An airline safety organization is worried security concerns
aboard passenger planes is overshadowing aircraft safety.
Lyn Romano, founder of the International Aviation Safety
Association, an organization started after the death of
Romano’s husband Ray aboard Swissair Flight 111, says safety
issues seem to have a lower priority following the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York when
hijackers used box-cutters to commandeer four planes, sending
one into the Pentagon and crashing two others into the World
Trade Center in New York. The fourth plane crashed into a
field in Pennsylvania.
Flight 111 plunged into the ocean near Peggy’s Cove on
Sept. 2, 1998 killing all 229 people on board. The cause of an
electrical fire that burned for 20 minutes before the crash is
still under investigation.
“Safety issues are on the back-burner,” Romano said from
her New York home yesterday. “Security is the main
Romano said the resources of the U.S. National
Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation
Administration are consumed by security issues in airports and
on board planes.
The NTSB issued fire safety recommendations Friday based
on the investigation of four airplane fires over the last
At least one of those fires could have been a lot worse if
it happened during today’s tougher security regimes at
In November 2000, an American Airlines MD-80 was struck by
lightning as it left Reagan National Airport in Washington,
D.C. Thick black smoke began pouring from ceiling panels in
the passenger compartment, but crew members were unable to get
at the fire above the light fixtures until a passenger
produced a knife and cut a hole in the plastic panel. A fire
extinguisher doused the electrical fire and the plane landed
moments later with no injuries.