Thursday 29 June 2017

Qantas A380 diverts to Sydney- Engine Fault

QANTAS A380-842 VH-OQH (CN 050)                        File Photo

A Qantas flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles has landed safely in Sydney after diverting there when a warning light came on in the cockpit.
Qantas says QF93, an Airbus A380, was about an hour into its flight from Tullamarine airport when an alert light turned on about 11am, indicating a loss of oil which required the engine to be set to idle.
"The captain made the decision to land in Sydney to have the fault fixed rather than continuing on the 14-hour flight," an airline spokesman said.
The A380 landed safely about 1pm, after circling over New South Wales as it dumped fuel in preparation for landing.

Peter Gibson from the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority says the large aircraft would have been way too heavy to land immediately.
"It would have been full of fuel for such a long flight so the pilots usually do zig zags to burn off or dump the fuel," he told AAP.
"If it's an absolute emergency they'll just land but, if not, you don't want to risk causing damage to the aircraft."
A Melbourne woman on the flight said a crew member had asked passengers to check on the engine, before the decision to turn around was made.
Passengers praised Qantas crew for their handling of the situation. The  passengers which disembarked the aircraft in Sydney had been provided with complimentary lunch while the aircraft is being checked by their engineers.

Qantas engineers have now assessed the aircraft and the flight had been rescheduled to depart Sydney at 3.30pm today. The flight was already delayed as it departed an hour late in Melbourne just before 10.15am.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft: Airbus A380-842
Operator: QANTAS
Registration: VH-OQH
Serial Number: 050
Engines: 4 x RR Trent 972
First Flew: 28th August 2009
Age: 7 yrs 8 months
Test Registration: F-WWAE

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Three people killed in Angel Flight crash

A plane that crashed and killed three people in South Australia this morning was on an Angel Flight * mission carrying a high school student.
A 16-year-old female student from Grant High School was on board the plane when it came down in a field in Suttontown, near Mount Gambier.
She was being taken by Angel Flight for specialist medical treatment.
The Mt Gambier student was accompanied on the flight by a 43-year-old woman, who is believed to be her mother.
The plane, a Tobago TB10, which came down about 10.30am also claimed the life of the 78 yr old pilot Grant Gilbert — a regular volunteer pilot for Angel Flight.
Records show he became the licence holder and operator of the 25-year-old single-engine plane in February 2014, using it predominantly for trips between Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln and Murray Bridge. It is confirmed the plane had not been in the air long before it crashed.
The weather in Mount Gambier this morning was “foggy, cold and wet”.

It is the second fatal light-plane crash in South Australia in two months, with three people dying in a crash in Renmark in late May.

* Angel Flight is a charity which coordinates non-emergency flights to assist country people to access specialist medical treatment that would otherwise be unavailable to them because of vast distance and high travel costs.
All flights are free and may involve travel to medical facilities anywhere in Australia.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft: Socata TB-10 Tobago
Operator: Private
Registration: VH-YTM
Serial Number: 1518
Engine:  Textron Lycoming
First Flew: 11th March 1993
Age: 24 yrs old
Test Registration: 

Travel expert's warning on booking budget air travel

An aviation expert is urging Australians to think twice before flying with budget airlines after an AirAsia X flight bound for Malaysia was forced to return to Perth due to an engine failure.
Passengers on the Sunday flight reported hearing a loud explosion before the Airbus A330 began to shudder, with some saying the pilot urged them to pray they would return safely.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed it was investigating "an engine malfunction" which caused "moderate airframe vibration".
Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman and aviation expert Neil Hansford said people must take responsibility for their own safety when flying and visit airline ratings websites before booking.
"Australians regrettably think with their pocket and not their head," Mr Hansford said.
"Because if you go to the trouble of working out whether a carrier's got a record or not you would look at AirAsia and you would say 'well why would I fly with that carrier who can't get seven stars?'

"If the difference in the fare was $200, is my life worth $200?"

Despite landing the plane safely, Mr Hansford said the alleged behaviour of the pilot sounded anything but professional.
"The pilot's responsibility is to make all of the passengers feel comfortable and let them know that he's in command," he said.
"Now in asking people to pray, that's almost saying that he's passing the responsibility to some other person that's not on the plane."
Mr Hansford also said the pilot should have considered diverting to Western Australia's Learmonth airbase, rather than returning to Perth.
A replacement plane flew stranded passengers to Kuala Lumpur late on Sunday night.

AirAsia passengers undeterred by drama

On Monday morning, other AirAsia ticket holders at Perth airport were preparing to make similar journeys, seemingly undeterred by Sunday's drama.
"It won't happen two days in a row will it? I hope not, but I'm a Catholic and I can pray," joked AirAsia passenger Joe Kenney.
In 2014, an AirAsia plane crashed during a flight between Indonesia and Singapore.
All 162 passengers and crew died.
The plane made 78 trips between Perth and Bali with a mechanical fault that was not fixed in the 12 months leading up to the tragedy.

AirAsia defends safety record

AirAsia X has issued a fresh statement about Sunday's incident, saying it was investigating the cause "together with our engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce" and was cooperating with aviation authorities.

Sunday 25 June 2017

Passengers prey for survival on Air Asia X flight

AIR ASIA X A330-343 9M-XXE (CN 1075)             File Photo

The pilot of a stricken AirAsia X plane told passengers to “say a prayer” after an apparent engine issue that forced the A330 to return to Perth this morning.
Air Asia has issued a statement saying: “We are investigating the technical issue — there is no indication its an engine issue.”

Passengers on flight D7-237 en route from Perth Airport (PER/YPPH) to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/WMKK)  have told how they heard a bang and looked out the window to see the left engine vibrating violently under the wing.
The aircraft started shuddering and a strong engine smell wafted through the cabin for a couple of minutes before the pilot made a U-turn to head back to Perth Airport.
With terrified passengers in the “brace position”, the aircraft landed safely just before 10am, three hours after it had initially departed.
Sophie Nicolas, one of the 359 passengers on board the flight, said she heard a small explosion from the left wing.
“I couldn’t see anything ... the plane just started shuddering a lot,” she said.
“You could tell by the cabin crew’s reaction that it was really bad.”
She said the Captain asked everyone to remain seated and announced the plane would return to Perth.
“He said ‘I hope you all say a prayer, I’ll be saying a prayer too and let’s hope we all get back home safely’,” she said.
“It was terrifying.
“I was crying a lot ... a lot of people were crying, trying to call their mums and stuff.
“But we couldn’t really do anything, just wait and trust the Captain and he delivered us home safely, which is amazing.”

The aircraft, an Airbus A330-300, with 359 passengers on board took off from Perth's runway 21 at 07:10 hours local time and climbed to FL380. At 08:13 the flight commenced a climb to a higher altitude. Reaching FL390, 830 km NNE of Perth, the flight crew initiated a descending right hand turn back towards Perth. A safe landing was made again on runway 21 at 09:57

The budget airline has already been under increased scrutiny from the air safety regulator over previous incidents and is facing another investigation after a turbine blade in the A330’s left engine allegedly sheared off less than two hours into a flight.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft: Airbus A330-343
Operator: Air Asia X
Registration: 9M-XXE
Serial Number: 1075
Engines: RR Trent 772B-60
First Flew: 10th November 2009
Age: 7 yrs 6 months
Test Registration: F-WWKS

A day at Life Flight

Not long ago the company I work for wanted to donate to a worthy cause so we donate a large sum of money to the Cancer Council. The owner of the our company also wanted all his employee's in all three states to volunteer for day for a non for profit charity. Having a huge love for aviation I contact Life Flight, the Royal Flying Doctors and of course Angel Flight.  I got an email from Life Flight saying they are having a charity fund raising day soon and would I like to volunteer.

Well the rest his history; below is their story of Life Flight and some photos I took during the day.

Who is Life Flight and what do the do..

From humble but significant beginnings, Life Flight was formed as The Gold Coast Helicopter Rescue in 1981 by handful of dedicated surf lifesaving volunteers who had a burning passion for helping people in need. Fast forward 35 years, Life Flight can proudly say it has saved thousands of lives and evolved into one of the largest and most sophisticated aeromedical services in the world.

Life Flight is now a world leader in aeromedical care and Australia's most diversified service with both a fixed wing and rotary fleet. They help seriously ill and injured patients around Australia and the world to quickly get the medical care they need. From rapid response, to inter-facility transfers our team of more than 400 staff members, including aviation crew, support staff, and over 100 doctors are a lifeline to vulnerable individuals.
Across Australia Life Flight doctors attend to more than 10 patients a day.
As a leading Australian charity they operate 13 rescue helicopters and three air ambulance jets across 12 locations. Eight of these are Life Flight’s own aeromedical bases. Life Flight also assists Retrieval Services Queensland with doctors, when required, on fixed wing aeromedical services, including inter-hospital patient transfers performed by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to and from regional centres such as Brisbane, Bundaberg and Townsville.
Their staff are specially trained in pre-hospital retrieval medicine through our internationally recognised training academy.
Life Flight has flown 45,000 critical rescue missions over the past 36 years.

I arrived at their Archerfield base around 8.30 and met Jessica the coordinator, Jess showed me around the hanger and filled me in on Life Flight.

After a quick briefing of my duties I took the time to grab some photos before the other volunteers arrived.





BELL 412 VH-XCN (CN 36023)


BELL 412EP VH-XCK (CN 36398)


Once I was done the other volunteers had arrived so we went outside and set up marquees for face painting and hair braiding, a merchandise stall and an area where child could colour in or write messages for the doctors, nurses and pilots. There was also a BBQ were you could buy a sausage and drinks.

Life Flights mascot is a giant bear which, along with many other items, you can purchase and I can tell you the bear is cute and cuddly.

There was also a special appearance by the real "Chief" Life Flights bear mascot; it was my job to escort Chief around safely greeting the children. Then we had to swap over... and guess who was in it next... yep, yours truly. If you want to loose weight quickly put on a bear suit. Even though it was hot, stuffy and hard to breath it was well worth it as the children loved him and came running up for high fives and hugs.. some were a little shy and just wanted to watch from the safe distance of mum and dad's arms.

Back inside there was another merchandise table with bears, soft helicopters, hats, T-shirts and even a pen set; there was also a display of parts the helicopters need to keep them in the air.

There was a flight simulator which I manned for the rest of the afternoon; for $5.00 you could fly it for 5 minutes and it was really popular

There was even a wall with some amazing real stories of rescues the crew have done over time.

If you want to have a look around the hanger and get closer to the Life Flight helicopters; Life Flight do hanger tours.

A tour of the hanger includes an informative, guided tour of the facility, insights from the engineer on shift and a photo opportunity with the aircraft (subject to availability based on rescue missions and tasks). Make the most of your time at the hangar and compliment your tour with a morning or afternoon tea.
Hangar tours are available for $10.00 per person, morning/afternoon tea will be provided for an additional $5.00 per person.
Hangar tours run for approximately 45–60 minutes, guests who would like to add a morning or afternoon tea to their tour are invited to stay for a further 30 minutes.
All funds raised from the hangar tours helps to support Life Flight to continue to provide rapid medical response care to the community.
Life Flight offers hangar tours on weekdays (Monday to Friday) at the following bases:
Archerfield Airport
Hangar 6, Grenier Drive
Archerfield QLD 4108
Telephone: 5553 5946
Group size = Min 5 people, maximum of 15

It was a great day, a long day, but I really enjoyed helping out a great worthy charity.
If you would like to volunteer or just donate you can do so here

Friday 23 June 2017

An hour at the beach before heading home

Having an appointment cancelled this morning freed up my afternoon a little so I headed towards the airport, grabbed some lunch and and went to a place the locals call "The Plane Spotters Beach" to do some plane spotting.


QANTAS A330-202 VH-EBP (CN 1174)

QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEJ (CN 32914)

QANTAS B737-838 RETRO ROO 11   VH-VXQ (CN 33723) 

QANTAS A380-841 VH-OQH (CN 050)


QANTAS A330-202 VH-EBQ (CN 1198)

REX SAAB 340 VH-ZLJ (CN 380)

CATHAY PACIFIC B777-3677 B-KQP (CN 41758)


TIGER AIR B737-8FE VH-VUD (CN 34015)


QANTAS B747-48E VH-OEB (CN 25778)

JETSTAR B787-8 VH-VKK (CN 36237)

My flight home was at 4pm and boarding was at 3.40pm, so at 3pm I left the beach area and headed to the airport which was 10 minutes away. After dropping back my hire car I headed to the terminal, after passing through security I quickly went up to the QANTAS museum to see if the UPS MD 11 and the ATLAS 747 had landed, and unfortunately they had.
I had about 15 minutes there grabbing a few more movements.



SINGAPORE A380-841 9V-SKC (CN 006)


ALL NIPPON B787-9 JA837A (CN 34526)

At 3.30 I headed down to gate 7 were our QANTAS Boeing 737-838 was waiting, the aircraft for today's flight was VH-VXG (CN 30901) the last time I was on this aircraft was 25th October 2016.
We began boarding at 3.38pm and I took my seat which was 24F. The last cabin door was closed at 4.03 and we pushed back at 4.04pm. We began taxiing at 4.07 and taxied out for the longest line up point of the airport. Arriving at the 34R holding point we continued out onto the runway for a rolling start, getting airborne at 4.18. Once airborne we banked right and headed out along the coast line before heading out to sea.

We crossed the coast again right over the top of Newcastle and headed for Grafton as we climbed to our cruising altitude of 370. The climb out I would say was slight to moderate in places but otherwise smooth for most of the flight. Cheese and crackers were served along with complimentary alcohol, so I opted for a James Boags beer. We began our descent at 4.58pm and once abeam the Gold Coast we banked left in flew in towards my home, we banked right at a way point called GLENN (Archerfield Airport) and we tracked down the ILS for a 01 landing , touching down at 5.19pm.