Sunday 30 July 2017

Four men arrested over ''allegedly" plotting to blow up an aircraft


Four men are in custody this morning and 'assisting police' after heavily armed counter-terrorism officers raided four Sydney properties over an alleged terrorist plot that reportedly involved blowing up an aircraft here in Australia.
Wearing gas masks and ballistic ­armour, backed by fire crews and specially trained paramedics, officers from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team stormed three properties in Sydney’s west — at Sproule St, Lakemba, Renown Ave, Wiley Park, and Victoria Rd, Punchbowl — and a terrace on Goodlet Lne, Surry Hills, in the inner city.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the raids that took place on Saturday afternoon were designed to stop 'terrorist attacks in Australia'.
He's been briefed on the operation by security agency heads and is expected to provide further details on later on this morning.
Officers involved in the searches were looking for material that could be used to make an improvised explosive device or “some other method” to bring down a domestic passenger plane.
“There was a threat of a device and an aircraft,” the official said, but added that its credibility was still being ­determined.
Some media reports have claimed a suspicious device needed to be removed from the Surry Hills property.
All airports in Australia are on heightened security and will continue until further notice.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Passenger put on the wrong plane to the wrong country

Air France on Thursday said it was investigating how a passenger was put on the wrong plane, travelling with a boarding pass bearing the same name as another passenger on that flight.
Ana Maria Bittencourt Marques, a 45-year-old nursing assistant from Porto Alegre in Brazil, departed from Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday with the goal of flying to Copenhagen for a holiday.
Instead, she found herself in Athens after being given a boarding pass in the name of another passenger on the Greek flight, Marie-Christine Midavaine.
"My ticket was made out in another name, and I didn't have enough time to check it because I was in a hurry," said Marques.
Marques said an Air France agent at the departure gate looked at her boarding pass and passport "but they did not check to see if the name was different".
She snoozed during the flight and first became aware that something was wrong when she saw Greek letters at Athens airport.
Air France flew her to Copenhagen through a connecting flight in Luxembourg.
Air France confirmed to AFP that "a passenger en route to Copenhagen on the Air France flight AF1750 on July 25 boarded flight AF1232 to Athens".
"After arriving in Athens, the passenger was redirected to Copenhagen," the company said.
The airline said passenger safety was never compromised at any time during the incident, but it had launched an internal investigation into how the mishap occurred.

I find this extremely hard to believe that this could happen in todays world and with such tight security and screening. Didn't the airline staff scan the boarding pass at the gate, wasn't there another passenger sitting in the same seat. Surely the crew would have said sometime over the intercom before departure "welcome aboard flight AF1232 to Athens'' did the passenger not listen to this. So many questions....

Story sourced from here

Wellcamp could get second freight airline

A second international freight airline could soon be operating out of
Wellcamp airport, taking produce direct to mainland China.
The Toowoomba Chronicle can reveal Toowoomba and Surat Basin has entered into advanced talks with a Chinese company which has a close focus on the Darling Downs produce.
TSBE executive chairman Shane Charles said the airline, which operates in the Chinese domestic market, was looking to "branch into international markets" with Toowoomba topping its list.
"They have identified our region as a prime agricultural area," he said.
"They are mostly interested in the freight products from Australia to mainland China."
Mr Charles said TSBE had been in talks with the company and this week hosted a delegation with high-level management in Toowoomba.
He said the company, whose name he would not reveal because of commercial confidentiality, was looking exclusively at Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.
"They're concentrating on us first and have requested that (TSBE) give them assistance to talk to freight-forwarders in Australia, as well as potential suppliers.
"They are looking to try and set up a service next year."
If successful, the airline will be the second international freight service to export cargo and goods from Wellcamp airport following Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific previously flagged a possible expansion to its existing weekly freight service which takes Darling Downs produce from Wellcamp airport, after pick-ups in Sydney and Melbourne.
Mr Charles said TSBE had played a key role in the negotiations with the second Chinese operator, with a delegation from the company due to return to Toowoomba in September.
He said TSBE's Shanghai-based business development manager Wen Lui had been instrumental in early talks which had progressed to the advanced stages.
"It's due to the relationship we have with China and the network we have set up," he said.
"It's early days and this takes a lot of time.
"They know that it's early days but they will potentially grow with us as
we are seen as a significant freight transport and logistics hub.''

Story sourced from here

Thursday 27 July 2017

Melbourne to Brisbane trip

As mentioned in yesterdays blog I had to go to Melbourne for a night so I managed to grab a few photos this morning on my way in from a customer call plus aircraft overflying our office.

VIETNAM B787-9 VN-A864 (CN 35154)

AIR ASIA X A330-343 9M-XBA (CN 1670)

SICHUAN A330-243 B-6546 (CN 1303)

CHINA SOUTHERN A330-323 B-5917 (CN 1392)


It was time to head home and my Virgin flight VA 377 was leaving at 4pm and boarding was at 3.40 so I arrived at the airport around 2.50pm and spent 30 minutes doing some spotting with my little Pansonic pocket camera before heading off to the gate.


REX SAAB 340B -VH-REX (CN 384)

JETSTAR B787-8 VH-VKJ (CN 36236)

TIGERAIR A320-232 VH-VNJ (CN 2982)

TIGERAIR B737-8FE  VH-VUD (CN 34015)

SICHUAN AIRLINES A330-243 B-8962 (CN 1780)

AIR NEW ZEALAND B777-219 ZK-OKF (CN 34378)


THAI B777-3AL HS-TKP (CN 41525)

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFT (CN 5532)

ETIHAD B777-3FX A6-ETR (CN 41701)

We began boarding at 3.43 at gate 7 and I took my seat which was 20F. The last cabin door was closed at 4.00pm and we pushed back at 4.02pm. At 4.05 we began taxiing for runway 34, after arriving at the holding point we lined up straight away and got airborne at 4.11pm. Maintaining runway heading for a few miles we banked right and set course for Brisbane as we made our way to flight level 360. Our track took us in land west of Wagga Wagga and Orange. From Tamworth we flew towards the Gold Coast and then onto Brisbane following the coast line.
The disappointment continued as we were offered one small lemon biscuit and a cup of tea. On the way up I watched another movie called "on the edge of 17"  it was about a girl who's father died as she was about to turn 17 but she couldn't handled life and what it threw at her. It had both drama and romance. We began our descent in Brisbane at 5.35 and landed on runway 19 from the north at 6.05pm.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Having a quickie in Melbourne with a Virgin

Get your mind out of the gutter...its not what you think.
Today I had to go to Melbourne once again just for the night so after flying QANTAS for years I thought I would break the mould and go Virgin Australia. A decision I now regret.
My Virgin flight was to leave at 5.55am and boarding was to be at 5.25am so I set my alarm for 4am. Usual story, I was awake for about an hour and a half before hand.
I got up at 3.45am and left home at 4am on the dot arriving at the airport car park at 4.35am.
I went through security and after stopping for a few photos along the way I made my way to gate 44A where I was leaving from getting there around 4.55am.




ALLIANCE F 28 MK 70 VH-QQX (CN 11571)

We began boarding flight VA304 at 5.27 and I took my seat which was 21F. The aircraft for today was VH-YIA (CN 37824) a Boeing 737-8FE. This the first time I have flown on this aircraft.
The last cabin door was closed at 5.53 and we pushed back at 5.59am. At 6.04 we began taxiing out for runway 19 holding short of the runway at Alpha 3. We lined up and commenced rolling getting airborne at 6.12am. Doing the usual left and right banks after take off we set course for Melbourne.
We were told prior to take off that due to strong headwinds our flying time would be 2 hours 25 minutes, 20 minutes more than usual. I decided to watch a movie so I chose Table 19; it was all set around a wedding and table 19 was were people they had to invited but didnt really want to sat. It had Anna Kendrick and Lisa Kudrow and it was a mixture or comedy and romance. I really enjoyed it.
As we climbed to flight level 380 our track took us west of Beaudesert and over Tenterfeild, over the top of Gunnedah and on to Parkes. Flying Qantas I was used to getting a full breakfast either before hand or on board the aircraft. I didnt have breakfast because I expected it on the flight down. Well was I wrong... I got a baby choc chip muffin and a cup of tea. I asked if they were serving breakfast and I was told I could choose something for purchase from the menu in my seat pocket. Well it was rubbish... cheese and crakers and a beer; a chocolate biscuit and a hot chocolate was another choice and so on... nothing like a museli or yoghurt or even a hot meal of some sort.. I paid full price for my ticket and got nothing.
As we commenced our descent at 8.02,  we continued on tracking just east of Narrandera, at a place called Tolleen we banked left and made our way south flying past the airport and turning back and landing from the south on Runway 34 at 8.36am.


Tuesday 25 July 2017

Scoot and Tigerair to merge from today

From today Scoot, Asia/Pacific’s low cost airline, is set to get bigger as Scoot and Tigerair (Singapore) complete their integration and operate all flights under the Scoot brand.
Since May 2016, Scoot and Tigerair has been working to integrate reservation systems, flight schedules and connections, conditions of carriage, check-in counters and call centres. Those integrations have now been completed.
Today Scoot and Tigerair will merge to operate under a single brand, Scoot. With the merger, Tigerair will operate under the Scoot brand, however the Scoot designator code (TZ) will be re-designated as TR. This merger is part of our long-term growth strategy and to enable a more seamless travel experience for all our guests.
From today
  • The Tigerair brand will be replaced with Scoot. Flight schedules (departure/arrival dates and times) will remain the same.
  • Your Scoot flights will depart as scheduled, however instead of TZ, the designator code will be TR.
With the merger, Scoot will operate two different fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliner (existing Scoot fleet) and Airbus 320 (Tigerair fleet repainted into Scoot livery). Some of our networks will be served by both fleets.

During the booking/flight selection process, the information of operating aircraft will be presented under the “Operated by” section:
  • The Airbus fleet will be indicated with either A320 or A319 (as repainting will be done in batches, guests may still be travelling in a Tigerair aircraft until the re-painting is completed);
  • The Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet will be indicated with either B787-9 or B787-8, and the 787 Dreamliner logo.
The Scoot website, is the sole booking platform for all flights operated by Scoot and Tigerair, and the Scoot call centre will also service bookings from both airlines. The existing Scoot-Tigerair check-in counters will also reflect a single Scoot brand.

Tigerair Taiwan and Tigerair Australia will continue to operate under the Tigerair brand.

Saturday 22 July 2017

On this day in History

On Sunday 22nd July 1973, (44 years ago today) at 10:06pm local time a PanAm flight (PA816) from Auckland (AKL) to San Francisco (SFO) via Papeete (PPT) and Los Angeles (LAX) crashed into the ocean on take off from Tahiti airport..
The Boeing 707 named "Clipper Winged Racer" took off from runway 04 at Tahiti's Fa'a'ā International Airport for it's second leg of the flight. The airplane climbed to a height of 300 feet and initiated a left turn. 3 km (1.9 miles) NE of Papeete-Faaa Airport it began to descend with an excessive bank turn and struck the sea. The wreckage sank into the 2,300 foot (700 metres) deep waters. Miraculously out of the 69 passengers and 10 crew 1 person survived the crash. He was Neil Campbell, a Canadian citizen.

PROBABLE CAUSE:  All though the reason for the crash was never known, as both the CVR and FDR were never recovered. It is considered that an instrument failure may have diverted the crew's attention during the turn. It was dark outside and the turn was made towards the sea. 

Aircraft Information

Aircraft: Boeing 707-321B
Operator: Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Registration: N417PA
Serial Number: 18959
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
First Flew: 25th Feb 1966
Age: 7 yrs old (at time of crash)
Test Registration:

Thursday 20 July 2017

Sydney - Wellcamp Trip

Well after spending a few very busy days here I am not sorry to be leaving.
The weather here has been horrible, even though the sky's have been clear and sunny the wind chill has been horrific.
My flight back to Wellcamp (Brisbane West) was due to leave at 5.20pm and boarding was at 5pm.
I decided to head off to the airport a bit early so I can get in a bit of spotting in before my flight.

QANTAS A380-841 VH-OQA (CN 014)

QANTAS B737-838 VH-VXQ (CN 33723)


UPS MD 11 N257UP (CN 484510

AIR CHINA A330-243 B-6081 (CN 839)


FEDEX MD 11 N582FE (CN 48420)


                AIR NEW ZEALAND A320-232 ZK-OJI (CN 2297)

After checking in and clearing security I made my way up to the Qantas museum to get the landing QATAR A380.

QANTAS A380-841 VH-OQK (CN 063)

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EET (CN 142)

QATAR A380-861 A7-APE (CN 181)

AIR CHINA A330-243 B-6081 (CN 839)

QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEI (CN 32913)

Around 4.50pm I went down to gate 17 but noticed there was no aircraft there yet, so I knew we were going to be late getting away. Due to the severe winds Sydney was down to one runway ops so aircraft were holding for some time before being able to land. Our aircraft got to the gate at 5.13pm.
We finally started boarding 40 minutes late at 5.40pm
The aircraft was a Dash 8 Q400 and the registration was VH-QOF (CN 4128) this is the first time i have been on this aircraft since i started recording registrations.
I took my seat which was 12D and to my surprise the flight was three quarter full.
The cabin door was closed at 5.52pm and we started engines at 5.53. We began taxiing at 5.58pm and taxiied out to runway 25. We held short for short time and then lined up, getting airborne at 6.04pm.

Our cruising altitude for tonights flight was 240 and the ride was very smooth and really comfortable.
Our track took us north over the city and up over Armidale and west of Glen Innes, then on to Wellcamp.
We began our descent at 6.52pm and landed at Wellcamp on runway 30 at 7.16pm.