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 "Federal Aviation Administration" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787

    Jumping off from the battery failures that caused an unprecedented grounding of the 787 fleet in January 2013, "Broken Dreams" explores how Boeing's signature product went so wrong and reveals fresh revelations regarding the safety and quality of the aircraft, including workers afraid to fly the plane they build. "Broken Dreams" ties the well-known story of the battery failures and grounding to a larger, unexplored economic critique. It's the story of a management hungry for Wall Street returns, emboldened by its outsized power in Washington, and enabled by a cozy relationship with a compromised regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Flying Cheap

    The February 2009 crash of Continental Flight 3407 revealed "a little-known trend in the airline industry: major airlines have outsourced more and more of their flights to obscure regional carriers." These smaller carriers operate with different safety practices with pilots that are often paid less, with less training and fewer flight hours.
  • "Safety for Sale"

    The Federal Aviation Administration is under fire after WFAA-TV reveals that thousands of aircraft mechanics licensed by the FAA, had "questionable" training. The poor training and slow reaction by the FAA could be connected to two deadly airplane crashes. The series also revealed that repair facilities hired foreign mechanics through "immigration loopholes" who were unqualified and often could not speak English.
  • Under the Radar

    Every year the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been given a grant, which then will be distributed to airports. The question is where does this money come from and how is it spent? The answer to the first half is the commercial-airline passengers, who pay the ticket taxes which in turn becomes the grant. The second part of the question is answered by not the improvement of airline travel, but rather the private pilots who fly corporate and recreational planes.
  • Fatal Flights

    The nation's medevac programs are dominated by private companies with stiff competition and widespread safety failings. The high rate of accidents in the medical helicopter field is due to entrenched complacency. The Post uproots the severe lack of safety in a field the public typically views as heroic.
  • The Stimulus Debate

    This series examined the effectiveness of the nearly $800 billion federal stimulus package. Reporters explored several issues related to the package, such as whether the money was going to contractors with problems in their past and whether money was going to places allowed under the legislation.
  • Bird strike rates at U.S. Airports

    Airplanes landing and taking off at airports in Sacramento, Kansas City, and Denver have been the most liekly in the nation to hit birds , according to an NPR analysis of new data from the Federal Aviation Administration. Wildlife researchers believe they can alert birds to oncoming planes if they can come up with an appropriate visual signal, such as pulsating LED lights currently being tested.
  • 9/11 Redux: Thousands of Aliens' in U.S. Flight School Illegally

    This investigation exposed the fact that thousands of foreign national were still obtaining U.S. pilot training and U.S pilot licenses illegally without the required security background checks implemented after the 9-11 terrorists attacks. The story exposed serious flaws in the TSA and FAA system of insuring pilots had successfully done in obtaining piloting skills in the USA prior to the September 11 attacks of 2001.