Saturday, 20 July 2019

One small step for man.. One giant leap for mankind

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the man landing on the moon

Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on the 16th July at 9:32 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and was the fifth crewed mission of NASA's Apollo program. Then four days later at 4.17pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on the 20th July 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first humans ever to land on the moon. Armstrong radioed, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”  About six-and-a-half hours later, at 10:56 PM EDT, Armstrong stepped out onto the lunar soil with the words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. Aldrin joined Armstrong on the Moon’s surface about 20 minutes later. After 21 hours 38 minutes on the Moon’s surface, the astronauts used Eagle’s ascent stage to launch it back into lunar orbit.
After various maneuvers, Eagle once again docked with Columbia, and the trip back to Earth began soon afterward. Splashdown of Apollo 11 occurred in the Pacific Ocean about 1,400 km (900 miles) southwest of Hawaii on the 24th July. After their return, the astronauts were quarantined for 21 days from the time Eagle had left the Moon. The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.

Did you know

Saturn V is still the largest and most powerful rocket ever built
Standing at more than 100m (363ft), the Saturn V rocket burned some 20 tonnes of fuel a second at launch. Propellant accounted for 85% of its overall weight.

Apollo's crew compartment was about the same size as a large car
Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins spent eight days together travelling about half a million miles to the Moon and back in a space roughly the size of a large car. The astronauts were strapped into bench-like "couches" during launch and landing in the Command Module, which measured 3.9m (12.8ft) at its widest point.

African-American women skilled in maths helped to work out the route to the Moon
In the pre-digital age, Nasa employed a large number of female mathematicians as "human computers". Many were African-Americans.  Their work processing data and performing complicated calculations was critical to the success of the space programme.

They peed into condoms and wore nappies
Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins didn’t even have the luxury of a loo onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft as they were propelled towards orbit from Florida in front of one million spectators.
During their eight days in Space, the trio had to pee into a ‘roll-on cuff’ — a rubber tube that resembled a condom and was hooked up to a ‘receiver’ tube and a collection bag.

They left souvenirs on the moon
Armstrong and Aldrin left a range of items on the Moon before heading back to our planet.
These included a tiny silicon disk, about the size of a 50-cent piece, containing messages of peace from 73 leaders across the world — including the Queen. Other souvenirs left behind on the lunar surface included the American flag, a small replica of an olive branch, and a plaque proclaiming “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Mission duration

8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Remembering Malaysia flight 17


Malaysia flight MH 17 (codeshare with KLM Flight 4103) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam (AMS/EHAM)  to Kuala Lumpur (KUL/WMKK) and was shot down on the 17th July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
The incident was and still is the deadliest airliner shootdown incident to date. All 283 passengers and 15 crew died. The crew were all Malaysian, while over two-thirds (68%) of the passengers were Dutch. Most of the other passengers were Malaysians and Australians, the remainder were citizens of 7 other countries. At least twenty family groups were on the aircraft and eighty passengers were under the age of 18.

Nation Number 
Netherlands 193
Malaysia 43
Australia 27
Indonesia 12
United Kingdom 10
Germany 4
Belgium 4
Philippines 3
Canada 1
New Zealand 1
Total 298

On the 19th June 2019, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service charged four people with murder in connection with the shooting down of the aircraft: three Russians, Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, and Igor Pulatov, and one Ukrainian, Leonid Kharchenko. International arrest warrants were issued in respect of each of the accused. Their trial in absentia is scheduled to be held on the 9th March 2020 in the District Court of The Hague. I posted a story on this on the 21st June.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Nine skydivers killed in plane crash - Sweden.

Witnesses watched in horror as an aircraft carrying skydivers plummeted into an island outside the northern city of Umea, on Sweden's eastern coastline, killing all aboard. One witness said he heard the strange sound and watched as the plane plummeted, nose-first toward the River Ume, then crashed out of sight with a loud 'bang'. Axel Pettersson, 16, told Aftonbladet he was sitting on the couch at his home near when heard a sound from the skies becoming higher, and higher-pitched. Axel said he is used to the sounds of the planes arriving and departing, but described the noise as like one he had never heard before. He went outside and saw a plane circling. He began filming, and seconds later captured the plane plummeting rapidly. He said he heard it crash with a loud "bang" then everything went quiet. He called for his parents who immediately alerted emergency services. At a press conference following the crash, air crash investigation authorities told media all the dead were Swedish, including one person who had dual citizenship. The authorities rejected reports a wing had fallen off the airborne plane before it crashed. Witness reports said some of the parachutists were seen trying to jump off the plane just before the crash. Authorities in Sweden said the plane had taken off from Umea Airport (UME/ESNU) shortly after 1.30pm and sounded an alarm at 2.12pm. Local police told Sweden's SVT reports of the crash came in about 2pm. Swedish airport authority Swedavia said the crashed aircraft was a GippsAero GA8 Airvan, an Australian-made single-engine plane popular with parachutists. The King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his sorrow in a statement. "In view of today's tragic air crash outside Umea, which took nine people's lives, I want to convey my condolences," he said. "My family and I send our thoughts to their families and relatives."

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Skydive Umea
Aircraft: Gippsland GA-8 Airvan
Registration: SE-MES
Serial Number: GA8-TC320-12-178


Happy Birthday Boeing

      Boeing full logo.svg

                 HAPPY 103rd BIRTHDAY BOEING


In March 1910, William E. Boeing bought Heath's shipyard in Seattle on the Duwamish River, which later became his first airplane factory. Boeing was incorporated in Seattle by William Boeing, on the 15th July 1916, as "Pacific Aero Products Co". Boeing, who studied at Yale University worked initially in the timber industry, where he became wealthy and learned about wooden structures. This knowledge proved invaluable in his subsequent design and assembly of airplanes. The company stayed in Seattle to take advantage of the local supply of spruce wood. William Boeing founded his company a few months after the June 15 maiden flight of one of the two "B&W" seaplanes built with the assistance of George Conrad Westervelt, a U.S. Navy engineer. Boeing and Westervelt decided to build the B&W seaplane after having flown in a Curtiss aircraft. Boeing bought a Glenn Martin "Flying Birdcage'' seaplane (so called because of all the guy-wires holding it together) and was taught to fly by Glenn Martin himself. This first Boeing airplane was assembled in a lakeside hangar located on the northeast shore of Seattle's Lake Union. Many of Boeing's early planes were seaplanes.
On May 9, 1917, the company became the "Boeing Airplane Company". In late 1917, the U.S. entered World War I and Boeing knew that the U.S. Navy needed seaplanes for training. So Boeing shipped two new Model Cs to Pensacola, Florida where the planes were flown for the Navy. The Navy liked the Model C and ordered fifty more. The company moved its operations to a larger former shipbuilding facility known as Boeing Plant 1, located on the lower Duwamish River

The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells not just airplanes but rotorcraft, rockets, and satellites worldwide. It also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, is the second-largest defence contractor in the world based on 2013 revenue, and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value.

The Boeing Company's corporate headquarters are located in Chicago and the company is led by President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg. Boeing is organized into five primary divisions: Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA); Boeing Defence, Space & Security (BDS); Engineering, Operations & Technology; Boeing Capital; and Boeing Shared Services Group. In 2015, Boeing recorded $96.11 billion in sales, ranked 27th on the Fortune magazine "Fortune 500" list (2015), ranked 90th on the "Fortune Global 500'' list (2015), and ranked 27th on the "World's Most Admired Companies" list (2015).

Due to the two Boeing 737 Max 8 incidents Boeing released the below statement

CHICAGO, July 3, 2019-- Ahead of Independence Day in the U.S., Boeing  announced $100 million in funds to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years.
"We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort," said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.
"We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead."

The Boeing family consists of the
707, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787 the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the CH-47 Chinook and the 702 Satellite family (the Boeing 702 is communication satellite bus)

In December 2013 my family and I visited the Boeing plant at Paine Field in Everett and did the tour. We also visited the Boeing plant at Renton, and called into the Boeing store in Seattle.

                                            Paine Field Tower

Renton Tower

Information sourced from Wikipedia and Boeing website

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Air Canada returns to Vancouver after diverting

In my previous story (below) I wrote about the Air Canada 777 that hit severe turbulance yesterday on its way from Vancouver to Sydney. The aircraft diverted to Honolulu and stayed there overnight. It has now left Honolulu heading back to Vancouver as ACA 7057. It departed runway 08R at 10.23am Hawaiin time.

The replacement aircraft is using the callsign ACA2035 and is another Boeing 777-233
It was due to depart Honolulu at 12.00pm Hawaiin time but didn't get away until 1.24pm.
It will arrive into Sydney tonight at 6.39pm Sydney time.

Friday, 12 July 2019

37 injured after severe turbulence - flight diverted

AIR CANADA B777-233 C-FNNH (CN 35247)          File Photo

An Air Canada flight travelling from Vancouver Canada (YVR/CYVR) to Sydney Australia (SYD/YSSY) diverted to Honolulu Hawaii after multiple people were injured due to severe Clear Air Turbulence (CAT). The plane carrying 284 passengers and crew departed Vancouver from runway 08R at 12.50am Vancouver time, but seven hours thirty three minutes in, at 36,000 feet and 600 miles south of Honolulu the flight diverted to Hawaii, touching down on runway 08L at 6.46pm Honolulu time. Thirty people were taken to hospital in Honolulu on Thursday night. Nine had severe injuries, officials say.  Air Canada said the Boeing 777-200 jet "encountered sudden clear air turbulence... two hours past Hawaii".  It added that it was arranging hotels in Honolulu until a new flight to Australia could be arranged.  "We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof, and everything fell down... people went flying," Jess Smith, a passenger on board the flight, told local TV station KHON.  "Some people that weren't strapped in their seats, you saw them rise in the air and hit their heads on the roof and everything, so it was quite intense," passengers said. "I saw the people ahead of me hitting the overhead baggage compartments and then just slamming back into their seats," added another passenger. Passengers have reported the cabin being bloodied and dented from passengers hitting the ceiling of the aircraft.  A social media post from one passenger showed him wearing a neck brace in the airport, along with the caption: "Unexpected holiday in Hawaii"

What is Clear Air Turbulence?

CAT - clear air turbulence - occurs in otherwise calm, clear blue skies, without any visual indication such as clouds. It is caused when masses of air moving at different speeds meet, and can't be identified by the naked eye or conventional radar. Pilots use reports from other aircraft, passed on via air traffic control, to keep track of patches of CAT.

Aircraft Information
Airline: Air Canada
Code: AC / ACA
Aircraft: Boeing 777-233
Registration: C-FNNH
Serial Number: 35247
Engines: 2 x GE GE90-110B1L
First Flew: 18/02/2008
Age: 11Yrs 4 Mts

An hour at Sydney Airport

After three days in Sydney I flew home yesterday afternoon. I like getting to the airport about an hour before hand in case of complications getting to the airport. I arrived at the airport at 2pm and my flight was at 3.30pm. So I had about an hour to do some plane spotting. When I go plane spotting inside the airport you cant go past the Qantas Museum in the Qantas domestic terminal. The only down side is your shooting through thick glass which is always dirty with finger prints, but it is the best of nothing. These photos were taken on my little Panasonic pocket camera.

QATAR B777-3DZ A7-BER (CN 64086)

JETSTAR B787-8 VH-VKK (CN 36237)


QANTAS A330-202 VH-EBO (CN 1169)

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFT (CN 5532)

AIR CHINA A330-343 B-6101 (CN 1685)

AIR CHINA A330-243 B-5933 (CN 1471)


AIR NEW ZEALAND B777-219 ZK-OKH (CN 34379)

CATHAY PACIFIC B777-367 B-KQT (CN 41766)


UPS B747-44A N574UP (CN 35663)

TIGERAIR A320-232 VH-VHN (CN 3734)