Tag Archive for: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)


Over half of Mississippians struggling to pay household bills, the most in the nation.

FAA seeks to address string of near-collisions at US airports.

Poland, Slovakia to send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine.



Over half of Mississippians struggling to pay household bills, the most in the nation

A recent Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau found that more than half of Mississippians (52.9%) are struggling to pay typical household bills. This is the highest percentage in the nation and the only one over 50%. Mississippi narrowly edges out neighboring Alabama which came in second at 49.7% and far exceeds the national average of 39.7%. 

Over that same period (the week of Feb. 4-13), Mississippi was 5th in the nation at 48.6% among states whose residents fear eviction or foreclosure in the next two months. Mississippians also led in the category of householders that were unable to pay an energy bill in full in the last 12 months with 30.5%.

Median household income is the lowest in the nation at $46,637, far below the national average of $70,784. Recent data shows that Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation with 19.07%.

State Republicans suddenly remember this is an election year

During the pandemic, states received millions in federal dollars to help people get through the economic downturn. Despite the great need, average Mississippians received far less help than people in other states. Instead, the state government decided to use this windfall to push for income tax cuts.

While income tax reduction is popular in the state (62%), the suspension of the state’s 7% grocery tax is far more popular (74%). Mississippi is one of the few states to tax groceries and has the highest rate of any of them. Grocery taxes disproportionately burden the poor while income tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy. But the state’s Republican leadership hasn’t considered using the state’s surplus to cut grocery taxes, despite rising food costs. 

State legislators recently narrowly rejected proposals that would have eliminated income taxes in the state. This means the stalled bills likely won’t move forward in this year’s legislative session. However, House Ways and Means Chairman Trey Lamar said the bills’ failure was “more of a timing issue with some of these representatives as opposed to any real opposition to income tax elimination. Coming off the heels of last year’s income tax bill, and this being an election year, there are a few that would just prefer to wait a little longer before making further cuts”.

Reeves believes life begins at conception, but when does it end?

In a rare win for public welfare in the state, Gov. Reeves has just signed a bill to extend Medicaid coverage to new mothers and babies from 60 days after birth to 12 months.

Mississippi has some of the worst rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality in the country. Until Reeves signed this latest bill, Mississippi was the only state in the nation that had neither extended Medicaid coverage for new mothers nor expanded Medicaid eligibility overall. 

Reeves touted expanding Medicaid coverage for new moms and babies to 12 months as being in line with the state’s pro-life stance. However, Reeves was quick to remind us he still opposes expanding eligibility for Medicaid for low-income families under Obamacare. Maybe Reeves thinks life ends at 12 months?


FAA seeks to address string of near-collisions at US airports

So far in 2023, there have been at least nine near-collisions of commercial airplanes at eight US airports. That number may seems small in light of the fact that there are about 45,000 flights taking off each day. But when you consider the hundreds of lives put at risk each time, even one near-miss is unacceptable.

The circumstances vary in each case, but in some instances, the near-miss was the result of air traffic control clearing two planes to use the same runway. This was the case in the most dramatic near-collision in Austin, TX, in which a FedEx cargo plane came within 100 feet of a Southwest Airlines passenger plane. Controllers had cleared the FedEx plane to land on the same runway where the Southwest Airlines flight was taking off. In this case, it was the quick thinking of the FedEx pilot that averted disaster, rather than any action by air traffic control.  

On Wednesday, FAA held an emergency summit this week, its first in 14 years, to discuss the issue. The panel of aviation experts cited low staffing numbers at the FAA and a lack of experience among new hires as a major factor. The staffing issues come at the same time that US demand for air travel is surging, making accidents and near-accidents more likely.

It may also be significant that 8 of the 9 incidents took place after an outage of the FAA’s automated NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system which notifies pilots of potential hazards they may encounter during their flights. The NOTAM system went dark late in the night of Jan. 10 and grounded all flights in the US for two hours the following morning. An investigation found that the outage was the result of FAA contractors deleting files.

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Poland, Slovakia send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine

After nearly a year of requests from Kiev, Poland yesterday agreed to send about a dozen Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Today, Slovakia followed suit, promising 13 MiG-29s. At the time of Russia’s invasion last year, Ukraine had several dozen MiG-29s that it had retained following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s not clear how many of these remain in service over a year later.

According to Slovakia’s Defense Minister, the European Union is offering Slovakia 200 million euros ($213 million) in compensation for giving the jets to Ukraine. Slovakia will also receive $745 million in unspecified arms from the US, the minister said. There’s no reporting on whether Poland is receiving similar compensation for its pledge. However, Poland’s Defense Minister did mention that they would be replacing their MiGs with South Korean and American-made fighter jets.

The White House says it was informed of Poland’s decision before it was announced. Biden has long been under pressure to give Ukraine F-16s, a request the US has so far steadfastly refused. National Security advisor John Kirby neither endorsed nor condemned Poland and Slovakia’s decision, but said it would have no bearing on the US position on sending F-16s. 

Unlike F-16s, Ukraine’s fighter pilots require no additional training to fly MiG-29s. But maintaining them may pose a problem. Slovakia had previously grounded its MiG-29 fleet due to difficulties obtaining spare parts and the departure of Russian maintenance workers.

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Ohio train derailment: Bipartisan Senate group proposes safety legislation.

US intelligence: Havana Syndrome not caused by foreign adversary.

Greece: At least 43 dead in head-on train collision.


Ohio train derailment: Bipartisan Senate group proposes safety legislation

A bipartisan group of six Senators, including Sens. Sherrod Brown (D) and J.D. Vance (R) of Ohio, has proposed new safety regulations for rail transport. Some of these proposals address rail transport generally while others target transport of toxic chemicals specifically.

The proposals in the Railway Safety Act of 2023 include:

  • A requirement that rail carriers give advance notice to state emergency response officials about what’s on the trains moving through their states.
  • Increased rail car inspections for trains carrying hazardous chemicals.
  • Requiring crews of at least two people for every train.
  • More inspections of wheel bearings (NTSB says an overheated wheel bearing caused the Ohio derailment).
  • More safety regulations and procedures for trains carrying hazardous substances.
  • Increased fines for wrongdoing by rail carriers.

What the bill does NOT appear to include:

  • A requirement designating any train carrying highly-flammable or toxic materials as a “High Hazard Flammable Train”.

Currently, a train has to be carrying 70 cars of such substances to get that label. The train that derailed in Ohio was only carrying five cars of vinyl chloride. An unknown number of cars were also carrying at least 5 other highly-flammable and toxic petrochemicals.

  • A requirement that railroad companies replace the Civil War-era braking systems used today with advanced Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes.

During the Obama administration, Congress passed a law requiring all high-hazard flammable trains to have ECP brakes by 2025. That law was then struck down during the Trump administration.

To review, the East Palestine train was not labeled as a high-hazard flammable train and was not equipped with ECP brakes. ECP brakes likely would have prevented the disaster.

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US intelligence: Havana Syndrome not caused by foreign adversary

After a 6-year investigation, the US intelligence community has arrived at the conclusion that the “Havana Syndrome” was not caused by enemy action. The Havana Syndrome got its name in 2016 after several US Embassy employees in Havana, Cuba, came down with set of strange and unexplained symptoms.

In today’s statement, a CIA official said they had assessed over 1000 cases. These symptoms varied widely, including nausea, headaches, dizziness, memory lapses and “cognitive fog”. The circumstances also varied widely. Some reported experiencing symptoms in their homes, others while they were walking their dogs, still others while driving.

Blame game

For years, the intelligence community publicly theorized that the attacks were the result of a Chinese or Russian microwave weapon. This is despite a lack of evidence that such a weapon existed or even theoretically could exist. 

More skeptical members of the medical and scientific community theorized that the “attacks” were consistent with mass hysteria. A study commissioned by the State Department even found that a sound associated with the onset of symptoms in Havana were identical to the mating call of a native cricket. For a long time, the State Department did not publicly acknowledge the results of this study, despite having paid for it.

The CIA’s new statement doesn’t entertain either of these down-to-earth possibilities. The statement merely says most of the cases “can be reasonably explained by medical conditions or environmental and technical factors, including previously undiagnosed illnesses”. However, the official did say the agency considered that extraterrestrial involvement, but ultimately ruled it out.

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More: The Salem Witch Trials, Havana Syndrome and the Politics of Hysteria.

Related: US intel revives theory that COVID leaked from Chinese lab.



Greece: At least 43 dead in head-on train collision

Just before midnight local time last night, a passenger train with 350 people aboard was travelling north from the Greek capital of Athens to the second most populous city of Thessaloniki. As the train approached a tunnel, it collided head-on with a freight train headed south on the same track. Both trains were moving at speed, and the freight train was carrying heavy construction materials and equipment. The force of the collision caused the first cars of the passenger train to crumple. The cars behind them buckled and flexed skyward.

As of now 43 people are dead, most of them in the first two cars of the passenger train. The first car on these trains is usually a sleeper car while the second is the train’s canteen. There were also hundreds of injuries ranging from serious to minor. 

The collision took place outside the village of Tempi, about 15 miles north of the regional capital of Larissa. The station manager from Larissa has been arrested for negligence in the crash. Greece’s Transport Minister has also resigned.

This is the worst peacetime train disaster in Greece’s history. The railroad equipment for passenger rail is government-owned, but the passenger trains and stations have been operated by a private company since 2017.

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Union County MS crash site debris field

The large business jet that crashed Saturday afternoon in southeastern Union County left a crash site debris field estimated at about 6 acres.

Officials are actively investigating crash site debris field for evidence

Emergency personnel on the scene have described the debris field as “about 100 yards by 300 yards.” The destruction was apparently not from fire or explosion, rather it was from impact. Reportedly, there were “only three very small fires.”

The Rockwell Sabreliner 65 that crashed around 5 p.m. Saturday is a relatively large business jet. Its wingspan is slightly over 50 feet. The Sabreliner 65 could carry a total weight of more than 20,000 pounds. Based on photographs and observations of personnel on the scene, the aircraft and its contents apparently shattered into thousands of relatively small pieces as it plowed its way through the trees and brush. The airplane knocked the tops from trees as it descended.

Officials have not determined the cause of the crash.

Only preliminary report might be released soon

The investigation into the crash by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues. Additionally, a collection crew and insurance investigators arrived on the scene Tuesday morning, April 16. They have commenced what will be a painstaking collection of evidence at the site, which is in Union County near the Pontotoc County line.


It is expected that the NTSB might issue a “preliminary report” in one to two weeks. A more detailed report could follow in about nine months.  However, a final or probable cause report will likely not be issued for a year or so.

The NTSB investigation will routinely consider factors of “man, machine, and environment.” This includes the airplane itself and its maintenance history, the training and experience of the pilot, weather and other conditions.

Two experienced pilots were aboard plane

Tommy and Merline Nix, husband of wife, of Belmont, MS and Jarrod Holloway of Booneville died in the crash. Tommy Nix and Holloway were reportedly piloting the airplane, which is believed to have been manufactured in 1980. Reportedly, they informed Memphis Air Traffic Control of electrical problems shortly before the plane disappeared from radar screens.

The flight originated at the University/Oxford Airport.  It was destined for the Hamilton/Marion County, Alabama, Airport. The crash is said to have occurred about 20 minutes into the flight.

Personnel from the office of Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards and of Union County Emergency Services Director Curt Clayton, as well as members of Union County fire departments, participated in the search for the downed aircraft. They continue to assist FAA and NTSB personnel at the crash site.

Early photos of Sabreliner 65 crash site:

Curt Clayton took the photographs accompanying this article and provided them to NAnewsweb.com. To the best of everyone’s knowledge, no human remains are depicted in any of these photos.

Oxford Lawyer Dickie Scruggs was on Sabreliner 65 shortly before crash: https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/15/mississippi-plane-crash-dickie-scruggs-nearly-boarded-fatal-flight/3473630002/

Three killed in jet crash: http://newalbanyunionco.com/three-killed-union-county-crash/

Union County crash kills three

The Union County crash of an older model business jet airplane killed three people late Saturday afternoon.

Dead in the Union County crash were Tommy and Merline Nix, husband and wife, of Belmont, MS and Jarrod Holloway of Booneville.

The crash came about 5 pm Saturday when the business jet disappeared from air traffic control radar. Union County law enforcement officers began searching for the plane in stormy weather Saturday night.  They found the plane and three bodies Sunday, near County Roads 120 and 121 in Union County.

The aircraft was a Rockwell Sabreliner 65. The Sabreliner made its first flight more than 50 years ago, on Sept. 16, 1958. Rockwell manufactured the Sabreliner for both civilian and U. S. military customers. The civilian Sabreliner 65 was configured for five to seven passengers plus crew.

The Sabreliner went through several design changes over the more than 20 years during which Rockwell produced it. Rockwell last produced the Sabreliner 65, the model that crashed in Union County Saturday, in 1981, 38 years ago. Rockwell manufactured 76 of the 65 series jets, most for the civilian market.

Nothing has been officially released about the possible cause of the crash. However, shortly before the plane disappeared from radar, the pilots reported to Memphis Air Traffic Control that they were having electrical problems. Additionally, the crash occurred on a day when there was a lot of turbulent weather in the area.

The crash is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Crash site investigation and photos: http://newalbanyunionco.com/crash-site-debris-field-investigation/