Tuesday 31 August 2021

Happy 21st Birthday Virgin Australia



Virgin Australia (ex Virgin Blue) is having a milestone birthday today. Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd, commonly referred to as Virgin, was one of Australia's largest airlines, (behind Qantas) and it was the largest airline by fleet size to use the Virgin brand. It commenced services here in Australia on the 31st August 2000 as Virgin Blue, with just two aircraft on a single route. 


It suddenly found itself as a major airline in Australia's domestic market after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001. Before Covid the airline had grown to directly serve 52 cities both domestically and internationally. Virgin Blue also owned airlines like Pacific Blue; Polynesian Blue and V Australia but now they all operate under the name Virgin Australia.
The airline's head office is based here in Brisbane in the Flight Centre building in Southbank. It was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin Group), and former CEO Brett Godfrey. In 2011, the airline went through a massive transformation, changing of their brand to Virgin Australia. This included the introduction of a new aircraft livery, new uniforms, and new on board menu options. New wide-body aircraft were acquired for use to compete with Qantas, and the roll-out of business class across all the Virgin Australia network. On 4 May 2011, the former Virgin Blue revealed its new name, Virgin Australia, as well as its new livery. 


On  the 18th March 2020, Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah announced the grounding of the equivalent of 53 planes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, effective 30th March. On the 21st April 2020, Virgin Australia confirmed it had gone into voluntary administration, citing its inability to continue operations without a Federal Government bailout. On the 26th June 2020, it was announced that Bain Capital had entered into a sale and implementation deed with administrator Deloitte to acquire Virgin Australia. Fast forward to today and more than half their fleet are parked up all over Australia and the Bain group have announced Virgin Australia will no longer be doing long haul flights so their A330's and B777's will be sold off and with around 20 B737's. In August 2020, Bain Capital announced the plan for a new 'Virgin Australia 2.0', signally that the move was more focused towards streamlining and refocusing Virgin Australia, rather than a complete overhaul. The announcement included the immediate retirement of their 8 ATR's, 6 Airbus A330 and 5  B777 fleet, in addition to the full shut down of the Tigerair brand.

Virgin Australia has just announced it will lease an additional nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, with deliveries to begin in October this year. The airline said the new aircraft will be welcomed ahead of an anticipated uptick in domestic travel demand, as the rate of vaccination increases and interstate borders inevitably open, and the holiday and summer travel season approaches.

While deliveries will begin in October, Virgin hopes to see all nine jets in the air by mid-February 2022.

Happy Birthday Virgin Australia I really hope you are around for another 21 yrs

Monday 30 August 2021

What are the different kinds of turbulence?

Turbulence usually ranks as one of the main reasons some passengers, including my wife, absolutely hate flying. While some like me might be fine with the “rollercoaster ride” experience onboard a 250-ton machine, others are more sensitive to the small bumps and jerks that might occur as a result of turbulence. Since not all turbulence is the same, let’s examine the various phenomena that cause it.

Clear air turbulence (CAT)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines clear air turbulence (CAT) as “sudden severe turbulence occurring in cloudless regions that causes violent buffeting of aircraft.”

The FAA adds that the CAT definition is most commonly applied to higher altitude turbulence associated with wind shear, which is a change in wind direction or speed over a specific distance. It should be noted that Weather.gov defines wind shear as its own type of turbulence.

Wind shear (including temperature inversions)

Beyond designating wind shear as its own type of turbulence, Weather.gov also notes that temperature inversions can be a cause for wind shear. Meanwhile, other sites might define temperature inversion as its own specific type of turbulence.

Temperature inversions are zones of strong stability that prevent the mixing of the stable low layer with the warmer layer above. “The greatest shear, and thus the greatest turbulence, is found at the tops of the inversion layer,” Weather.gov notes, adding that turbulence associated with temperature inversions often occur due to nighttime cooling of the Earth’s surface creating a surface-based inversion.

Jet stream turbulence is another term that can fall under wind shear but might also be categorized as its own type of turbulence. As you can tell from the name, turbulence comes from jet streams, which are strong horizontal winds that follow a wavelike pattern as a part of the general wind flow. National Geographic notes that jet streams occur at altitudes of eight to 15 kilometers (five to nine miles).

Convective (thermal) turbulence

According to Boldmethod, thermal turbulence occurs with localized columns of convective current (a rising column of warm air). These rising columns of air come from surface heating or cold air moving over warmer ground.

Wake vortex turbulence

Wake vortex turbulence is encountered when an aircraft follows or crosses behind another aircraft. Caused by wing tip trailing vortices generated by the first aircraft, this is the reason why planes have designated minimum separation distances. It’s also why the callsigns of larger aircraft add the term “heavy” or “super” as they another indication that a 747 or A380 (respectively) should be given sufficient space.

Mechanical turbulence

Mechanical turbulence occurs when there is friction between the air and the ground. Found at low altitudes, this is often the result of irregular terrain and man-made objects. Accuweather notes that this irregular terrain (think tall buildings and mountains) causes the obstruction of airflow. The intensity will depend on the strength of the surface wind and the nature of the surface.

Weather.gov defines mountain wave turbulence as a form of mechanical turbulence, while other sources put it in its own category. Mountain wave turbulence occurs when strong eddies occur downwind from mountain ridges. Mountain waves are said to produce some of the most severe mechanical turbulence.

Frontal turbulence

This occurs with the lifting of warm air by the sloping frontal surface of a cold air mass. It’s here that friction occurs between the two opposing air masses, producing turbulence in the frontal zone. When the warm air is moist and unstable, there can be a risk of thunderstorms, leading to more severe turbulence.

As you can tell from the above definitions, turbulence can be caused by a wide variety of phenomena, both natural and human-made, occurring at various altitudes. To avoid turbulence as much as possible, careful planning from both the pilot and airline operations staff is required.

Story sourced from here

Sunday 29 August 2021

Spotting at Brisbane Airport

Yesterday I had to drop my daughter off at dancing near the city for 3 hours so I decided to venture out to the airport. With New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia still completely band from entering Queensland by road and air the aircraft movements were about 5 an hour. I did however manage to get a few photos of the aircraft lined up on taxiway Papa.

QANTAS AIRBUS A330-202 VH-EBJ (MSN 0940)    

Hi FLY AIRBUS A330-313 9H-TQZ (MSN 0202)






QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VXQ (MSN 33723)

QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VXP (MSN 33722)


SAMOA BOEING 737-85R 5W-TFL (MSN 42805)



QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VZD (MSN 34198)






Saturday 28 August 2021

Alliance Airlines to build a new MRO facility at Rockhampton


A new aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility will be constructed by Alliance Airlines at Rockhampton Airport via support from the Queensland government.

Alliance Airlines has received $60 million in Jobs and Regional Growth funding to establish the facility. It will mean the airline’s major maintenance activities can be carried out domestically, rather than overseas.

“In a state as vast as Queensland, we know how important it is to have a thriving, competitive aviation sector,” treasurer and minister for Investment Cameron Dick said.

“In recent years, Alliance Airlines has grown rapidly and expanded from resources-based operations to conventional passenger and freight services. In the next 12 months, Alliance’s fleet of aircraft will expand from 43 to 75.”

In supporting the airline’s growing fleet, the Rockhampton MRO facility will see 98 new long-term, operational jobs created by 2024.

“There will also be a significant number of construction jobs to manage the capital works and other indirect employment opportunities created,” Dick said.

“Base maintenance means a lot of overhaul work and that means a lot of opportunities for local businesses in the supply chain. This will create a raft of new opportunities for avionics, aerospace technologies, wheels, tyres, brakes and landing gear, engine maintenance, interiors and upholstery and cabin accessories suppliers.”

Headquartered in Brisbane, Alliance Airlines provides dedicated contract, charter and aviation services to support mining, energy, tourism and government sectors with its fleet of Fokker and Embraer aircraft.


The company also operates flights on behalf of most of Australia’s largest airlines. The company operates across all mainland Australian states and territories, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

Alliance Airlines’ $250 million investment into its fleet expansion over the past 12 months was further motivation to relocate its major maintenance activities to Queensland.

“This move will give us better control and coordination of our fleet, minimise costs and exposure to border closures and currency fluctuations, and will increase efficiencies across the entire Alliance group,” Alliance Airlines chairman Steve Padgett said.

“Once the facility is fully operational, we expect to achieve approximately $20 million per annum in full export replacement. We’re pleased to be working with the Queensland government with its funding support going directly to establishing the facility.

“This is in addition to the recently announced $25 million from the Australian government for upgrades to the Rockhampton Airport to service the facility.”

The state government is focused on supporting industry growth, according to minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher.

“This is just another example of our government’s commitment to delivering opportunities for regional businesses and manufacturers to access new supply chains and create secure, long-term jobs,” Butcher said.

The state government has identified MRO services as a key growth opportunity for Queensland as outlined in the Queensland Aerospace 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan. It will continue to maximise opportunities to support the industry.

Story sourced from here

Friday 27 August 2021

Kam Air evacuates its passenger planes across border to Iran

Afghanistan’s main commercial airline has flown some of its fleet across the border to Iran in the wake of the Taliban’s return to power. Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation says that the country received an unspecified number of Kam Air planes after a request from the company, according to Forbes. Desperate Afghans were seen climbing onto the company’s planes during chaotic evacuation scenes in Kabul.

“Following the escalation of clashes and tensions at Kabul airport, the owner of the private Afghan airline Kam Air requested the transfer of a number of the company’s airplanes to Iranian airports,” said CAO spokesperson Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh.

“Iran has also issued a landing permit for these planes in line with international cooperation standards with neighboring countries.”

None of the aircraft had any passengers onboard, said Mr Zibakhsh.

Kam Air, the largest private Afghan airline, was set up by businessman Zamaray Kamgar in July 2003 and carried around one million passengers a year on its fleet of 10 aircraft, 4 Boeing A330-300's, 5 Boeing 737-300's and 1 Boeing 737-500 . Mr Kamgar got into the aviation business when a warlord, whose troops he had supplied with food and fuel, could not pay him and instead gave him a Boeing 727, according to The New York Times.

The first flight of Kam Air was operated from Kabul to Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif in November 2003 with a Boeing B727-200, while the first international flight was inaugurated in May 2004 between Kabul and Dubai.

A 2005 crash killed 104 people onboard a Kam Air flight, and the airline was briefly blacklisted by the US military, which claimed that its planes were involved in opium smuggling, added the newspaper.

The airline is based at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai international airport and as of September 2019, operated  flights to 16 destinations: 7 domestic destinations and 9 international, in 8 countries
It has been one of the biggest tax payers in the country.

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Which airlines are the safest airlines in the World

If you get pre-flight jitters, you're not alone. Many travelers experience some anxiety when flying, whether it stems from a fear of heights, concerns about germs, or worries that something will go wrong mid-flight. Of course, others are most anxious about plane crashes and overall airline safety.

To70, an aviation consulting firm, examines accidents among large, commercial passenger planes in its civil aviation safety review each year. In 2020, there were 40 accidents around the world — five fatal — resulting in 299 deaths. These accidents happened in Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, India, and the U.S. (the U.S. incident resulted in one fatality after a person breached security and was hit and killed by the airplane as it landed). The year before, there were 86 accidents — eight fatal — resulting in 257 deaths. Fatal plane accidents are not common — just think of the thousands of flights that happen every day without an issue — but they can be anxiety inducing nonetheless. Thankfully, there are plenty of carriers with great safety records, so you can give yourself some extra peace of mind by booking your next trip on one of the world's safest airlines.

AirlineRatings.com analyzes 385 airlines, taking into account their safety, in-flight product, and now, COVID-19 procedures, to rate them according to a seven star system. To determine the safest airlines, the site considers crashes, serious incidents, the age of the airline's fleet, and audits from governments as well as aviation associations and governing bodies. Using its safety rating tool, you can compare airlines to see how they stack up (or find the airlines ranked as the least safe so you know which have had more fatal crashes or other incidents in the past).

Here are the world's safest airlines this year, according to AirlineRatings.com.
  1. Qantas
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Air New Zealand
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. Emirates
  6. EVA Air
  7. Etihad Airways
  8. Alaska Airlines
  9. Cathay Pacific Airways
  10. British Airways
  11. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
  12. Hawaiian Airlines
  13. Southwest Airlines
  14. Delta Air Lines
  15. American Airlines
  16. SAS
  17. Finnair
  18. Lufthansa
  19. KLM
  20. United Airlines

Qantas, the popular Australian airline that has operated for over 100 years, was ranked this year's safest airline and has consistently received high ratings for its safety. These top-ranked airlines offer more than just safe flights, too — many were also among Travel + Leisure readers' favorite international airlines in the 2020 World's Best Awards, commended for their outstanding service, tasty in-flight meals, and comfortable seats. Singapore Airlines topped our list, followed by Qatar Airways, Emirates, EVA Air, and more.

Alaska Airlines was the only U.S. carrier to crack the top 10, but Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines followed in the top 20. AirlineRatings.com also identified the top airlines for COVID-19 compliance in January of this year, listing (in alphabetical order) Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Qatar Airways, and WestJet. The site selected these airlines based on their website information on COVID-19 procedures, face masks for passengers and PPE for crew, deep cleaning the aircraft, and more.

Story sourced from here
20 Safest Airlines Around the World | Travel + Leisure (travelandleisure.com)

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Antonov An-225 to fly low over Kyiv to celebrate 30 years of Independence

ANTONOV AN-225 MRIYA UR-82060 (MSN 13102) 

Ukraine will celebrate its Independence Day with celebratory events taking place between August 22nd and 24th. One of the highlights will take place today (the 24th) with a parade of the country’s armed forces, including a low-altitude flyover of military aircraft. While not technically part of Ukraine’s armed forces, the An-225 Mriya will also be flying over Kyiv for the festivities.

According to the Kyiv Post, the An-225 Mriya will be participating in the military parade to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The website representing Ukraine’s defense industry (Ukroboronprom) states the following: Data from RadarBox.com showed the Mriya participating in rehearsal flyovers in advance of the big day. So far, we can see that the aircraft has flown over Kyiv on both August 18th and August 19th at an altitude of around 2,000 feet. Its lowest recorded altitude was 1,750 feet.

The Ukrainian-built Antonov An-225 ‘Mriya’, which first flew on the 21st December 1988, was originally developed to transport the Buran reusable spacecraft and parts of the Energia super-heavy lift launch vehicle. The Antonov Company was founded on May 31st, 1946, and has since flourished to have multiple divisions, including its design bureau, production facilities, maintenance and repair, and of course, its air transport subdivision.

The An-225 was initially planned that the massive aircraft would become a reusable aerospace transport system, comprising the first stage of launching the Soviet space shuttle. With the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s independence, this plan would be discontinued, with the An-225 remaining a Ukrainian asset.

On the 22nd March 1989, the An-225 carried a cargo load of 156.3 tons off the ground. In doing so, Ukroboronprom states that it set 110 world records for speed, altitude, and load capacity within 110 hours and 45 minutes in flight. The agency goes on to say that on September 11th, 2001, the aircraft set 124 world and 214 national records. 

With the work and accomplishments of Antonov, as well as the records achieved by the An-225, we can clearly see why this massive six-engined aircraft belongs in a parade celebrating the country’s independence.

“‘Mriya’ will fly over Khreshchatyk, the main street of Kyiv, and seal the air column of military helicopters, fighter jets, attack aircraft, bombers, and military transport aircrafts, namely Mi-8, Mi-14, Mi-24, Su-27, MiG-29, IL-76, and the AN family: An-70, An-26, An-72, An-32P.”

Mriya came to Perth Western Australia on the 15th May 2016 and I flew over there to see it.

Mriya's specs are
  • Length: 84 m (275 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 88.4 m (290 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 18.1 m (59 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 905 m2 (9,740 sq ft)

UR-82060 is the only AN-225 ever built. A second airframe with a slightly different configuration was partially built. Its construction was halted in 1994 because of lack of funding and interest, but revived briefly in 2009, bringing it to 60–70% completion. On the 30th August 2016, Antonov agreed to complete the second airframe for Airspace Industry Corporation of China as a prelude to commencing series production.

Saturday 21 August 2021

Qantas flies A380 11 hours to Germany

QANTAS A380-842 VH-OQL (MSN 074)      File Photo

Qantas brushed the cobwebs off an Airbus A380 and scared away the rattlesnakes with a broom as it flew one of its fleet halfway across the world last night. Its A380 registered VH-OQB departed from Los Angeles International, arriving at Dresden Airport in Germany earlier this morning. Almost a year ago, Simple Flying reported that Qantas was undertaking its last international Airbus A380 flight until 2023, with an aircraft being ferried from Dresden to Victorville for storage. Today Qantas surprised us for the second time this year by transporting another A380 in the opposite direction, with its second Airbus A380 flying to Dresden in Germany.
Hop across the pond

VH-OQB was the second of twelve Airbus A380s to be delivered to Australian flag carrier Qantas. The jet was delivered to the airline back in December 2008 and has spent the last year soaking up the rays at Los Angeles International Airport. Last night, after a short test flight on Tuesday, the aircraft decided to head east.

According to data from RadarBox.com, VH-OQB took to the skies at 13:54, around 25 minutes after its planned departure time. The aircraft flew 9,467 km (5,883 miles), passing across the Atlantic Ocean en route to Dresden in Germany, where it landed at 09:42 this morning. The total flight time was ten hours and 48 minutes.

According to data from ch-aviation.com, VH-OQB is now 13.1 years old, having first flown in June 2008. The plane has completed 50,345 flight hours across 4,445 flight cycles before today’s flight and is currently valued at $32.24 million.
Why fly to Dresden?

You may be left wondering why an Australian airline would fly its largest aircraft from America to Germany. When the pandemic struck, Qantas had been in the process of refurbishing the interior of its 12 double-decker giants. When the decision was made to store the entire fleet, half had received the refurbishment so far. According to data from ch-aviation.com, these aircraft are,

Aircraft    Refurbished?        Location
VH-OQA     No                     Victorville     (VCV)
VH-OQB     No                     Dresden         (DRS)
VH-OQC     No                     Abu Dhabi     (AUH)
VH-OQD     Yes                    Los Angeles   (LAX)
VH-OQE     No                     Victorville      (VCV)
VH-OQF     No                     Victorville      (VCV)
VH-OQG    Yes                     Victorville     (VCV)
VH-OQH    Yes                     Victorville     (VCV)
VH-OQI      Yes                     Victorville     (VCV)
VH-OQJ     Yes                     Victorville     (VCV)
VH-OQK    Yes                      Victorville     (VCV)
VH-OQL     No                      Victorville     (VCV)

Qantas had been installing the new aircraft cabins in Dresden, Germany. This is also where the first Airbus A380 to be scrapped by Air France was prepared for its final flight. The airline may have decided to continue its cabin refit program. However, it is also possible that the aircraft has been sent to the airport to undergo other maintenance.

The jet is the second to have left California in recent months. On the 20th June, another of the airline’s Airbus A380s, VH-OQC,  was sent to Abu Dhabi, likely also for maintenance. The airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, previously revealed that the plan was to return the aircraft to service in 2024 but that it would be possible to reactivate the fleet in three to six months if demand was there. We can safely assume that the recent flights aren’t likely to indicate the airline is reactivating its fleet of the giants, given that Australia retains strict entry and exit rules related to COVID-19, with many local lockdowns currently in force.

Story sourced from here

Thursday 19 August 2021

Remembering Saudia Flight 163


SAUDI MD 11 HZ-HM7 (CN 48532)

Saudia Flight 163 was a scheduled Saudia passenger flight that caught fire after takeoff from Riyadh International Airport (RUH/OERY), Saudi Arabia (now known as the Riyadh Air Base) en route to Jeddah International Airport (JED/OEJD) Saudi Arabia on the 19th August 1980. All 287 passengers and 14 crew on board the Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar died from smoke inhalation after the aircraft made a successful emergency landing at Riyadh. Flight SV163 landed at Riyadh at 16:06 GMT for a scheduled intermediate stop after a flight from Karachi. At 18:08 the aircraft took off for the final leg to Jeddah. Six minutes and 54 seconds after takeoff, while climbing to FL350, visual and aural warnings indicated smoke in the aft cargo compartment C-3. Climbing through FL220 (at 18:20), a return to Riyadh was initiated. About two minutes later smoke was noted in the aft of the cabin, and passengers were panicking. At 18:25:26 the no. 2 engine throttle was stuck. The fire had by then entered the cabin of the TriStar. Because passengers where fighting in the aisles, aft of doors L2 and R2, the captain asked everybody to remain seated (18:27:40). On final approach engine no. 2 was shut down, and the captain told the cabin crew not to evacuate. Flight SV163 landed back at Riyadh runway 01 at 18:36:24 The crew continued to a taxiway and told the tower that they were going to shut the engines down and evacuate. The engines were shut down at 18:42:18. Because no evacuation had been initiated by then, crash, fire and rescue personnel tried to open the doors. At about 19:05 they succeeded in opening door 2R. About three minutes later, the interior was seen to be engulfed in flames. None of the occupants survived the fire.

Probable Cause:
"The initiation of a fire in the C-3 cargo compartment. The source of the ignition of the fire is undetermined. Factors contributing to the fatal results of this accident were 1) the failure of the captain to prepare the cabin crew for immediate evacuation upon landing and his failure in not making a maximum stop landing on the runway, with immediate evacuation, 2) the failure of the captain to properly utilize his flight crew throughout the emergency 3) the failure of C/F/R headquarters management personnel to ensure that its personnel had adequate equipment and training to function as required during an emergency."

The accident is the deadliest involving a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, as well as the deadliest aviation disaster to occur in Saudi Arabia to date.

The aircraft involved was a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar (Registered in Saudi Arabia as HZ-AHK). It made its first flight on the 13th July 1979, and was delivered to Saudia on the 21st August 1979.

Aircraft Information
Airline: Saudi Arabian Airlines
Code: SV/SVA
Aircraft: Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 200
Registration: HZ-AHK
Serial Number: 1169
Engines: 3 x RB211-524B402
First Flew: 13/07/1979
Age: 11 Months 

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Prototype military plane crashes killing 3

A Russian prototype military transport plane crashed while performing a test flight outside Moscow on Tuesday, killing all three crew members on board, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation said. The new light military transport plane, Il-112V, crashed in a forested area as it was coming in for a landing at the Kubinka airfield 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Moscow, the corporation told the Tass news agency.

Two test pilots and a flight engineer were aboard the plane, and none survived, the corporation said. The Baza online news outlet posted a video in the messaging app Telegram of an airplane crashing into the woods after one of its engines caught fire. Russian police have opened a criminal probe into the incident, as is usual in such cases.

The plane flew to the Moscow region last week and was set to be unveiled at the Army-2021 forum later this month. It is the first military transport plane developed in Russia from scratch since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

The Il-112V has turboprop engines and is designed to transport personnel, military equipment and weapons. It is capable of carrying up to 5 tons of cargo. The plane’s first flight took place in March 2019, but it was reported to be too heavy and in need of improvements. Testing of the Il-112V resumed only in March 2021.

Serial production of Il-112V was expected to begin in 2023 at the Voronezh Aviation Enterprise, which can produce up to 12 such planes a year.

Aircraft Information:
Operator: United Aircraft Corporation
Aircraft: Ilyushin Il-112V
Registration: RF - 41400
Serial Number: 01-01
Engines: 2 Klimov TV7-117ST


Story sourced from here

Pilot dies in light plane crash north of Brisbane

                                   BREAKING NEWS

The pilot of a light plane that crashed near Bribie Island in south-east Queensland this morning has died, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has confirmed. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said the light plane was found on the western side of the Pumicestone Passage.

The light plane is sitting upside down in mudflats and emergency services are at the scene.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson described the plane crash as a tragic accident. He said witnesses saw the plane descending rapidly at about 9.30am before it crashed into the mangroves.

The pilot has been confirmed dead and was the only person on board. Mr Gibson said the plane was "kit built" and likely to be used in aerobatics.

A QFES spokesman said Swiftwater Rescue technicians and police were trying to find a path to the scene through the mangroves at the end of Red Road so that they could recover the wreck.

"Swiftwater Rescue are expecting they might have to cross the mud on foot," he said

"QFES are expecting to need to dismantle the plane wreckage, so they will need to transport cutting equipment in."

Aircraft Information:
Owner / Operator: Private Owner
Aircraft: Amateur Built Acroduster II SA750
Registration: VH-YEL
Serial Number: 02
Year of Manufacture: 1981

The aircraft was one of only a few two-seat Acrodusters in Australia and was being kept at the Caboolture Airfield.


Tuesday 17 August 2021

Screwdriver tip left in engine results in blade failure on take-off

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFK (MSN 5334)

An engine power loss and rejected take-off incident involving an Airbus A320 at Brisbane Airport occurred after a screwdriver tip was left inside the engine during maintenance, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation notes.

On the 23rd October 2020, the Jetstar Airways operated A320 was departing on a scheduled passenger flight from Brisbane to Cairns.

As power was being applied for take-off, the crew felt a vibration and heard a popping noise, which rapidly grew faster and louder. At the same time, the aircraft diverged to the right of the runway centreline despite the first officer applying full left rudder pedal.

The captain immediately selected reverse thrust and brought the aircraft to a stop.

Some of the passengers onboard the aircraft, a Brisbane tower air traffic controller, and flight crew of a following aircraft reported momentarily seeing flames coming out of the right engine. The aircraft was taxied back to the airport gate, and all passengers and crew disembarked safely.

Engineers then reported finding metallic debris in the tailpipe of the aircraft’s right engine. On disassembly, it was discovered the engine’s high-pressure compressor had sustained significant damage. A removable screwdriver tip was found in the engine’s combustion section.

The ATSB’s investigation determined the screwdriver tip had been in the engine for over 100 flights.

“The ATSB concluded the tool bit had been left in the engine after maintenance and when the engine was running, it entered the high-pressure compressor, leaving dents and nicks in numerous rotor blades and stator vanes,” said ATSB Director Transport Safety Stuart Macleod.

“At least two of these dents and nicks initiated fatigue cracks, which developed during the aircraft’s subsequent operation, and led to a blade failing during the incident flight’s take-off roll.”

The liberated blade then caused greater damage to the engine’s high pressure compressor, and the engine surged, resulting in the loss of power and the low-speed rejected take-off, said Mr Macleod.

“Tool control is an important part of maintenance processes. Small and seemingly insignificant tool components can, and have, caused significant incidents or accidents.”

Mr Macleod said the incident was also a good example of why flight crews need to be aware that the noise and vibration from an actual engine failure may be greater than, or different to, that experienced during simulator training.

“High-fidelity training devices like full motion flight simulators aim to maximise the realism of an artificial environment, but there is a limit to their ability to replicate extreme events.”

As a result of the occurrence Jetstar Airways issued a Safety Alert to their maintenance engineers, which highlighted the need for all tooling to be accounted for. They also conducted a risk assessment to better understand the on-going risk.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Jetstar Australia
Code: JQ/JST
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232
Registration: VH-VFF
Serial Number: 5039

Monday 16 August 2021

Firefighting plane crashes in Turkey: no survivors

A Russian Navy firefighting plane crashed on Saturday with eight people on board. The aircraft had been used to fight a wildfire in the country. All occupants were killed, Russian news agencies report. According to the Russian state news agency Tass, this is a firefighting aircraft of the Russian Navy, of the type Beriev Be-200. It was hired especially for firefighting in Turkey. All eight occupants, five Russian soldiers and three Turkish civilians, did not survive the crash. The cause of the accident is not yet known. The plane crashed in the Kahramanmaras region. According to Turkey's state news agency Anadolu, a large number of aid workers rushed to the scene of the crash. Turkish television channels showed images showing a plume of smoke rising from a mountainous area. This is a fairly new aircraft, taking its first flight on the 14th February 2020.

Turkey has been facing severe forest fires in the south of the country since the end of July. The government is talking about the worst such disaster in the history of the country. Most fires are now under control, but it remains a difficult and uphill battle.

Aircraft Information:
Owner / Operator: Russian Navy
Aircraft: Beriev Be-200ChS
Registration: RF-88450
Serial Number: 646200 90311

Thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends 

Sunday 15 August 2021

13 Year Old Boy Duct Taped To Seat On American Airlines Flight

AMERICAN A321-231 N123NN (MSN 6256)      File Photo

A teenager flying American Airlines ended up duct-taped to his seat after getting into an altercation with his mum. The boy had allegedly been trying to kick the window out of the A321 they were traveling on. The flight from Kahului (OGG/PHOG) to Los Angeles (LAX/KLAX) was diverted to Honolulu (HNL/PHNL), leading to a four-hour delay for passengers. It seems that duct tape is the new must-have accessory in every flight attendant’s bag as a means of dealing with the rapid rise in unruly passengers. Following an incident in July where a first class passenger ended up taped to their seat, American Airlines has used the super sticky tape to restrain another person onboard their flight. Only this time, it was a 13-year-old boy.

According to footage obtained by the Los Angeles CBS Local, American airlines was flying from Kahului to Los Angeles when a 13-year old boy became disruptive. People on the flight have told the press that he began to be violent towards his own mother, and attempted to kick out the window adjacent to his seat around an hour into the flight. Fearing for the safety of others onboard, nearby passengers restrained the boy to prevent him from harming anyone else. A flight attendant then appeared and proceeded to duct tape the passenger to his seat, something we’ve seen all too often recently.

The flight had departed the island of Maui at around 12:30. It should have arrived at LAX at around 21:00 local time. Instead, passengers were faced with a delay of around four hours, as the plane was diverted back to Hawaii. Rather than landing back at Kahului, the aircraft headed to Honolulu, where it was met by police and the teen detained for his disruption.

American Airlines told Simple Flying,
Flight 212 from Kahului Airport, Maui (OGG) to LAX diverted to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL), due to an incident with a passenger onboard. After landing at HNL at 3:47 p.m. (local time), customers were re-accommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations. Safety and security are our top priority, and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this caused.

The other passengers on the Airbus A321neo finally took off from Honolulu at 16:30 local time, arriving back in Los Angeles at just after 1 AM. The hike from LA to Hawaii is already a fair trek, only made much longer by this onboard incident.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: American Airlines
Code: AA/AAL
Aircraft: Airbus A321-253NX
Registration: N424AN
Serial Number: 10141

Saturday 14 August 2021

Man honors 9/11 crews with Boston-New York drink cart push

A former flight attendant who lost several colleagues when United Flight 175 was flown into the World Trade Center’s south tower in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, is honoring his friends on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks by pushing an airline beverage cart from Boston to ground zero.
Pushing a cart is familiar to Paul Veneto, 62, who spent 30 years as a flight attendant for five different airlines. Flight 175 was his regularly scheduled flight. He had flown into Boston the night before and Sept. 11 was his day off, he said. He was helping a friend build a concrete wall at the time of the attacks, and didn’t even know at first the second plane to hit the towers was his regular flight.

When he found out, “I was in shock,” he said. “I wanted revenge. I was angry and I knew there was nothing I could do.” The purpose of his journey, called Paulie’s Push, is to recognize the crews on all four 9/11 flights. “They were the first first responders. They were heroes. They were absolute heroes,” he said.

The trek, which begins today (the 14th August) will benefit the 9/11 crew members’ families’ registered nonprofit organizations and Power Forward 25, a nonprofit that assists people dealing with addiction.

Veneto knows that struggle all too well.

The attacks fueled his addiction to the opioids he had been prescribed for a back problem while he continued to work. But the 10th anniversary of the attacks sent him into a tailspin, and he retired.
It took him five more years to beat his drug habit.
He has been training for the 220-mile (350-kilometre) walk since October last year, pushing the cart around his hometown of Braintree and Quincy, up to 16 miles (26 kilometers) per day.

He’s lost 30 pounds and has quit smoking. He’s been getting training advice from Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, two-time Stanley Cup champion Kevin Stevens, and Becca Pizzi, a Massachusetts woman who five years ago completed seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

It’s been a struggle, but pushing a beverage cart around has been easy compared to what the flight crews experienced on 9/11.

“It’s nothing to push this to New York compared to what they did,” Veneto said. “That thing will end up in New York if I have to carry it on my back. I know they would have done the same for me.”

If you want to donate you can do so here
Paulie's Push (pauliespush.com)

Story sourced from here
Man honors 9/11 crews with Boston-New York drink cart push (apnews.com)

Friday 13 August 2021

United Airlines passenger attacks seatmate

This story happened back in March but it is so disturbing on so many levels I thought I would post it.

UNITED B737-824 N76532 (MSN 62749)

On Wednesday the 17th March 2021 United Airlines flight 728 from Newark (EWR/KEWR) to Miami (MIA/KMIA) diverted to Charleston (CHS/KCHS) due to one passenger’s awful behavior. 45-year-old John Yurkovich is the man behind the attack on several other passengers. WCSC reports on the content of the police reports about the incident: Yurkovich got up to use the bathroom and returned a short while later, but appeared to be agitated; at that point he became “restless” and “bounced around his seat” Yurkovich then asked for some water from a flight attendant, and then retrieved pills from the overhead bin Yurkovich then sat back down and began to “scream and thrash around” Yurkovich’s seatmate held his arm up to protect himself, but ended up being struck with a closed fist on the side of his face, causing his glasses to break, and he also suffered a laceration to his ear, as the man tried to bite it off. Other passengers intervened to try and restrain the man — a second victim was struck by Yurkovich, and that may have caused a broken nose; a third victim was punched in the head as well. At this point other passengers helped to restrain Yurkovich, and a physician even administered a shot of Benadryl in the man’s butt to help sedate him. When police officers boarded the plane in Charleston, they found Yurkovich face down on the floor of the aircraft being restrained with zip ties and belts — he had his hands behind his back, and his face was covered by a shirt.

Passenger charged with… drug possession

Yurkovich has been arrested and charged, but not for his assault on other passengers. Rather he was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Police found 1.5 grams of a white crystal substance in his pocket, which tested positive for methamphetamine. Yurkovich disputed the meth charge: So yeah, he’s claiming he was carrying… cat tranquilizer. Yesterday afternoon bond was set at $50,000.

Bottom line

We hear of people misbehaving on airplanes all the time, but this is on a completely different level. It seems that this passenger completely lost it, and out of nowhere started attacking his seatmate and then others. It sounds like passengers worked together well to restrain the guy, until the plane could be diverted to Charleston. I guess it’s not surprising that there were drugs involved, though I’m not sure why those are the only charges he’s facing as of now.

Aircraft Information: 
Airline: United
Code: UA/UAL
Aircraft: Boeing 737-824
Registration: N76503
Serial Number: 33461
First Flew: August 2015

Thursday 12 August 2021

Remembering Japan Airlines Flight 123

JAPAN AIR B787-9 JA865J (MSN 38138) 

Japan Airlines Flight 123 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT) to Osaka International Airport (ITM/RJOO). On the 12th August 1985, the Boeing 747SR operating this route suffered a sudden decompression twelve minutes into the flight and crashed, killing 520 out of the 524 passengers. Flight 123 pushed back from gate 18 at 6:04pm. and took off from Runway 15L at Haneda Airport at 6:12pm.. About 12 minutes after takeoff, while climbing through 23,900 feet at a speed of 300 knots, an unusual vibration occurred., then the aircraft had a rapid decompression, bringing down the ceiling around the rear lavatories, damaging the unpressurized fuselage aft of the plane, unseating the vertical stabilizer, and severing all four hydraulic lines. When the decompression occurred the crew got indications of problems with the R5 door. In fact, the rear pressure bulkhead had ruptured, causing serious damage to the rear of the plane. A portion of its vertical fin, measuring 5 metres together with the section of the tailcone containing the auxiliary power unit (APU) were ripped off the plane. Due to the damage, the hydraulic pressure dropped and ailerons, elevators and yaw damper became inoperative. Controlling the plane was very difficult as the airplane experienced dutch rolls and phugoid oscillations (unusual movement in which altitude and speed change significantly in a 20-100 seconds cycle without change of angle of attack). Japan's Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission officially concluded that the rapid decompression was caused by a faulty repair by Boeing technicians after a tailstrike incident during a landing at Osaka Airport seven years earlier in 1978. A doubler plate on the rear bulkhead of the plane had been improperly repaired, compromising the plane's airworthiness. Cabin pressurization continued to expand and contract the improperly repaired bulkhead until the day of the accident, when the faulty repair finally failed, causing the rapid decompression that ripped off a large portion of the tail and caused the loss of hydraulic controls to the entire plane. The aircraft, configured with increased economy class seating, was carrying 524 people. Casualties of the crash included all 15 crew members and 505 of the 509 passengers. Some passengers survived the initial crash but subsequently died of their injuries hours later, mostly due to the Japan Self-Defense Forces' decision to wait until the next day to go to the crash site, after declining an offer from a nearby United States Air Force base to start an immediate rescue operation. It is the deadliest single-aircraft accident in aviation history. The aircraft was a Boeing 747-100 (Short Range) The Boeing 747 Series 100 was aircraft specifically configured for domestic flights with a high density seating arrangement.

Aircraft Details
Airline: Japan Air
Code: JL/JAL
Aircraft: Boeing 747SP46
Registration: JA8119
Serial Number: 20783
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A
First Flew: 28/01/1974
Age: 11Yrs 7 Mts