April 2nd, 2008
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/2/08

Breaking news tonight – and only 360° has it. Exclusive new information about your safety in the air. Congress is investigating but tonight, a pair of whistle-blowers talk only to CNN's Drew Griffin, telling us the FAA is more interested in protecting airlines than protecting us.  We're keeping them honest.

Please check out a post that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not. LINK TO COMMENTS POST

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on the set. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We'll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. comfortablynumb

    So...Obama has milked cows and visited chocolate stores...what does that have to do with how he will run our country? Just an honest question...

    April 2, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  2. Ratna, New York, NY


    I have been though a plane crash ordeal (eye-witness), which has erased my fear. I don't fly that frequently, but I don't fear flying either, even if the pilot is drunk. THere are so many ways to die.

    The whole webcam suggestion was to have people who only have access to a computer and not a TV to get to see some images. Nowadays, everyone sits with their laptop in either Starbucks or in the park and other places etc.

    SOme background MUZAK would be nice!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  3. Marie Rose; Maryland

    smart people at cnn... putting pics and red font. Easier to find AND harder to impersonate. excellent!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  4. Ava

    Hi Anderson & Eric – Nice pictures! Hello Bloggers!

    Once again, another story where MONEY trumps everything! Including safety. This isn't a shocker!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  5. Brian Persaud

    Haha, Ms.Obama spitting some rhymes Dr.Seuss style...

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  6. Greg S. in Chicago

    And to Anderson Cooper's point, it is a mess at the airports. As someone who has to fly every week, I can't imagine how much worse the grounding of so many planes will do to travel.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  7. Pamina

    What a scary story about the airline industry!
    Hey, your webcam is really cool? Who came up with that idea?

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  8. Taylor

    I was on a domestic flight about a year and a half ago where my flight was delayed due to an issue with the plane. Apparently the problem was fixed and we ended up boarding the plane. About halfway through the flight I woke up to smoke in the cabin due to an engine being on fire. We were told to brace for an emergency landing and instructed on evacuation prodedures. We landed safely at the airport but we never got an explanation or anything from the airline. Before this incident, I loved flying but now I get a little nervous.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Andrew, Lafayette IN

    why arent we working on a fast rail system for the U.S.? Forget flying.. ha.. Europe is full of rails, it seems to be working for them.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  10. Duck

    Anderson's pic blends too much into the grey, oops, I mean silver background

    April 2, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  11. Becca

    Flying is risky enough, Southwest and the FAA should really take the time and money necessary to look over airplanes and keep travelers safe.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  12. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Nice to Michelle Obama back on the stumping trail. I think she is so awesome

    April 2, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  13. Renee

    @ Joseph, that is a good point. Aren't all these controllers supposed to be retiring all at the same time and that is going to bring on another crisis?

    @ Erica: Do you have a number of photos of yourself to pick from depending on your mood? Kind of like a mood ring?

    April 2, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  14. Maureen T

    Hey Erica, great picture! Now we can spot your comments tout de suite!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  15. Deepali-CT

    haha the photo is so cool!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  16. Sahira

    Anderson this "Flight Risk" story is scaring the heck out of me!
    I usually fly 2 of these airlines. Why can't people act a little more responsible when it comes to public safety?

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  17. Dave

    You want feedback on the airline safety piece currently being reported: it scares me but I'm not surprised. I personally haven't flown since 9/11 (my brother was in flight in NY at the same time the planes were hitting the WTC & it was about 90 nerve racking minutes of phone calls to confirm he was ok. He hasn't flown either). I have just been getting my nerve to fly again, I kind of miss it but I understand it's not so much fun anymore with long waits and cancellations.
    With all the cutbacks going on in the airline due to many problems plauging the industry coupled with rapidly rising fuel costs it would not and does not surprise me that airlines are making cutbacks in maintainance and safety.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  18. Mike Rodrigues

    hey Erica!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  19. Gina

    Like everyone else who has posted, I find the news about airline safety pretty disturbing. I don't fly that much, but it's starting to make me wonder just how safe the planes are the next time I do.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  20. E.Bolton

    I like your littlie pic Anderson .What happened to Erica 's picture

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  21. comfortablynumb

    Kids, ask your parents before blogging. seriously.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  22. Duck

    Gosh, I'm a white knuckle flyer to begin with. Good question Brian-Hope AC answers it

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  23. Rachel- Gainesville, FL

    Loving the picture next to your name, Anderson!

    I'm scared of flying as it is after 9/11 and now this is just ridiculous! I was considering taking a United Airways flight to Vienna for when I leave for my study abroad session in August (its one of the cheaper ones I found..)– but now I'm going to look into other airlines, like Swiss Air. Even though its more expensive– safety always comes first! Especially on a 9 hour flight!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  24. Jonathan YALE

    Anderson- Thanks for promoting parental control. You never know who kids will come in contact with on the internet.
    -Your Yale Buddy

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  25. Jo Ann

    I wonder what else there is that we do not know about? Drew always does such thorough reporting.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  26. Terri

    I can't believe they knew of problems for 4 years! This is very scary. I can't believe this story hasn't come to light before now. It makes you wonder about other forms of transportation and if they are unsafe. Obvisously, you can not take the company's or the government's word for it. Trains, cruise ships, etc.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  27. EJ - Ohio

    Anderson, I think Erica wins the photo icon contest.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  28. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Erica,
    Nice picture. We'll be able to find your posts easier.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  29. Andrew, Lafayette IN

    we need better ground transportation in this country. Why isn't the government funding a fast rail across the U.S... or something like it? It's all over Europe..

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  30. Melissa Miami

    hey anderson, are you coming to university of miami to speak?

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  31. comfortablynumb

    Ohh, love the new pics...well erica's. 🙂

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  32. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    Hey...Erica got a cute little picture too. Very nice...Hi Erica

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  33. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Wow Anderson and Erica have cool pictures. Very impressive blog team!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  34. Erica Hill

    Andrew, I hear you on the age of some planes... every now and then I get one that gives me pause.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  35. Zing-Zing, Canada

    I agree that flying is a mess. Do you think that having more private flights and less commercial flights would make a difference? After all, there are close to 5000 private airports and only about 500 commercial airports... Would having more private flights make flying safer?

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  36. Mery Teran

    As someone whom enjoys traveling – this breaking news will make me rethink with whom i will fly with. It's disturbing that the FAA is not doing their job to monitor the airlines industry.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  37. April in Texas

    OOOO Erica has a pretty picture too woot

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  38. Megan, Orange County CA

    I'm flying Southwest for the first time in 2 weeks and although the story concerns me about airline safety, it's still safer that driving (and far quicker).

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  39. laura, NYC

    hey, erica's got a pic too! 😀

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  40. Jay Mills

    Anderson, I find this extremely curious. I travel for a living as an electrical technician . My job takes me to many companies who make parts for turbine engines for planes. These companies are required by regulations to have their machines certified before they can be put into production. If they make any changes to these machines , they must be certified again. My concern is that they are careful with new parts but fail to oversee that the existing parts are up to spec. . At the same time I think we have to ask our selves, if planes start falling out of the sky due to neglect of the airlines, what do they have to gain. I would hope the fact our lives are in their hands would have more weight into their decisions to maintain the planes.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  41. Tracey

    Erica Has a pic TOO!!!! Yea

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  42. Brent, Roseville CA

    Hi Erica! Great picture. 🙂

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  43. GeorgeP

    Hey Anderson!

    Can you hook Erica up with a pic too. Nice!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  44. Jennifer

    this doesn't entirely surprise me–I used to work as a customer service agent for Northwest Airlines, and we would write emails/letters to customers who suffered from occasionally crazy flights on behalf of FAA from scripted responses. It was rare to contact FAA directly.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  45. Dee, DE

    they better buy some newer greener planes!!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  46. Erica Hill

    Hi, everyone

    April 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  47. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    I haven't trusted the airlines for a long time. When Pres. Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers back in the 80s, I became very suspicious of flight safety standards.

    I'll fly if I have to fly, but if at all possible, I take ground transportation.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  48. Jennifer NC

    Love the little picture. Glad I fly JetBlue.. hope they keep their acts together. Drew's stories tonight are really disturbing. It's like we are gambling on every flight we take.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  49. EJ - Ohio

    I remember having to get off of a plane because they discovered a crack in the windshield. This was about 10 years ago. I was a bit alarmed that they only discovered this when we boarded the plane. At the time I thought "so does that mean the windshield would've busted in midair if it wasn't discovered?" I can't remember the airline – either United or American.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  50. Andrew, Lafayette IN

    aren't all the airplanes really old in the first place? They seem so over used.. maybe it's time to invest in some new ones... I'm flying at the end of this month... yikes!

    April 2, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
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