Karlene Petitt is a pilot with Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines and its top executives, including the present FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, retaliated against a pilot when it sent her for psychiatric evaluation after she complained of safety issues at the airline, a judge has ruled.

Judge Scott Morris ruled that Delta “engaged in an adverse employment action with discriminatory intent,” when it sent Karlene Petitt to Dr. David Altman, a company-appointed doctor who determined she was bipolar. Had that been true, it would have been a career-ending diagnosis. But Petitt, 58, was not bipolar, as two other doctors later determined. Nevertheless, the ordeal kept her out of the cockpit for nearly two years and delivered a non-stop emotional battering.

Many female pilots were horrified that Dr. …


American Airlines flew its last Boeing 737 Max airliners home to its maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week, bringing to 24 the number of grounded planes still awaiting their wake-up call. Am I the only one who is reminded of the Woody Allen movie Sleeper?

Back in 1973, Allen played Miles Monroe, a health food store proprietor and jazz musician who dies unexpectedly on the operating table. He is preserved, frozen until 2173 when a more scientifically advanced society brings the sleeper back to life. He quickly discovers things have changed. America is now a police state ruled by…


Nadia Marcinko, a celebrity pilot whose adolescence was spent in the company of the now-dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the now-incarcerated Ghislaine Maxwell, had a curiously close and previously undisclosed years-long relationship with Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. This is according to people familiar with her activities during her time in New Hampshire and public records.

Nadia Marcinko photo from Global Girl’s Instagram feed

In 2008 and 2009, Epstein was locked up for the first time for engaging in sex with underage girls in Palm Beach, Florida. Marcinko, who lived with Epstein and was accused by victims of participating in some of the sexual assaults, spent the…


American air carriers that choose to fill middle seats rather than leave them open during the coronavirus pandemic are subjecting their customers to an increased risk of contracting Coronavirus, according to a study by an MIT statistics professor. While a number of air travelers ( myself included) have suspected this, the report by Arnold Barnett at the Sloan School of Management puts a rough number on that risk.

In Covid-19 Risk Among Airline Passengers: Should the Middle Seat Stay Empty?, Barnett finds that airlines selling middle seats (American Airlines, United and Spirit) put their travelers at a 44 percent higher…


When helicopter pilot Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested last week, some thought the former companion and accused accomplice of the now-deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was hiding in a rather unlikely spot; Bradford, New Hampshire. But she is not the only Epstein aviatrix to call New Hampshire home.

Real estate listing for the New Hampshire home where Ghislane Maxwell was arrested

While Maxwell was seized at her newly purchased 154-acre estate in the woods, Nadia Marcinko, also linked to Epstein’s sexual assaults of teen girls and known as the celebrity pilot and social media influencer Global Girl, used New Hampshire as a place to reinvent herself.


Gate agents warned travelers some middle seats would be occupied on this American flight San Francisco to Charlotte. Christine Negroni photo

On this we should be clear, if we choose to fly the health risk is on us. Despite the sanitation theater now underway, from airport announcements and mandatory masks (more about that later) we are approaching the trailing edge of a pandemic. Much remains uncertain. The consequences following a foray through a busy airport or a flight on crowded airliner rest on the flyer.

This conclusion is based on the obvious and the practical.

What’s obvious is that the Federal Aviation Administration (and regulators in other countries as well) have largely left the procedures for disinfection and sanitation for the…


Flying dogs? In the aviation business the folks responsible for flying cargo are called Freight Dogs. And these days they’re having their day in the sun.

Fancy pants airlines used to touting their on-board chefs and lie-flat seats are now working overtime to re-purpose their airplanes for the transportation of stuff.

“Demand is off the charts,” said Shawn Cole Vice President Cargo for Delta Air Lines.

Sure, there are the pharmaceuticals and medical supplies so much in demand to deal with Coronavirus, but there is also mail to deliver and the not-so-glamorous but exceedingly important transportation of components for manufacturing.


It is an old tradition that travelers send postcards to loved ones back home. With the Coronavirus putting a halt to travel and creating a near-universal sense of isolation and fear, I propose the reverse. From my home in America, I am sending digital postcards to some of the people I have met on my travels.

Each in their way has taught me we have much in common, no matter what country we call home.

To: Doreen Sekento Kumum in Maasi Mara, Kenya

Habari Doreen,

Thanks once again for teaching me the very basics of stringing beads during my visit…


Airlines and airports had years to consider their role in the spread of disease

A history of ignoring the role of airliners in spreading diseases like the Coronavirus is coming back to bite the industry on the butt. Airlines have slashed flights and laid off staff. They are parking airplanes and chewing their knuckles as share prices fall.

“The turn of events as a result of COVID-19 is almost without precedent,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director-General of the International Air Transport Association.

And yet, Devin Liddell, a futurist and consultant with the Seattle-based design firm, Teague argues that Ebola, MERS, H1N1, SARs, and other global health scares provided plenty of warning. …

Christine Negroni

I am a journalist, author and broadcaster. I write for The New York Times & ABC News among others. My book, The Crash Detectives is a New York Times bestseller.

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