November 21, 2013 |
How do you get a large cargo airplane out of a small airport with a short runway in Kansas? Carefully, very carefully. A jumbo 747 that mistakenly landed at Col. James Jabara Airport in Wichita safely took off on Thursday afternoon and headed for its original destination, an Air Force base about eight miles away, McConnell Air Force Base. When fully loaded, a plane that size needs a runway of more than 9,200 feet to take off safely. The Jabara runway is about 6,100 feet. But officials had said they weren't worried because the plane was lighter, having used up much of its fuel in the Wednesday flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
October 28, 2013 |
After reading my weekend column about the crisis in life science research, Hajime Hoji of USC's linguistics department reminded me of the late Richard Feynman's brilliant deconstruction of the flaws and pitfalls of science as it's done in the modern age. "Cargo Cult Science" was adapted from Feynman's 1974 commencement speech at Caltech, where his spirit reigns as one of that institution's two certified saints. (The other is Robert A. Millikan, Caltech's first president.)
October 10, 2013 |
When Paul Greengrass directs a thoroughly dramatic tale based on true events and Tom Hanks takes on the title role, you think you know what to expect. But just you wait - the piercingly realistic "Captain Phillips" will exceed your expectations. The story of the six days that Richard Phillips, captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, spent in April 2009 first trying to avoid a gang of Somali pirates and then as their restive captive, this film does an impeccable job of creating and tightening the narrative screws.
September 18, 2013 |
Aerospace giant Boeing Co. said Wednesday it plans to complete production of the C-17 cargo jet and close the final assembly facility in Long Beach in 2015. The move marks the end of the last major airplane production line left in Southern California. Last Thursday, Boeing delivered its 223rd and final C-17 to the Air Force. Now, with few foreign orders to fill, company officials have decided to shutter the assembly line for good in 2015. "Ending C-17 production was a very difficult but necessary decision," said Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2013 |
One of the worst railway chokepoints in the nation was eliminated Wednesday with the opening of a $93-million overpass that separated two busy tracks at historic Colton Crossing in San Bernardino County. Under a hot morning sun, federal, state and local officials cut the ribbon for the 1.4-mile concrete flyover designed to speed cargo through Southern California and stop harmful diesel emissions from trains that used to wait up to four hours for their turn to go through the old street-level crossing.
July 19, 2013 |
As anti-drug-trafficking agents closed in on a North Korean freighter about to enter the Panama Canal this month, the crew from the rogue communist country took evasive action. They sought to outrun the swift Panamanian patrol boats with their 450-foot tramp steamer, loaded down with at least six containers of antiquated Cuban air-defense equipment hidden under 10,000 tons of bagged sugar. They pushed back investigators in a vain effort to prevent being boarded. They sabotaged the ship's crane to hinder the searchers' access to the cargo.