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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "jets" ...

  • Tailspin

    “Tailspin” uncovered the financial, legal and security problems inside a fast-growing private jet company named JetSmarter. The private jet world gets little scrutiny, protected by a tightknit group of companies and elite customers. JetSmarter became the darling of the media and industry, led by a charismatic CEO and hyped by celebrities on social media. But our investigation found that the company sold memberships that quickly proved to be worthless. Its CEO touted its success as the first “flying unicorn” worth $1.5 billion, but we found JetSmarter was losing millions of dollars a month.
  • Deadly failure on the runway

    Less than a week after multimillionaire businessman Lewis Katz consolidated his ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer in a high-stakes auction, he and six others were killed in a fiery takeoff crash of his Gulfstream G-IV. One month before the National Transportation Safety Board publicly issued its findings, The Inquirer put the readers inside the cockpit for the takeoff roll’s crucial last seconds as the pilots boosted the plane’s speed far above its reputed design limit – and then lost precious moments trying to electronically free the elevator, rather than simply aborting the takeoff. Early reports focused on a lack of required safety checks by the pilots. But that did not account for a central mystery – the plane’s fail-safe system did not prevent the jet from reaching takeoff speed despite their error. The newspaper found that a flaw in the jet’s “gust lock” system - meant to keep the plane’s elevators locked when a jet is parked - allowed the pilots to reach takeoff speed but unable to get lift, a deadly combination.
  • Perimeter breaches at US airports

    People get onto tarmacs and even planes at major airports far more often than the general public or elected officials realize; more than 250 times in recent years. Until AP’s story, the breaches had been largely secret. The public had no idea that, for example, one mentally ill man had hopped the fence at LAX eight times, twice reaching stairs that led to jets. Associated Press reporters painstakingly filed public records requests and legal actions to produce the most comprehensive public accounting of perimeter security breaches at top U.S. airports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2YeqYfYB0s
  • HBO Real Sports: Hockey's Darkest Day

    In 2011 a plane carrying a Russian hockey team crashed shortly after takeoff--the deadliest accident in the history of professional sports. A five-month Real Sports investigation uncovered massive safety problems in the Russian hockey league. The league spent millions on player salaries but "a few bucks" on everything else--including travel. The plane that crashed was operated by a cheap, third-rate company that had been banned from flying to Europe because they had been cited so many times for major safety violations. The crew of the plane hadn't even completed their training. Our investigation showed that the lack of safety in the world’s second best hockey league—called the KHL—often extends to the ice where KHL team doctors use IV’s and drugs to get their players to perform better on the ice. One young star died after receiving an injection of banned drugs from team doctors. When it came to travel, the lack of safe conditions was nearly universal. Practically every team flew on a Soviet-era jet—jets that make up 3% of the world’s fleet but account for 42% of the world’s accidents. These jets are in such poor condition that most Russian airlines wont use them. Yet even after the crash the KHL continued to use these planes, a fact they initially denied. Shortly after we interviewed the KHL Vice President, the league changed its rules. Now teams fly strictly on modern equipment.
  • Outsourcing Safety: Boeing Jets Repairs in El Salvador

    KIRO Team 7 investigators travel to El Salvador, uncovering a series of safety lapses at a Boeing jet maintenance facility. We found unqualified $2 an hour mechanics, the use of broken parts, failures to properly connect electrical wiring inside aircraft and the hiring of a work force that had trouble reading English-only Boeing jet repair manuals. This team of reporters also uncovered the locations of where major U.S. carriers take their jets out of the country for repair (Guadalajara, Taipei, Hong Kong, El Salvador, Beijing, Mexico City and Guatemala).
  • Access to Steal

    KIRO-TV investigated the security flaws in airports "that allow baggage handlers to enter luggage storage areas, steal items, then remove the goods from the property." The investigative teams also "tracked dozens of missing handguns, stolen by criminals, who had direct access to loaded passenger jets."
  • Under the Radar: U.S. Aire Force purchase of air defense shields against terrorist attacks raises questions

    "The Pentagon charged the US Air Force Electronic Systems Command, or ESC, with the task of developing a radar system that would marry NORAD and FAA radars together in a manner meant to prevent terrorists from using hijacked jets for 9/11-like attacks. Under the guise of such work, ESC instead used the panic of the 9/11 charter to fund another project that the Air Force and Pentagon had rebuffed years earlier as being too expensive: the funding of a mobile air defense system."
  • Congress's Private Air Force

    Being a part of Congress has its perks. Congress men and women often use lobbyists, businesses, and donors to get bargain airline flights on corporate jets. Also they have "the opportunity to be feted virtually every meal of the week" by lobbyists and corporations.
  • High Flying Perks

    As automakers took more financial hits in 2006 that led to layoffs and cost-cutting, company executives asserted that they too would cut down on their personal budgets. But WXYZ-TV found out that the executives did nothing to reduce their use of corporate jets and fuel in trips costing in the tens of thousands of dollars. The eight-month investigation uncovered situations like that of Ford CEO BIll Ford, Jr. He accepted a yearly salary of only a dollar, and used company planes for personal trips to the tune of $297,201 in a single year. Ford president Mark Fields is tasked with cutting costs in the company, yet used the planes on many weekends to take trips from Detroit to his mansion in Florida at a cost of between $50,000 and $70,000 each weekend.
  • Executive Pay and Perks series

    In a time when employee pensions and benefits are being cut, top corporate executives are not feel any of the pain. They have multimillion-dollar pay packages, corporate jets to use for fun, and other benefits, while they evade paying their fare share of taxes.