This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
week is the one hundredth anniversary of the Paris Air Show, the biggest in the
world. It takes place every two years, and organizers say even with the
economic downturn they expect a "full house." Airbus, Boeing and
other manufacturers will be there to sell aircraft.
observers are not expecting any major signs of a recovery for the airline
Industry leaders, meeting this
week in Malaysia, were told that their industry faces its most difficult
situation ever. Airlines are worried not just about the recession but also
about higher oil prices.
And now comes the new H1N1 flu virus. The
World Health Organization this week declared the first pandemic, or worldwide
spread, of influenza in forty-one years. But countries are being urged not to
The air show also follows the
crash last week of an Air France jet in the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil. All two
hundred twenty-eight people on the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris were
the flight went down, sensors gave conflicting information on air speed to the
plane's computers, possibly because of ice. Such problems had led Air France to
begin replacing older sensors on some of its Airbus planes, but not the one
Air France is now moving quickly to put
in newer versions of the speed sensors. But the cause of the crash is still
and wreckage have been found over a wide area. The plane hit storms before the
crash. Incorrect air speed readings could have led the pilots to fly so fast
that the plane broke apart. Wrong data can also cause pilots to fly too slow
and lose lift.
the United States, officials are investigating a different safety issue -- the
safety of regional airlines. These smaller carriers now operate about half the
airline flights within the United States. They carry one in four passengers.
They have grown as major airlines have
cut or changed their service. In fact, the big airlines often save money by
using smaller ones to carry passengers. The pilots are paid less, and there are
questions about whether they get enough training or rest.
Federal Aviation Administration plans an industry safety meeting next week. And
new legislation could be coming.
Congress is holding hearings into
a crash in February near Buffalo, New York. The flight was operated for
Continental Airlines by another company, Colgan Air. Fifty people died.
airline crashes are increasingly rare. But regional carriers have had four in
the last five years, while major airlines have had one.
investigators held hearings this week into an accident that involved a major
airline. Everyone survived the water landing of a US Airways jet on the Hudson
River in New York in January. Birds disabled both engines. At the hearings, one
of the subjects discussed was the increase in populations of large birds in
North America that could threaten other planes.
And that's IN THE NEWS in
VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Mario Ritter.