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 "airplanes" ...

  • Aging Airtankers

    "An Associated Press investigation of the nation's aerial firefighting program found that many of the aging planes should never have been flying in the first place. It found a spotty safety record by a contractor who had the wings snap off two airtankers in mid-flight last summer, and that no single registry or agency keeps track of accidents involving so-called public service aircraft. The series traced the use of the airtankers to an apparently illegal transfer of military aircraft, showing that the investigation of one of last summer's crashes was hampered because the plane once was used to fly spy missions for the CIA. It found that there is poor financing and supervision of the crucial program, findings echoed in a report by a special government commission."
  • The Widow-Maker

    The Harrier attack jet can take off and land vertically, much like a helicopter. It can also be the single most dangerous plane to fly in the American air force, leading to 143 major accidents and the loss of one-third of the entire fleet. Forty-five marines, including some of the nations finest pilots, had died in the cockpits of these machines. The LA Times uncovered many of these shortcomings, and showed how the military moved haltingly to fix known shortcomings that had taken pilots' lives.
  • Air GOP: Campaigning on the cheap

    The Post investigated statewide political candidates' use of a state campaign finance loophole, which allows for the use of expensive, corporate airplanes while paying only a small fraction of the actual operating costs. Findings revealed that the biggest user of this loophole was Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
  • Did Alaska Airlines' 'can-do' ethic go too far?

    Alaska Airlines has long been admired for its bush-pilot swagger and has succeeded where other regional airlines have not. But critics say that heritage has evolved into a culture that condones sidestepping safety and maintenance regulations.
  • Code Blue: Survival in the sky

    Each year an unknown number of U.S. airline passengers die not as the result of a crash or a fire, but because the medicines and equipment that might have saved their lives were not on board the plane. In the U.S., passengers are more likely to die of illness in flight than in a crash.
  • For many on Sept. 11, survival was no accident

    A computer-assisted analysis by USA Today reveals that those who were on the floors at or above where the airplanes hit the World Trade Center towers died while those on the floors below survived the terrorist attacks.
  • Are Airplanes Safe Enough?

    Forbes reports on conflicts between mechanics and executives at major airlines. Mechanics often alert the companies about maintenance problems in the planes, however, airlines refuse to make additional expenditures to fix them. Northwest Airlines even fired a mechanic for excessive write-ups, Tatge reports. America West Airlines and American Airlines have been found to have the most maintenance lapses. The story is based on a database from the Federal Aviation Administration of accidents related to bad maintenance.
  • Guns, 'bombs' get through Hancock

    After the terrorist hijacking of airplanes from major U.S. airports on Sept. 11, the Post-Standard began it's own investigation of the security and screening measures taking place at Syracuse's Hancock International Airport. Their investigation found that since 1988 Hancock's screeners have failed to detect real or simulated weapons being brought through the airport, totaling 64 security breaches. The Post-Standard found that Hancock's screeners are paid less than the airport's parking lot cashier and bathroom custodian. They also discovered that the Federal Aviation Administration does not notify the airport's commissioner when it cites an airline for a security violation.
  • 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.
  • Death by Chopper; High-flying crime

    Seattle Weekly investigates fair-business law violations by Boeing, the world's biggest plane maker. The first story reveals that the corporation was accused of hiding flawed parts on U.S. military choppers, which the government says led to at least one fatal crash. The second story summarizes the claims against Boeing over the last two decades: illegally selling technology to overseas companies, trafficking, involvement in a major military contract-procurement scandal, bribery, and breach of supply contracts. "Boeing's latest fine sends its corporate rap sheet soaring to $100 million in the last three years," Anderson reports. Though the company has admitted some of its export law violations, it claims that "it's a mistake to think of Boeing and corruption in the same sentence," according to a quote by the vice-president of the corporation.