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 "aviation" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Military.com: Aviators Kicked Out

    The U.S. military prides itself on its colorblind attitude to race and its increasing diversity. Why, then, does the field of naval aviation remain overwhelmingly white, and less diverse in some areas now than two decades ago? Three black aviators who share remarkably similar stories of getting expelled from the training pipeline say unconscious bias is to blame. These former trainees, some of whom remain in appeals with the Navy, say they're just as good as their white peers, and an instructor backs their assertions. Investigations, formal complaints, and a troubling aviation instructors' chat history paint a picture of an environment that dooms minority aviators from the moment they set foot on the flightline.
  • Military Times: Aviation in Crisis

    The Aviation in Crisis package offered an unprecedented look at the scope of aviation crashes, mishaps and fatalities around the world. It documented at least 133 fatalities and a 40 percent rise in mishaps during a five-year span. It also included a first-of-its-kind public database that is searchable by military base, aircraft type, etc.
  • L.A. Times: Danger Spins From the Sky

    Robinson Helicopter Co., the world’s leading maker of civilian helicopters, is an American aviation success story – with a deadly 45-year history. The Los Angeles Times provided the first comprehensive examination of the company’s safety record, and the design features and flight characteristics that have dogged Robinson helicopters for decades.
  • Chapecoense: The dark aspects of the catastrophe

    An aircraft belonging to the Bolivian company LaMia crashed into a mountain in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia, on Nov. 28, 2016, killing 71 and injuring 6 with varying degrees of severity. Almost the entire Brazilian soccer team Asociación Chapecoense de Fútbol died in the greatest aviation tragedy in the history of this sport. This is the starting point for the documentary “Chapecoense: The dark keys of the catastrophe,” a production by CNN en Español in which a team of journalists conducted a thorough investigation that spanned more than a year and 10 countries.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dangerous Cargo

    CBS News exposes the role of a government agency in removing cargo pilots from national rest rules that could prevent deadly airplane accidents. https://vimeo.com/cbseveningnews/review/149908604/ef6230ae92
  • FUELING THE FIRE

    Buried beneath a mix of federal bureaucracy and ambivalence is a story that explains why thousands of helicopters in use today remain vulnerable to the very same problem that doomed a Flight for Life crew in Frisco, Colorado, earlier this year. For five months, 9Wants to Know analyzed hundreds of NTSB accident reports in an effort to better understand what’s “fueling the fire.” Based heavily upon a combination of interviews with victims and researchers, our conclusions have generated interest within the aviation industry and Congress, and will form the basis of a national discussion that is finally underway. https://vimeo.com/151435468 https://vimeo.com/149457398