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Bird Strikes, Cell Phones on Planes, Refunds and More

Christina Talcott

Here are some of the latest flying-related stories, big and small:

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... Avian Radar! The Seattle-Tacoma Airport is the first airport in the world to install avian radar. The goal is to detect bird movements to avoid avian collisions like the kind that caused a U.S. Airways plane to crash-land in the Hudson River on Jan. 15. The three radar systems at the airport are part of a research collaboration between the University of Illinois and the FAA in the hopes that the new technology can prevent bird-plane collisions in the future.

Cell Phones on Planes:
While passengers have long been instructed to turn off cell phones on planes, apparently pilots needed a similar warning [PDF]. While it's not clear whether cell phone signals are actually dangerous during takeoff and landing, I'd want my plane's pilots and crew being as cautious as possible.

Buffalo Crash Investigation: Officials are investigating crew error, the effect of ice and other avenues to determine the cause of the Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash outside of Buffalo last Thursday that killed 50 people. The investigation is expected to take a year.

Recession Refunds: In either a sign of desperate gimmicry or compassionate consideration, JetBlue announced Tuesday that they'll refund tickets to passengers who lose their jobs between now and June 1. The airline has a lengthy list of requirements, though, to issue refunds. Still, those hoping for a vacay but fearing a pink slip might want to take note of the offer.

By Christina Talcott |  February 19, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  | Category:  Air Travel , Airline Industry , Airplanes , Christina Talcott , In the News
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