Saturday 31 July 2021

Parts of the first Airbus A380 to be sold for charity

Parts of the first Airbus A380 to enter passenger service are to be auctioned to raise money for charity. Aviationtag will sell ten of its tags made from the skin of 9V-SKA to raise funds for the victims of Germany’s catastrophic floods earlier this month.

SINGAPORE AIRLINES A380-841 9V-SKA (MSN003)     File Photo

The hobby of collecting pieces of planes has been growing in recent years. The sudden retirement of many iconic planes has partially driven this. However, now the process of selling such items has been given new meaning, as Aviationtag and boardbar are looking to sell such products to raise money for a good cause.
Ten tags available
When Aviationtag revealed that it was selling 7,000 tags made from the skin of the first passenger Airbus A380, the interest was understandably huge. The tags sold out faster than you can say Aviationtag, but it seems as though a couple weren’t sold after all. Specifically serial numbers 6,991 through 7,000.

The pieces are pretty unique. While most are the plain white of the Singapore Airlines livery, each tag is cut from a part of the skin that says “Cut Here In Emergency” in big red lettering. The most sought-after of these is expected to be the one with serial number 7,000. While bidding started at €1 last night, it was already up to €700 with nine days left at the time of writing. The auction will last for ten days, ending between 17:13 and 19:21 (CET) on August 8th. The items can be found on eBay here.

Aviationtag, Airbus A380, SkinTen tags, each containing emergency instructions, are being auctioned. Photo: Aviationtag
Together, the tags are already worth roughly €3,000, while a brand new aircraft catering trolley has a current bid of €805. The sale of the tags won’t benefit Aviationtags. Half of the money spent will be donated to the NRW Hilft campaign, while the remaining half will be given to the district of Ahrweiler. Ahrweiler was hit badly by the floods that have so far killed 177 in Germany.
About the aircraft

As mentioned, the tags came from 9V-SKA. This was the first Airbus A380 to be delivered to an airline and the first to retire. The aircraft took its first flight on May 7th, 2006. It was then given to Singapore Airlines on October 15th, 2007. It was the third A380 to be built and ended up being retired in 2017 after just ten years in service, according to data from

Not the only aviation company helping out
Aviationtag and boardbar aren’t the only aviation company helping out those who have lost everything due to the floods. Earlier this week, Boeing revealed that it would donate €500,000 to the American Red Cross to help with flood relief. The company contributed to help during Australia’s wildfires and gave more than €240,000 to German communities last year.

Story sourced from here

Friday 30 July 2021

Qantas auctioning A380 business class seats, private flight for points

Get ready for a bidding frenzy on Boeing 787 flight sim sessions, luxury New Zealand getaways and more.

QANTAS B787-9 VH-ZNG (MSN 36240)        File Photo

Ever wanted to deck out your den with a pair of A380 business class seats, charter a private plane for the day or learn how to pilot a Boeing 787 in a state-of-the-art flight simulator?
Those are some of the items going under the hammer when Qantas kicks off its new Points Auction initiative, with five unique experiences being sold for Qantas Points across the week commencing Monday the 2nd of August.

The online auction comes at a time when lockdowns prevent most of the estimated 14 million Qantas Frequent Flyer members from actually flying – although they're still continuing to pile up the points through on-the-ground activities such as groceries and online shopping. "Whilst travel remains the number one thing frequent flyers want to use their Qantas Points on once borders open up, we know that many are keen to use some points on unique, big-ticket items," reasons Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.

"Points Auction gives members the chance to bid on special experiences, and we expect these items to create a points bidding frenzy." One item will be auctioned off each day from  the 2nd of August to the 6th of August; bidding will start at 9am (AEST), and closes with the highest bid placed by 9pm.

So what's up for grabs?

Bidding opens 9am Monday August 2nd for the Qantas Boeing 787 flight simulator experience.

This 2.5 hour session for two people is under the personal instruction of one of the airline's most experienced captains (Qantas Fleet Operations Manager Lisa Norman or Qantas Chief Technical Pilot Alex Passerini. Qantas says this has a nominal value of over $3,000; bidding will take off from 50,000 Qantas Points, and it's sure to be fierce!

There's also a pair of Airbus A380 Skybed II business class seats – yes, the original Qantas superjumbo seats designed by Marc Newson.

In the interest of full disclosure, Qantas warns "the built-in screens don't work outside of the plane, but picture this: reclining on a Skybed in your media room, sipping champagne, watching the latest TV series. They’ll be the hottest seats in the house." Bidding opens at 350,000 Qantas Points.

Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries or a getaway without any reason at all, there's also a one-day return trip on a Qantas Dash-8 turbo prop for up to 30 people. There's full hospitality onboard, with lounge access prior to your departure, and a choice of three itineraries: Sydney to Byron Bay, Melbourne to Devonport, and Brisbane to Hamilton Island. The starting bid of 1.2 million Qantas Points may sound steep but it works out to be just 40,000 points per person.

Rounding out the Qantas Points Auction launch week is a luxury holiday for four people to Queenstown including business class flights, three nights in the penthouse of the five-star Eichardt Private Hotel overlooking Lake Wakatipu and a three-hour superyacht private dining cruise.

Qantas values this glam getaway at over $50,000, but bidding opens at just 300,000 Qantas Points.
Finally, up to 20 kids can enjoy a coaching clinic with Socceroos' head coach Graham Arnold, with bidding kicking off at 100,000 Qantas Points.

Qantas says that based on the success of this first Points Auction, it will look at "sourcing more unique items exclusive to its members to be auctioned off throughout the year."

For full details, visit the Qantas Points Auction website.

Full story sourced from here

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Four dead as jet bursts into flames after crashing in California

A jet travelling from Coeur D'Alene Airport, ID (COE/KCOE), United States of America to Truckee Airport, CA (TKF/KTRK), United States of America has crashed near a Californian golf course resulting in the horrific death of all its passengers on Monday, as the jet burst into flames and started a small wildfire upon collision with a thicket of pine trees. The Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 605 had two crew members and two passengers on board at the time of the crash near Ponderosa Golf Course in Truckee, California on the 26th July.
“There’s not much intact at the crash site,” Nevada County Sheriff Shannon Moon said.
The cause of the crash remains unclear, though the Federal Aviation Administration stated that the plane was attempting to land at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport when they crashed, according to NBC News.

The jet reportedly narrowly missed a nearby residential area. Bystanders in the area saw the plane crash with their own eyes, and many were left shocked by the unfortunate incident. A giant fireball up to 60-70 feet high was witnessed by at least one resident, while many others in the vicinity saw or heard the plane crash. “We started hearing the plane coming in and I said that’s too low there’s something obviously wrong,” Truckee resident Jesse Quay told CBS affiliate KPIX. “It clipped a tree and blew up.” The aircraft crashed at 1:18 p.m. on Monday and is reported to have started a small wildfire that the authorities responded to promptly with fire engines, thus keeping the area from any further unnecessary casualties.

The FAA released a report on Tuesday that says there were two passengers and two crew members inside of the doomed jet. The names of the four deceased have not yet been released, possibly for the privacy of their families. Michael Kennedy, a pilot in the area at the time, told the Sacramento Bee that the area where they were attempting to land was known to be dangerous.

“It’s like the vortex of insane weather where it can look and appear clear, and you’re getting shoved into the ground from a wind shear that you’re not aware of and that no instrument can predict, or a microburst, which makes it very challenging,” Michael Kennedy told reporters.

Aircraft Information:
Operator/Owner: Tarco Aircraft Funding LLC
Aircraft: Bombardier CL-600-2B16 Challenger 605
Registration: N605TR
Serial Number: 5715
Engines: 2 General Electric CF34-3B
First Flew: 2008
Age: 13 Yrs


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

Saturday 17 July 2021

Remembering TWA Flight 800, 25 years later

On the 17th July 1996, at about 8:31 p.m. EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on a scheduled international passenger flight to Rome, Trans World Airlines Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 13 km (8.1 miles) S off East Moriches, New York. The flight was scheduled to depart New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK), United States of America for Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG), France about 19:00; however, the flight was delayed because of a disabled piece of ground equipment and concerns about a suspected passenger/baggage mismatch. The aircraft was pushed back from gate 27 about 20:02. Between 20:05 and 20:07, the flight crew started the Nos. 1, 2, and 4 engines and completed the after-start checklist. The flight crew then received taxi instructions and began to taxi to runway 22R. While the airplane was taxiing, about 20:14, the flight crew started the No. 3 engine and conducted the delayed engine-start and taxi checklists. At 20:18:21, ATC advised the pilots that the wind was out of 240-degrees at 8 knots and cleared flight 800 for takeoff. Shortly after takeoff there was an explosion and all 230 people on board died in the crash. It is the third-deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history. Accident investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) traveled to the scene, arriving the following morning amid speculation that a terrorist attack was the cause of the crash. Consequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New York Police Department Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) initiated a parallel criminal investigation. Sixteen months later, the JTTF announced that no evidence of a criminal act had been found and closed its active investigation.

The four-year NTSB investigation concluded with the approval of the Aircraft Accident Report on August 23, 2000, ending the most extensive, complex and costly air disaster investigation in U.S. history at that time. The report's conclusion was that the probable cause of the accident was explosion of flammable fuel vapors in the center fuel tank. Although it could not be determined with certainty, the likely ignition source was a short circuit. Problems with the aircraft's wiring were found, including evidence of arcing in the Fuel Quantity Indication System (FQIS) wiring that enters the tank. The FQIS on Flight 800 is known to have been malfunctioning; the captain remarked on "crazy" readings from the system approximately two minutes and thirty seconds before the aircraft exploded. As a result of the investigation, new requirements were developed for aircraft to prevent future fuel tank explosions.

Aircraft Information
Airline: TWA (Trans World Airways)
Code: TW/TWA
Aircraft: Boeing 747-131
Registration: N93119
Serial Number: 20083
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7AH
First Flew: 18/08/1971
Age: 25 Yrs Old

Remembering Malaysia flight MH 17


Malaysia flight MH 17 (codeshare with KLM Flight 4103) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam (AMS/EHAM) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL/WMKK) and was shot down on the 17th July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
The incident was and still is the deadliest airliner shootdown incident to date. All 283 passengers and 15 crew died. The crew were all Malaysian, while over two-thirds (68%) of the passengers were Dutch. Most of the other passengers were Malaysians and Australians, the remainder were citizens of 7 other countries. At least twenty family groups were on the aircraft and eighty passengers were under the age of 18.

Nation Number 
Netherlands 193
Malaysia 43
Australia 27
Indonesia 12
United Kingdom 10
Germany 4
Belgium 4
Philippines 3
Canada 1
New Zealand 1
Total 298 

On the 19th June 2019, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service charged four people with murder in connection with the shooting down of the aircraft: three Russians, Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, and Igor Pulatov, and one Ukrainian, Leonid Kharchenko. International arrest warrants were issued in respect of each of the accused. Their trial in absentia is scheduled to be held on the 9th March 2020 in the District Court of The Hague.

MH 17 was operated by a Boeing 777-2H6ER registration 9M-MRD (CN 28411). MRD was the 84th Boeing 777 produced, it first flew on the 17th July 1997, exactly 17 years before the incident, and was delivered new to Malaysia Airlines on the 29th July 1997. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines and carrying 280 seats (33 business and 247 economy), the aircraft had recorded more than 76,300 hours in 11,430 cycles before the crash.


Friday 16 July 2021

Airbus A380 flights to Sydney / Melbourne

CHINA SOUTHERN A380-841 B-6139 (MSN 088)

China Southern Airlines resumed A380 services to Sydney last weekend. The airline once offered multiple daily services to Sydney, most flights using the A380s. Now, China Southern Airlines is down to one flight a week. That flight had lately been operated by Airbus A350-900 aircraft. But last weekend, China Southern began using one of its A380s again. B-6139 was the operating aircraft. Like all Chinese airlines with international networks, China Southern Airlines is only allowed to fly once a week on each of its international routes. The Chinese Government sets that rule under a so-called “Five One” policy administered by the Civil Aviation Administration of China. At the other end of this route, the Australian Government has capped the number of passengers allowed to arrive in the country each week. Just 3,035 passengers are allowed to fly to Australia on scheduled airline flights each week. Of that number, 1,505 passengers can arrive in Sydney. 

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EDO (MSN 057)

In a rare bit of airline optimism, Dubai-based Emirates has flagged the resumption of regular Airbus A380 flights to their key Australian destinations of Sydney and Melbourne later this year. Once ubiquitous at both airports, the Emirates A380 is now an unusual sight in Australia. That is set to change in December. Emirates has maintained flights to Australia since the start of the travel downturn. But the airline has downsized its schedules, aircraft types, and network in Australia. Except for occasional visits, the once familiar Emirates A380s have disappeared from Australian skies.

It’s a big downgrade from 2019. Then, larger airports like Sydney and Melbourne would see several Emirates flights each day. A380s operated many of those flights. These days Emirates sends one of its Boeing 777s down to Sydney (SYD) four times a week, Melbourne (MEL) three times a week, Brisbane (BNE) twice a week, and Perth (PER) twice a week. Emirates flights to Adelaide (ADL) remain suspended.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Passengers ordered to put their hands on their heads and flight attendants duct-taped a first class passenger to her seat

AMERICAN AIRLINES A321-231 N107NN (MSN 5938)      File Photo

In the latest of a series of high-profile disruptive passenger incidents on American Airlines this week, flight attendants duct-taped a first class passenger to her seat after she physically attacked them and tried to open the plane’s door. Multiple media reports are circulating concerning American Airlines Flight AA1774 from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW/KDFW) to Charlotte (CLT/KCLT) on Tuesday, July 6. The female passenger reportedly had an inflight mental breakdown. She assaulted and bit a flight attendant and attempted to open the forward boarding door.

On a different flight on Tuesday, AA2289, operating between Los Angeles (LAX/KLAX) and Miami (MIA/KMIA), the flight crew ordered passengers to put their hands on their heads for nearly an hour before the plane landed. Upon landing, police armed with machine guns boarded the aircraft to arrest a passenger.
The arrest happened when 2289 landed in Miami (flight landed at 4:42 ET). Passengers were ordered to put their hands on their heads for 45-60 minutes before landing. Strangely, passengers were repeatedly told not to film on the plane.

On Monday, July 5, a group of teenage high school students traveling on American Airlines Flight 893 from Charlotte (CLT/KCLT) to Nassau (NAS/MYNN) were non-compliant with federal mask requirements. American Airlines says they became disruptive to other customers and refused to follow crew member’s instructions while onboard. As a result, American Airlines removed the students from the plane. However, the flight was delayed overnight in Charlotte as a result.

Story sourced from here

Monday 12 July 2021

National Air cargo delivers goods for Talisman Sabre 2021

Yesterday I took my family on a 40 minute drive out to Amberley Airforce base to catch the departure of a National Air cargo Boeing 747-400. The Queen of the skies, which is a very rare site here in Brisbane, came in to Amberley delivering freight for Talisman Sabre which kicks off this week. 

Talisman Sabre 21 is the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and United States (US) military. It is designed to test our respective forces in planning and conducting Combined and Joint Task Force operations and improve the combat readiness and interoperability between Australian and US forces.

Occurring every two years, Talisman Sabre reflects the closeness of our alliance and strength of our enduring military relationship.

TS21 is the ninth iteration of the exercise and consists of a Field Training Exercise incorporating force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvre, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations.


TS21 exercise activities are planned to occur in inland Queensland including Hughenden, the Charters Towers region, ADF Townsville Field Training Area (TFTA), Atherton and Mareeba coastal locations including Bundaberg, Stanage Bay peninsular, ADF Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA), Bowen, Proserpine, Ingham region, Lucinda, Forest Beach, ADF Cowley Beach Training Area (CBTA), Innisfail, Cairns and RAAF Scherger, as well as Evans Head in NSW.

Townsville will see increased military presence over this time, mainly at Lavarack Barracks and RAAF Townsville, and on the roads between there and Charters Towers.

TS21 will run from late June to mid-August 2021, this time frame includes the initial surge of equipment and people and their subsequent departure after the exercise. Exercise activities will peak during 18-31 July 2021.

Information sourced from here 

There is another National 747 inbound to Amberley today arriving around 3pm. N702CA is doing this run

Sunday 11 July 2021

Teenager 'tries to grab plane controls and crash' as passengers watch on in terror

Jaden Lake-Kameroff, 18, asked if he could sit up at the front in the co-pilot seat - but after his request was denied he allegedly sent the plane nosediving with five people on board. The teenage boy has been arrested in Alaska after allegedly grabbing the controls of a plane and trying to crash it to the ground in a desperate struggle with the pilot. Jaden was one of five passengers aboard the small Cessna Caravan flying from Bethel (BET/PABE) to Aniak (ANI/PANI) last Wednesday. The commercial flight was about five miles from the airport when Lake-Kameroff made the frightening move around 2.44pm Wednesday. The aircraft was between 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the ground.

The plane was sent on a terrifying full nosedive when the teenager allegedly jumped up from his seat and grabbed the yoke - a wheel used to control altitude. With the help of other passengers, the pilot was eventually able to wrestle back control as the plane hurtled towards the ground. The plane was in the process of landing and about five miles from the airport when the incident occurred. It reached its destination safely where the 18-year-old was arrested. Lake-Kameroff now faces charges of terroristic threatening, assault and attempted assault, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety. According to an affidavit by trooper Jason Bohac, Lake-Kameroff said he wanted to end his life on the plane. He had initially asked the pilot to fly earlier than scheduled and then said he wanted to sit up at the front in the co-pilot seat, according the document. When both requests were denied, he left his seat and attempted to send the plane crashing to the ground, the affidavit states.

One passenger, identified as Alice Samuelson, told Bohac the teenager seemed to have severe anxiety before boarding the plane. She said he was eventually restrained by other people on the plane.  Lee Ryan, president of Ryan Air, the company that operated the flight, said the passenger "was in the second row of seats and kind of just reached over the copilot seat and briefly grabbed control of the aircraft." The pilot moved the passenger back and regained control of the aircraft "very professionally", Ryan said.

Lake-Kameroff was arrested by state troopers and charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, five counts of first-degree attempted assault and four counts of third-degree assault.

Saturday 10 July 2021

Plane carrying skydivers crashes on take-off from Swedish airport

A skydiving plane with nine people on board has crashed outside Orebro, Sweden, with police confirming all onboard were killed. Swedish officials said multiple people have died in a "very severe accident" when a small airplane crashed and caught fire outside the city of Orebro on Thursday. The de Havilland Canada DHC-2T Turbo Beaver came down roughly 100 metres away from Örebro-Bofors Airport (ORB/ESOE) immediately after taking off. Paramedics rushed to the scene of the incident around 7.20pm. Media reports stated that eight skydivers were on board, plus the pilot. At least one person was rescued from the crash site and taken to hospital with serious injuries, Sweden's Expressen newspaper reported.
Orebro is the sixth largest city in Sweden with around 124,000 people and the capital of Orebro County. The city's airport is the fourth-largest cargo airport in Sweden.

Orebro is located near the lake of Hjalmaren in the south of the country, 211 kilometers (131 miles) west of the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Skånes Fallskarmsklubb operates skydiving courses from May to October through a collaboration with Örebro parachute club which was founded in 1976 . 

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Skånes Fallskarmsklubb
Aircraft: de Havilland Canada DHC-2T Turbo Beaver
Registration: SE-KKD
Serial Number: 1629 TB 17


Friday 9 July 2021

American Airlines passenger detained after escaping from the emergency exit

An American Airlines passenger activated the emergency exit and escaped after the flight was cancelled and there wasn’t an employee to deploy the jet bridge. American Airlines flight AA2396 was scheduled to depart from Charlotte (CLT/KCLT) to Baltimore (BWI/KBWI) at 8:55 on Thursday, but the flight was cancelled after 172 passengers and six crew had boarded the plane. Due to extreme weather, many other flights were cancelled. Bradon Goldner, a reporter at charlotte’s WCNC who was in the emergency exit row, said, “The guy couldn’t take it anymore. He crawled over us and opened the emergency exit to let himself out.” The passenger was caught nearby the jet bridge and was immediately detained by American Airlines employees and then placed into custody by Charlotte Mecklenburg police. The passengers spent a further 40 minutes on the plane and finally deplaned. American Airlines confirmed that all the passengers were rebooked on alternate flights. 

Many other flights were also cancelled that day as extreme weather was reported through mid­­ ­­­Atlantic and the northeast. This incident affected many other flights as thousands of people were delayed. AA alone had over 1000 people delayed at Charlotte Douglas.

Story sourced from here

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Plane with 28 people on board has crashed near sea

An Antonov An-26, operated by the Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, crashed while on approach to Palana Airport on the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia. The aircraft was travelling from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport (PKC/UHPP), Russia to Palana Airport (UHPL), Russia when it impacted the top of a cliff. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Antonov An-26 turboprop aircraft which was flying over the remote Kamchatka peninsula, in Russia’s Far East. It had 28 people on board, a six-year-old girl was among those travelling on the flight when the aircraft crashed while making a second approach to land.

Russian officials are investigating whether the plane’s crash was the result of safety rule violations or bad weather conditions. The Federal Air Transport Agency told Moscow daily RBK that heavy clouds and fog were reported around the area. Two helicopters and an aircraft were involved in search operations. Wreckage of the plane was found on a hillside and in the Sea of Okhotsk but darkness fell in the east of Russia, preventing a thorough search until morning. Scorched grass can be seen at what searchers say was the impact point as the plane flew too low on its second approach to the small village airport. The plane crashed on the shore which it should have cleared with a height of some 1,900 ft on approach to the destination.

Parts of the plane’s stabiliser were found on a hill, while the tail was located on a cliff, said the report.
Other parts of the aircraft were ”washed into the sea” and the aircraft was “completely destroyed”, it was reported.  “One part of the An-26 fuselage was located on the slope of Pyatibratka Hill, the second was seen in the sea about four kilometres from the coast.”
Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise is a small local carrier, serving routes to remote towns and cities, using a handful of Soviet and Czechoslovak planes from the Communist-era.

The An-26 is a twin-engined turboprop designed in the Soviet Union, back in the 1960s. It entered service in 1970 and production halted in 1986. Hundreds remain in use, primarily by military operators.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise
Code: PTK
Aircraft: Antonov An-26B-100
Registration: RA-26085
Serial Number: 12310
First Flew: 1982
Age: 39 Yrs
Callsign: Petrokam


Tuesday 6 July 2021

Philippine troop plane crash kills 45

A Philippines Air Force troop plane travelling from Cagayan de Oro-Lumbia Airport (CGY/RPML) Philippines to Jolo Airport (JOL/RPMJ), Philippines has crashed in flames killing 45 people after some jumped from the fuselage in the country's worst military air disaster in nearly 30 years. Pictures from the scene on Sunday showed flames and smoke pouring from wreckage strewn among trees as men in combat uniform milled around, while a column of thick black smoke rose from the coconut palms into the sky. The Lockheed C-130 transport aircraft carrying troops bound for counter-insurgency operations crashed with 96 aboard shortly before noon on Sunday at Bangkal village in Sulu province. The plane had attempted to land at Jolo airport, but overshot the runway. It failed to regain enough power and height and crashed.

"A number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash," the Joint Task Force Sulu said in a statement. Military chief Cirilito Sobejana said the plane had "missed the runway trying to regain power". The army in the sprawling Philippine archipelago has been fighting a long war against Islamist militants from Abu Sayyaf and other factions.

Forty-two bodies were retrieved and 49 people were taken to hospital, leaving five military personnel unaccounted for, the military said in the statement, adding there was still hope for survivors. Three civilians on the ground were also killed, and four were injured, a spokesperson for the Department of National Defence said. A military spokesman, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, said there was no sign of any attack on the plane, but a crash investigation had yet to begin and efforts were focused on rescue and treatment.

The military command said the soldiers aboard had the rank of private, and were being deployed to their battalions. They were flying to the provincial airport of Jolo from Laguindingan, about 460 km to the northeast. "They were supposed to join us in our fight against terrorism," said Commander William N. Gonzales of Joint Task Force Sulu.

Jolo airport has a 1,200-metre runway that usually takes civilian turboprop flights though occasionally some military flights, according to a Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesperson.

Jolo island, part of the Sulu archipelago, is about 950 km south of the capital, Manila.

The Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft, with registration 5125, had only recently arrived in the Philippines. It was one of two aircraft provided by the US government through the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, a government website said in January. It quoted an air force spokesman as saying the aircraft would boost capability for heavy airlift missions.

The website said the plane that crashed had first flown in 1988. The model is a workhorse for armed forces around the world. The Philippines armed forces have a patchy air safety record. Last month a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training mission, killing six people. A Philippines Air Force C-130 crash in 1993 killed 30 people. A 2008 crash of the civilian variant of the Lockheed plane flown by the Philippines Air Force killed 11 people, the Aviation Safety Network says.

The country's worst plane crash was that of an Air Philippines Boeing 737 in 2000, which killed 131 people.

Aircraft Information:
Owner / Operator: Philippine Air Force
Aircraft: Lockheed C-130H Hercules
Registration: 5125
Serial Number: 5125
First Flew: 1988
Age: 33 Yrs


Story sourced from here
Philippine troop plane crash kills 45 |

Monday 5 July 2021

Light plane crash in Australia's Hunter Valley

A person is dead and another has been flown to hospital with serious burns after a light plane crashed in a paddock in NSW’s Hunter Valley. A NSW Ambulance spokesman said two people were on board the aircraft which is believed to have gone down in Goorangoola, about 50km east of Muswellbrook.

It is believed the aircraft was a gyrocopter. Five ambulance crews and the Westpac rescue helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

NSW Ambulance then confirmed via social media that a person had died.

“One person has tragically died in the accident. A second person is being transported to Royal North Shore Hospital by the @WRHS_official with serious burns,” the tweet read.

The airlifted person’s condition is not yet known however it is believed the burns are severe and require attention at Royal North Shore Hospital’s burns unit.


Australian Airlines offer free flights for vaccinated Australians

Airlines are putting prizes up for grabs to encourage Aussies to get their jabs.

Virgin Australia will join Qantas in offering free flights as an incentive for Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Under the airline’s VA-X & Win promotion, there'll be a major prize of one million Velocity Frequent Flyer points, "dozens of free business class flights" plus a range of other prizes. The competition will launch later this year, once all Australian adults are expected to be eligible for the vaccine. “What the latest lockdown in Melbourne has taught us, is the sooner we can all get vaccinated, the sooner we can get on with our lives, without the constant fear and uncertainty that come with lockdowns, restrictions and closed borders,” a Virgin Australia spokesman said.

Qantas is expected to reveal full details of its own vaccination contest in coming weeks, but group CEO Alan Joyce has already promised 10 ‘mega-prizes’ of one year of unlimited free economy flights a family of up to four. Discounts on regular flight bookings plus free serves of Qantas Points and status credits could also be offered to Australians who are fully vaccinated by the end of 2021.

Qantas will offer 10 'mega prizes' of a year of free flights for Australians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021. Also on offer could be discounts on regular flight bookings and potentially 1,000 Qantas Points plus status credits as the airline seeks to spearhead a push for vaccination incentives by Australia's largest companies.

"We're going to offer 10 'mega-prizes', at least one for each state and territory, where you will get for a year, for a family of four, unlimited travel anywhere on the Qantas and Jetstar network," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirmed on Nine's Today show on Monday morning. The trips would be in economy class and each of the ten winners would also receive one million Accor ALL points to use for booking accommodation.

Joyce said the program would launch in July, "will include anybody that has already been vaccinated (and) will apply to anybody that's vaccinated through to the end of 2021." 
"To really help with that vaccine we are putting this discount for people who have taken the vaccine (and) we're looking at giving 1,000 points
flight vouches and status credits," Joyce added.

"I'm encouraging a Team Australia moment for every other corporate to help with this vaccine rollout and to reward people that have had the vaccine." Joyce also suggested that widespread vaccination in the USA and the UK could see Qantas restart flights to those key markets sooner rather than later, and certainly ahead of the Government's proposed mid-2022 timeframe.

Sunday 4 July 2021

Some foreign airlines could suspend Australian flights

There are concerns that some overseas airlines will suspend Australian flights owing to the 50% cut in passenger arrivals. International airlines will be forced to re-evaluate flying to Australia for at least the next six months, following today's decision by the federal government to halve the number of overseas passengers allowed into the country. Prime Minster Scott Morrison said today that international arrivals to Australia will be limited to just over 3,000 passengers per week – down from a current cap of 6,000 – until early 2022, although home quarantine would be trialled for vaccinated travellers later this year.

While Morrison said the measure was a necessary response to containing the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, it could see several foreign airlines cease flying to Australia entirely until those caps are lifted sometime in 2022. The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, which represents 33 major international carriers who in normal times operate 90% of all international passenger flights to the country, warned that some airlines could have no choice but to pull the plug.

Under the previous 6,000 passengers per week cap, several of the world's largest airlines – among them Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways – could typically carry around 35 travellers (around 10% of their total capacity) on each flight to Australia. "Despite all the effort they've put in, it gets to a point where the only rational response is to suspend operations to Australia, perhaps for a very long period of time," BARA executive director Barry Abrams said in a media statement.

"There'll be a reduction in the level of connectivity available to Australians overseas to get home."

The government plans to boost the number of underwritten flights which operate as charter services – the bulk of which have been flown by Qantas – and arrive at Darwin's dedicated Howard Springs quarantine facility, which is now said to have ample spare capacity. "There will be a decrease in the commercial arrivals but an increase in what are called the facilitated arrivals to Howard Springs in the Northern Territory," noted Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt

"We know that some of those flights have in fact been under-subscribed in recent weeks so there is that capacity to bring additional Australians home via Howard Springs."

However, Morrison has acknowledged that the additional repatriation flights "obviously can't fully ameliorate the impact of the reduction of 50%, particularly out of Sydney."
Airlines study impact of 50% cut to arrivals. A spokesperson for Singapore Airlines told Executive Traveller that the airline "will continue to work closely with the Australian authorities to determine what, if any impact, the reduction in caps has on our operations to Australia."

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have remained steadfast in our commitment to ensure Australia remains connected to the world via our Singapore hub." "We remain committed to the Australian market and will remain nimble and flexible in the deployment of capacity to ensure it meets demand and is commercially sustainable."

For carriers like Singapore Airlines, flights to Australia are these days more about cargo than passengers. "By carrying cargo at least there's some revenue we can earn, even though there are almost no passengers travelling," Louis Arul, Singapore Airlines' regional vice president South West Pacific, told Executive Traveller last month.

Under a new four-stage plan for Australia's recovery from the pandemic, which Morrison described as "the pathway out of COVID-19", Phase 2 – which isn't expected to begin until 2022 – will see limits on inbound unvaccinated passengers return to their previous levels, although there would be "larger caps for vaccinated returning travellers."

"New reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated residents" would be introduced, such as home isolation, which will be trialled in Adelaide later this year.

Story sourced from here

Saturday 3 July 2021

Pilots rescued after cargo plane crashes in ocean off Hawaii

A cargo plane travelling from Honolulu-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, HI (HNL/PHNL), to Kahului Airport, HI (OGG/PHOG) crashed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii early Friday and both people on board have been rescued. The pilots of the Transair Flight 810 reported engine trouble and were attempting to return to Honolulu when they were forced to land the Boeing 737 in the water, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.
The aircraft took off from runway 08R at Honolulu-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 01:33 hours local time. After takeoff the flight reported engine issues and the flight crew initiated a turn back to the airport, receiving vectors from ATC. The flight reported failure of engine no.1 and difficulty in maintaining altitude. Unable to see the airport, the flight crew was issued heading directions from ATC. After ATC got a low altitude alert from the flight, the controller suggested diverting to Kalaeloa Airport, which was closer by. Unable to reach the airport, the aircraft was ditched at 01:45 hours.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Karin Evelyn said in an email that they received a report around 1:48 a.m. of a downed inter-island transport plane. About an hour later, rescuers in a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter spotted the debris field and two people in the water. One person was hoisted into the helicopter and taken to Queen’s Medical Center. The Honolulu Fire Department rescued the other person, she said. Their identities were not immediately released. Queen’s officials said a 58-year-old was in the intensive care unit in critical condition, according to Hawaii News Now. A boat brought the other 50-year-old to shore before being transported to the hospital in serious condition with a head injury and multiple lacerations, Hawaii News Now reported. The plane debris remains and the Coast Guard will evaluate the pollution at first light.

According to audio captured by, the pilots told the controller on duty, “Rhoades 810, we’ve lost an engine. We’re on a 220 heading”. Several minutes later, the pilot reported, “we’ve lost number one engine, we’re coming straight to the airport, we’re going to need the fire department, there’s a chance we’re going to lose the other engine, it’s running very hot… it doesn’t look good here you may want to let the coastguard know as well.”  The aircraft was cleared to fly direct to the airport with a landing on any runway authorized when it became clear that the aircraft was falling. Shortly afterward, the controller could be heard telling another aircraft, “It looks like they went down in the water”.

According to the state Department of Transportation, the plane debris was found about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) off Oahu. The plane was flying from Honolulu to Kahului. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB said in a tweet that it will send a team of seven investigators.

The plane involved in Friday’s incident is a 46-year-old Boeing 737-200, a much earlier version of the 737 than the Max, and one that U.S. airlines no longer use for passenger flights. There are fewer than 60 737-200s still flying worldwide, according to aviation-data researcher Cirium. The Boeing 737 first flew in the late 1960s and is the most popular airline plane still in production. Boeing has delivered more than 10,500 of them and has unfilled orders for about 4,000 more, almost all of those for the latest version of the plane, the 737 Max.

Over the years, about 200 737s have been destroyed in crashes and several hundred others have been involved in less serious accidents and incidents, according to the Aviation Safety Network database. “For a jet that has been in production for so long and is being used so extensively, 203 hull-loss accidents can be considered a very good safety record,” said Harro Ranter, who runs the database. He said the plane’s accident rate improved dramatically from the first models to more recent ones that preceded the Max.

Boeing said in a statement: “We are aware of the reports out of Honolulu, Hawaii and are closely monitoring the situation. We are in contact with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and are working to gather more information.”

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Transair
Code: T4/RDS
Aircraft: Boeing 737-275C
Registration: N810TA
Serial Number: 21116
First Flew: July 1975
Age: 46 Years

Story sourced from here (with addition)

Remembering Iran Air 655

Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Bandar Abbas Airport (BND/OIKB), Iran to Dubai Airport (DXB/OMDB), United Arab Emirates and was shot down on the 3rd July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, along the flight's usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, the flight's stopover location. The incident occurred during the final stages of the Iran–Iraq War, which had been continuing for nearly eight years. Vincennes had entered Iranian territory after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits. Prior to departure the crew received an enroute clearance to Dubai via the flight planned route A59 and A59W at FL140. The flight took off from runway 21 at 10:17 hours and climbed straight ahead. Two minutes later, the crew reported leaving 3500 feet for FL140 on Airway A59, estimating MOBET at 06:53 UTC (10:23 Iran time). At 10:24:00 the aircraft passed MOBET out of FL120. At 10:24:43 the Airbus was hit by surface-to-air missiles. The tail and one wing broke off as a result of the explosions. Control was lost and the aircraft crashed into the sea. The missiles were fired by the US Navy cruiser USS Vincennes. It was operating in the area together with the frigates USS Elmer Montgomery and USS John H. Sides. They were to protect other ships in the area. At about the time the Airbus took off, the radar aboard the USS Vincennes picked up a brief IFF mode 2 response, which led to the mistaken identification of the Airbus as a hostile F-14 aircraft. The USS Vincennes issued 7 challenges on the Military Air Distress (MAD) frequency 243 MHz, addressed to 'Iranian aircraft', 'Iranian fighter' or 'Iranian F-14'. These messages were followed by three challenges on the IAD (International Air Defence) radio frequency. Due to increasing tension in the area - on May 17, 1987 an Iraqi Mirage had attacked USS Stark - all aircraft in the area had to monitor 121.5 Mhz: the International Air Defence - IAD radio frequency. There was no response. Meanwhile radar operators were monitoring the Aegis screens. They reported that the incoming plane was descending with an increasing speed. In fact, the Airbus was climbing. Considering itself and USS Montgomery under aggression, USS Vincennes took the ultimate decision to launch missiles against the perceived hostile target at 10:24:22. It remains uncertain whether the IR655 flight crew (only able to monitor the IAD, not the MAD frequencies) would have been able to rapidly identify their flight as the subject of the challenges made by the USS Vincennes. Of the 274 passengers 238 were of Iranian nationality, ten were nationals of India, one of Italy, six of Pakistan, thirteen of the United Arab Emirates and six of Yugoslavia. The 274 passengers comprised 209 adults, 57 children and eight infants. 1.2-2 The crew included the pilot, the co-pilot, the flight engineer and thirteen cabin crew members , All sixteen crew members were of Iranian nationality.

Aircraft Information
Airline: Iran Air
Code: IR/IRA
Aircraft: A300B2 -203
Registration: EP-IBU
Serial Number: 186
First Flew: 16/03/1982
Age at accident: 6Yrs 4 Mts

Thursday 1 July 2021

Virgin Orbit sends satellites into space from a Boeing 747

VIRGIN ORBIT B747-41R N744VG (MSN 32745)           File Photo

Today was a great day for Virgin Orbit. The company launched its Tubular Bells: Part One mission in the morning, California time, carrying payloads to orbit. This was the first commercial service for Virgin Orbit, as its Boeing 747 dubbed “Cosmic Girl” helped launch payloads for three customers from three different countries.

Virgin Orbit’s mission on June 30th

On the final day of June, Virgin Orbit debuted its first commercial service. Cosmic Girl, Virgin Orbit’s special Boeing 747 launching rockets into space, took off successfully at 06:58 local time from Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) in California. The plane was in the air for an hour and a half and successfully landed at 08:31 local time back at Mojave, having completed its mission over the Pacific Ocean. The jet took off and headed southwest, over the Pacific Ocean. Once it reached the drop site, the airplane flew in a looping “racetrack” pattern. With all systems looking good and final checks completed, the crew initiated the terminal count auto sequence.

At this point, LauncherOne’s computers took control and were cleanly separated from Cosmic Girl. NewtonThree, LauncherOne’s first stage engine, successfully ignited. From then on, the launch proceeded as planned, and it blasted the satellites out of this world. This comes about five months after the successful Launch Demo 2 mission. That happened on January 17th, 2021. LauncherOne deployed 10 NASA-sponsored spacecraft into Low Earth Orbit during that mission.

The payload

Virgin Orbit works with both governmental and private organizations. One of the three customers on today’s flight was the US Department of Defense Space Test Program. Their payload consisted of four R&D satellites. The mission, called STP-27VP, was awarded to Virgin Orbit via the Rapid Agile Launch Initiative (RALI) from the Defense Innovation Unit. RALI is a project intended to accelerate the procurement of commercial launch capabilities. It is a US governmental program and covers missions to Low Earth Orbit for objects like satellites. The second payload was two 3U CubeSats, STORK-4 and STORK-5, from a Polish satellite firm. The firm is called SatRevolution. These were optical spacecraft and were the first to be launched in what eventually will be a 14-satellite constellation. This satellite constellation will be tasked with collecting multispectral medium-resolution imagery. This will help both the agricultural and energy industries.

The final payload is also European, coming from the Netherlands. It is BRIK-II. This is a special satellite, as it is the first military satellite ever launched by the Royal Netherlands Air Force. This was built and integrated by the Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS). The 6U CubeSat is a testbed for various communications experiments to support operations by the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
Cosmic Girl

Cosmic Girl is a modified Boeing 747-400. Formerly flying for Virgin Atlantic, the plane is now over at Virgin Orbit, where it serves an important role. The Boeing 747 now helps launches rockets for Virgin Orbit. The first launch was planned for the end of May 2020. That, unfortunately, was not successful. Virgin orbit continued to work on the launch and successfully launched on January 17th, 2021. Virgin Orbit wants to help expand the frontiers of space to connect more communities and people. The current focus is on small satellite operations, with a focus on research-based satellites. In the future, the company wants to continue to scale up its launch rates and work on building the next generation of space technology out of this world while also bringing new space players onto the playing field.

Story sourced from here
Virgin Orbit Sends Satellites Into Space From A Boeing 747 - Simple Flying