Podcast Episode 027: Crash Investigations and Laser Incriminations


Welcome to Episode 027 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest for this episode is Christine Negroni, a highly regarded freelance journalist covering aviation and travel, including for The New York Times. Christine is also an author – she wrote the book Deadly Departures about the TWA Flight 800 disaster, and is penning a book about crash investigations – as well as an avid blogger, and a regular expert source for major media titles.

Safety is the most important part of the airline passenger experience; everything else is secondary. That’s why everyone should be alarmed that the US Federal Aviation Administration has tracked a significant increase in aircraft laser-pointer incidents, and that pilots are reporting many more sightings of drones near airports. Having studied the topic in-depth, Christine shares her thoughts on how the FAA should react to these growing threats, and why it’s so important to do so now to ensure passenger and crew safety.

Laser attacks 1

Next, as airlines cram more seats into aircraft, new hygiene and safety concerns are being flagged by some industry stakeholders and media. For instance, the Airbus A320 family of planes features a new modular galley/lavatory option that has prompted an airline to ask whether it can truly accommodate passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs) and popular Plane Talking reporter Ben Sandilands to ponder whether passengers will even have room to, gulp, wipe their bottoms in such a confined space. Co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby explore how the seat squeeze could affect #PaxEx beyond the seat.

Last but not least, we take the opportunity to talk to Christine about her forthcoming book, Lost and Confounded: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Crashes from the Hawaii Clipper to Malaysia 370, which will be published by Penguin Books in 2016. She tells us about what inspired her to get typing, and why she believes the MH370 tragedy is less of an anomaly than many people think.


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  2. atul jain

    As always even this episode was very informative and intetesting.
    In addition the topics covered were much more important this time like the lasering of approaching aircrafts and hygiene issues on board the smart lav a320s.
    Looking forward to the next podcast!

  3. How can Ms. Negroni have a valid opinion re: MH370 when she has failed to do the research necessary to form that opinion?

    She indicated on several occasions her desire to interview me, but as of yet has failed to do so.

    If she’s touting ‘hypoxia” as the cause, she’s barking up the wrong tree.

  4. This is my first time listening to anything from Runway Girl, although I follow you via email.

    I like the info exchange and good coverage of the “modern day” aviation problems.

    As a former captain for TWA and Netjets, author, writer and copywriter, I’m sure glad I got most of my travel done in a “kinder’& friendlier” airline environment!

    I’m often tempted to travel because of some great pass privileges from American Airline offered to those of us retired TWA employees, but your coverage of the modern day problems
    made me think twice about doing so!

    I’ve written articles over the years on advancing “personal safety” via looking at the mental health and emotional intelligence of flight crews and aviation personnel in general.

    One of my “personal issue” articles has recently been published in InFlightUSA in exchange for ads I run for my Aviation Copywriting and Marketing business: http://www.inflightusa.com

    If there’s anything I can help with, it would be my pleasure to do so since I obviously have ulterior but cooperative motives since I’m in the process of building my Aviation Copywriting and Marketing business.