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Airplane Safety

Airplane Safety : Instant Guide
An American Airlines pilot talks on his cellphone at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

The FCC: Lift the ban on using gadgets during takeoff (and landing)

The Federal Communications Commission is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to enable "greater use" of tablets and e-readers during flights

Airplane Safety : Instant Guide
Researchers in Japan have developed a prototype for a boarding gate with built-in explosives-detecting equipment that sniffs you as you scan your boarding pass. 

The airport boarding gate that instantly detects explosives

Flying could become a little safer if Japan's new bomb-sniffing technology takes off

Airplane Safety : Burning Question
An American Airlines passenger on a recent flight mishap: "The seats flipped backwards... People were essentially on the laps of the people behind them with their legs up in the air."

Why are seats coming loose on American Airlines' planes?

It's almost unheard of for a row of seats to come unbolted on a passenger jet. And yet, American has suffered three such incidents in three days

Airplane Safety : Fact Sheet
The remnants of an untampered-with Delta snack: The airline is in the midst of an investigation after passengers found sewing-type needles in their turkey sandwiches.

How did sewing needles end up in Delta's food?

Passengers on four Delta flights from Amsterdam to the U.S. find an unwelcome garnish on their turkey sandwiches, provoking an FBI investigation

Airplane Safety : Controversy
If the TSA's full body scanners already make you nervous, you may want to cancel your travel plans: A new kind of body scanner, which could be in airports within a year or two, uses a laser to gain nitty gritty details about passengers.

The airport security scanner that knows what you ate for breakfast

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly developing a new scanner that can detect everything from traces of gun powder to adrenaline levels

Airplane Safety : Analysis
The average American male weighs 194 pounds, but the typical airplane seat is only required to accommodate a 170-pounder, as per safety standards developed 60 years ago.

Are airplane seats dangerously small for fat Americans?

Researchers worry that antiquated seating standards no longer match up with our expanding waistlines

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
Soon there may be no need to power down your iPad during takeoff and landing, as the government is considering a reversal on its widely-loathed rule.

Will airlines finally stop forcing fliers to turn off their iPads?

Travelers rejoice as the government reconsiders much-hated rules requiring passengers to turn off their gadgets during taxi, takeoff, and landing

Airplane Safety : Instant Guide
Vanessa Gibbs displays a favorite purse embellished with a western-style gun design: Overzealous TSA officials flagged the purse as a security risk.

The girl barred from flying because her purse was considered a lethal weapon

A pregnant 17-year-old is grounded because of a decorative pistol design on her handbag. Another epic TSA misfire?

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
The rule that passengers must shut down their electronics during takeoff and landing may appear pointless to many fliers, but some say it's better to be safe than sorry.

Do gadgets really need to be turned off during flights?

With holiday travel season upon us, many fliers are questioning whether they must truly shut down their iPads before takeoff

Airplane Safety : The List
People rush to help injured spectators following the deadly crash Friday of a vintage World War II-era fighter jet at the annual Reno, Nev., air race.

The deadly Reno air-race crash: 4 lessons

A souped-up 1940s plane crashes into the grandstands at a Nevada air show, killing the pilot and eight others. What can we learn from this tragedy?

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
A passenger removes his shoes at the Sacramento international airport: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says travelers might soon be able to keep their kicks on during security screenings.

TSA airport screening: Are we safe enough to keep our shoes on?

The days of walking through security checkpoints in your socks might be ending. Too soon or long overdue?

Airplane Safety : Burning Question
Have pilots become dangerously inexperienced at "manual flying"?

Is autopilot making airline pilots too 'dumb' to fly?

Pilots' "automation addiction" has apparently increased the risks of flying, reports the AP — but the problem is flummoxing authorities

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
The TSA's controversial airport scanners are getting an upgrade that will render passengers' bodies as cartoon images to better preserve privacy.

The end of 'naked scanners'?

Thanks to new less intrusive software, TSA security agents will no longer see revealing images of travelers. Will that silence the "invasion of privacy" outcry?

Airplane Safety : The Bullpen
Tish Durkin

Tish Durkin: Quit picking on the TSA

Security pat-downs of our unthreatening daughters and grandmothers may seem excessive — but it sure beats another terrorist attack

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
TSA workers in Texas can now be charged with a misdemeanor - punishable with up to a year in jail - for invasive pat-downs.

Will Texas' 'anti-groping' bill stymie the TSA?

The Lone Star State wants to make it a crime for federal workers to inappropriately touch travelers in security pat-downs

Airplane Safety : Opinion Brief
The Transportation Security Administration is a favorite punching bag of frustrated travelers, but a recent incident involving a dying cancer patient has many TSA haters even more outraged than normal.

TSA pat-down: Was a dying woman forced to remove her adult diaper?

Jean Weber says her 95-year-old mother was subjected to an embarrassing airport security ordeal — though the TSA denies wrongdoing

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