Sunday, 25 July 2021

Qantas flight hostess ‘infectious’ on six flights


Queensland is on edge after a Brisbane based Qantaslink flight attendant flew all over the state while infected with Covid-19. Her Delta infection has not been linked.

Health authorities are scrambling to trace a new infection in Queensland after it was revealed a regional crew member was " infectious” on six flights across the state. The QantasLink flight attendant worked on multiple flights between Brisbane, Longreach, Gladstone and Hervey Bay on July 11 and 12. Chief health officer Jeanette Young urged all residents in the remote communities to come forward for testing as her team races to figure out where the infection came from.

“Those people who live in Longreach, Gladstone or Hervey Bay — it is really important that you come forward and get tested if you have any symptoms,” she told reporters on Friday morning.

“Just be aware. Similarly, we are working through with CCTV footage at the Brisbane airport and other airports to see who else this flight attendant might have come into contact with.”

The Qantas flights the woman worked on include 
Flight QF2534 from Brisbane to Longreach on July 11, 
Flight QF2535 from Longreach to Brisbane on July 11, 
Flight QF2346 from Brisbane to Gladstone on July 11, 
She stayed at the Mercure Hotel in Gladstone on July 11.
Flight QF2331 from Gladstone to Brisbane on July 12, 
Flight QF2374 from Brisbane to Hervey Bay on July 12, 
Flight QF2375 from Hervey Bay to Brisbane on July 12.

The woman, who lives in Banyo in Brisbane’s north, then became ill on the 13th July but did not come forward for testing for nearly 10 days.

Dr Young said the genome sequencing reveals the woman is “definitely linked to the Sydney cluster” and has contracted the highly infectious strain but is mystified by how and where she became infected.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

New Zealand and Australia Travel Bubble Suspended


The New Zealand government has suspended the travel bubble with Australia, saying the threat from ongoing Delta COVID-19 outbreaks is now too great. The travel bubble set up between Australia and New Zealand will be suspended for two months while Australia deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases. From 11:59pm tonight (the 23rd of July), Australians can no longer fly to New Zealand on quarantine-free flights, and New Zealanders returning will face a range of quarantine and self-isolation measures. The new measures will be in place for at least the next 8 weeks. There was already a pause on travel to and from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and even though Queensland and Western Australia have extremely low active cases, the whole of Australia is now impacted by the decision. The decision comes at a time when airlines have been forced to cut services even further due to a reduction in arrival caps. American Airlines will pull out of Australia all together from the end of this month until October. Other airlines could soon follow.
The decision comes at a time when airlines have been forced to cut services even further due to a reduction in arrival caps. American Airlines will pull out of Australia all together at the end of this month until October. Other airlines could soon follow.

For New Zealanders returning home from Australia there are different conditions of entry based on where they have been. Ms Ardern said her government was committed to getting New Zealanders home before the full suspension came into effect.

"My strong message to every New Zealander who is in Australia right now who has no intention of staying there long term is come home," she said.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Remembering the Gimli Glider,

Today we remember Air Canada Flight 143, or more commonly known as the "Gimli Glider".
AC143 was a Canadian scheduled domestic passenger flight between Ottowa and Edmonton that ran out of fuel on the 23rd July 1983, at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 m), midway through the flight. The flight crew successfully glided the Boeing 767 to an emergency landing at a former Royal Canadian Air Force base in Gimli, Manitoba that had been converted to a motor racing track.This unusual aviation incident earned the aircraft the nickname "Gimli Glider".  The accident is commonly blamed on mistaking pounds for kilograms, which resulted in the aircraft carrying only 45% of its required fuel load. However, the units error was the last in a series of failures that aligned in a Swiss cheese model to cause the accident. The aircraft departed Montreal and landed at Ottawa, a scheduled stop on its way to Edmonton. At Ottawa the plane was re-fueled and the crew were told 11,430 liters of fuel were on board. The flightcrew then thought they had 20,400 kilos of fuel (instead of only 9,144 kilos !). This amount was entered in the FMS. En route to Edmonton, at FL410, the EICAS warned low fuel pressure in the left fuel pump. The captain at once decided to divert the flight to Winnipeg, then 120 miles (192 km) away, and commenced a descent. Within seconds, warning lights appeared indicating loss of pressure in the right main fuel tank. Within minutes, the left engine failed, followed by failure of the right engine. The aircraft was then at 35,000 feet, 65 miles (104 km) from Winnipeg and 45 miles (72 km) from Gimli. Without power to generate electricity all the electronic gauges in the cockpit became blank, leaving only stand-by instruments, consisting of a magnetic compass, an artificial horizon, an airspeed indicator and an altimeter. Vectors were given to Gimli. The captain, who had flying experience on a glider, used gliding techniques to manoeuver the airplane for the approach. The landing gear was lowered, but the nose gear could not be lowered and locked. The 767 touched down on runway 32L within 800 feet of the threshold. The nose contacted the runway and the airplane came to rest short of a part of the runway which was at the time being used as a drag racing strip.

The Board of Inquiry found fault with Air Canada procedures, training, and manuals. It recommended the adoption of fueling procedures and other safety measures that were already being used by US and European airlines. The Board also recommended the immediate conversion of all Air Canada aircraft from Imperial units to metric units, since a mixed fleet was more dangerous than an all-Imperial or an all-metric fleet.

Following Air Canada's internal investigation, Captain Pearson was demoted for six months, and First Officer Quintal was suspended for two weeks for allowing the incident to happen. Three maintenance workers were also suspended. In 1985 the pilots were awarded the first ever Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship. Several attempts by other crews who were given the same circumstances in a simulator at Vancouver resulted in crashes. Quintal was promoted to captain in 1989. Pearson remained with Air Canada for ten years and then moved to flying for Asiana Airlines; he retired in 1995. Maurice Quintal died at the age of 68 on September 24, 2015, in Saint-Donat, Quebec.

The aircraft was temporarily repaired at Gimli and flew out two days later to be fully repaired at a maintenance base in Winnipeg. Following the full repair, the aircraft was returned to service with Air Canada. Following a successful appeal against their suspensions, Pearson and Quintal were assigned as crew members aboard another Air Canada flight.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air Canada
Code: AC/ACA
Aircraft: Boeing 767-233
Registration: C-GAUN
Serial Number: 22520
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D
First Flew: 10/03/1983
Age: 5 Months old

Thursday, 22 July 2021

12 months today Australia said goodbye to the Queen of the Skies

12 months ago today Australia said goodbye to the Queen of the Skies for good and she is deeply missed.

QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEJ (CN 32914)

This date last year was a very sad day for avgeeks like myself as Qantas (and Australia) said goodbye to the very last jumbo. Unfortunately I couldn't make it to Sydney to see this aircraft off, but I did watch it live on Flightradar24 and was listening to it on LiveATC. QF 7474 was due to push back and depart at 2pm Sydney time. It's actual pushback time was 2.55pm and started taxiing at 3.00pm. There it was given a water arch send off

It taxied up and down the airport showing off before lining up on 16R at 3.27pm. VH-OEJ got airborne at 3.28pm and circled the city and harbour a few times before heading south to Albert Park Airport (Shellharbour Airport) the home of the very first Qantas 747-400.

There it did a single low level fly by before heading out to sea.

BUT she wasn't done just yet..  further out to sea QF7474 had one more surprise up her sleeve.
She performed a run in the shape of a Kangaroo.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Teen pilot makes emergency landing on New Jersey bridge

A quick-thinking 18-year-old pilot touched down his single-engine airplane on a bridge in South Jersey Monday afternoon in an emergency landing, according to reports. Landon Lucas, who flies for Paramount Air Service, reported that his banner-toting Piper developed engine trouble as he flew near Steel Pier in Atlantic City, WPVI reported.

The fast-acting aviator released his banner into the ocean as he tried reaching the Ocean City Municipal Airport, but decided to set the plane down on the 9th Street Bridge, Ocean City, Cape May County. He landed without a scratch to himself or to anyone else on the road, officials said. Eyewitness Daniel Lepone told the news outlet that he was on his way home when he saw the aircraft “going lower and lower.”

“I heard a loud boom and the propeller and it was really loud and I could see it just drift down slowly. It was pretty scary,” he said. Justin Dugary, a pilot who saw the drama unfold from his boat, told Fox 29 that Lucas’ landing was a textbook example of what to do in an emergency.
“It’s not easy. It’s really a challenge. I’m very proud of him. It’s really phenomenal that he was able to do this safely,” he said.

Rose Savastano, who works at the nearby Ocean City Welcome Center, said she could see the pilot standing by the plane soon after the landing.

“He did a perfect landing. He’s fine,” she told the Press of Atlantic City.

The Federal Aviation Administration — which is investigating the incident along with the National Transportation Safety Board — said the pilot of the Piper J3C-65 Cub declared an emergency at 12:37 p.m.

On his Facebook page, Lucas is seen proudly displaying a certificate while standing by a Cessna 172.
“Officially a commercial pilot!” he wrote.

Paramount Air Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Aircraft Information:
Owner/ Operator: Paramount Air Service 
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65 Cub
Registration: N88610

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

American Airlines pulls all flights to Australia


American Airlines will no longer fly to the nation for at least two months in response to the tightened coronavirus travel rules which mean planes must fly with only a handful of passengers.
The only Australian route, Los Angeles to Sydney, will be cut from September. Just last week the airline said it would fly some planes as cargo only - but now it's pulling out altogether. "Due to the ongoing travel restrictions surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), American is suspending customer and cargo flights between Los Angeles and Sydney between the 1st Sept and the 28th Oct  a spokesman said. "We're reaching out to customers scheduled to travel on affected flights to offer alternate arrangements." Singapore Airlines also confirmed last week it would be forced to fly some planes with cargo only in the latest blow for the 35,000 Australians who have told authorities they want to come home.

Australia has slashed the number of passengers allowed to fly in per week from just over 6000 to around 3000 - the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic began. That is despite the tens of thousands wanting to come home from overseas and only one per cent of people in hotel quarantine, where everybody must spend 14 days at the cost of around $3000, actually testing positive for the virus. Many have been battling to get seats for months. Everybody must test negative for the virus before boarding a plane. The rule will be reviewed at the end of August but could last all year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Extra government repatriation flights - which are not free and people are invited to book - will go into Darwin, but won't fully compensate for the cut in commercial numbers. When he announced the cuts, Mr Morrison said it was because of the more infectious Delta variant. A travel ban remains in place, with only Australian citizens and permanent residents and their dependents and spouses allowed in, and people banned from leaving. However, exemptions do apply, with thousands of others also permitted to travel each week. Officials have warned the cuts won't only affect passengers.
Shoppers should expect major delays and price increases for imported goods ahead of the peak Christmas period.

Aussies stuck overseas are devastated and heartbroken by flight cuts as human rights experts slam decision. Zoe Landreth's "life flashed in front of me" when Prime Minister Scott Morrison made an announcement that has left thousands of Australians devastated. The already low number of Australians allowed back into the country will be halved as the coronavirus travel ban tightens over fears of the highly contagious Delta strain that sparked lockdowns for millions in multiple states and territories this week. Mrs Landreth, a Melbourne expat, has already sold her house in the US in preparation to relocate back to Australia permanently with her husband Harold and 18-year-old daughter at the end of the month. It is costing her about $80,000 including hotel quarantine, accommodation, flights and visas — and now she doesn't know if their flight will even go ahead.

A total of 34,000 Australians have told authorities they want to come home and the move to cut flight numbers further has been slammed by campaigners for human rights and stranded Australians.
That number includes some people stuck since borders closed in March 2020 because some nations remain in lockdown or flights are too difficult to book. There are also thousands of Australians who have been given permission to leave, such as for compassionate reasons, who now want to return.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Russian passenger plane forced to crash land in Siberia

The pilots of a Russian passenger plane have been hailed as heroes after they saved all 19 people on board after they were forced to crash land in Siberia. The Antonov An-28 aircraft with four children on board had disappeared from radars on a one hour 20 minute flight in the Tomsk region in western Siberia earlier on Friday.

A major rescue operation was launched and shortly after a badly damaged plane was spotted from the air. Rescuers reported that all on board were alive. Pilots Anatoly Prytkov, 56, and Faruh Khasanov, 32, were credited with saving all the lives after a crash landing in rough terrain. 'The site of the plane's hard landing was discovered. They see living people,' Russia's emergencies ministry said in a statement. Three emergency Mi-8 helicopters were scrambled to search for the plane which was later found, officials said.

The survivors were airlifted from the crash site after the pilots managed to find a spot to land amid swamps, said reports. The An-28 is a small, short-range, Soviet-designed turboprop used by many small carriers across Russia and some other countries. The plane belonged to the local Sila airline and was flying from the town of Kedrovoye to the city of Tomsk in a journey which usually takes one hour 20 minutes. The flight crew had not reported any problems before the plane disappeared, officials said, but the plane's emergency beacon activated, signalling that it had a forced landing or crashed.

'Communication was lost to the An-28 plane from the company Siberian Light Aviation,' said an emergency services spokesman. Earlier reports said there were 17 or 13 on board but reports from the crash site said there were 19. The incident comes 10 days after another Russian plane crashed while preparing to land in bad weather on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East, killing all 28 people on board. The Antonov An-26 plane, carrying 22 passengers and six crew, had been on its descent into the village of Palana around 3pm Tuesday when it suddenly lost radio contact with ground crews.

A criminal case was also launched into its fate, a normal measure when a plane goes missing or crashes in Russia.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: SiLA - Siberian Light Aviation
Aircraft: Antonov AN 28
Registration: RA-28728
Serial Number: 1AJ007-13

Story sourced from here
'Hero pilots' save all 19 on board Russian passenger plane as it is forced to crash land in Siberia | Daily Mail Online