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 "FAA" ...

  • Blowing the Whistle on Aviation

    Our exclusive eleven-month investigation into aviation safety uncovered a corrupt culture of safety at major airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration that mechanics and FAA employees feared could be putting the flying public at risk. Before there was any reporting on the FAA related to Boeing’s 737 Max, we explored the overly cozy relationship between the FAA and airlines - highlighting the FAA’s lack of oversight on regulatory issues that would later lead to hundreds of deaths overseas and the grounding of all 737 Max airplanes.
  • Our Most Vulnerable: A WFAA Investigation

    “Our Most Vulnerable: A WFAA Investigation” is a year-long investigation revealing how the pursuit of profits and a lack of effective regulation and oversight has created nightmarish conditions inside facilities that care for our most vulnerable in society: the elderly and those seeking mental health help.
  • Atmos gas explosion

    “Atmos gas explosion” is a WFAA investigation into lax regulatory oversight and shoddy maintenance of Atmos Energy, a natural gas supplier, that puts millions of North Texas residents in continued danger. The series of stories was triggered by a fatal natural gas home explosion that killed a 12-year-old girl.
  • Cruel and Unusual: The Texas Prison Crisis

    A WFAA investigation found that pigs are treated better than inmates inside Texas' prison system, where inmates are dying painful and preventable deaths and guards are also sickened by the stifling heat inside un-air conditioned units, prompting calls by critics at the United Nations and elsewhere for reform. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151846234/686ead36ea
  • Something In The Water

    For years, the state of Texas has said there is no link between water contamination and natural gas drilling. WFAA’s “Something In The Water” series has made it difficult for the state to maintain that stance. Our series, which is still ongoing in 2016, focuses on how a fireball erupted from a rural family’s water well in the Barnett Shale natural gas field. Our investigation found gas drillers not properly cementing their wells to protect underground water, and fudging permitting paperwork with state regulators. Our stories have prompted a board of top EPA scientists to now question whether drilling is linked to contamination. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151843222/9cb971b521
  • Crosswind Dangers at DIA

    Denver International Airport control tower operators have been putting passenger safety in jeopardy on about one thousand flights a year by green-lighting take-offs in high crosswind conditions without warning pilots. A commercial jetliner crashed and burned in 2008 as a result of crosswinds at DIA, but despite that event, the FAA refuses to change its procedures.
  • Primed To Fail

    For the past two years, WFAA has uncovered rampant mismanagement at Prime Prep Academy, the taxpayer-supported charter school founded by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. In 2014, we found that the school’s former top manager – and Sanders’ former business partner – had allegedly sold hundreds of student laptops without permission, prompting a criminal investigation, and leading to the Texas Education Agency to revoke the troubled school’s charter.
  • Hazard Above

    According to a year-long investigation by The Washington Post, hundreds of military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001 and civilian drones are posing a new threat to passenger air traffic in the United States. Drones have revolutionized warfare and are set to revolutionize civil aviation under a 2012 federal law that will allow them to fly freely in American skies. But The Post found that the U.S. military and the Federal Aviation Administration suppressed widespread patterns of safety problems with drones and tried to keep details of accidents and near mid-air collisions a secret. Drawing on more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained under FOIA, The Post uncovered more than 400 major military drone crashes worldwide, including 49 in the United States. Some drone models were particularly crash-prone: almost half of the Air Force’s iconic Predator fleet has been destroyed in accidents. The Post published details of 194 of the most serious accidents in an interactive online database, as well as crash-scene photographs, voice-recording transcripts and a video of a stricken Predator drone filming its own fiery breakup over Iraq. The Post also exposed a rash of dangerous encounters between civilian airplanes and drones flown in contravention of FAA rules intended to safeguard U.S. airspace, a problem that has worsened since the series was first published.
  • The pilots of Instagram

    David Yanofsky reports in these feature stories how commercial airline pilots are using cell phones and GoPro cameras to record the unique vantage offered to them in the cockpit, despite such activity violating company and industry safety regulations. Some commercial pilots were even found to be taking pictures during the most critical phases of flight—during takeoff and landing, when most airline accidents occur. There’s a vibrant online community that follows these pilots and their striking photos on Instagram, apparently encouraging them to continue despite the passenger safety risks. Follow-up stories detailed the virulent reactions of some in the pilot community to the initial feature, and provided a graphical representation of FAA regulations to further highlight the issue.
  • Below The Radar

    Mario Diaz exposed several of air traffic controllers returning to FAA towers or control centers with little or no accountability shortly after being a contributing factor to a deadly crash. As detailed in the series of “Below The Radar” reports, these crashes resulted in 104 deaths. The litigation produced from several of these crashes came at a steep price to American taxpayers. Diaz uncovered public records (Department of Treasury and Federal judgements) indicating that the Federal Government made either verdict or settlement payments in excess of $100-million dollars to the estate of the victims --- including the estate of the pilots involved in these crashes.