Sunday, 31 January 2021

Five die, as Cuban military helicopter crashes

A Cuban military helicopter crashed in eastern Cuba on Friday afternoon, killing all five people on board, authorities said. The helicopter, a Mil Mi-8MTV-1, crashed against a hill after leaving eastern Holguin province for the neighboring Guantanamo province, the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces said in a brief statement. The identities of the victims have not been released. An investigation has been launched.


The last serious air accident in Cuba was in May 2018 when a plane crashed on take-off at Havana airport.
A total of 112 passengers died in that accident. One person survived.

There have been 1,167 occurrences in the safety database since January 1966 regarding the Mil Mi-8MTV-1

Aerogaviota is an airline based in Havana, Cuba. It operates domestic flights within Cuba as well as flights from Cuba to Jamaica. The Mil Mi-8MTV-1 was the only one they had.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Aerogaviota
Code: KG /GTV
Aircraft: Mil Mi-8MTV-1
Registration: CU-H1457
Serial Number:
Engines: 2 x 1,700 hp (1,300 kW) Klimov TV2-117A turboshaft engines.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Happy Birthday Hawaiian Air

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES A330-243 N378HA (CN 1615)  

Hawaiian Airlines, formerly known as Inter-Island Airways, was founded on the 30th January 1929. Inter-Island Airways, a subsidiary of Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, began operations later that year on the 6th October 1929, with a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker, (a six-seat utility aircraft) providing short sightseeing flights over Oʽahu. Scheduled service began a month later on the 11th November using Sikorsky S-38s with a flight from Honolulu to Hilo, via intermediary stops on Moloka'i and Maui. On the 1st October 1941, the name was changed to from Inter-Island Airways to Hawaiian Airlines when the company phased out the older Sikorsky S-38 and Sikorsky S-43 flying boats. The first Douglas DC-3s were added to the fleet in August 1941. Modern pressurised equipment was introduced from 1952 in the form of the Convair 340. Further Convair 440s were added in 1959-60, most of the Conair's being converted to turbine propeller power in 1965-67. The last were sold in 1974. Hawaiian Airlines started to offer jet service in 1966 with the acquisition of Douglas DC-9-10 aircraft, which cut travel times in half on most of its routes. 
In October 1929, a Bellanca monoplane offered sightseeing service for $5 per person (the original Bellanca has been restored in Oregon and is flying with them today). Their fleet consisted of two, 8-passenger Sikorsky S‑38 amphibian airplanes and the original Bellanca monoplane. In 1935 they added a 16-passenger Sikorsky S‑43s. in 1941 three new 24-passenger DC‑3s were flown in formation form Oakland, CA, to Honolulu in 13 hours and 54 minutes—then the longest over-water flight made by a DC‑3 at the time. In 1950 the National Safety Council presented Hawaiian Airlines with a 20-year award, the first airline in history to win this award. 1952 saw first pressurized, air-conditioned cabin service with 44-passenger Convair 340s, costing $520,000 each. 1973 saw the Pualani (flower of the sky) and new unified livery introduced, then in 2001 the Pualani logo and aircraft livery were updated for introduction of new fleet and is current today. 
Hawaiian Airlines is the flag carrier for Hawaii. It is the largest airline on the island of Honolulu and is the 10th largest commercial airline in the USA. The airline operates its main hub at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on the island of Oahu and a secondary hub out of Kahului Airport on the island of Maui. Hawaiian Airlines operates flights to Asia, American Samoa, Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, and the United States mainland. Hawaiian Airlines is owned by Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. of which Peter R. Ingram is the current President and Chief Executive Officer
Hawaiian is the oldest US carrier that has never had a fatal accident or a hull loss throughout its history, and frequently tops the on-time carrier list in the United States, as well as the fewest cancellations.
As of November 2020, the Hawaiian Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft: 

AircraftIn service Orders PassengersNotes
Airbus A321neo1816 44 129 189
Airbus A330-200 2418 68 192 278
Boeing 717-200198— 120 128
Boeing 787-910
Deliveries start in 2021
Options for 10 additional aircraft. 
The company slogan is Come Voyage with us - Hawaii starts here 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Brazil plane crash horror, four footballers and club president killed

Four Palmas players, their club president and pilot have been tragically killed in a runway plane crash as they prepared to travel from Porto Nacional-Associação Tocantinense de Aviação Airport (SWEJ) to Goiânia-Santa Genoveva Airport, GO (GYN/SBGO) for a last 16 fixture in the Brazilian cup. The Brazilian footballers and their club president were travelling to a cup match. The Palmas FR stars have been locally named as defensive midfielder Guilherme Noe, 28; left back Lucas Praxedes, 23; goalie Ranule Gomes dos Reis, 27; and striker Marcus Molinari, 23. They were killed alongside club president Lucas Meira, 32, and pilot Wagner Machado, 59, when their plane hit tragedy during take-off. The footballers had just joined the fourth-tier club and were yet to make their debuts. The plane, a Beechcraft 95 Barron, plunged to the ground and burst into flames at the end of the runway while taking off in the northern Brazilian state of Tocantins. They were on their way to the central region of Goiania to play a cup match against Vila Nova. Their club revealed after the tragedy they were travelling separately from the rest of the squad on a small private plane because they had tested positive for Covid-19 but had just reached their last day of self-isolation. According to the Brazilian aircraft register, the aircraft was not allowed to be used for air taxi purposes. The cause of the accident remains under investigation

Palmas Futebol e Regatas, usually known simply as Palmas, is a Brazilian football club from Palmas, Tocantins state.

Aircraft Information:
Owner: Construtora Meirelles Mascarenhas Ltda
Aircraft: Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron
Registration: PT-LYG
Serial Number: TC-2442
Age: 40 Yrs
Engines: 2 x Cont Motor IO-470-L


Tuesday, 26 January 2021


Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi! Oi! Oi!

Australia Day is the day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate being Australian and to acknowledge our history.

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on the 26th January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip. Australia is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin – are coastal cities, while its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known worldwide for its Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos, koala's and the platypus. Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. In present-day Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community. The meaning and significance of Australia Day has evolved over time. Unofficially the date has also been variously named "Anniversary Day", "Foundation Day" and "ANA Day". The date marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland). Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on the 26th January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. 
  • Australia’s population was 25,687,041 people at 30th June 2020.
Below is a state by state breakdown of attractions

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (Canberra(NSW) & (ACT) 
New South Wales is Australia's most populous state. The Harbour City of Sydney is Australia's largest city. The coast of New South Wales is lined with beach side communities, each one offering experiences for the traveller. A little inland are the mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains and Snowy Mountains, as well as the purpose built capital city of Canberra, excised from New South Wales. Further inland still expect sweeping plains, turning from agriculture to desert the further inland you venture. NSW has a population of 8,164,100.

Queensland (QLD) 
Here in Queensland we have a saying "Beautiful one day - Perfect the next" and that is exactly how Queensland is. Queensland has endless beaches with golden sand and crystal clear waters, clear blue sky's and lushes rain forests. Famous for its sunny warm weather, Queensland offers coastal exploration from the vibe of the Gold Coast to the tropics of the Great Barrier Reef to the bustling city of Brisbane. It is also home to tropical rainforests of the Daintree National Park, and the island resorts of the Whitsundays. Inland lies the ranges of the hinterland, and further on the vast expanses and beauty of outback Australia. They might call NSW the cockroach state but cockroach races are one of Brisbane’s biggest Australia Day events — The Story Bridge Hotel in Kangaroo Point has been hosting an annual cockroach race for 42 years and counting. Queensland has a population of 5,174,400

South Australia (SA) 
Renowned for the fine wines of the Barossa Valley, the beauty of the Flinders Ranges and the outback, the wildlife and nature on Kangaroo Island and the beaches and events and culture of the City of Churches, Adelaide. South Australia has a population of 1,769,300

Tasmania (TAS) 
Proud to say this is my home state. Tasmania is separated from the mainland by Bass Strait, Tasmania has rugged beauty of Cradle Mountain and the west, the beaches of the east, and the complete wilderness of the south. Hobart was the site of the second European settlement in Australia, and many historic sites like Port Arthur and Richmond are well preserved. Tasmania has a population of 540,600

Victoria (VIC) 
Small, vibrant and with something for everyone, Victoria has dramatic surf beaches along the southwest and central coast, green rolling farmland and photogenic national parks. The diversity of rural Victoria is very easy to access due in part to its size and well maintained roads. Australia and Victoria's sporting, shopping, fashion and food capital is Melbourne. Victoria has a population of 6,694,900 

Western Australia (WA) 
A vast state. The south-west contains the state capital and major city of Perth closely surrounded by the wildflower, wine growing and scenic destinations of Margaret River and Albany. In the far north are the tropics and the beach side destination of Broome. Small townships, roadhouses, mining communities and national parks scattered around the long distances between. Western Australia has a population of 2,661,900

Northern Territory (NT) 
From the red deserts surrounding Uluru and Alice Springs up to the tropics of Darwin and Kakadu National Park, the Northern Territory is stunningly beautiful. Northern Territory has a population of 246,200

Monday, 25 January 2021

Monday morning at Brisbane Airport

As tomorrow is a public holiday for Australia Day, I decided to take today off. Since I hadn't been to the airport spotting for some time, AND there was an Air India 787 on the ground heading to Sydney early this morning; I got up early and headed out to the airport, arriving there just after 5am. I had planned on staying until around 11am but heavy rain set in. Below are a few images I took .







JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFH (MSN 5211)

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFV (MSN 5858)




QANTAS B737-838 VH-VXC (MSN 30897)


REX SAAB 340B VH-ZLK (MSN 340B-381)


CESSNA 441 VH-VEJ (MSN 441-0249)

AIR INDIA B787-8 VT-ANZ (MSN 36297)


QANTAS B737-838 VH-XZJ (MSN 39365)





CATHAY A350-941 B-LRB (MSN 032)

QANTAS B737-838 VH-XZP (CN 44577)


Sunday, 24 January 2021

Emirates resume flights to Australia

EMIRATES B777-31H A6-ECV (MSN 35594)

Only last week (17th of January) I posted a story that Emirates had suspended flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane "until further notice" following a drastic reduction in the number of international passengers allowed to arrive in Australia.

The airline's last flights to and from those cities were as follows:
  • Dubai-Brisbane (EK430), January 16
  • Brisbane-Dubai (EK431), January 17
  • Dubai-Sydney (EK414), January 18
  • Sydney-Dubai (EK415), January 19
  • Dubai-Melbourne (EK408), January 19
  • Melbourne-Dubai (EK409), January 20
Well Emirates has just announced it will be resuming passenger flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane a week after announcing it was suspending the routes. The carrier hinted the original decision was due to the problems caused by new quarantine rules for staff rather than the national cabinet’s lowering of arrival caps, as initially thought. In December, NSW changed the rules so that crews from non-Australian airlines will have to stay in two police-supervised hotels. Victoria has followed with similar new restrictions. The old restrictions allowed airline employees to self-isolate at a designated location approved by the airline, so long as details were also shared with authorities. Crews could catch a taxi to their accommodation, providing they sat in the back and wore a mask. Emirates said it would restart Sydney flights from the 25th January, Melbourne flights from the 26th January, and Brisbane flights from the 28th January. “The pandemic has made international flying incredibly challenging, and the dynamic restrictions and requirements implemented by the different state authorities in Australia had added complexity and burden to our operations. This led us to temporarily suspend passenger services while we engaged with various stakeholders regarding crew protocols and other operational details,” Emirates said. “Following this engagement, we’ve made the decision to resume services with adjustments to our operations, so that we can continue serving our customers.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Virgin Orbit launched a rocket from Boeing 747-400…

VIRGIN ORBIT B747-41R N744VG (MSN 32745) 

Virgin Orbit, the California-based satellite launch company, confirmed that its Launcher One rocket reached space during the company’s second launch demonstration on the 17th January, successfully deploying 10 payloads for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP).

Virgin Orbit’s novel launch system uses a technique called air launch, in which a rocket is launched from under the wing of a jet aircraft (Boeing 747), rather than from a traditional launch pad on the ground. In addition to improving the payload capacity of the rocket, this technique allows the Launcher One system to be the world’s most flexible and responsive launch service — flying on short notice and from a wide variety of locations to access any orbit. 

For the picture-perfect mission, Virgin Orbit’s carrier aircraft, a customized 747-400 dubbed "Cosmic Girl" took off from Mojave Air and Space Port at approximately 10:50 A.M. and flew out to a launch site over the Pacific Ocean, about 50 miles south of the Channel Islands. After a smooth release from the aircraft, the two-stage rocket ignited and powered itself to orbit. At the conclusion of the flight, the Launcher One rocket deployed 10 CubeSats into the team’s precise target orbit, marking a major step forward for Virgin Orbit in its quest to bust down the barriers preventing affordable and responsive access to space. The payloads onboard Launcher One today were selected by NASA LSP as part of the agency’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). Nearly all of the CubeSat missions were designed, built and tested by universities across the U.S., including Brigham Young University (PICS), the University of Michigan (MiTEE), and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (CAPE-3).

This flight also marks a historical first: no other orbital class, air-launched, liquid-fueled rocket had successfully reached space before today.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Man 'lived undetected in Chicago airport for three months'

A Californian man who was "scared to go home because of Covid" lived undetected in Chicago's O'Hare Airport for three months, according to multiple reports. Aditya Udai Singh, 33, was arrested on Saturday morning local time at O'Hare and charged with impersonation in a restricted area of the airport and theft of less than $500, the Chicago Police Department confirmed to CNN. Singh appeared in bond court the following day where, according to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors said that Singh had arrived at O'Hare on a flight from Los Angeles on the 19th October 2019. He is then alleged to have lived undiscovered in the airport's security zone until his January 16 arrest.

Singh is reported to have been apprehended after being approached by two United Airlines employees who asked to see his identification. He's said to have then shown them an airport ID badge that belonged to an operations manager who had reported it missing in late October.
Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said in court that Singh claimed to have been "scared to go home due to Covid" and that other passengers had provided him with food, according to the Chicago Tribune. Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz expressed surprise at the unusual circumstances of the case, the newspaper reported. "So if I understand you correctly," Ortiz said, "you're telling me that an unauthorized, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O'Hare airport terminal from October 19, 2020, to January 16, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly." Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood told the court that Singh is a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of Orange and does not have a criminal background, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Singh's bail is said to have been set at $1,000, with the condition that he does not re-enter O'Hare Airport, and he is due back in court on the 27th January. O'Hare Airport is the busiest airport in the world for take-off's and landings, with pre-pandemic passenger numbers of 84.6 million per year.
CNN has contacted Cook County State Attorney's Office and Chicago Department of Aviation for comment.

Story sourced from here

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Qatar Airways to retire five A380s

QATAR A380-861 A7-API (MSN 235)          File Photo

Qatar Airways will retire five Airbus A380s – half of its fleet – with immediate effect, while a superjumbo-sized question mark remains hanging over the rest of the fleet. The decision sees the Oneworld member join the list of airlines which have either completely scrapped their A380s (Air France, Lufthansa) or plan to operate a pared-back fleet in future (Singapore Airlines, and Qantas). Qatar Airways' ten A380s have been grounded since March 2020, with airline CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker admitting in May 2020 that "they will not return for at least a year, and maybe never." "Never" is now the operative word for five of those A380s, and it could well extend to all of them. Speaking at a CAPA Live* online event overnight, Al Baker said of the A380s "we have decided that we will not operate them for the foreseeable future, and even when we operate them we will only operate half the numbers we have." Instead, Qatar's focus will shift to its single-deck Boeing 777 flagships plus the modern and more fuel-efficient Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. While Al Baker couched his decision in environmental terms – describing the A380 as "one of the worst aircraft when it comes to emissions that is flying today" – there's little doubt that the high cost of flying the double-decker jet in an era when it can't be filled with passengers adds an economic angle. The clock has been ticking on Qatar's Airbus A380 fleet for months now, with Al Baker telling Executive Traveller in late 2020 "I'm going to retire my A380s on their 10th anniversary". The Qatar Airways superjumbos arrived between September 2014 and April 2018, so "starting from the next four years, our first A380s will start going to the desert, because there is no point keeping these expensive gas guzzlers with very little return on our investment." This timeline was behind Qatar's decision not to upgrade the A380s from their previous-generation business class seat to the latest Qsuite. Once the pride of Qatar's fleet, the A380s were crowned with eight open first class suites, which Al Baker revealed to Executive Traveller "had a load factor of averaging never more than 55-60%." The A380 remains the only Qatar Airways aircraft featuring first class, and Al Baker has repeatedly voiced his belief that demand for first class is shrinking, based both on the premium price tag and how the airline's Qsuites have narrowed the gap between first and business. However the airline is developing a first class cabin for its forthcoming Boeing 777-9 jets to fill a gap in the high-end travel market once its Airbus A380s are retired.

*CAPA - Centre for Aviation is one of the world’s most trusted sources of market intelligence for the aviation and travel industry. Their unrivaled reputation for independence and integrity means you get the whole story, with powerful data and in-depth insights on the news, issues and trends that are shaping our industry. CAPA - Centre for Aviation

Story sourced from here with additions
Qatar Airways to retire five Airbus A380s, the rest remain in limbo - Executive Traveller

Monday, 18 January 2021

Philippine Air Force helicopter crash kills all 7 aboard

A Philippine Air Force helicopter, on a resupply mission for the Army’s 403rd Brigade in Malaybalay, crashed on Saturday afternoon in the mountains of Bukidnon province, killing all 7 military personnel on board. According to reports, the PAF helicopter, a Huey UH-1H with tail number 517, from the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, crashed in Sitio Nahigit, in Impasugong town, Bukidnon around 2:22 pm. The helicopter reportedly went "in nose dive position before hitting the ground." The helicopter tried to make an emergency landing after encountering engine problems but crashed in a mountainous area. "All passengers on the chopper died," said Philippine Army 4th Infantry Division public affairs chief Major Rodolfo Cordero. The Army's 8th Infantry Battalion (IB), 4th ID secured the crash site. The fatalities from the Air Force were: Lieutenant Colonel Arnie Arroyo, pilot in command; 2nd Lieutenant Mark Anthony Caabay, co-pilot; Staff Sergeant Mervin Bersabi, gunner/crew chief; Airman 1st Class Stephen Agarrado, gunner. The report said they were from the PAF Tactical Operations Group 10, based in Cagayan de Oro City. The killed Armymen were Sergeant Julius Salvador and Cafu Active Auxiliary Jerry Ayukdo. The seventh fatality was still unidentified, but was likely also an enlisted personnel because civilians are not allowed to board military aircraft in active combat zones. Senior Master Sergeant Teddy Jones Saliot of the Impasugong municipal police station said that the crash site was "geographically isolated area and 6 hours away from the town." To get to the crash site you go through a muddy road in Calabugao plains which borders Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur. The area is also thick forest and an ambush prone area." 


Sunday, 17 January 2021

Emirates suspends flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane

                                                          File Photo (Auckland 2018)

Emirates has suspended flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane "until further notice" following a drastic reduction in the number of international passengers allowed to arrive in Australia.

The airline's last flights to and from those cities are as follows:
  • Dubai-Brisbane (EK430), January 16
  • Brisbane-Dubai (EK431), January 17
  • Dubai-Sydney (EK414), January 18
  • Sydney-Dubai (EK415), January 19
  • Dubai-Melbourne (EK408), January 19
  • Melbourne-Dubai (EK409), January 20

However, the Gulf airline and Qantas partner is continuing its twice-weekly flights between Dubai and Perth. Emirates cited "operational reasons" for the sudden cancellations.

The airline's website advises that "customers holding tickets with final destinations Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will not be accepted for travel at their point of origin after the completion of the above flights. Affected customers should contact their travel agent or Emirates contact centre for rebooking options."
"Australia remains an important market for Emirates," a spokesperson for the airline told Executive Traveller. "We continue to serve Perth with twice-weekly flights and we are working hard to prepare for resumption of services to our other points.”

Another setback for stranded Aussies

The airline's decision represents a further setback for many of the 37,000 Australians overseas currently registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as wanting to return home.
Emirates has to date brought a steady flow of Australians home from overseas via its Dubai hub, with daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne, and five flights a week to Brisbane.
However, even under the previous cap of around 7,500 arrivals per week across all Australian airports, many airlines have been limited to between 30-50 passengers per flight, making the flights financially unviable.
As of January 15 the maximum number of weekly international arrivals was slashed to less than 5,000 "to manage the flow of returning Australians and other travellers who have been potentially exposed to the new variants" of coronavirus, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia have each halved their weekly arrivals limit to a total of 2,517 passengers per week. South Australia remains pegged at 490, while Victoria continues to operate at less than half of its capacity, with some 1,120 arrivals per week.
Although Emirates' move has sparked concerns that other airlines could also cut their flights to Australia, the absence of the Gulf carrier will also allow those airlines which continue to operate to carry more passengers on an average weekly basis.

Executive Traveller understands that the government is planning another round of subsidised flights from the UK, the USA and India over the coming weeks.

Full story sourced from here
Emirates cancels all flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane - Executive Traveller

Friday, 15 January 2021

Unresponsive Private Jet Prompted Sonic Boom Over England

A Bombardier private jet lost contact with air traffic control over UK airspace yesterday, forcing the Royal Air Force (RAF) to scramble two military jets in response. While intercepting the plane, the two RAF Typhoon jets broke the sound barrier, emanating a sonic boom that was heard across the East of England. The private jet in question is a Bombardier Global Express, registration D-AFAL (MSN  9016) owned by FAI Aviation Rent-A-Jet. The plane was en route to the UK from Nurnburg when its radio went silent about an hour into its flight, prompting the RAF to issue a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). Two RAF Typhoon jets, stationed at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, were sent to intercept the plane and broke the sound barrier in the process.

RAF jets intercepted the plane over UK airspace and escorted it to Stansted Airport. Photo:
According to the DailyMail, the jets recorded speeds of up to 1,150 MPH over Cambridge. The sonic boom occurred at approximately 13:05 local time and was heard across Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, and some areas of London and Kent. After the Bombardier jet was intercepted, it was escorted to Stansted Airport where it landed safely at 13:39.
The jet eventually made its way to Barbados
The Bombardier remained grounded at Stansted Airport for a couple of hours before Essex Police decided ‘all was found to be in order.’ The jet took off at 15:05 and flew to Birmingham, landing half an hour later. After an hour at Birmingham Airport, the plane took off again at 16:36 en route to Barbados. Over eight hours later, the plane touched down at Bridgetown, Barbados.
RAF procedures regarding unresponsive aircraft are extremely stringent, with jets on standby 24/7 throughout the year. After a rogue aircraft is identified, officers at the National Air Defence Operations Centre (NADOC), High Wycombe, decide if the threat level is sufficient before ordering military jets in the air.

Story sourced from here 

Thursday, 14 January 2021

All-women Indian Pilot Crew Makes History

AIR INDIA B787-8  VT-NAC (MSN 36299) 

An-all women Indian pilot crew has made history after operating the longest commercial flight operated by any Indian airline. The flight was from the first non-stop San Francisco-Bengaluru flight and lasted 17hrs. The flight crew was led by Captain Zoya Aggarwal who was joined by Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas in the cockpit. The flight was operated by a 777-200LR, registered as VT-ALG (MSN 36306). 
Flight AI176, which departed from San Francisco at 8:30 pm (local time) on Saturday, landed at Bengaluru Airport at 3:45 am (local time) on Monday.
The aircraft travelled over the north pole en route to Bengaluru.
India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri, congratulated the team on their journey saying
A moment to cherish & celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history, Heartiest Congratulations to Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani for flying over North Pole to land in Bengaluru from San Francisco.”

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

GOL Passenger Gets More Than He Paid For

GOL LINHAS AEREAS B737-MAX 8 PR-XMH (MSN 43993)        File Photo     

A passenger flying with Brazilian airline GOL has got more than he bargained for on his flight to Fortaleza. The passenger had a scorpion fall on his shoulder, which then stung him on his finger. While not a common situation, it’s not the first time scorpions have caused havoc on a commercial flight. Booking a ticket on a low-cost airline is a great way to get around for less. However, as one passenger has found out this week, cheap fares can sometimes come with a sting in the tail. A passenger flying on Brazilian airline GOL was enjoying his low-cost trip to Fortaleza when he was painfully stung by a scorpion. The passenger was flying with GOL Linhas Aereas from Campinas to Fortaleza on flight number 9185. Although GOL was famously the first airline in the world to resume Boeing 737 MAX flights, this was not a MAX aircraft he was on. Rather, it was a 13-year-old Boeing 737-8EH, registered PR-GTQ.
The traveler felt something fall onto his shoulder partway through the flight. Without thinking, he automatically raised his hand to brush it off. That’s when he felt a sting on the fingers of his left hand. Having discovered it was indeed a stowaway scorpion, the passenger was looked after by cabin crew until the aircraft landed. On arrival at the airport, a medical team saw to the passenger’s injuries. In a statement, the airline said,

“The passenger was treated by a medical team after landing at the airport in Fortaleza and was released without showing symptoms. The airline also points out that it has already carried out a reinforcement of the aircraft’s fumigation and that it has strict procedures for cleaning and sanitising its aircraft. GOL Linhas Aereas regrets what happened and informs that it is in contact with the Client to offer all the necessary support.” It is further reported that all passengers onboard the flight were advised not to open the overhead lockers until it was time to deplane. The airline says it has thoroughly fumigated the aircraft, and that others are being treated in the same manner.

While finding a scorpion on a plane is not an everyday occurrence, it’s not the first time it’s happened. In December 2019, a scorpion tucked itself away on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Atlanta. The arachnid proceeded to crawl up the trousers of a female passenger, stinging her on the leg. When she visited the bathroom to investigate the source of the sting, the creature fell out of her trousers.
In February of the same year, a scorpion was filmed crawling out of the overhead lockers on a Lion Air flight. The 12 inch long arachnid was thought to be an Asian Forest scorpion, one of the most aggressive scorpions in Indonesia.
While scorpions are terrifying for anyone to encounter, most do not deliver life-threatening stings. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are 1,500 species around the world, but only 30 are capable of causing serious injuries.

Story sourced from here