Sunday 31 July 2016

Sunday Spotting

Having a get together with friends on the north side of Brisbane this afternoon we thought we would head off a bit earlier and call into the airport for an hour or so.  Below are a few photos I took on this beautiful warm winters day.

QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEE (CN 32909)

JETSTAR A321-231 VH-VWX (CN 3899)

SINGAPORE A330-343 9V-SSF (CN 1609)

CHINA AIRLINES A330-302 B-18358 (CN 1346)


AIR CANADA B787-8 C-GHPX (CN 35261)

PHILIPPINE A320-214 RP-C8612 (CN 3553)


QANTAS B737-838 VH-VXQ (CN 33723)



Saturday 30 July 2016

Boeing considers ending 747 production


It may be the end of the line for Boeing's iconic 747 jumbo jet.
The company said in a regulatory filing that it is "reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747."
Boeing (NYSE: BA) has already reduced the Everett 747 production line to a rate of half-a-plane per month and in the filing indicated that demand was not enough to increase it to one plane per month, as the company had hoped to do this year.
The company has 39 of the jumbo jets left to build, which will keep the line alive until 2019. After that, things aren't looking good.

The decision is tied to what Boeing called "lower-than-expected demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft and slower-than-expected growth of global freight traffic."
Boeing has hinted for years that the "Queen of the Skies'" reign may soon be coming to an end. The 747 was the largest jet ever built when it debuted in 1969. It became the jet used to carry the President of the United States and other dignitaries. It is still used for Air Force One.
The production of the 747 employed generations of Puget Sound-area workers. One worker told the PSBJ his story of building the first 747s in the late 1960s, when Boeing was rushing to get the first of the jets built:
The deadline defined everything, said 84-year-old Roy Sigvartson. The 16-month effort was so extraordinary, the workers came to be called “the Incredibles.”
The first 747 took off on time and on deadline from Everett’s Paine Field on Feb. 9, 1969.
Sigvartson remembers it as one of the highlights of his life.
“Nobody had ever seen an aircraft that huge, and for all it to come together, you’d have thought it was impossible for that thing to take off, with all that weight,” he said. “When you heard that baby start, and push all the throttles up and away you go, it was just a beautiful sight to see.”
Now, more efficient jets are replacing the four-engine 747s.
Now, with just 39 747's left to be built, Boeing plans to slow production to a snail's pace, building just 1.3 planes a month.

Here are 11 crucial dates in the history of the 747:
1963: Boeing forms engineering group to develop the large aircraft that will become the 747.
1966: Boeing board launches the 747, Pan American World Airways books the first orders, and Boeing buys 780 acres to build the Everett plant.
1967: First workers arrive at the Everett plant.
1969: First 747 flies, and is later certified by the FAA. N7470 was the rego (CN 20235) This aircraft was known as RA001
1980: Boeing rolls out the 500th 747, a 747-200 Combi.
This aircraft went to Scandinavian Airline System N4501Q (CN 22381)
1988: First flight of 747-400, destined to become the most popular model, with 694 delivered.
This aircraft went to Delta Airlines as N661US
1990: Boeing delivers the first Air Force One to carry the U.S. president.
1993: Boeing delivers the 1,000th 747, to Singapore Airlines.  9V-SMU (CN 27068)                            
2005: Boeing launches the 747-8 family, still in production today.
2010: Assembly starts on first 747-8 Intercontinental, the passenger version.

ATLAS AIR B747-47UF N496MC (CN 29257)

ASIANA CARGO 747-446 HL-7618 (CN 26343)

THAI B747-4D7 HS-TGG (CN 33771)

Friday 29 July 2016

Close call for a Jetstar and AirAsia flights

AIR ASIA A330-343 9M-XXP (CN 1481)

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFO (CN 5631)

An investigation has been launched into a close-call between two planes over the Gold Coast.
Jetstar pilots were forced to take evasive action over Coolangatta Airport last Thursday the 21st July, when an AirAsia plane veered dangerously close during takeoff.
The two aircraft came within 152m of each other, violating the minimum 305m gap required by Air Services Australia.
A Jetstar spokesman told the plane received clearance from air traffic control to descend when the alarms sounded.
“Our pilots took corrective action to restore the safe distance between the two aircraft,” he said.
“The flight continued onto the Gold Coast and landed without further incident.
It’s likely that most passengers would not have been aware of it.”

Jetstar’s Airbus A320-232 VH-VFO (CN 5631) was coming in from Avalon in Victoria, while the AirAsia Airbus A330-343  9M-XXS (CN 1533) was taking off for Auckland. Combined, the two planes are capable of carrying 550 passengers.
They were not on a direct collision course. Rather, Jetstar says the incident concerned the loss of vertical space between the two aircraft.
AirAsia told their pilots followed the flight path according to the heading and altitude provided by air traffic control.
“The crew responded to the resolution advisory by reducing the vertical speed according to flight safety procedures,” she said. “The aircraft took off safely.”
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says both planes have a collision-avoidance system, which monitors the surrounding airspace and warns of possible risks. Pilots are expected to respond immediately when the alarm sounds.
“The crew of the A320 (conducted) a climb to increase separation,” it summarises on its website.
Both airlines are cooperating with the investigation.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Malaysia Airlines places order for 25 new aircraft

MALAYSIA A330-323 9M-MTN (CN 1470)                File Photo

I was very pleased when I found this story as it shows Malaysia Airlines is recovering its recent disasters.

KUALA LUMPUR - Boeing won an order for 25 B737 Max jets from Malaysia Airlines as the flag carrier expands its fleet for the first time since two fatal air crashes in 2014 prompted the government to take over the company.
Deliveries from the Chicago-based manufacturer are set to start in 2019, and the operator has options for 25 more of the aircraft, the airline said in a statement.
The addition to its fleet may help Malaysia Airlines, which is in the midst of a 6 billion-ringgit (S$2.03 billion) business overhaul, compete against a slew of budget carriers in the region.
Passenger confidence in the carrier, now fully owned by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, took a dive two years ago after Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 and another was shot down over Ukraine four months later.

Monday 25 July 2016

City Country

Last Friday I had to drive 291 klms (181 miles) to see a very important customer in a country town called Maryborough which took three and a half hours each way . After the visit I called into the local airport to take a few photos. Maryborough Airport doesn't have regular daily RPT's so it was very quiet there.


PIPER PA-34-200T  VH-SRT (CN 34-7970172)

IBIS GS-700 MAGIC 19-7591

CESSNA 172H  VH-DPR (CN 17255998)

Today I was back in the city and having an appointment on the north side of Brisbane I took advantage of a few departures as I was passing the airport on my way back to the office.


CHINA SOUTHERN A330-323 B-8358 (CN 1699)

SOLOMONS A320-211 H4-BUS (CN 0302)

QANTAS B747-438ER VH-OEJ (CN 32914)

Sunday 24 July 2016

World "Hot air balloon" record smashed

As mentioned on this blog on Tuesday 12th July a 64year old Russian adventurer named Fedor Konyukhov took off from Northam Western Australia in a hot air-helium balloon in a round-the-world-in-13-days world record attempt. I am happy to report that the Russian adventurer has broken the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the Earth in a hot air balloon in just over 11 days, landing safely in WA's Wheatbelt.
Mr Konyukhov, who set off from Western Australia's Avon Valley on July 12, landed near the small town of Bonnie Rock about 4.30pm (WST).
After being pushed dangerously close to Antarctica, Konyukhov turned northeast towards WA, keeping his world record round-the-world-in-13-days bid well and truly alive.
The bad weather and polar jet stream forced him thousands of kilometres south, closer to Antarctica than Australia.
The daredevil Russian adventurer had battled extreme cold for the past few days, reporting temperatures as severe as -45C after his on-board heating system failed over the South Atlantic.
As he arrived back in Western Australia there was concern the difficult task of landing the balloon might be problematic, but Mr Konyukhov was able to land the craft with a hour of daylight in hand.
The crew had been waiting for winds to drop and to find the ideal place for the adventurer to land.
The 65-year-old has broken the 14-year-old record set by American adventurer Steve Fossett.
Mr Fossett is the only other person to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon, which he completed in 13-and-a-half days. (see story 12th July for details)
As Mr Konyukhov broke the record, his team on the ground let out three cheers and popped some champagne.
Mr Konyukhov's son Oscar described his father's achievement as a miracle.
"As a son, I'm very proud of my father. It's just difficult to comprehend what he just achieved," he said.
"He completed round-the-world solo flight on the first attempt."
The flight's coordinator John Wallington said it was an incredible achievement.
"The objective was to get him back on the ground safely, but of course this record is just a fantastic bonus," he said.

Picture: Oscar Konyukhov/Morton/AP

Thursday 21 July 2016

Jetstar flight diverted to Bali after wild fight erupts on-board

JETSTAR B787-8 VH-VKF (CN 36231)                   (File Photo)

A Jetstar flight heading from Sydney to Phuket had to divert to Denpasar due to a fight that broke out on board. JQ 27 with the registration VH-VKF departed Sydney on runway 16R just after 15.02 (3.02pm local) and diverted to Denpasar landing on runway 06 at 21.05. There it stayed on the ground for two hours and departed again from runway 06 at 23.07. The flight landed safely in Phuket two hours and 4 mins later.
A number of Jetstar passengers onboard a flight from Sydney to Phuket have been interrogated in Bali after a mid-air fight. The 6 passengers that were involved in the brawl on the flight will be returned to Sydney on the next available flight. Reports say the passengers praised and thanked the captains and cabin crew and agreed with the diversion.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Foggy start for Brisbane and history made

Today I had an appointment with a manufacturer which has their business right on the airport boundary, so I got up early and headed off to the airport to grab some early morning departures. Well it seemed Mother Nature had other plans as the fog in Brisbane was so thick we had a few arrivals divert and many departures were delayed. Qantas 16, a Boeing 744 from Los Angeles, made history today as it diverted to Coolangatta and this was the first time ever a B747-400 had landed in Coolangatta. Anyway I was sitting at the airport and I could hear the aircraft departing but I couldn't see a thing. Then just after nine am they came out in their droves, below are the few departures I captured but unfortunately I couldn't stay any longer.


AIR VANUATU B737-8SH YJ-AV8 (CN 42052)


AIR NIUGINI B737-8BK P2-PXE (CN 33024)

QANTAS B737-838 VH-VXE (CN 30899)

QANTAS A330-202 VH-EBK (CN 945)

KOREAN AIR A330-323 HL-8002 (CN 1576)

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EEF (CN 113)


Then as I was about to leave the appointment I looked up and noticed Air Canada coming straight for me.
AIR CANADA B787-9 C-GHPQ (CN 35257)