Tag Archives: safety

Best Of Aviation Queen: Top 10 Travel Safety Tips For Women (And Men)


On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of moderating an online forum — Safety and Security: Threat Mitigation for the Traveling Businesswoman — for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).  This is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially after the theft of my wallet in New York City earlier this month, which I blog about here.

The presenter (who was fantastic) was Katie Colberg, who works as a travel security management consultant at MEDEX Global Solutions.  We also heard from Caroline Bryan, a Gulfstream G550 captain and safety adviser and Terri Fuhrmann, a supervising flight attendant coordinator.  These women, along with participants on the webinar, came up with some great safety travel tips.  Below, I summarize the top 10.  Enjoy!

  1. Put a scanned copy of your passport on a memory stick. I love this one, because paper can get lost.  I always have a thumb drive in my purse and on my key chain.
  2. Ask for specific rooms in hotels. You want one away from the stairwell, between the 2nd and 7th floors and near the elevators (noisier, but safer).
  3. Wear an inexpensive wedding ring. I have a family ring I wear that when turned around, looks just like a wedding ring. You are less likely to be approached if you seem to be married.
  4. Carry a small flashlight and lighter in your purse, and pack a candle.  I do all three — the flashlight is for dark spaces; the lighter is to light the candle (which doubles as a room freshener) and other assorted things.
  5. If you leave the television on in your room and leave, turn it on to a local channel when traveling outside the country.  A potential mischief-maker is less likely to target a person they think is a local.
  6. Pack extra food and water. In the case of the Mumbai hotel attacks, some guests were trapped in their rooms for up to three days without food or water.
  7. Carry a “Go Bag” and keep it with you at all times.  The bag should contain ID/passport, meds, important phone numbers, a pen, paper and batteries. Colberg says that with this bag, if you have to leave your destination quickly, you can.
  8. Your luggage tag should NOT be a business card. Colberg recommends having one that’s covered, and it should only include your first initial, last name and the address of your office, if possible.
  9. If you should be attacked, fight dirty.  Women are advised to yell loudly, make a scene. Kick/attack spots including groin, knee caps, eyes and the nose, where you can do major damage.
  10. If you’re lost in an unfamiliar place, be street smart. Approach families or women with children to ask for directions.

There were many more, but you have other blogs to read.  But I’d love it if you would share some of your favorite travel tips!

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Who The Media Should Be Calling

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A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 departing from Zurich International Airport. Photo courtesy of Aero Icarus via Flickr.

I have been sitting here in Baltimore watching the ongoing general media coverage of what happened to Flight 370 with a mx of bemusement and outright horror.  My phone has been ringing off the hook and my email inbox has been bombarded with media organizations from around the globe asking me to comment on the ongoing saga.

This shows me how desperate the general media are to find  experts to theorize on what might have happened to the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers. Aviation accidents are one of the areas I don’t feel comfortable commenting on as a “media” expert. But after more than 20 years in the aviation business, there are a cadre of great aviation journalists that the general media SHOULD be calling, and I’ve listed them below. Put them on speed dial!

Jon OstrowerWall Street Journal: Before Ostrower, a Chicago-based aerospace reporter, came to the Journal, he was the air transport editor for FlightGlobal. Before that, he wrote the independent Flightblogger blog, considered the source of information on all things Boeing aircraft. He’s forgotten more than most of us know about the Seattle aircraft manufacturer.

Rob Mark, Jetwhine.com and Aviation International News:  besides being a licensed commercial pilot and the writer of the safety section of AIN, Mark has flown every current commercial aircraft from the Airbus A380 on down. He speaks regularly on aviation issues for FOX News and can do the same for you.

Christine Negroni, freelance aviation journalist: Negroni was on my original top 10 list. She’s written about aviation and safety for publications including the New York Times, Huffington Post, the Dallas Morning News and all the major television networks. She also covered aviation for CNN and wrote a book about the crash of TWA Flight 800. – See more at: http://www.aviationqueen.com/?s=speed+dial#sthash.XewmrFZz.dpuf

 

Graham Warwick and Guy Norris, Aviation Week and Space Technology: my former colleagues have been in the business for decades. Warwick, AvWeek’s managing editor for technology, has a strong background in aircraft engineering and design. Senior Editor Norris is a long-time, respected aerospace journalist who has written books on aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing.

Stephen Trimble, FlightGlobal: Trimble, FlightGlobal’s Americas Editor,  is one of the pre-eminent aerospace and aviation editors in the field.

Frank Jackman, Flight Safety Foundation: my former Aviation Week colleague covered the overhaul and maintenance side of aviation for more than 20 years. He is now Editor-in-Chief of AeroSafety World magazine and director of publications at the foundation. – See more at: http://www.aviationqueen.com/?s=speed+dial#sthash.XewmrFZz.dpuf

Guest Blog Post: Why Flying is the Safest Way to Travel

You’ve heard it before. You’ll hear it again. Flying is the safest way to get from point A to point B, yet

at the same time, not many people who make the claim ever do much in elaborating on why this is the

case. Some of it comes down to common sense, such as the number of aircraft in the air versus the

number of cars on the road.

 

It’s about control. Pilots are experience individuals. By the time you board their aircraft, they may

have flow hundreds of thousands or even millions of miles and like everything practice makes perfect.

Plus, they have a checklist (or should) and do a preflight check to make sure everything is in order

before taking off. Do you have a pre-drive checklist you go through before pulling out of the drive

way? Granted no checklist is going to guarantee a perfect flight, but it does help and it does create an

environment of accountability.

 

It’s a numbers game. Look at the sheer number of people driving around versus those in the sky. It’s

no comparison. Those numbers are just not in the odds of drivers who exist with varying degrees of

driving experience, intellect, sanity, reason, and so on. You might be the best drive in the history of the

universe, but that is irrelevant if the driver next to you isn’t, or the one behind you, or to the right who’s

texting her dinner plans to her boyfriend. Here on Earth, there are simply more variables to deal with.

 

It’s about reliability. How often do cars break down? How often are they recalled for some fire,

seatbelt, airbag, or other hazard. All the time. Air craft have their set of issues to but there is one

big difference between your car and a commercial jetliner. And no, it’s not that. Your car was

mass produced on an assembly line. The plane wasn’t, at least not in the same capacity. In most

respects, it was built by hand, but those times are quickly changed as more and more parts and labor

are outsourced to different manufacturers. This outsourcing of plane parts is creating increasingly

unreliable aircraft, however, they still remain more reliable over their lifetime than any other mode of

mass transportation.

 

Of course, “safest” is purely a relative term. You may have noticed this article didn’t contain any

numbers, numbers that would have represented the number of people who have died over the years

in either flying or driving. The numbers matter, but they’re impersonal. Regardless of how people

choose to travel, there are no guarantees. Something unforeseen is always going to occur, whether it’s

mechanical failure or human error. There’s a good reason we don’t have flying cars and probably never

will, especially when nearly anyone can get behind the wheel.

 

About the Author: Chris Oquist is a private pilot and web developer at Banyan Pilot Shop in South Florida.

He is an avid blogger and article writer whose expertise includes aviation headsets and other pilot

supplies. As an aviation enthusiast, Chris is passionate about sharing his knowledge on all things aviation.

Another Five Aviation Journalists To Have On Speed Dial For Plane Crashes

Yesterday, I did a blog post on five aviation journalists you need on speed dial to discuss plane crashes. Once it was posted, and once I put links to the post on Facebook and Twitter, social media exploded and folks were kind enough to throw out more names.  So below are another five names to put in the Rolodex.

  1. Christine Negroni, freelance aviation journalist: Negroni was on my original top 10 list. She’s written about aviation and safety for publications including the New York Times, Huffington Post, the Dallas Morning News and all the major television networks. She also covered aviation for CNN and wrote a book about the crash of TWA Flight 800.
  2. Mary Silitch, contributing editor, Aviation International News: Silitch is a pioneer for female aviation journalists.  From the time she joined Flying magazine in 1965 to her almost-nomination to the National Transportation Safety Board by President Bill Clinton, to flying more than 250 aircraft types, she is a font of information.
  3. Miles O’Brien, science correspondent, PBS Newshour: Many of us know O’Brien for his 17 years of covering aviation and science for CNN.
  4. Frank Jackman, Flight Safety Foundation: my former Aviation Week colleague covered the overhaul and maintenance side of aviation for more than 20 years. He is now Editor-in-Chief of AeroSafety World magazine and director of publications at the foundation.
  5. Jason Rabinowitz, associate editor, NYCAviation: Rabinowitz is on the team at the highly respected NYCAviation news site.  He is a lawyer and the website’s lead writer, and is currently covering the Asiana accident.

Other names inlude Jay Donoghue, retired editor of Air Transport World magazine and AeroSafety World; Amy Laboda, a pilot and Editor-In-Chief of Aviation for Women magazine; Sean Broderick, Editor, Maintenance, Repair Overhaul & Airworthiness at Aviation Week; Jason Paur, pilot and writer, Wired’s Autopia blog; Chad Trautvetter, a pilot and news editor for Aviation International News; John Croft, a pilot and senior editor for avionics and safety at Aviation Week; Bill Carey, senior editor,  Aviation International News; and Ramon Lopez, former editor, Air Safety Week.

Best of Aviation Queen: Top 10 Travel Safety Tips For Women (And Men)

Editor’s note: I’m in Nashville attending the Women in Aviation International convention, so its a bit hectic. But please enjoy this blog post, originally written on June 30,2011, which was also a session at last year’s convention.

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of moderating an online forum — Safety and Security: Threat Mitigation for the Traveling Businesswoman — for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). This is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially after the theft of my wallet in New York City earlier this month, which I blog about here.

The presenter (who was fantastic) was Katie Colberg, who works as a travel security management consultant at MEDEX Global Solutions. We also heard from Caroline Bryan, a Gulfstream G550 captain and safety adviser and Terri Fuhrmann, a supervising flight attendant coordinator. These women, along with participants on the webinar, came up with some great safety travel tips. Below, I summarize the top 10. Enjoy!

  1. Put a scanned copy of your passport on a memory stick. I love this one, because paper can get lost. I always have a thumb drive in my purse and on my key chain.
  2. Ask for specific rooms in hotels. You want one away from the stairwell, between the 2nd and 7th floors and near the elevators (noisier, but safer).
  3. Wear an inexpensive wedding ring. I have a family ring I wear that when turned around, looks just like a wedding ring. You are less likely to be approached if you seem to be married.
  4. Carry a small flashlight and lighter in your purse, and pack a candle. I do all three — the flashlight is for dark spaces; the lighter is to light the candle (which doubles as a room freshener) and other assorted things.
  5. If you leave the television on in your room and leave, turn it on to a local channel when traveling outside the country. A potential mischief-maker is less likely to target a person they think is a local.
  6. Pack extra food and water. In the case of the Mumbai hotel attacks, some guests were trapped in their rooms for up to three days without food or water.
  7. Carry a “Go Bag” and keep it with you at all times. The bag should contain ID/passport, meds, important phone numbers, a pen, paper and batteries. Colberg says that with this bag, if you have to leave your destination quickly, you can.
  8. Your luggage tag should NOT be a business card. Colberg recommends having one that’s covered, and it should only include your first initial, last name and the address of your office, if possible.
  9. If you should be attacked, fight dirty. Women are advised to yell loudly, make a scene. Kick/attack spots including groin, knee caps, eyes and the nose, where you can do major damage.
  10. If you’re lost in an unfamiliar place, be street smart. Approach families or women with children to ask for directions.

There were many more, but you have other blogs to read. But I’d love it if you would share some of your favorite travel tips!