Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Aviation" ...

  • Admitting Terror

    In a five-part investigative series New Times discovers that Mohamed Atta, one of the key players in the September 11 terrorist attacks, was improperly admitted into the country. Norman reveals that immigration inspectors are often leery to enforce federal law against illegal aliens, and exposes "a culture that values facilitation of air travel over law enforcement." INS failed to monitor the departure of U.S. visitors, to maintain a database with names of suspected terrorists, and to enforce laws against visitors' overstays. At INS customer service has become a top priority, even though inspectors have warned of the terrorist threat, New Times reports. The stories shed light on several cases in 1990s when terrorist were admitted into the U.S. without any scrutiny. "The disturbing result is that the INS has become a laughingstock among even moderately sophisticated terrorists."
  • The Last Amigo: Karlheinz Schreiber and the Anatomy of a Scandal

    Cameron and Cashore tell the inside story of a "notorious middleman and arms dealer, Karlheinz Schreiber, and his connections to elite circles of power in Germany, Canada and all over the world." The book reveals that Schreiber was a key player in the party finance scandal that discredited the former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl. The coauthors shed light on the police findings that led to the arrest of the businessmen, and find letters and bank records that document Schreiber's tireless dealmakings. Schreiber was charged with tax evasion and bribery. In fact the scope "disguised web of power and money" was much larger, including shameless political influence and pressure on media coverage.
  • Logan security

    WBUR-FM investigates the connection between the security in Boston's Logan Airport and the two hijacked planes that were crashed into New York's WTC. Current and former officials at the Federal Aviation Administration blame their agency for its lax oversight of aviation security. Sources say the FAA was aware of security lapses at Logan Airport,but took no action.
  • The Real Story of Flight 93

    Newsweek depicts the circumstances preceding the crash of United Flight 93 near Pittsburgh on September 11. The story tells how "the passengers and crew revolted against the hijackers," and reveals the content of recordings from the Flight's cockpit. The reporters find evidence that "the passengers did in fact retake control of the plane's cabin and were on the verge of breaking into the cockpit, when the panicked hijackers forced the plane to crash." Newsweek's investigation refutes the conspiracy theory that the flight had been shot down by the U.S. military forces.
  • Airport security: Years of inaction left flawed system to fail

    A Kansas City Star investigative packet examines lapses in aviation security, which allowed for the Sept. 11 terrorist attack to occur. Airlines have always fought against draft legislation for raising minimum security standards, the Star reports, in order to keep their attractiveness to customers and profit margins. One of the stories reveals that airlines have regularly sent congressmen on vacation and 'educational' trips for free, in exchange for favorable legislation. Despite constant warnings by the General Accounting Office, not only the Congress, but also the FAA failed to enforce rules to tighten airport security. Some of the findings are that screeners sometimes turned out to be felons, and bags were not scanned for bombs. The investigation focuses on problems detected specifically at the Kansas City International Airport, the nation's 35th busiest airport.
  • LVIA security lapses documented

    In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, The Morning Call performed an analysis of FAA security information for smaller airports, such as Lehigh Valley International airport. Their investigation found 20 security violations at the airport from January 1996 to September 2000, which resulted in 79 citations. The citations stemmed from problems such as incorrect signs in secure areas to passengers with weapons. The findings showed that while LVIA had a significant amount of security violations and citations, in comparison with airports of similar size, LVIA received less "failure-to-detect" citations then nine other airports of similar traffic. Common problems found were lack of proper security and detection technology, quality of security personnel and the danger of on the job boredom
  • Feeding frenzy

    Riverfront Times reports on controversies surrounding the prospective development of 438 acres of prime North County land, recently bought by the Saint Louis Airport. "Two developers, three cities, the airport and the county are engaged in a dogfight ... and there's plenty of sleaze to go around," the newspaper reports. The story reveals that neither of the 400-million development game participants cares about the survival of Kinloch, a little town with inexperienced administration and small budget, which was the previous owner of the land. The reporter follows the litigation process started by Kinloch, claiming that the airport might have misrepresented the reasons for the buyout of the land to the FAA.
  • Lost Horizons: Small Airports Covet Cheap Radar System, But the FAA Bars It

    The Wall Street Journal looks at aviation safety problems related to the lack of radar screens at small airports. The story points to three midair collisions that occurred in year 2000 because of the lack of "one of the simplest and oldest air-traffic-control tools." The article cites Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) statistics showing that across the country, 90 busy airports are in need of radar, and examines the advantages and disadvantages of the two main available radar systems - Tardis and Raytheon.
  • Investigative Reporting Finalists

    The Goldsmith Prize awards a $25,000 annual prize for reporting that best promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics. The five finalists for 1996 were "The F.A.A., USAir and the ATR Turbo Prop Planes," "Military Secrets," "Prisoners On Payroll," "Honduras," "Who Owns The Law? West Publishing and the Courts," and "Profits From Pain." The stories come from the New York Times, Dayton Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Sun-Sentinel.
  • Air and Water: FAA Tests Put Cloud Over Cessna's Revival Of Single-Engine Line

    The Wall Street Journal looks at the reasons for the recent accidents with Cessna planes, and cites the results from an investigation of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The story reveals that even if pilots performed the preflight procedures specified by Cessna, some water may remain in fuel tanks and pose safety hazards. The reporter follows the debate between FAA and Cessna's management about how "to remedy the apparent fuel-tank flaws" through specific design changes.