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 "mechanical problems" ...

  • 60 Minutes: Flying Under the Radar

    On April 15th 2018, CBS News 60 MINUTES featured a two-part investigation into the safety record of one of the country’s most profitable airlines, Allegiant Air, a small, ultra-low-cost carrier based in Las Vegas. Over the course of seven months, correspondent Steve Kroft and his producers analyzed hundreds of federal aviation documents and interviewed pilots, mechanics and industry experts for a report that raised disturbing questions about the safety of Allegiant’s fleet. Although Allegiant flies less than 100 planes, our investigation found that over a 20-month period, the airline experienced over 100 serious mechanical problems, including mid-air engine failures, cabin depressurization, smoke in the cabin, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted take-offs. The incidents forced Allegiant pilots to declare 46 in-flight emergencies and 60 unscheduled landings. Our expert sources said this was a remarkably high number of incidents for an airline this size.
  • Aging aircraft and hidden threats

    While the Navy spent big over the past 20 years on experimental mine hunting technology that may never work, it stopped investing in its mine-hunting Sea Dragon helicopters, which have spent the better part of a year grounded due to mechanical problems after a series of deadly accidents. Now the service is trying to play catch-up. The Sea Dragon’s troubles are a symptom of a much larger problem: America’s military aircraft have been flown hard during 15 years of combat in the Middle East, and nearly all of their next-generation replacements are years behind schedule and millions over budget. The result: Much of the nation’s fleet is flying far longer than planned and in need of critical maintenance to keep them going. Their investigation found that the United State's Marine and Navy aircraft fleet has dismal readiness rates, as evidenced in an internal report obtained by the IRP and Virginian-Pilot. They examine what effect this has on our military's ability to counter the threat of sea mines.
  • Dangerous Skies

    This ongoing series reveals how continuing mechanical problems with both the Army's and Coast Guard's workhorse helicopters are putting pilots, crews and the public at risk. A newspaper data analysis showed that more than half of all Coast Guard aircraft accidents concerned one particular type of helicopter, which also had the most deadly and expensive accidents. In the Army, accidents involving its Apache helicopters have been more costly than any other aircraft over the past two years, with a third of the fleet grounded for maintenance at any given time.
  • Wear and tear: Jet problems reported by airlines vary widely

    This Times' investigation revealed gaps in federal records meant to track mechanical problems on U.S. jetliners. In examining FAA Service Difficulty Reports from January 1987 to January 1989, the newspaper uncovered how airlines failed to provide key information in the reports. Of the more than 2,400 reports filed, 1,700 failed to include the name of the airline submitting the report. In one case, the tail number N2FOR was used to identify four different airplane models made by three manufacturers and operated by six airlines.
  • 2002 IRE National Conference Show and Tell Tape #2

    2002 IRE National Conference (San Francisco) Show and Tell Tape #2 features the following stories 1) Tim Minton (WNBC-New York City) Security at local hospitals are lacking. 2) Brian Collister (KMOL-San Antonio) An inordinate number of court case have been thrown out of the local county court because judges ruled the defendants lacked a speedy trial. 3) Clips from a PBS project concerning scientists' genetic experiments. 4) Kevin Quinn (KFSN-Fresno) Area residents are suspicious of a local Muslim village called Baladullah, where the sounds gunfire has been heard emanating from the grounds. 5) Dan Noyes (KGO-San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose) Guardrails in California are often installed incorrectly, turning the protective barriers into potential dangers. 6) Craig Fiegener (ABC 30 Action News) Fifteen travelers are swindled by a travel agency, which sold them unconfirmed tickets for a cruise. 7) Joel Grover (CBS 2-Los Angeles) An undercover investigation reveals that valet parking attendants at LA's hottest night clubs steal from their customers. 8) Paul Gallagher (60 Minutes) An investigation of the U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 "Osprey" aircraft reveals serious mechanical problems that contributed to two crashes in 2000, which killed 23 Marines. 60 Minutes also reports that "senior officers in the Osprey squadron had deliberately falsified maintenance records and lied about the aircraft's readiness -- in an apparent effort by the Marine Corps to win Pentagon approval for full production of the aircraft, at a projected cost to U.S. taxpayers of $41 billion." 9) Tom Martino (KDVR-Denver) An undercover investigation reveals that many beauty salons use a dangerous chemical to make fake nails. 10) (WGHP-Greensboro) An investigation reveals that construction works who built the homes in a subdivision failed to install the chimneys correctly, making them dangerous for those who live there. 11) Darcy Spears (KVBC-Las Vegas) A hearing aid center uses bait and switch tactics to take advantage of the elderly. 12) Jim Kenyon (WSTM-Syracuse, New York) Criminals in Canada involved in advance fee loan scams trick Americans out of thousands of dollars. 13) Bob Segall (WITI-Milwaukee) An undercover investigation reveals that security guards at a local county courthouse don't do a good job of stopping banned items from entering the building. 14) Karen Hensel (WISH-Indianapolis) Marian County inspectors don't always review homes under construction. 15) (WBTV-Charlotte, N.C.) Members of the Iredell-Statesville School Board use district funds to attend an education conference -- but then skip the convention and go on a vacation to Disney World, all on the taxpayer's dime. 16) Valeri Williams (WFAA-Dallas/Fort Worth) WFAA-TV follows up its 2000 IRE Awards entry with this return investigation into Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital. Reporter Williams and producer Schucker continued their investigation, focusing on Dr. Lydia Grotti and her connection to suspicious and overlooked deaths in the emergency room. As a result of WFAA-TV's investigation the Texas Department of Health began conducting its own investigation and discovered additional deaths that took place in the ER. The county district attorney's office called in a special prosecutor to examine a total of eight suspicious deaths in connection with Dr. Grotti at the hospital. On Tape #2 is a short clip of Williams' work. Tape #3 features the entire series of stories she played at Show and Tell.
  • The Osprey

    A 60 Minutes investigation of the U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 "Osprey" aircraft reveals serious mechanical problems that contributed to two crashes in 2000, which killed 23 Marines. 60 Minutes also reports that "senior officers in the Osprey squadron had deliberately falsified maintenance records and lied about the aircraft's readiness -- in an apparent effort by the Marine Corps to win Pentagon approval for full production of the aircraft, at a projected cost to U.S. taxpayers of $41 billion."
  • Flying Haz Mat

    "KIRO TV takes an in-depth look inside the Air Cargo industry. Hazardous, explosive materials are routinely mishandled and pilots often fly their jets despite serious mechanical problems. This investigation documents how sloppy loading, secret chemical cargo, sleeping pilots and an aging fleet of jets puts the public in danger."
  • Lemon on the Lot

    KWTV-TV examined how "vehicle manufacturers buy back cars which can't be fixed, declaring them lemons. Almost all of those cars are auctioned off and put back on car lots. But some of those cars have serious mechanical problems which aren't fixed before they're resold. We found that the automobile industry is laundering lemons and taking advantage of a lack of state disclosure laws."
  • 1999 IRE National Conference Show and Tell Tape #2

    1999 IRE National Conference (Kansas City) Show and Tell Tape #2 is the second in a nine-part series. This tape includes: 1.) Bill Gephardt/Angela Hunter (KUTV-Salt Lake City) 1-Tracking down deadbeat tenants. 2.-Testing the dog-chaser...a device meant to keep dogs from attacking. 2.)Tony Pipitone (WKMG-Orlando) State employees found using office computers to view and sell pornography. 3.)Jennifer Snell (WTXF-Fox Philadelphia) "Troubled Transit" Investigation into the unreliable service of the transit system reveals dangerous mechanical problems with buses. The reason: mechanics sleeping in buses during shifts instead of making repairs...but reporting the problems as fixed. Buses break down and strand passengers. 4.) Drew Griffin (KCBS-Los Angeles) "The Real ConAir" Investigation reveals department of corrections transporting convicts on commercial flights. Passengers are not told who's sitting beside them. Planes are forced to land because of disturbances during the flight. A girl is sexually assaulted by one of these convicts. 5.) Christina Punza (KCOP-Los Angeles) Uncovers plan to reuse radioactive metals from U.S. nuclear power plants. The metal will be made into household items such as silverware. Experts say the metal can never be entirely cleaned of its radioactive contents. 6.) Morgan Loew (KOLD-Tuscon) Investigation on the black- market sale of Rohypnol, "the date-rape drug." 7.)Hoffer/Glemosky (WABC-New York City) "Dispensing Danger" Investigates pharmacies dispensing drugs without required prescriptions. 8.) Ray Parisi (WNYW-New York City) Travelling to foreign destinations for sex with kids.
  • The Underground Auto Mart

    WOOD-TV found Michigan regulators cannot protect consumers against unlicensed auto dealers because of weak state laws. WOOD-TV's investigation found some cars advertised as "for sale by owner" were actually being sold by illicit dealers. The story shows dealers were selling cars with rolled back odometers and hidden mechanical problems. Wronged consumers had no recourse against sellers they couldn't locate later and could get no help from state agents.