structural weight.

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson/NBC News

In addition to this, an advanced lightweight aluminum lithium alloy material is used to construct the primary structure of a Boeing 777, which includes the front and rear spars, upper and lower spar chords, webs, skin panels, stringers and ribs of the airliners’ overall structural design.

More specifically, an Alcoa-developed aluminum alloy, 7155T77, is typically employed for construction of the upper wing skin for enhanced compression load capacity. The Alcoa aluminum alloy is also used to construct the upper wing stringer systems to stiffen the skin panels.

In similar fashion, the lower wing skins are typically manufactured using a 2,000 series aluminum alloy best designed to carry higher tension loads on the Boeing 777 wings.

Use of advanced lightweight aluminum lithium alloy is intended to save an additional 3,190 pounds (or 1,450 kilograms) of weight of the airliner.

Speculatively speaking, it appears that the Mozambique debris has breakage of the metal around fasteners on the aluminum-alloy honeycomb construction, but this isn’t quite enough just yet to definitive conclude the debris is a Boeing 777 wing or tail stabilizer.

MH370 Debris Image 4

What’s in the Oceanography Science Supporting the La Réunion Island and Alleged Mozambique MH370 Debris Finds?

Fox News says, “authorities have long predicted that any debris from the plane that isn’t on the [southern Indian] ocean floor would eventually be carried by currents to the east coast of Africa.”

“The possibility of debris washing up on La Réunion island [and now nearby Mozambique] is a scientific possibility. Although the currents today are significantly different to those seen 16 months ago, the Indian Ocean Gyre could move debris from the southern Indian Ocean in a counterclockwise direction towards Africa, spitting it out near the island of Reunion [and now nearby Mozambique],” Mashable reported back in early-August 2015.

On whether it was possible for either a flaperon or tail section wing horizontal stabilizer to have floated on oceanic water for over 4,000-6,000 kilometers before ending up on La Réunion Island [and now nearby Mozambique], Zaaim Redha said it was plausible based on sea current modeling by oceanography experts.

“Going by how the earth rotates, it’s highly possible that the piece of debris could have floated (over a long distance), because the ocean current can be really powerful.”

Australian oceanic science investigators of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization reported on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 that the Boeing 777-200ER flaperon discovery “matches with predictions from updated debris flow computer models.”

“Their drift model computer simulation was run from March 8, 2014 to July 30, 2015, to see if the flaperon could have drifted to La Réunion [and now nearby Mozambique] from the search zone somewhere along the 7th arc.”

The debris flow modeling below does show consistency with the 7th arc theory established by the British satellite firm, Inmarsat, which has and will further assist investigators in making adjustments to their current search area as the hunt for the Boeing 777-200ER airliner continues.

Photo Credit (via Mashable), Australian national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

Bottom line in MH370 Search: Good facts, good law of scientific plausibility; Bad facts, bad law of scientific plausibility.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport has published a 47-page article, containing hundreds of lines of communication logs between the jetliner and the British company Inmarsat’s satellite system, and detailing how the U.K. firm Inmarsat helped to pinpoint the southern corridor flight path taken by MH370. 

The 47-page article reports that Inmarsat informed Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport on March 13, 2014 that routine automatic communications between the Inmarsat satellite and MH370 could be used to determine several possible flight paths.

The United Kingdom (U.K.) Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) then presented Inmarsat’s findings on March 24, 2014, indicating the southern corridor as the most likely flight path of MH370.

Based on the analysis of data communicated to the ground station by the Inmarsat satellite moments before the Boeing 777-200ER airliner’s oceanic crash, investigators concluded that the flight had ended in the southern Indian Ocean. 

Be that as it may, a nearly $150 million dollar search lead by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) initially covered 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) of sea floor before being subsequently extended to another 60,000 square kilometers, a deep sea search area expected to be completed by July 2016.

French, Australian and Malaysian officials have confirmed in mid-August 2015 only a barnacle-encrusted flaperon wreckage debris (shown below) coming from the missing MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER has been found on the shore of La Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean off the southern coast of Africa at Madagascar on July 29, 2015.

Shortly thereafter, on August 5, 2015, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, upon affirming that the maintenance record seal on the flaperon provided the definitive proof, announced the debris found on La Réunion is from MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER. He said,

“An international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370. We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.” — Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, August 5, 2015

Following the above announcement, Malaysia Airlines stated in a press release: “We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found, which would be able to help resolve this mystery.”

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson/NBC News

So far, search teams have scoured more than 80 percent of the priority “hot-spot” search of the southern Indian Ocean sea bed in the area, where MH370 is predicted to reside.

As the full French report has yet to be released, persistent open questions remain surrounding the search for MH370, now including radar anomalies, as the ATSB’s latest “hot-spot” search analysis has so far found no wreckage of the missing airliner hull at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia near Perth. If no trace of any new evidence of the jet has been found in the latest “hot-spot” area, the ASTB and Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) have announced they expect to continue its search for MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER until July 2016.

Members of the respected MH370 Independent Group, working with ATSB officials, say in contraction to the French and Malaysian officials, “damage to the flaperon will allow us to estimate the speed and angle at which the plane entered the water and whether or not it was controlled by a pilot as it descended. The barnacle species and its level of growth may provide a more precise ‘splash-point’,” reports the Australian News Service.

Several questions in particular raised by MH370’s Independent Group stand out, regarding the aircraft forensics of the La Réunion Island flaperon:

  • “Has the barnacle species attached to the flaperon been definitively determined? What is the habitat for this species? Is it consistent with a part that has drifted from the southern Indian Ocean to La Réunion Island?”
  • “What does the failure analysis reveal regarding how the flaperon became separated from the wing and how it sustained the damage to its trailing edge?”

Official findings of Malaysia are highly anticipated inside its United Nations (UN) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandated MH370 progress report, due out next week timed upon MH370’s Second Anniversary on Tuesday March 8, 2016.

Voice 370, a group representing MH370’s ‘next-of-kin’, issued a statement accusing the Malaysian government of denying them “existing rights in law, including also access to justice mechanisms, for the benefit of a private business, namely Malaysian Airlines System Berhad (MAS).”

“The egregious behavior of the Malaysian government has gone mostly unnoticed by the world press, but it deserves to be highlighted, investigated and broadcast far and wide,” Sarah Bajc, the partner of American MH370 passenger Philip Wood, said in an email accompanying the statement.

“After almost two years we still know nothing concrete about what happened to MH370, though we are SURE there is information that has been withheld. Besides the terrible crimes of negligence and obstruction, for allowing the plane to disappear, then impeding the investigation of the disappearance of 239 people, the Malaysian government has also prevented the pursuit of reparations by affected families,” Bajc added.

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO

MH370 Search Continues Along the ATSB’s Priority “Hot-Spot” in the Southern Indian Ocean

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from military radar early morning on March 8, 2014 en-route to Beijing International Airport from Kuala Lumpur International Airport with 227 passengers and 12 MAS crew members, becoming the greatest mystery in the history of commercial international aviation safety and security for two years on March 8, 2016.

Australian investigators of the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC), and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) coordinates a massive undertaking of several huge sea vessels (shown below) scouring the southern Indian Ocean floor for the missing airliner, resting therein, ATSB and JACC officials confidently believe. 

Malaysia Missing Plane

Australian authorities, including deputy prime minister Warren Truss (shown below) speaking to reporters in Canberra, Australia on Thursday, December 3, 2015, confirmed two new search vessels had arrived in the “hot-spot” search area. 

Photo Credit: ATSB/JACC

Three-quarters of a “hot spot” search area that is within the well-known “priority search area” (shown above) has been scoured during November coming into December, deputy prime minister Warren Truss (shown above) says to numerous media outlets now widely reporting.

The ATSB and JACC have confirmed this new ‘Gentle Landing‘ analysis exist, but says “the highest probability” that the Boeing 777-200ER will be found within a 700 square kilometer “hot-spot” inside the “priority search area”, comprising a 120,000 square kilometer arc in the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia at Perth, nonetheless, is not explicitly supported by evidence of a “controlled ditching scenario” the ATSB discusses in a December 3, 2015 report that describes in detail the “hot-spot” as “an arc running southwest, roughly 700 square kilometers,” The Guardian (U.K.) reports.

According to the ATSB report, investigators of the Australian Defense Science and Technology (DST) Group have penned an upcoming Springer-Verlag book entitled, “Bayesian methods in the search for MH370,” detailing their complete analysis in establishing the 700 square kilometer “hot-spot” search area.

Photo Credit: ATSB/JACC


Specifically, “a probability density function (PDF) defines the probable location of the aircraft’s crossing of the 6th arc models of the British firm Inmarsat satellite communications data and a model of aircraft dynamics. These results were then extrapolated to the Inmarsat-based 7th arc (at 08:19 (24:19 GMT) shown below along with all seven time signatures handshakes from the Inmarsat satellite on the early morning of March 8, 2014). The analysis indicated that the majority of solutions only contained one significant turn after the last recorded radar data,” the ATSB report summarizes, which is “inconsistent with a controlled ditching scenario,” the agency argues.

Seventh Arc Google Globe Map

Photo Credit: Inmarsat, Boeing, Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

The bureau said that “a controlled ditching scenario requires engine thrust to properly control the direction and vertical speed at touchdown and to provide hydraulic power for the flight controls including the flaps.”

MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER flew early morning March 8, 2014 for 7 hours and 38 minutes, as “fuel exhaustion was probable,” ATSB concludes.

“It is likely that the right engine flamed out first followed by the left engine,” ATSB said in the report, adding that the left engine “could have continued to run for up to 15 minutes after the right engine flamed out.”

Still, a ‘Gentle Landing‘ hypothesis of some experts allegedly supports a scenario that the massive Boeing 777-200ER rests on the deep sea floor of the Indian Ocean largely intact.

Else, where are the numerous floatable devices washing ashore from a lone broken-apart Boeing 777-200ER airliner hull resting on the deep sea oceanic floor known to exist worldwide?

Led by former head of the Australian defense and retired Air Force Chief Marshal, Sir Angus Houston, the over $150 million dollar international search effort has involved more than two dozen countries contributing planes, ships, submarines, satellites, Bayesian probabilistic search methodologies, oceanic current and debris drift models (shown below), and aircraft forensics of barnacle-encrusted flaperon debris.

Photo Credit: CBS News/NASA/Australia Maritime Safety Authority

As confidence now runs high on the probability of finding the Boeing 777-200ER wreckage laying in the “hot-spot” search area of the southern Indian Ocean floor, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China has provided 20 million Australian dollars of additional funds to complete the MH370 search.

Malaysia Airlines Downsizes From B777 Long-Haul to B737 Short-Haul Carrier in MH370/MH17 Dual-Crisis Aftermath

The last Boeing 777, performing as a Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) flight, took off Monday, January 25, 2016 at noon (local time) from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur. This marked an end of four decades of this signature scheduled flight in the Southeast Asia region operated by the Malaysian flag carrier. This also was an end to 19 years of service for the carriers original fleet of 15 Boeing 777-200ER airliners before the loss of two from the 2014 dual-crises of the missing MH370 aviation tragedy on March 8, 2014 and the shot-down MH17 aviation disaster on July 17, 2014.

Also at noon Monday, January 25, 2016, another Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Boeing 777-200ER flew into Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Guangzhou in China. As the new Malaysian flag carrier maintains this flight schedule, the Boeing 777-200ER airliner “is being downsized to a Boeing 737-800 – a predominantly short-haul jet with about half the capacity,” reports The Independent (U.K.) on Monday.

As a new “value-based” air carrier, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) aims for profitability by 2018 in the lucrative southeast Asia air travel market in the next 5-10 years, according to Boeing-Airbus international airline industry projections. MAB’s downsizing towards profitability is a focus of this section, as we also say so-long here to MAB’s fallen MH370 Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO and also goodbye to the Grand-Ole Lady of MAB — its two-decade cash-producer, formerly 15 Boeing 777-200 large-capacity passenger airliner fleet.

Turning back to civil aviation historian Philip Birtles (1998), “in early 1996 Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) ordered a total of 15 B777s, including five of the stretched B777-300s, with options on two more B777s and a commitment to acquire 35 further aircraft as required. The first MAS B777 – designated B777-2H6 – was WA064, Registration #9M-MRA, and made its first flight on March 26, 1997 [nearly seventeen years prior to MH370’s ill-fated early morning on March 8, 2014]. On delivery flight this aircraft broke the great circle distance record, when it flew non-stop from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, a distance of 12,457 miles (or 20,044 kilometers). The opportunity was then taken to continue around the world, back to Seattle, beating the eastward round-the-world record with an average speed of 553 miles per hour (or 889 kilometers per hour), covering the 23,210 miles (37,345 kilometers) in a time of 41 hours, 59 minutes.”

Four months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER international search initially commenced, another Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 was shot down. According to a final report, flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from war-torn Hrabove, Ukraine on July 17, 2014, in which 283 passengers and 15 crew members died on board. 

The October 12, 2015 MH17 crash final report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) of The Netherlands, headed by Chairman Tjibbe Joustra, followed a previously released preliminary MH17 investigation report on September 9, 2014, sketching out the causes of the aviation disaster that has impacted Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

Video Credit: about the Dutch Safety Board’s investigation into the causes of the crash of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 in the eastern part of Ukraine and the Board’s investigation into flying over conflict zones. The video was based on the Dutch Safety Board’s investigation reports, which were published on October 12, 2015.

DSB chairman Joustra said the warhead that downed MH17 fits the profile of a Russian-built automatic computerized Buk ground-to-air missile. However, Russian officials who participated in the investigation said “it was not possible to confirm the warhead or type of system,” according to Joustra (via CNN).

The new air carrier has been operational, since September 1, 2015, with a new RM6 billion (or US$1.9 billion) business model and management team, led by Christoph Mueller, CEO of Malaysia Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS) and CEO-Designate of the new “value-based” airline, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), aiming for profitability estimated by 2018 (which is briefly reviewed now as one says goodbye to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Boeing 777 fleet here).

Malaysia Airlines Logos 333

Execution of a New Competitive Business Plan

By way of background, Malaysia Airlines on Thursday, August 28, 2014, released a new business plan, asking for nearly 6,000 staff cuts, curtailed long-haul routes, and a US$1.66 billion dollar restructuring strategy, as it reported a 75 percent wider loss in April-June 2014 second-quarter earnings, as operations further stalled from passenger bookings continuing to slide in response to the air carrier’s dual-crisis from the loss of 537 souls on board MH370’s aviation tragedy and MH17’s aviation disaster in the past nearly 15 months.

The April-June 2014 second-quarter earnings reflected the impact of the MH370 aviation tragedy on the Malaysia air carrier’s income and cash financials. Malaysia Airlines further forecasted poor second-half earnings, signaling the air carrier’s “average weekly bookings had declined 33 percent, with numerous flight cancellations immediately after the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 17, 2014,” reports Reuters and the New York Times.

On Friday, August 29, 2014, Malaysian officials and Malaysia’s sovereign wealth investment company, Khazanah Nasional, announced that top-level management for the Malaysian flag carrier would then remain in place, whereupon later a significant shakeup of the senior management was put in place. 

The Malaysian cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 approved the air carrier’s business restructuring plan, which also called for focusing the airline’s core southeast Asia regional routes, while retaining a number of its historically profitable international flights to China and Australia to help feed traffic to its routes pulling in and out of its hub at Kuala Lumpur, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday, August 28, 2014 to the Financial Times.

The flag-carrier’s workforce transition follows as Malaysia Airlines at the end of April 2015, supposedly in reconsiderations of its business assets, has offered for sale or lease all six of its Airbus A380s, its two Boeing 747-400Fs, four Airbus A330-200Fs, and four Boeing 777-200ERs (then at that time leaving just only nine such Boeing airliners assets (now retired as of Monday, January 25, 2016 and downsized to Boeing 737-800 short-haul airliners) – excluding the loss of the MH370 and MH17 Boeing 777-200ERs – among the Malaysian national air carrier’s fleet), reports respected aviation industry site Leeham News, as the flag-carrier seeks to restructure its daily operational losses that reach as high as US$1.6 million in the first half of 2014. Leeham News’ Scott Hamilton says liquidating the freight airliner fleet – encompassing two Boeing 747-400Fs and four Airbus A330-200Fs – essentially “wipes out MASCargo (Malaysia Airlines Cargo).”

Prompted by inquiries from Australian Business Traveller, Malaysia Airlines issued a statement saying the airline “is currently still working to finalize the Business Plan. Exploring fleet options to enhance viability of long-haul sectors is one area being looked into.”

However, the airline “refused to confirm or deny that it plans to sell or lease any Airbus A380s” (shown below).

Incoming Malaysia Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller has added “recent speculations on the airline offering some of its fleet for sale or lease is too premature, when nothing concrete has been achieved.”

Mr Mueller has recruited a former easyJet and Flybe executive, Paul Simmons, as Chief Commercial Officer, The Independent (U.K.) reports.

Malcolm Ginsberg, Editor of Business Travel News, said to The Independent (U.K): “People have short memories. If the management can be allowed to manage, then Air Asia and Singapore Airlines might quickly find they have real competition on their hands.”

I made a similar southeast Asia airline industry competitive strategy assessment as Mr. Ginsberg several years back on August 30, 2014, appearing on Al Jazeera English, Inside Story, asking “Malaysia Airlines: Can It Survive?” 

“Malaysia Airlines needs to operate and utilize its fleet at an optimum level besides maximizing revenue on the route it flies. The market needs to give Malaysia Airlines room to explore various options in determining the most viable strategy,” Mueller counsels.

Why, because managing airlines and airplanes is big global business.

MAS, emerging into the new company MAB, is swimming through deep sea waters of crisis management recovery in partnership as a government, a sovereign wealth fund, and a global business enterprise. Mueller and the MAB senior leadership is expecting escalating hyper-competitive strategic engagement among airlines operating in the southeast Asia region.

And, the MAB team is preparing for heightened market and operational risks, and even some innovation risks, particularly in the areas of flight routes management, workforce transition and redevelopment, pilot training and certification, aviation safety and security regulatory oversight, crash investigation and crisis management expertise, fleet assets utilization, and customer experience and brand loyalty outreach and engagement, rapidly emerging in the coming 5-10 years among the airline industry players in the southeast Asia commercial passenger air travel marketplace.

The Malaysian air carrier said the MH17 aviation disaster halted “all the hard work and effort” to regain market confidence the top-level crisis management team had put in place upon the onset of the missing MH370 aviation tragedy still ongoing. The dual-crisis has been devastating to the flag carrier’s business, as passenger loads in the first half of 2014 dropped from over 80 percent to 74 percent, although good recovery of passenger loads has been achieved in 2015. Meanwhile, in the first half of 2014 moving into 2015, the air carrier’s operating expenses rose 2 percent on higher fuel costs, maintenance costs, and labor costs. However, substantial staff cuts from about 19,000 to around 13,000 has considerably dropped the flag carrier’s fixed operating costs, which makes profitability more easily reachable in the near future, perhaps even aggressively by 2018.

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO

However, the flag-carrier’s restructuring steps have been slowed, most likely from favorably lower oil prices in the last half of 2014 going well into 2015, which have provided some relief of the air carrier’s daily cash burn and direct operating expenses.

Maybank aviation analyst Mohshin Aziz recently expressed concerns to CNN Money about this relief in the face of advancing through the last half of 2014 the overall restructuring of Malaysia Airlines. Aziz believes “there are few signs yet that Kazanah is following through on the hard decisions. And, there may be one simple reason for that: the plunging price of oil.”

“Oil prices have just about halved and right now just about every route is making money. The momentum on the need to reform in a great hurry is definitely not there anymore,” said Aziz.

What is generally known by experts about the airline business, nonetheless – it’s a five days of working cash business.

The air carrier lost US$360 million last year in 2013, amounting to three times its losses in 2011, and the flag-carrier lost $260 million, burning nearly US$2.16 million in cash a day in the first half of 2014, while at the same time losing US$1.6 million a day in its operations.

“The company hadn’t turned a profit since 2008, and in the three years to 2013, cumulative losses totaled US$1.3 billion,” CNN Money confirms.

Malaysia Airlines has been losing nearly one million dollars a day well before the MH370 and MH17 aviation crises hit the ailing firm. The Malaysian government has been significantly subsidizing the air carrier to keep it afloat.

Historically, the Malaysian air carrier has been one of Southeast Asia’s safest and most secured airlines. However, escalated competitive rival forces in the region have put a squeeze play on financials and 2-5-year market declines of Malaysian Airline Systems BHD securities

The company has not made an annual profit since 2010. Unfortunately, the firm became trapped in the 1990s between high-end premium Singapore Airlines, and low-cost entrepreneurial Asian air carriers. like AirAsia, and its long-haul business, AirAsia X, both having hubs operating from inside Malaysia.

Shares in Malaysian Airline Systems BHD fell sharply right after the first moments of the MH17 aviation disaster, down 11% on July 17 by the mid-day break in volume trading in Kuala Lumpur, as already negative investor sentiment deepened, acknowledged CBCNews.

In all, unadjusted stock price has dropped by 35 percent during 2014. In fact, Malaysia Airline’s unadjusted stock price has fallen more than 36 percent, since August 2013.

Since the disappearance of MH370, the stock price has continued to slide sharply. 

Moments after the MH17 aviation disaster occur on July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines stock fell a dramatic 13 percent in just moments of trading on the Malaysian stock market. 

Continuing to strategically restructure past the 2014 dual aviation safety and security crisis of MH370/MH17, and to settle the flag carrier’s legal liabilities, the new “value-based” airline, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), aims for profitability estimated by 2018, says Mr. Mueller.

Boeing 777 9M-MRO

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO

Liow: MH370 families advised to file their claims under Montreal Convention before March 8

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 was officially declared on Thursday, January 29, 2015, an accident and all lives presumed lost on the southern Indian Ocean floor, authorities said, after history’s largest and costliest oceanic airliner search for nearly eleven months as of Monday, February 9, 2015. Officially, this cleared the way last year for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to pay compensation to victims’ relatives, while the search for the massive Boeing 777-200ER airliner continues, reports Reuters.

“We officially declare Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 an accident … and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives,” Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement.

“The announcement is in accordance with standards of annexes 12 and 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization,” said the Malaysian DCA director-general. “It will allow families of the passengers to obtain assistance through compensation,” he said.

In a Malaysia Ministry of Transport statement (shown full below), Transport Minister Liong Tong Lai cautioned, “as we approach the second anniversary of this unfortunate [flight MH370] event, I have been informed by Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) that less than 60 compensation claims have been settled in relation to the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the flight, whereas to date, 169 families have commenced final compensation process.”

The next-of-kin remain considerably concerned about the status of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) assets and operations transferred to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) under the restructuring plan reviewed above.

“Multiple suits have been filed in the United States, Australian and Malaysian courts in the past few weeks and more are expected, as the two-year deadline [on Tuesday, March 8, 2016] approaches,” according to International Business Times adding, “International convention states that families are automatically eligible for around £113,000 ($160,000) in compensation per passenger.”

Malaysia Airlines (MAS), as the national flag-carrier, last year reached an “out-of-court” settlement of the first legal claim by the family of a gentleman, who was a passenger on flight MH370, a lawyer handling the claim said to the French press service, AFP, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

Jee Jing Hang, an online web-based business owner, was one of 227 passengers and 12 Malaysia Airlines (MAS) crew aboard. In October 2014, Mr Hang’s family brought a lawsuit, benefitting his two living sons, aged 11 and 14 when the lawsuit was filed, against Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and the Malaysian government, including its Department of Civil Aviation and Department of Immigration, and the Royal Malaysia Air Force Chief, agencies altogether involved in investigating the missing MH370 flight. The premise of the plaintiff’s lawsuit argued “for negligence and breach of contract,” against the air carrier, as it “failed to bring its passengers to its destination,” according to AFP.

“The court was informed that all the parties in the suit had come to an amicable settlement,” Gary Edward Chong, a lawyer for Mr Hang’s family told AFP, of which “terms of the settlement could not be disclosed.”

Liow-Tiong-Lai-MOT-Transport-Minister-Ministry-of-Transport 2





Friday, March 4 2016

Liow: MH370 families advised to file their claims under Montreal Convention before March 8

“It has undoubtedly been a difficult and trying twenty-four months for the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

As we approach the second anniversary of this unfortunate event, I have been informed by Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) that less than 60 compensation claims have been settled in relation to the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the flight, whereas to date, 169 families have commenced final compensation process.

With regard to the passengers of MH370, according to Article 35 of the 1999 Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention), the right to damages against MAS shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived in Beijing, that is on 8 March 2014.

Therefore, as previously stated by MAS, the limitation period under the Montreal Convention ends on 8 March 2016. This right to claim damages under the Montreal Convention is available to the families and next-of-kin of the passengers of MH370.

Hence, I urge all the families and next-of-kin, regardless of nationality, to file their claims under the Montreal Convention against MAS by March 8, 2016 to preserve their legal rights as provided under the Convention.

The Government of Malaysia remains ever conscious that the families and next-of-kin of the passengers and crew of MH370 need to be accorded their legitimate rights as provided under the relevant international instruments and domestic laws.”


Second Interim Statements on MH370 Safety Investigation

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Provided below is the MAS Flight MH370 Second Interim Statement (Footnote 1) on the investigation on the second anniversary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, prepared by the Malaysian ICAO (Footnote 2) Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370. Click here for MAS Flight MH370 First Interim Statement and Factual Information.

“1. This 2nd Interim Statement1 has been prepared under Chapter 6, paragraph 6 of ICAO2 Annex 13 to provide information on the progress of the investigation on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, registered as 9M-MRO, pending the completion of the Final Report as required under ICAO Annex 13. A Final Report will be completed in the event wreckage of the aircraft is located or the search for the wreckage is terminated, whichever is the earlier.

2. The Beijing-bound international scheduled passenger flight, with a total of 239 persons (227 passengers and 12 crew) on board, departed KL International Airport (KLIA) at 1642 UTC on 07 March 2014 [0042 MYT on 08 March 2014]. Less than 40 minutes after take-off, radar contact with the aircraft was lost after passing waypoint (Footnote 3) IGARI.

3. As a Contracting State of ICAO and in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, and under Regulation 126(1) (Footnote 4) of the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR), on 25 April 2014, Malaysia established an independent international Air Accident Investigation Team, known as ‘The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370’ (the “Team”) to investigate the disappearance of flight MH370. The Team, headed by the Investigator-in-Charge, comprises 19 Malaysians and 7 Accredited Representatives of 7 safety investigation authorities (Footnote 5) from 7 countries.

4. On 08 March 2015, the 1 st Interim Statement and the Factual Information on the Safety Investigation for MH370 were released (Footnote 6) to the public on the first anniversary of the disappearance of MH370.

5. To-date, the MH370 wreckage has still not been found despite the continuing search in the South Indian Ocean. However, a flaperon was recovered in the French island of Réunion on 29 July 2015 and was determined to have been a part of the MH370 aircraft.

6. At this time, the Team is continuing to work towards finalizing its analysis, findings/conclusions and safety recommendations on eight relevant areas associated with the disappearance of flight MH370 based on available information. New information that may become available before the completion of the Final Report may alter these analysis, findings/ conclusions and safety recommendations.

7. The eight areas being reviewed by the Team are as follows:

  1. Diversion from Filed Flight Plan Route;
  2. Air Traffic Services Operations;
  3. Flight Crew Profile;
  4. Airworthiness & Maintenance and Aircraft Systems;
  5. Satellite Communications;
  6. Wreckage and Impact Information (following the recovery and verification of a flaperon from the aircraft);
  7. Organization and Management Information of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Malaysia and MAS; and
  8. Aircraft Cargo Consignment.

The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370″

“Footnote 1 If the report cannot be made publicly available within twelve months, the State conducting the investigation shall make an interim statement publicly available on each anniversary of the occurrence, detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues raised.
Footnote 2 ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel. The Convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. Today, there are 191 Contracting States in ICAO.
Footnote 3 Waypoint – A specified geographical location used to define an area navigation route or the flight path of an aircraft employing area navigation. Waypoints are identified as either: Fly-by waypoint – A fly-by waypoint requires the use of turn anticipation to avoid overshoot of the next flight segment; or Fly-over waypoint – A flyover waypoint precludes any turn until the waypoint is overflown and is followed by an intercept maneuver of the next flight segment.
Footnote 4 For the purpose of carrying out an investigation into the circumstances and cause of any accident to which these Regulations apply, the Minister shall appoint persons as Inspectors of Air Accidents, one of whom shall be appointed by him as a Chief Inspector of Air Accidents.
Footnote 5 Air Accident and Incident Investigation Organizations:
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) of Australia,
  • Civil Aviation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CAAC),
  • Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité d l’aviation civile (BEA) of France,
  • National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) of Indonesia,
  • Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) of Singapore,
  • Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of United Kingdom, and
  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of United States of America.
Footnote 6 The 1st Interim Statement and the Factual Information remain available on the MH370 Safety Investigation websites of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) Malaysia and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC): “


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Photo Credit: Harvard University

“The University of Missouri system’s president, Timothy Wolfe, resigned Monday morning in the face of growing protests by black college students, the threat of a walkout by faculty, and a strike by football players, who said he had done too little to combat racism on campus,” reports USA Today and the New York Times moments ago.

Photo Credits: Harvard University and Yale University Commons

Further still, after President Wolfe announced his resignation, R. Bowen Loftin, the chancellor of the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, will resign at the end of the year, the Associated Press reported alongside the New York Times late Monday afternoon.

President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin faced increasing pressure to resign their leadership posts after what critics said “was a sluggish and inadequate response to a string of racially charged incidents on the overwhelmingly white college campus,” according to TPM LiveWire Breaking News.

This is now a tsunami crisis in stakeholder management and presidential and chancellorship succession in higher education and its coordinated response to diversity and inclusion on campus (alongside other pressing issues of college affordability, student learning and assessment, internationalization and globalization on campuses, cash management and investments, fundraising and endowment growth, strategic partnerships, joint venturing and alliances, and board governance).

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni stakeholders’ anger and frustration is real about how the value of diversity and inclusion on modern college campuses matters most in the modern age of demography shift and heightened engagement across government, industry, philanthropy, and “The Ivory Tower.”

So, given at the end of this piece are 20 strategic lessons on what does it take to be the college boss through the lens of several university presidential titans, who may have or who may have not weathered the storms of raising the value of diversity and inclusion in “The Ivory Tower.”

Inside this piece also are some pearls of wisdom that may be relevant to the challenging constituent events taking place on the modern college campus in the age of demography shift in heightened communications through “smart” technology, whereby a simple “Tweet” about a racial incident can go viral and eventually cause the resignation of a university president, lacking some historical perspective of these 20 pearls of wisdom on how to #BetheBoss on a modern college campus.

Yale Univ Student Rally

Photo Credit: Isaac Stanley-Becker for The Washington Post. Students rally at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on Monday, November 9, 2015.

Above all else, essentially, college presidents have basically three powers: to sign, to appoint, and most of all, to persuade.

Yale University’s president, Peter Salovey, spoke Thursday, November 5, 2015 to minority students in a closed-door meeting, saying the university had “failed” them. Salovey later said on Monday, November 9, 2015 at a Yale student rally on campus that he welcomed students’ efforts to improve Yale University and clarified his view that Yale has failed its minority students, as later that afternoon tsunami events out west were unfolding surrounding the presidential and chancellor leadership succession of the University of Missouri System.

“What I said on Thursday is if there are students who don’t feel welcome here, we need to accept that as an area where we can do better,” Salovey said in a brief interview to reporters, including The Washington Post. “And we must do better.”

“People really have to feel like they can express themselves, whatever their views are, in an environment that is open to them,” he said.

College politics of prolific public perception is profoundly at play now in the age of social media and advances in wireless communications technologies on campus.

Yale College Dean John Holloway

Jonathan Holloway, the dean of Yale College, (shown above via The Washington Post, and Yale’s only black dean, who is also the Edmund Morgan Professor of African American Studies), also said recently in The Washington Post, he has been in touch with the university’s general counsel’s office about several videos created via smartphones during a recent confrontation between students and administration, as “there is a university rule that prohibits filming without prior permission within Yale’s gates,” Holloway said. 

On Thursday, November 5, Yale University students gathered to protest over faculty members’ e-mails regarding culturally sensitive Halloween costumes. One student confronted Nicholas Christakis, the master of Silliman College. Several video clips of the encounter at Yale’s Silliman College were immediately posted on YouTube by the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Filmed by FIRE organization’s CEO and president, Greg Lukianoff, who spoke in Silliman on Thursday evening on the topic of free speech on college campuses, the videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

“I honestly don’t know what to do in our smartphone culture with this,” Holloway said. “And so I’ve posed that as a question to the attorney to figure out what can we do.”

Spokesman, Nico Perrino, said FIRE has not been contacted by Yale’s attorneys.

Meanwhile, the social impact of our smartphone culture continues on modern college campuses, as marches and walkouts across the nation are taking place this week by students, faculty, staff, and alumni in protest of “what they see as officials’ lenient approach to racial abuse in schools,” according to Reuters.

In recent related series of event, Reuters reports Hunter M. Park, “a 19-year-old white Missouri man (also a sophomore computer science major at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) in Rolla, which is part of the University of Missouri System) is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, November 12 charged with making threats on social media to shoot black students at the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, just days after the school’s top two administrators resigned after protests over their handling of racial incidents at the school.

In the nation’s capitol, “messages were posted online threatening to murder students at the historically black college Howard University in Washington on Thursday, November 11,” says Reuters. School officials, which had an “all hands on deck” high-level meeting Thursday morning, decided not to close the campus, but have increased security around the DC-metropolitan campus.

“Sympathetic gatherings have taken place at Yale University, Ithaca College in New York, Smith College in Massachusetts and Claremont McKenna College in California,” according to Reuters. “At Yale on Wednesday, November 11, more than 1,000 students, professors and staff gathered to discuss race and diversity at the elite Ivy League school. The forum was held two days after about 1,000 students briefly shut down traffic around the university in a rally to protest an alleged Halloween incident in which a fraternity turned away black students from a party.”

#Mizzou Fallout Forces Resignations of a University President and a Flagship Campus Chancellor

Monday, November 9, 2015, the Missouri Students Association released a letter submitted to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, seeking University of Missouri President Timothy Wolfe’s “immediate removal,” saying that “the University of Missouri met the shooting of Mike Brown with silence … our students were left stranded, forced to face an increase in tension and inequality with no systemic support. Over the last sixteen months, the quality of life for our students has only worsened” and that Missouri President Wolfe had “enabled a culture of racism.”

“His resignation was just one of many demands from students, who say the university isn’t doing enough to handle racism and discrimination on the campus in Columbia. Another demand is to increase black representation among University of Missouri-Columbia staff and faculty members to 10 percent by the next academic calendar year. The school would have a lot of hiring to do to comply: It would take around 400 more black faculty or staff members to get representation that high,” reports FiveThirtyEightPolitics on ESPN. “Black students are less likely than students of other races or ethnicities to stay enrolled in the university after one year and are ultimately less likely to graduate,” according to data provided to FiveThirtyEight by the university.

What we are learning from the resignations of Missouri president, Timothy Wolfe, and of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, on Monday, November 9, is that responsibility and accountability for diversity and inclusion now clearly resides at the top inside the campus administration building.

Photo Credit: Supporters of the student protest group, “Concerned Student 1950 (named after the first year black students were allowed at the school),” form a perimeter of 1,950 students in locked arms (above), as students stage a “sit-in” protest (below) on the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus.

Sit-ins by activists African-American students, supported by students, faculty, staff, and alumni from all walks of life, in the age of “#BlackLivesMatter“, “#SportsLivesMatter“, and the “clash of generations” (between Millennials aged 18-24, Generation Ys aged 25-34, Generation Xs aged 33-44, Baby-Busters aged 45-54, Baby-Boomers aged 55-64, and Greatest Generations aged 65 and older), alongside Saturday afternoon boycotts by college football and basketball players and marching bands, are dramatically affecting college brands and reputations, institutional advancement, communications and public relations, annual donor-giving campaign dollars, and lucrative sports television revenues given to campuses.

Moreover, such protests are voicing loudly that racism, sexism, even ageism is not tolerated on the modern campus by any groups of constituents and stakeholders. And that no longer is “just talking diversity” inside college brochures enough. But now, “actually walking diversity” is the real measure of the social, technological, educational, economic and political (S.T.E.E.P.) value of diversity on campus.

Football is big money and some change on modern college campuses.

“The Missouri athletic department’s annual operating revenue grew nearly 10 percent to $83.7 million during the 2014 fiscal year, but outstanding debt climbed by nearly $60 million and expenses also increased,” according to data obtained by The Star that is submitted annually by Mizzou to the NCAA.

Had thirty-two black football players just boycotted one game this weekend against Brigham Young University, “it would have cost the school almost $1 million,” reports The Root.

“Thirty-two black men just ousted the head of a system that employs 25,000 people and educates over 77,000 students, just by saying, “No”,” writes activist, Michael Harriot, inside The Root.

Harriot adds: “Harvard Law-degree-wielding president of one of the largest and most comprehensive universities in the country [resigning clearly says] … what should be scary to the status quo is the possibility of the pervasive rage becoming as focused and united as what just happened in Columbia, Missouri, by just saying “No.” “

“And, all it took was 32 black men.”

By the way, have you seen a Texaco Star sign anymore lately?

Diversity and inclusion matters now under the corporate seal. And, it’s not only affecting huge government and industrial interests, but also economic interests inside “The Ivory Tower.” 

“Mizzou’s student-athletes just put every university president across the nation on notice,” writes Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College in Ohio, inside The Root.

“Thousands of influential Mizzou alumni couldn’t care less about social justice, racism or the protection of African-American students. They like football and tailgating every Saturday. And, if firing Wolfe and addressing some racism gets them back in the parking lot with a beer and a brat watching black men run up and down a field this Saturday, so be it,” Johnson argues.

Professor Johnson goes on further to conclude: “At the end of the day, there are lots of people who can serve as a college president, but there aren’t nearly as many who can break four tackles for a score on third and 7. Let’s just hope that other prominent college football teams see the power that was shown by the Missouri Tigers today: that if you stay organized and unified, you don’t have to just run the field; you can run your school.”

Strategic knowledge leadership among the world’s best colleges and universities reflects modern presidential and board responsibility and accountability of making a real difference in diversity and inclusion with integrity and trust of self-expression and generosity amongst all stakeholders across the campus community.

Photo Credit: Columbia University Graduation Ceremony

Diversity and Inclusion is Strategic Leadership and Intent of the Modern College Presidential Boss

Strategic competitive positioning in academic and research capacity building and knowledge production and depositories among the world’s top-ranked colleges and universities stack up along four primary fronts:

  1. Brokerage creates knowledge and value, including identifying the relative difference among ourselves that distinguishes an institution and trading on it under a powerful university seal in the global marketplace;
  2. Cohesion delivers knowledge and value, involving establishing an academic environment of diversity and inclusion that attracts and retains extraordinary faculty united with a continuous supply of exceptional students;
  3. Branding, reputation, and trust transfers knowledge and value, allowing a climate of innovation to flow freely throughout the physical and online learning spaces and diverse culture of the university in the advancement of a general liberal education for the benefit of agriculture, industry, commerce, and The Arts;
  4. Partnerships sustain knowledge and value, allowing diverse strategic contracts of alliances, joint-ventures, acquisitions, warrants, options, and philanthropic giving to feed both organic and inorganic investments and growth of the university and its endowment steadily and soundly through perpetuity.

Photo Credit: Duke University

A Vision for the Value of Diversity and Inclusion on the Modern College Campus

Altogether, the above attributes properly balance and uniquely prepare modern college presidents for this strategic leadership opportunity in three essential ways:

  • To honor the faculty, staff, students, and alumni and their history inside the college as a sound institution and community of learning;
  • To manage the college’s education integrated with research capacity building and growth, as one of the country’s top research organizations – particularly given the college’s strategic leadership inside the federal directorates, as one of the nation’s most valuable integrated education and research assets – and finally,
  • To position a college education and research enterprise with a strategic vision for making the often challenging choices amongst competing stakeholders required in interdisciplinary teaching and research oversight in modern higher education. 

Furthermore, strongest most enduring college presidents are eager to participate in the collaborative and cross-cultural governance of a growing higher education and research enterprise, while helping the university build its social, technological, economic, and political value to the college’s local region, the nation, and the world.

Photo Credit: Stanford University

Hence, what it takes to be the servant college boss is sound stewardship of a longstanding institution of excellence, whose intent is to empower and enable faculty, staff, students, and alumni, to generate and fulfill new possibilities and purposeful living.

A modern college stewarded by a sound presidential boss creates new knowledge and provides academic programs and services that produce extraordinary learning and results not only for its stakeholders and constituencies, but also for the ascent of humankind.

Upon examining the compelling case for the college’s mission, what is revealed to us, as taxpayers and/or college donors, is the power of one’s transformation through combined education and leadership preparation for the college’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and for the surrounding local community, the nation and the world.

Photo Credit: University of Notre Dame

The college presidential boss proposes to advance the college’s educational and service-oriented enterprises out of values shaping deeply what we believe the college is, as a transformational academic unit of distinguished teaching, research, outreach and engagement, innovation, and technology transfer to a good society: 

Making a Difference:

Colleges have a profound privilege of causing transformation of students as global leaders, the transformation of its faculty as conversation leaders and knowledge producers, the transformation of its staff as facilitators of quality service, and the transformation of its alumni in protection and as shapers of society, humanity, and our world. 

Self Expression and Generosity:

Colleges are historical places of fundamental freedom of intellectual thought; giving of itself abundantly in duty and service to community and the nation and to students from all walks of life.

Creation of Knowledge: 

Colleges generate potential from promise itself, shaping society today, and most of all, respecting its legacy of shaping thought in America with the ultimate purpose in the development of future leaders for a global duty and citizenry through the creation and dissemination of knowledge. 

Responsibility and Accountability: 

Colleges are leadership communities of excellence with an inherent responsibility and unconditional accountability to ensure the potential and promise, and ultimately, the success of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Integrity and Trust:

Colleges are whole and complete organizations of duty and quality service of higher education that must be true to its purpose to accomplish with integrity its academic and training mission, to function consistent with its values, and to manage the trust in service to its students, faculty, staff, alumni, governance, society, humanity, and the world.

Photo Credit: One Hundred Years of Harvard-Yale Football



20 Pearls of Wisdom and Lessons on College Presidential Leadership

Below are 20 additional strategic lessons on what does it take to be the college boss through the lens of several university presidential titans, who may have or who may have not weathered the storms of raising the social, technological, education, economic, and political (S.T.E.E.P.) value of diversity and inclusion inside “The Ivory Tower.”

Photo Credit: Nicholas Murrary Butler

1. A Different Kind of Captain

“The college president is “a captain of the army of faith in the Republic.” These captains “are a characteristic product of American life and of American opportunity … Rules and formulas cannot be devised to produce them … The history of American higher education for well-nigh a century is written largely in terms of the personality, the strivings and the accomplishments of these Captains. Strike them from our record … and the history of American Higher Education would be meaningless.”

Nicholas Murray Butler, 1919, Nobel Peace Laureate (1931), 12th President of Columbia University (1905-1945), President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1925-1945)

2. The Multiversity President

The president must be “a friend of the students, a colleague of the faculty, a good fellow with the alumni, a sound administrator with the trustees, a good speaker with the public, an astute bargainer with the foundations and federal agencies, a politician with the state legislature, a friend of industry, labor and agriculture, a persuasive diplomat with donors, a champion of education generally, a supporter of the professions …, a spokesperson to the press, a scholar in his own right, a public servant …, a devotee of opera and football equally, a decent human being, a good husband and father, an active member of a church … No one can be all these things. Some succeed at being none.”

Clark Kerr, 1963, 12th President of the University of California (1958-1967), First Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (1952-1957)

Photo Credit: Duke University

3. The Presidency as Illusion

“[The academic presidency is] a reactive job, a parochial job … [It is] important to the president [but] the presidency is an illusion … Important aspects of the role seem to disappear on close examination … It is probably a mistake for a college president to imagine that what he [she] does in office affects significantly either the long-run position of the institution or his [her] reputation as president.

Presidents occupy a minor part in the lives of a small number of people. They can act with a fair degree of confidence that if they make a mistake, it will not matter much.”

Michael Cohen and James March, Leadership and Ambiguity, 1974, 1986

Photo Credit: Harvard University Cross Country Team

4. The Presidency Today

“It has probably always been too simple a matter to think of the president as a pilot … Still … the allegory of the captain, the ship, the sea, the voyage, remains appealing. There is romance in it, and danger; uncertainty and possibility; change and challenge; and fortune good or bad …

“That old voyager, Charles W. Eliot [21st President of Harvard University,(1869-1909), known as the “grand old man” of Harvard University – its transformer, if not its founder], might well conclude today that the office he did so much to develop has been greatly modified since his time. It is more difficult, more daunting, and a good bit less powerful … But, surveying the greatly altered scene, Eliot might still discern … some substantial room to maneuver, some significant role for the pilot. He might join with [William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906), “Young Man in a Hurry“] now … in saying of the position that “the satisfaction which this brings no man [or woman] can describe.” He could find convincing reasons to avow again that the presidency – despite everything and whatever one’s choice of metaphor – is still unique, still a job that demands a leader, still an office that makes a difference, still a profession that has no equal in the world.”

Joe Crowley, “No Equal in The World,” 1994

Photo Credit: Duke University

5. The President of Grey Towers (Chicago)

“The university has become a place of “cold desolateness,” headed by a president who is “absurd … an absolutist [and] a grotesque little man.”

Anonymous, 1923

6. The President “Presides Over a Tropical Jungle”

“The president, critics say, is “an autocrat, a dollar-making capitalist, a great mogul, a grand seigneur, a mikado, and hetman all combined in one. He [She] is viewed as an austere figure sitting on a throne behind closed doors and summoning now and then the trembling vassals of his [her] realm … He [She] watches for heresies with the sleepless zeal of the Holy Inquisition, and without mercy brings vengeance on the head of the unfaithful.”

In reality, he [she] “presides over a tropical jungle … full of queer animals … Some run about, seeking whom they may devour. Others sit quietly in corners, shrinking from observation, searching curiously for unknown things … It is a vast magnificent, and historic tangle. About all that the mighty gentleman … can do, is to stand on a height above it and squirt perfume on the ensemble.”

Somnia Vana, 1922

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7. “Last Words of a College President”

“I walked and sat erect for thirty years, A proud merchant of correct ideas, Cold gladness and unsullied decorum, I fashioned cautious men without souls, And brittle women with measured passion. Behold a traitor, To his Creator.”

American Mercury,” 1948

Photo Credit: The Ivory Tower

8. The Mystery Novel President

“In academic detective novels, presidents are customarily portrayed as: “Academically, intellectually, socially, legally, and morally rotten, [and as] encyclopedias of corruption.”

Wister Cook, “Death by Administration: Presidents, Deans, and Department Heads in Academic Detective Novels,” 1988 [via, Joseph N. Crowley, “No Equal in the World: An Interpretation of the Academic Presidency,” 1994]

Photo Credit: Princeton University Nassau Hall

9. The Spirit of J. Thoreau Marshall Reigns

“As acting president of fictional Washagon University inside Robert Grudin’s novel about life among that peculiar new breed of faculty … , J. Thoreau Marshall “emerges as neither decent nor much of a mover.” Nonetheless, his rise to power was inevitable:

“Terrified of being at a loss for words, he wrote out his lectures which, sauced with redundancy, seasoned with non sequitur and served up at metronomic pace in a pained nasal monotone, induced narcosis in all who heard them.

“In committee meetings, he was notably inarticulate, dead to nuance and phobic to original ideas.

“His other relationships were of a similar ilk, To his students he was autocratic and unfair, to his advisees distant and obtuse, to his colleagues earthbound and hollow.

“It was eventually apparent that these characteristics, displayed consistently and noted by all, ideally qualified Marshall for academic administration, and before long he was welcomed into a confraternity whose members by and large, shared his talents and propensities.

“When he was appointed Washagon’s provost, Marshall demonstrated “the timeworn obligations of his profession: bullying his subordinates and cringing before his superiors, stifling talent and rewarding mediocrity, promoting faddishness and punishing integrity. It is no surprise that Marshall is given the acting presidency, when the president becomes ill.” “

Robert Grudin, “Book,” 1992 [via, Joseph N. Crowley, “No Equal in the World: An Interpretation of the Academic Presidency,” 1994]

Photo Credit: Andrew Dickson White

10. “No Cessation of Duties”

“This is a dog’s life … no cessation of duties, which have always been most irksome … rebuffs — the cold shoulder — unsuccessful pleading and unheeded begging … A year or two more of this life as president will break my health hopelessly.”

Andrew Dickson White, 1871-72, First President of Cornell University (1866-1885), 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881), First President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)

Photo Credit: William Rainey Harper

11. “The Bigness of the Task”

“There were “times of great depression, when one contemplates in all its details the bigness of the task … the demands made … the number and magnitude of the difficulties involved. So numerous are the affairs of a great university; so heavy are they … so delicate and difficult … so arduous … so heart engrossing and mind disturbing.”

William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906), “Young Man in a Hurry

Photo Credit: Andrew Dickson White

12. Presidents On The Press

“Twenty years ago I began my official connection with Cornell University by answering defamatory attacks … in your columns, and now I seem fated to end it in the same way.”

Andrew Dickson White, in a letter to the New York Times, 1885, First President of Cornell University (1866-1885), 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881), First President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)

Photo Credit: William Rainey Harper

“I wish very much that there could be enacted a law in the state of Illinois inflicting the death penalty upon irresponsible reporters for the misleading way in which they misrepresent the truth … We are helpless in the hands of the press …”

William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906)

Photo Credit: Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro (right) and World-Renowned, Distinguished Ballet Artist, Mikhail Baryshnikov (left)

13. Unwise Fate Awaiting The New President

“Consider that “cruel … unnecessary … unwise fate awaiting the new president, who must make his peace with malcontents, … be patient under opposition, … explain misunderstandings, … contradict misstatements, … supplement the inefficiency of others, and … furnish enthusiasm enough not only to carry himself over all obstacles … but to warm blood in the veins of others, whose temperature never yet rose above thirty-four degrees.”

“One of the Guild,” 1900

Photo Credit: The Ohio State University Oval

14. Presidential Complaints and “The Wailing Wall”

“The university president is “one of the most burdened … harassed … put-upon people in American life.”

William H. Cowley, 1949, Correspondence of William H. Cowley, 11th President of Hamilton College (1938-1944)

Photo Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower

“My schedule “for the first months … has grown to appalling proportions. If current indications provide any index of what my future life there is to be, I shall quit them cold and go to some forsaken spot on the earth’s surface to stay.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1948, 13th President of Columbia University (1948-1953), 34th President of the United States (1953-1961)

Photo Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The picture of the president emerging from presidential descriptions is of a “small, lonely, Chaplinesque figure.”

“Annual presidential meetings are like “a convocation of morticians” gathered at a “wailing wall.”

Frederic Ness, “An Uncertain Glory,” Professor of English, United States Naval Academy, 1971

Photo Credit: Charles M. Vest

15. A Model of Leading the Value of Diversity Through The Presidency is Here

“I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and attended public schools there where I learned many valuable things. I learned that every human being is important, has something to offer, and can be a friend and colleague.” Read more here.

Charles M. Vest, 2006, 15th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990-2004), President of the National Academy of Engineering (2007-2013)

Photo Credit: University of Pennsylvania

16. The Presidency According to the Presidents and the Press

“An impossible job” (1913)

“Why college presidents wear out” (1945)

“The [presidential] race is extinct” (1956)

“The reeling presidency” (1976)

“The impossible job of the college president” (1988)

“The most difficult job in the world” (1990)

“The short unhappy life of academic presidents” (1990)

“The hardest job in California” (1991)

“The terrible toll in college presidents” (1994)

“Wanted: Miracle workers” (1991)

“The hunt for water walkers” (1990)

“[The job needs] someone who can walk on water.”

“[The job needs] someone who doesn’t only walk on water, but who can skip on it.”

“[The job needs] somebody who can walk on water, but who can do so without scaring the fish.”

“[The president needs an] ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

Photo Credit: Charles W. Eliot reading with his grandson (1910)

17. The Rule of Seven

“The best number of members for a university’s principal governing board is seven; because that number of men [women] can sit round a small table, talk with each other informally without waste of words or any display or pretense, provide an adequate diversity of points of view and modes of dealing with the subject in hand, and yet be prompt and efficient in the despatch of business. In a board of seven the different professions and callings can be sufficiently represented.”

Charles W. Eliot, 1908, 21st President of Harvard University (1869-1909), Known as the “grand old man” of Harvard University – its transformer, if not its founder. 

Photo Credit: H. Patrick Swygert (right) and then-U.S. Presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) (left), 2007

18. The Raison D’etre for The Institution

“Its mission, transcends everything, because without that you’re simply just raising money but for no good purpose. And by the way, don’t think you’re going to be successful at it, as well, if you cannot articulate some form of vision … And I think historically black colleges and universities at large are still about two things: opportunity for youngsters who might not otherwise have an opportunity for education, post-secondary education, and secondly, to be about the business of the greater African Diaspora. What are those issues affecting us? Whether it’s health care disparities, whether it’s environmental issues, whether it’s traditional civil rights issues, human rights issues, that’s what they should be about – what we are about.”

H. Patrick Swygert, 15th President of Howard University, 2008

Photo Credit: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (right), former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-U.S. Senator (D-New York) (left)

19. More of a Politician Than a Corporatist

“The course of a university president’s day is never the same twice in a row; no tired bureaucrats need apply … A university president has to be more of politician than a corporate leader.”

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, “Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education,” 2008, 15th President of The George Washington University (1988-2007), 3rd President of the University of Hartford (1976-1987)

Photo Credit: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (left) poses next to his official George Washington University presidential portrait (right)

20. A Titan

“Angry now the breakers are: Gleam their white teeth in the sun, Where along the shallow bar, Fierce and high their ridges run. 

But the pilot-captain, lo! How serene in strength is he! Blithe as winds that dawnward blow, Fresh and fearless as the sea.

Now the shifting breezes fail, Baffling gusts arise and die, Shakes and shudders every sail, Hark! the rocks are roaring nigh.

But the pilot keeps here keel, Where the current runneth fair, Deftly turns the massive wheel, Light as though’t were hung in air.

Hark! the bar on either side! Hiss of foam, and crash of crest, Trampling feet, and shouts – they glide, Safely out on ocean’s breast.

Then, the Pilot gives his hand, To his brother, close beside: “Now, ’tis thine to take command, I must back at turn of tide.” “

Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887), American poet and educator, 1875

Photo Credit: Edward Rowland Sill



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Oct 302015

Dynamic Airways B767-200ER N251MY FLL

A Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D left turbofan engine burst into flames on a taxiing Dynamic International Airways Boeing 767-200ER, carrying 101 passengers and flight crew, just prior to its departure at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (in Dania Beach, Florida USA) en route to Caracas, Venezuela. 

Photo Credit:, Dynamic Aviation Group Boeing-767-300ER, Registration Number N251MY

The 29-year-old Boeing 767-200ER airliner, Registration Number N251MY, operating as flight 2D-405 on Thursday, October 29, 2015, was taxiing on the ground before departure at about 12:34pm ET, holding short of Fort Lauderdale Airport’s runway 28R after contacting the local air traffic control tower.

Suddenly, the flight crew of another aircraft, taxiing behind Dynamic International Airways flight 2D-405, advised the flight deck of the Boeing 767-200ER airliner that there was a massive Jet A-1 fuel leak from the left Pratt & Whitney turbofan engine (JT9D-7R4D).

Pratt & Whitney developed the first high bypass ratio turbofan engine (JT9D-7R4D) to power a wide-body airliner, originally designed for application to the first Jumbo Boeing 747-100 airliner.

Boeing 767 Fort Lauderdale Fire

Immediately, the flight deck of the Boeing 767-200ER airliner acknowledged the fuel leak and then requested to return to the ramp.

That was when the other advising flight deck airliner, taxiing behind flight 2D-405, alerted the Boeing 767-200ER flight deck that the new condition of their aircraft was their left turbofan engine was now on fire!

Boeing 767 Fort Lauderdale Fire 2

According to Reuters, at 12:34pm ET the Boeing 767-200ER airliner was evacuated via slides in about 3 minutes. 

Luis Campana, a 71-year-old rancher, along with his wife and sister, were three of the 101 passengers and crew on-board Dynamic International Airways flight 2D-405 traveling to Venezuela’s Guarico state.

“It was a real scare,” Campana told Reuters at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. He said, “he had been sitting near the front of the plane, as the pilot put the thrust on to taxi up the runway.”

“The engine exploded. As we were getting out of the plane down the chute, the smoke was beginning to enter and the engine was in flames,” he said.

Twenty-one people were injured, one seriously, most of whom were treated at a hospital and released, said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles.

Don Dodson, the director of operations for Dynamic Airways, said airline officials had set up a crisis center, flown in additional airline representatives to help passengers and arranged for a relief flight to take passengers to their final destinations.

Emergency services responded in two minutes at 12:36pm ET, according to Mike Jachles of the Boward County Fire Rescue, upon which firefighters extinguished the fire using foam seven minutes later at 12:41pm ET.

The National Transportation Safety Board has initiated its investigation of the Boeing 767-200ER fire that injured several passengers on the tarmac at the South Florida airport Thursday, according to Greg Meyer of the Boward County Aviation Department.

The plane had no previous incidents or issues, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Boeing 767/269 — manufactured in 1986 and owned by Utah-based airplane leasing company KMW Leasing in Salt Lake City — lost 45 to 50 gallons of fuel, damaging the asphalt. Taxiway repairs should be complete later Friday or Saturday, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Director Kent George said (via Fox News).

“More than 100 passengers had to evacuate using emergency slides. Some ran from the plane into the terminal as fire crews rushed to put the fire out,” Fox News reported.

Kent George, Director of the Broward County Aviation Department, said (via Fox News), “the flames never entered the cockpit.”

Dyanmic Airways Logo

Dynamic International Airways, according to the limited liability company founded in 2008, is a certified Part 121 Carrier, operating fleet of seven Boeing 767-200ER aircraft that typically carries up to 250 people. The air carrier is based in Greensboro, North Carolina that connects Fort Lauderdale, New York, Venezuela and Guyana.

In past Dynamic International Airways operated mostly for other carriers and tour operators under their wet lease agreements.

In 2014 the airline started its own passenger service on multiple international markets including China, Saipan, Guam, Hong Kong, Guyana and Brasil.

Only recently, Dynamic International Airways announced it has launched its low-cost service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Caracas, Venezuela.

“For Venezuelans hoping to travel abroad, the options have been severely reduced to little-known carriers such as Dynamic or domestic carriers, which due to the country’s economic crisis, have struggled to import replacement parts,” according to Fox News.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee. “Firefighters walk past a burned out engine of a Dynamic Airways Boeing 767, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Dania Beach, Florida. The passenger plane’s engine caught fire Thursday as it prepared for takeoff, and passengers had to quickly evacuate on the runway using emergency slides, officials said. The plane was headed to Caracas, Venezuela.”
How we all can relate to this Dynamic International Airways Boeing 767 engine safety breach? 
Immediate question among the flying public is whether it is indeed safe to fly given today’s rare engine safety circumstances, surrounding the departure of Dynamic International Airways flight 2D-405.
The answer is yes, of course, supported by a poignant U.S. federal government statistics.
For air and space transport (including air taxis and private flights), the National Safety Council (NSC) says the relative risks of flying are extremely favorable odds of 1 in 7,178 for a lifetime against one receiving death or injury as a result of flying in a commercial passenger airliner. These relative risks of flying are compared by the NSC to the odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident at 1 in 98 for a lifetime, the USA Today reports.
Be that as it may, my father was a firefighter. He impressed upon me that firefighters and ground crews at these airports must work fast to put such hot fires out, as a result of exploding Jet A-1 engine fuel, having a flash point greater than 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), with an autoignition temperature of 210 degrees Celsius (410 degrees Fahrenheit).
Dynamic International Airways Boeing 767-200ER’s engine fire today on the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport runway was an extremely hot Jet A-1 engine fuel fire at burn temperatures reaching as high as 2,500 degrees Kelvin (2,230 degrees Celsius, or 4,040 degrees Fahrenheit), including open air burn temperatures climbing as high as 1,030 degrees Celsius, or 1,890 degrees Fahrenheit.
Moreover, fast cabin evacuation inside the Dynamic Airways’ Boeing 767-200ER of all the 101 passengers and crew was remarkably achieved in three minutes or 180 seconds – about twice the 90 seconds mandated by FAA regulations – that fortunately saved the lives of all passengers and flight crew on-board flight 2D-405.
So today, congratulations goes out to the Dynamic Airways 2D-405 flight crew for their fine execution of passenger evacuation of the cabin at the moment of the flight deck determination of a fire inside the left Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D turbofan engine.
Additional salute goes out to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ground crews and controllers, as well as, some heads up eyewitness warning on the ground (from the flight deck of a nearby taxiing airliner) of leaking Jet A-1 fuel from that Boeing 767-200ER’s left turbofan engine causing this massive fire and thick black smoke bellowing high into the sky (shown via Reuters below).

We can all emotionally recall, we had seen a similar massive fire with thick black smoke bellowing high in the sky, resulting from extremely hot Jet A-1 engine fuel inside the World Trade Center fire fourteen years ago on 9-11-2001.  

Therein, that tall building’s constructed steel melted, when it reached  a temperature of 800 degree Fahrenheit, as a result of forced mixing with a highly flammable Jet A-1 engine fuel, which burns at an extremely hot temperature approaching 2000 degrees Kelvin.

When Jet A-1 fuel burns uncontrollably, it induces a thick bellowing cloud of black smoke. 

WTC Tower on 9-11
Photo Credit: “It is an easily verifiable truth that Flight 175, as the Boeing 767 that it was, carried two Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D turbofan engines run on hot Jet A-1 engine fuel. “Flight 11” struck the North Tower –as seen above– at 8:46 AM. “Flight 175” struck the South Tower at 9:03 AM. At that moment upon hitting the South Tower, the flaming Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D engine fell onto the street below landing broken apart at the corner of Church and Murray Street in lower Manhattan.
Unfortunately, fast evacuation from tall buildings is much tougher and slower, than fortunately, the faster evacuation from commercial aircraft – mandated by FAA to be under just 90 seconds!
So, air passengers please read those seat-back cards in front of you that the flight attendants are instructing you to do during pre-flight safety procedures. 
Most of all, do determine in your mind your nearest route to an exit, including your emergency evacuation plan. 
Those passengers seated at the exits are federally-required by law to assist all passengers and flight crew in the event of an emergency evacuation of all commercial passenger aircraft.
An additional truth about rare sudden aircraft turbofan engine fires is that we are extremely lucky the Dynamic Airways Boeing 767-200ER’s Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D turbofan engine fire did not occur later upon takeoff. 
Therein, the turbofan engines could perhaps have further encounter deeper combustion instability, and even more critical, axial flow compressor instability, resulting in “engine surge” – an engine air flow reversal pre-induced by “rotating stall” – an engine thrust reducer, altogether leading to a rare catastrophic turbofan engine fire during airborne takeoff (see a brief detailed explanation for laypersons of these rare catastrophic turbofan engine instabilities in the Appendix section).
The pilots would then immediately have to shut off the left turbofan engine, and immediately attempt to land the Boeing 767 with the single right turbofan engine in functioning operation. This is how these massive jumbo commercial airliners are designed, manufactured, and tested to do fortunately.

Still, experts present another scenario of truths associated with the Boeing 767-200ER’s Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D engine safety breach of an undetected fuel leak prior to takeoff.

The accident could have been catastrophic had the jet taken off with a fuel leak, Greg Feith, a former crash investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, told Reuters.

“Once the aircraft is airborne, it becomes a flying blowtorch,” Feith said. “The fire intensifies and you don’t know what system or structure it’s going to burn through.”

Fire could damage a wing and fuselage, or cripple hydraulic and electronic control systems, Feith said, potentially making an emergency landing impossible. It could also ignite fuel tanks in the wings, especially if fuel vapor were present, he said.


How do aircraft engines achieve catastrophic mechanical failure and how can this be mitigated?

Air enters the Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D turbofan engine through the fan section (indicated in the photo below) at a mass flow rate of about a ton of air per second.

Five parts of this massive volume of air passes bypasses over the engine core into an exit nozzle past the turbine section, producing a substantially large amount of exit thrust. Whereas, one part of the inlet fan volume of air passes into the engine core begin at the compressor section.

From here air then continues to flow into the combustor (where it is mixed with fuel for combustion).

Subsequently, those combusted, hot gases pass into the turbine section (which not only produces additional exit thrust force of the engine, but also the turbine section serves to turn the engine core shaft, which turns the compressor blades inside the compression section and also the fans blades inside the fan section, and thus, start all over again the dynamic loop of how an aircraft engine properly operates).

The rotor blades in the turbine get very hot at about 1,800 degrees Kelvin or even more, so it is necessary to cool the turbine blades based on limiting thermal restrictions on material science. The tangential on-board injector’s job is to channel cool air from the compressor section into passages between the turbine blades in the turbine section.

Here is a cut-away of an actual Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D turbofan engine in a museum, marked it up to help us see where the main engine components of the fan, compressor (including the air-fuel combustion chamber), and turbine sections are (including the identified portion that landing on Church and Murray Street, below the World Trade Center fire on 9-11):

PW_jt9d_cutaway_high 2

The operating range of aircraft turbofan engine compression systems is limited by two classes of aerodynamic instabilities (Fig. 1) known as rotating stall and surge [1].

Rotating stall is a multidimensional instability in which regions of low or reversed mass flow (i.e., stall cells) propagate around the compressor annulus due to incidence variations on adjacent airfoils [2–5].

Surge is primarily a one- dimensional instability of the entire pumping system (compressor, ducts, combustion chamber, and turbine). It is characterized by axial pulsations in annulus-averaged mass flow, including periods of flow reversal through the machine.

In high-speed compressor hydrodynamics across compressible flow regimes [6], rotating stall is generally encountered first, which then (loosely) “triggers” surge (often after a few rotor revolutions [2]).

This work [13] proposes schemes to passively control compressible rotating stall of high-speed compressors.

Nonetheless, with either instability, the compression system experiences a substantial loss in performance and operability, which sometimes result in catastrophic mechanical failure.

An experience-based approach for avoiding such performance loss is to operate the compressor at a safe range from the point of instability onset (i.e., imposing a stall margin). The stall margin ensures that the engine can endure momentary off-design operation. The margin also reduces the available pressure rise and efficiency of the machine (see Fig. 2).

It is proposed here that incorporating tailored structures and aeromechanical feedback controllers, locally-sensed by unstable compressible perturbations in annulus pressure, and actuated by non-uniformities in the high- speed flow distribution around the annulus, can be shown to inhibit the inception of a certain class of modal (long wave) stall of high-speed compressor devices. As a result, the stable operating range will be effectively extended allowing higher compressible performance and operability.

The fundamental proposition here [13] is high-speed stall onset just does not happen—it is triggered by an interdependent compressibility chain of critical Reynolds (boundary layer) and Mach (kinetic-thermal energy transfer) events. The commencement of these interdependent Reynolds and Mach events can be passively controlled, once their proportional sensitivity are monitored, sensed, and mechanically mitigated adequately in balance of performance, operability, weight, and reliability integrated with more conventional schedule-type control to justify the risk of such passive approaches offered herein.

In theory, fundamentals of a number of sensor-actuator schemes for rotating stall control were originally proposed early-on in Hendricks and Gysling [7]. In practice, a passive stall control program [13] could potentially be integrated with conventional control schedules of adequate change of fuel valve position, bleed valves, and re-staggered stator programs developed appropriately for profitable usage on compression systems operating in a highly-sensed compressible flow environment.

PW_jt9d_cutaway_high 3

Fundamental References for Additional Readings in the Field of Aircraft Engine Propulsion Stability

  1. Emmons, H. W., Pearson, C. E., and Grant, H. P., 1955, ‘‘Compressor Surge and Stall Propagation,’’ Trans. ASME, 77, pp. 455–469.

  2. Greitzer, E. M., 1976, ‘‘Surge and Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors, Part I & II,’’ ASME J. Eng. Power, 99, pp. 190–217.

  3. Greitzer, E. M., 1980, ‘‘Review: Axial Compressor Stall Phenomenon,’’ ASME J. Fluids Eng., 102, pp. 134–151.

  4. Greitzer, E. M., 1981, ‘‘The Stability of Pumping Systems, The 1980 Freeman Scholar Lecture,’’ ASME J. Fluids Eng., 103, pp. 193–242.

  1. Day, I. J., 1993, ‘‘Stall Inception in Axial Flow Compressors,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 115, pp. 1–9.

  2. Gysling, D. L. et al., 1991, ‘‘Dynamic Control of Centrifugal Compressor Surge Using Tailored Structures,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 113, pp. 710–722.

  1. Gysling, D. L., and Greitzer, E. M., 1995, ‘‘Dynamic Control of Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors Using Aeromechanical Feedback,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 117, pp. 307–319.

  2. Moore, F. K., 1984, ‘‘A Theory of Rotating Stall of Multistage Compressors—Parts I – II – III,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 106, pp. 313–336.

  1. Moore, F. K., and Greitzer, E. M., 1986, ‘‘A Theory of Post Stall Transients in Axial Compression Systems: Part I—Development of Equations,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 108, pp. 68–76.

  2. Greitzer, E. M., and Moore, F. K., 1986, ‘‘A Theory of Post-Stall Transients in Axial Compression Systems: Part II—Application,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Tur- bines Power, 108, pp. 231–239.

  3. Haynes, J. M., Hendricks, G. J., and Epstein, A. H., 1994, ‘‘Active Stabilization of Rotating Stall in a Three-Stage Axial Compressor,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 226–239.

  1. Longley, J. P., 1994, ‘‘A Review of Non-Steady Flow Models for Compressor Stability,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 202–215.

  2. McGee, O. G., and Coleman, K. L., 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part I: Control- Theoretic Models,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135, March 2013. Coleman, K.L., and McGee, O.G., 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part II: Assessments of Methodologies,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135, May 2013.

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