David Schaper

David Schaper is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, based in Chicago, primarily covering transportation and infrastructure, as well as breaking news in Chicago and the Midwest.

In this role, Schaper covers aviation and airlines, railroads, the trucking and freight industries, highways, transit, and new means of mobility such as ride hailing apps, car sharing, and shared bikes and scooters. In addition, he reports on important transportation safety issues, as well as the politics behind transportation and infrastructure policy and funding.

Since joining NPR in 2002, Schaper has covered some of the nation's most important news stories, including the Sandy Hook school shooting and other mass shootings, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, California wildfires, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and numerous other disasters. David has also reported on presidential campaigns in Iowa and elsewhere, on key races for U.S. Senate and House, governorships, and other offices in the Midwest, and he reported on the rise of Barack Obama from relative political obscurity in Chicago to the White House. Along the way, he's brought listeners and online readers many colorful stories about Chicago politics, including the corruption trials and convictions of two former Illinois governors.

But none of that compares to the joy of covering his beloved Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2016, and three Stanley Cup Championships for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015.

Prior to joining NPR, Schaper spent almost a decade working as an award-winning reporter and editor for WBEZ/Chicago Public Media, NPR's Member station in Chicago. For three years he covered education issues, reporting in-depth on the problems and progress — financial, educational and otherwise — in Chicago's public schools.

Schaper also served as WBEZ's Assistant Managing Editor of News, managing the station's daily news coverage and editing the reporting staff while often still reporting himself. He later served as WBEZ's political editor and reporter; he was a frequent fill-in news anchor and talk show host. Additionally, he has been an occasional contributor guest panelist on Chicago public television station WTTW's news program, Chicago Tonight.

Schaper began his journalism career in La Crosse, Wisconsin, as a reporter and anchor at Wisconsin Public Radio's WLSU-FM. He has since worked in both public and commercial radio news, including stints at WBBM NewsRadio in Chicago, WXRT-FM in Chicago, WDCB-FM in suburban Chicago, WUIS-FM in Springfield, Illinois, WMAY-AM in Springfield, Illinois, and WIZM-AM and FM in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Schaper earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications and history at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master's degree in public affairs reporting at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He lives in Chicago with his wife, a Chicago Public School teacher, and they have three adult children.

One year to the day after first of two horrific crashes of its best selling 737 Max commercial jet, Boeing's CEO finally took public questions about whether the company downplayed safety concerns, hid design flaws from regulators and tried to cover up its mistakes and missteps this week. CEO Dennis Muilenburg endured close to nine hours of often intense grilling over two days of Congressional hearings on Boeing's role in the 737 Max crashes in Indonesia last October and in Ethiopia, with some victims' family members in the crashes in attendance.

Dennis Muilenburg, the president and CEO of Boeing, appeared before a Senate panel Tuesday where he was peppered with questions regarding a pair of crashes of 737 Max jets and was asked if the company purposefully hid sensitive information about flaws in its onboard flight system from regulators.

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Updated at 9:23 p.m. ET

The fallout continues at Boeing over two 737 Max plane crashes that killed 346 people, with the company replacing Kevin McAllister as president and CEO of the commercial airplanes unit.

He is the first top executive ousted since the crashes of 737 Max jets in Indonesia and Ethiopia. McAllister is being replaced by longtime company insider Stanley Deal, leader of the Boeing's global services division.

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New evidence indicates that Boeing pilots knew about "egregious" problems with the 737 Max airplane three years ago, but federal regulators were not told about them.

Investigators say the plane's new flight control system, called MCAS, is at least partially to blame for 737 Max crashes in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia this year that killed 346 people. Acting on data from a single, faulty angle-of-attack sensor, MCAS repeatedly forced both planes into nosedives as the pilots struggled, but failed to regain control.

Sounding like a huge swarm of angry bees or maybe a hedge trimmer on steroids, a small quadcopter lifts up off of a landing pad in front of the main hospital building on the WakeMed campus in Raleigh, N.C. Underneath it is a metal box — smaller than a shoebox — with vials of blood samples inside of it that are now heading across the campus to the lab for analysis, guided by a drone operator on the ground.

It's not a long trip.

With the company under intense scrutiny in investigations into two deadly plane crashes, Boeing's board of directors has stripped CEO Dennis Muilenburg of his dual role as company chairman.

In a statement on Friday, the Chicago-based aerospace giant says it has separated the top two roles so that chief executive Muilenburg can "focus full-time on running the company as it works to return the 737 Max safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing's customers around the world, and implement changes to sharpen Boeing's focus on product and services safety."

A new report from a group of international aviation safety experts sharply criticizes both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for the way the 737 Max airplane was developed and certified to fly.

All 737 Max jets around the world remain grounded and under orders to not fly passengers following crashes in Indonesia last October and Ethiopia in March that together killed 346 people.

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Boeing is changing its operations. The company has been under intense pressure as it settles lawsuits by families of those killed in two separate crashes of its 737 Max jets. Here's NPR's David Schaper.

Westbound traffic on many Chicago streets came to a stop between 6:40 and 6:50 p.m. Central Time on Monday as drivers snapped pictures over dashboards, passengers with smartphones in hand leaned out of windows, and pedestrians set up tripods in the middle of some busy roadways — all so they could capture the incredible image of a burnt orange sun setting exquisitely framed by a canyon of skyscrapers.

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Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

With American Airlines joining United in pulling 737 Max planes from their schedules and cancelling flights into early November, many travel industry observers are bracing for the next shoe to drop: higher priced fares and cancelled flights for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays season.

American Airlines announced Monday it is pulling the 737 Max from its schedule through Nov. 2, canceling about 115 flights per day. American reported last week that the Max grounding has already cost the airline $185 million in lost revenue.

The Federal Aviation Administration has found a new problem in Boeing's troubled 737 Max that the company must address before the regulatory agency will allow the airplanes to fly passengers again. The discovery further delays the airliner's return to service.

Southwest, American and United Airlines, the three U.S. carriers that fly Max jets, have already pulled the aircraft from their schedules through Labor Day weekend and this latest development could set back the plane's return to commercial flight well into the fall.

One of the nation's best known airline pilots is speaking out on the problems with Boeing's 737 Max jetliner. Retired Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger told a congressional subcommittee Wednesday that an automated flight control system on the 737 Max "was fatally flawed and should never have been approved."

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The Federal Aviation Administration says there's a new problem with some of Boeing's 737 commercial jets. More than 300 of the planes, including some of the grounded Max versions of the jets, may have faulty parts on their wings.

Though the problem is not considered something that could lead to a crash, Boeing is contacting airlines that own the 737s in question, and the FAA has issued an air worthiness order directing airlines to immediately inspect the aircraft.

After a daylong meeting with fellow aviation safety officials from around the world, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration is sounding more optimistic about efforts to approve a fix for Boeing's troubled 737 Max, hinting that the FAA could recertify the plane to fly passengers again by as soon as late June.

How will aviation authorities around the world go about certifying Boeing's 737 Max as airworthy again? How soon can the troubled plane be cleared to fly passengers again?

Those are the central questions up for discussion as about five dozen aviation safety officials representing more than 33 countries meet in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Boeing says it's one step closer to resolving problems with its 737 MAX planes. The company says it's now finished developing a software fix for the jets. But as NPR's David Schaper reports, it still may be months before the airplanes are cleared to fly again.

In the wake of two crashes of its 737 Max jet in recent months that killed 346 people and grounded those planes worldwide, Boeing continues to produce the planes while campaigning to reassure airlines, pilots, regulators and the flying public that they are safe.

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Boeing says it has a software fix ready for its 737 Max airplanes that will be unveiled to airline officials, pilots and aviation authorities from around the world Wednesday, as the aircraft manufacturer works to rebuild trust among its customers and the flying public following two fatal crashes of the planes in recent months.

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All right, NPR's David Schaper has been reporting on this story and joins us now. Hey, David.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Good afternoon.

Many air travelers are breathing a sigh of relief now that the Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all Boeing 737 Max airplanes after two of the aircraft crashed in recent months, but some airline passengers are finding their flights canceled on Thursday as a result.

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