Monday 31 January 2022

Pilot and passenger escape with scratches after light plane hits Kangaroo

A pilot and his passenger have walked away with only minor scratches after their small plane crashed in a paddock near Augusta — the aircraft believed to have hit a kangaroo on landing.
Emergency services were called to reports the light aircraft had crashed and flipped on the paddock near Lukes Road about 10.30am on Sunday.

It is understood the aircraft was landing in the paddock when it hit a kangaroo, causing it to flip.
The pilot, a male in his 70s, and his passenger, a male in his 60s, were not seriously injured and suffered only scratches.
The pair were taken by ambulance to Augusta hospital as a precaution.
Firefighters were also called to the scene but were not required to extinguish any flames nor extricate the occupants.

It comes days after another light plane crashed and flipped while landing at Murrayfield Aerodrome near Mandurah last Monday morning. Four people, including a four-year-old child, also miraculously escaped without serious injury.

Sunday 30 January 2022

China Airlines hits baggage cart while taxiing

China Airlines Boeing 747-409 B-18715 (MSN 33731) Photo Credit @ohare_planespotter 

A China Airlines Cargo flight from Anchorage-Ted Stevens International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC) struck a baggage cart while taxiing on taxiway S2 entering the southeast cargo ramp area at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD) yesterday around 6.30am local.
The no.2 engine was severely damaged and the no.4 engine slightly damaged.
At this time, it is unknown if further damage has incurred due to the impact but there were no injuries reported.

An Instagram post from O’Hare Planespotter reads "the snow team hadn't plowed off the centreline yet so the crew were unable to see the taxi lines. The aircraft then taxied to far left of the centreline and therefore hit old baggage carts at the Americans boneyard"

This aircraft isn't having a good start to the year as only last week (16th January) the aircraft suffered a problem with engine no.4 on takeoff from Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The flight crew followed procedures and dumped fuel before returning to Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE/RCTP) for a safe landing.
Witnesses reported hearing an explosion-like sound and flames coming from the engine, which is indicative of a possible engine surge/compressor stall event.

Aircraft Information 
Airline: China Airlines Cargo 
Code: CI/CAL
Aircraft: Boeing 747-409 F
Registration: B-18715
Serial Number: 33731
Engines: 4 x GE CF6-80C2B1F
First Flew: 24th August 2003
Age: 18 Years 4 Months 

Many thanks to Paden Burnside from @ohare_planespotter for letting me use his photos. 

Friday 28 January 2022

Remembering TAME Ecuador 20yrs on

TAME Ecuador Flight 120 was a scheduled flight from Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO/SEQU), Ecuador to Cali  Airport (CLO/SKCL) with a scheduled stopover at the Ecuadorian border town of Tulcán (TUA/SETU) also in Ecuador.  The Boeing 727 took off from runway 17 at 10:03 for the first leg to Tulcán. The flight climbed to the cruising altitude of FL180 and proceeded on the G-675 airway towards Ipiales from where it was to turn to Tulcán. At 10:15 the flight contacted Tulcán Tower. At that moment the airplane was 29 miles from the Tulcán NDB. The crew received permission to descend to FL140 and was given the current weather information, which included 8000 metres visibility, few clouds at 200 metres and overcast at 500 metres. The approach procedure called for a speed of 180 kts, but the actual speed was much higher at 230 knots. During the descent the airplane flew into the side of the Nevado el Cumbal Volcano at 14,700 feet, 1400 feet below the summit.

The decision of the instructor captain and his crew to initiate and continue the operation towards Tulcán airport below the meteorological minima established in the company's SOPs.
Inadequate navigation and operation of the aircraft by the pilot flying and directed by the instructor captain, consisting of entering the holding pattern of the Tulcan radio beacon with a speed of 230 knots indicated airspeed and with a banking of 15 degrees exceeding the maximum stipulated speed limit of 180 knots during the entire procedure including the holding pattern and using a banking below the recommended range of 25 to 30 degrees, thus exceeding the lateral navigation and obstacle protection limits of the holding pattern, leading this operation to the collision with El Cumbal Hill.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: TAME Ecuador
Code: EQ/TAE
Aircraft: Boeing 727-134
Registration: HC-BLF
Serial Number: 19692
First Flew: 20-11-1967 (34 years 3 months)
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A

The aircraft involved had first flown in 1967 and was previously operated by Transair Sweden, Air Madeira and Philippine Airlines before being transferred to TAME.

Thursday 27 January 2022

Air India to start weighing cabin crew as take over takes effect

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

Air India is readying itself for its Tata takeover, and is keenly seeking to reinvent itself as a result of the new investment. Part of this makeover includes ensuring the cabin crew working for the airline are presenting a good image. As well as checking for correct uniform, ‘grooming associates’ will be checking the BMI of those working for the airline. The takeover of Air India by winning bidders Tata is rapidly approaching, with the latest date for handover being given as today, the 27th January. With the much-needed might of India’s biggest conglomerate behind it, Air India is keenly looking forward to a better future under the new leadership. 
While the more fundamental changes to the airline, such as new aircraft and revamped cabins, will take time to appear, it seems Air India is already eyeing how it can present a better image to its passengers. One way in which it is doing this is by evaluating the appearance of its cabin crew members. Air India is planning to check the body mass index (BMI) of its cabin crew, as well as their overall grooming and appearance. The checks, being undertaken by ‘grooming associates,’ will be conducted as crews report for flights. An order issued by executive director Vasudha Chandna states that,

“Cabin Crew who are well dressed and well-groomed according to uniform standards and regulations present a positive and professional image of the airline. It is therefore emphasised that all cabin crew adhere to uniform regulations.”

While the employees are unlikely to be concerned with a general uniform compliance check, the notion that they will be weighed before flying has ruffled some feathers. The All India Cabin Crew Association has hit back at the order, stating in a letter to management that,

“The time for reporting (for flights) is meant for documentation and flight safety revision briefing and review. This stressful BMI check during a reporting is bound to disturb crew mental preparation, giving rise to flight safety issues.”

No disclosure has been made by Air India regarding what the BMI check is looking for, or whether there will be any further actions against those who are found to have a high BMI. As the AICCA points out, cabin crew are primarily flight safety professionals, trained in first aid, so their BMI is largely irrelevant to them being able to do their job.

The Tata takeover

Since Tata was revealed to be the buyer of Air India, not much has changed. Things seem to be moving incredibly slowly, with the handover already delayed by almost a month. Originally, the transfer date was set at the end of December. However, various approvals took longer to secure than originally expected, and so the date was extended to the end of January.

Now, the final pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. The closing of the balance sheet was set at the 20th January, giving the Tata Group time to scrutinize and approve the financials. That balance sheet is set to be handed over to the new owners today, with the review expected to conclude on Wednesday. If all goes to plan, Thursday, January 27th, will see the airline officially handed to its new owners.

The Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in the city of Mumbai, India. Founded in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata, the group gained international recognition after purchasing several global companies. It is one of the biggest and oldest industrial groups in India. Each Tata company operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders.

In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). 
These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people.

Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises.
Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Advanced Systems, Indian Hotels and Tata Communications.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Happy Australia Day


Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi! Oi! Oi!

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

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on the 26th January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip. Australia is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin – are coastal cities, while its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known worldwide for its Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos, koala's and the platypus. Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. In present-day Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community. The meaning and significance of Australia Day has evolved over time. Unofficially the date has also been variously named "Anniversary Day", "Foundation Day" and "ANA Day". The date marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland). Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on the 26th January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. 
  •  Australia's population is roughly 27,739,256.
Below is a state by state breakdown of attractions

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (Canberra(NSW) & (ACT) 
New South Wales is Australia's most populous state. The Harbour City of Sydney is Australia's largest city. The coast of New South Wales is lined with beach side communities, each one offering experiences for the traveller. A little inland are the mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains and Snowy Mountains, as well as the purpose built capital city of Canberra, excised from New South Wales. Further inland still expect sweeping plains, turning from agriculture to desert the further inland you venture. NSW currently has a population of 8,189,266.

Queensland (QLD) 
Here in Queensland we have a saying "Beautiful one day - Perfect the next" and that is exactly how Queensland is. Queensland has endless beaches with golden sand and crystal clear waters, clear blue sky's and lushes rain forests. Famous for its sunny warm weather, Queensland offers coastal exploration from the vibe of the Gold Coast to the tropics of the Great Barrier Reef to the bustling city of Brisbane. It is also home to tropical rainforests of the Daintree National Park, and the island resorts of the Whitsundays. Inland lies the ranges of the hinterland, and further on the vast expanses and beauty of outback Australia. They might call NSW the cockroach state but cockroach races are one of Brisbane’s biggest Australia Day events — The Story Bridge Hotel in Kangaroo Point has been hosting an annual cockroach race for 44 years and counting. Queensland currently has a population of 5,221,570

South Australia (SA) 
Renowned for the fine wines of the Barossa Valley, the beauty of the Flinders Ranges and the outback, the wildlife and nature on Kangaroo Island and the beaches and events and culture of the City of Churches, Adelaide. South Australia currently has a population of 1,773,243

Tasmania (TAS) 
Proud to say this is my home state. Tasmania is separated from the mainland by Bass Strait, Tasmania has rugged beauty of Cradle Mountain and the west, the beaches of the east, and the complete wilderness of the south. Hobart was the site of the second European settlement in Australia, and many historic sites like Port Arthur and Richmond are well preserved. Tasmania currently has a population of 541,479

Victoria (VIC) 
Small, vibrant and with something for everyone, Victoria has dramatic surf beaches along the southwest and central coast, green rolling farmland and photogenic national parks. The diversity of rural Victoria is very easy to access due in part to its size and well maintained roads. Australia and Victoria's sporting, shopping, fashion and food capital is Melbourne. Victoria currently has a population of 6,649,159

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

Northern Territory (NT) 
From the red deserts surrounding Ayres Rock and Alice Springs up to the tropics of Darwin and Kakadu National Park, the Northern Territory is stunningly beautiful. Northern Territory currently has a population of 2,681,633.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Delta passenger refuses to wear mask then exposes himself:

Delta passenger refused to wear mask, exposed himself then threw a can, all on 8-Hour Flight: 

A Delta Airlines passenger could spend years in prison after causing numerous disturbances on a recent flight from Ireland to the U.S. Shane McInerney, 29, was traveling from Dublin to New York City when he allegedly refused to comply with a mask mandate despite repeated insistence from the crew.

At one point, after complaining about the food served during the flight, McInerney got out of his seat and pulled down his pants, exposing his buttocks to other passengers and members of the flight crew, according to the airline, which reported on legal papers filed in New York. 
McInerney allegedly became belligerent when confronted by the pilot and threw a can that struck another passenger.

McInerney, from Galway, Ireland, continued his unruly behavior as the craft arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport. As the descent began, he stood in the aisle and refused to sit down. He was taken into police custody after the landing was completed.

For his antics on the flight, McInerney is now charged with interfering with a flight crew. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He was released on bail after making an appearance in court last week.

On another Delta flight a few weeks ago, A woman on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta was taken into FBI custody after video showed her slapping and spitting on a passenger.

In a video you can clearly see a female passenger standing over an older man and began yelling at him to put his mask on. The woman, who was also not wearing a mask, was cursing at the man as a flight attendant approached and attempted to deescalate the situation.

"Tell him to mask up," the woman said as she pointed at the man.
In the video, the woman then smacked the passenger before the video showed her spitting in the man's face.

As the other flight attendants attempted to restrain the woman, she appeared to once again grab the man's face. The two passengers continued to argue and curse at each other before she was eventually restrained by two men.

At the end of the recording, a passenger said the woman "went crazy on the airplane, she punched this man in the face, spat on him, scratched him (and) poured hot water on my leg."

Delta employees and police were waiting at the gate when the plane landed at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Passengers told police the woman, Patricia Cornwall, caused a disturbance on the plane which resulted in injuries,

Monday 24 January 2022

Brisbane Airport to trial new tactics to reduce aircraft noise

Brisbane Airport and Airservices Australia have together agreed to begin a new trial to send more flights over Moreton Bay, following ongoing noise complaints and protests from inner-city residents.

It comes after residents of inner-city Brisbane suburbs spent months lobbying and protesting against excessive aircraft noise pollution over their homes following the introduction of Brisbane’s second parallel runway.

The airport opened its new parallel runway in July 2020, and simultaneously implemented a slew of new flight paths that residents have since stated do not meet the expectations set in consultation with the community prior to the runway’s approval.

Airservices Australia and Brisbane Airport will now work through a number of possible solutions, as part of Airservices’ ongoing post implementation review of the airport’s new flight paths.

The Post Implementation Review Advisory Forum, tasked with independently investigating the impact of Brisbane Airport’s new flight paths, has released its first quarterly report, which outlines the changes to be trialled.

One move includes a 12-month trial of extending simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations (SODPROPS) by an additional two hours to 8am on weekends, allowing more flights to arrive and depart over Moreton Bay rather than the city.

Another tactic to be implemented is the removal of intersection departures – meaning aircraft taking off at a point prior to the determined take-off point of a runway – for flights taking off over the suburbs, allowing aircraft to fly at a higher altitude on departure.

The third is the introduction of a noise abatement procedure that will require jet aircraft to remain on an agreed flight path until they reach 10,000-12,000 feet in order to minimise flight noise over suburbs.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) and Airservices will also submit a request to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to increase the allowable tailwind for aircraft to 7 knots, which could also increase the number of flights arriving and departing over Moreton Bay.

BAC had previously attempted to get CASA to increase this limit to 10 knots, however its proposal was knocked back due to “insufficient evidence or data”.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who set up the forum in September, said he is “very pleased” with the progress that has been made.“Importantly, Airservices Australia and Brisbane Airport Corporation have agreed to three measures which could be implemented in the first half of this year. These actions could provide the noise relief locals need.”David Diamond from the Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance told ABC, “We certainly welcome the committee’s validations.

“This is a skirmish that we’ve won but there’s still a long way to go in the battle and the war.”

He added: “We certainly want a very strong aviation industry, and we absolutely believe that can occur – it’s not an either-or situation.
“That’s what we’re going to be pushing for world’s best practice, and we’re a long way from what other countries are doing in terms of managing their communities while also having productive airports.”

It comes just days after the BAC warned new homeowners in an upcoming Brisbane inner-city development that they could experience flight noise levels of up to 70 decibels.

The airport corporation also pleaded with the Brisbane City Council to ensure future homeowners are aware of the noise levels and restrict them from making aircraft noise complaints.

Currently, there are plans to build up to 855 homes in the $63 million, 20-hectare Bulimba Barracks site – a former US Army base from WWII – all of which will fall under Brisbane Airport’s new flight paths.

Ahead of the proposed redevelopment of the site by Shayher Group, the BAC has submitted a response to Brisbane City Council, urging the council to ensure residents are aware in advance of the noise pollution in the area.

Full story sourced from here

Sunday 23 January 2022

Major airlines say the 5G doomsday scenario is over (for now)

Following on from a story I posted a few days ago, Airline executives have now breathed a sigh of relief to their investors saying they believe the threat to their operations from the rollout of 5G technology is now behind them.

Although AT&T and Verizon have agreed only to temporarily delay 5G deployment at major airports, the CEOs of American and United both said there will now be a resolution of the dispute without thousands of delayed, diverted or canceled flights. They had been predicting those dire consequences earlier this week.

"It's taken a while to get to the right spot, but I feel like we're in the right spot," said Doug Parker, the CEO of American Airlines. "I don't think you're going to see any material disruption going forward because of this."

"While I wish it happened earlier, the good news is we now have everyone engaged, the FAA and DOT at the highest levels, the ... aircraft manufacturers, airlines and the telecoms," said Scott Kirby, the United CEO. "While we don't have a final resolution quite yet, I'm confident we'll get there."

The Federal Communications Commission auctioned off the C-band spectrum to U.S. wireless carriers last year — an $81 billion sale that would allow them to provide robust — and lucrative — 5G service. But the airlines soon started screaming that use of that technology near airports could interfere with aircraft radar altimeters, an instrument that tells pilots how high their plane is off the ground. Altimeters are crucial for landing airplanes in low-visibility conditions.

That could have meant widespread, continual and costly schedule disruptions — perhaps delaying tens of thousands of flights a year. It could have costs billions of dollars to the industry that has lost tens of billions in the last two years due to the pandemic.

Canceled or delayed flights, no matter the cause, are costly. Just two weeks of disruptions during the recent holiday travel season caused by lack of staff due to omicron cases and bad weather cost Delta $80 million. This had the potential to create schedule disruptions unlike anything seen in decades.

After a couple of temporary 5G service delays, the White House and the telecoms this week reached a deal to delay the rollout of the technology near airports until there can be a consensus on how to address the potential problem.

The telecom companies sounded less than pleased with the truce.

"We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner," AT&T spokesperson Megan Ketterer.

Aircraft flying in Australian airspace are safe from the impacts of 5G signals on aircraft safety systems for the moment with no indications of problems that have been uncovered in the US.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has been closely monitoring the issue and so far has seen no evidence 5G transmissions are currently affecting aircraft.

Last year US airlines and aircraft manufacturers raised serious concerns that a segment of the airwaves to be used by American telecommunications companies for 5G is too close to that utilized by radio altimeters that measure an aircraft’s clearance height over terrain.

This would impact aircraft systems such as automatic landings, wind shear prediction and terrain warnings.

According to a CASA statement, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has had “no reports of radio altimeter incidents linked to 5G since the telecommunications technology rolled out 2 years ago.”

One of the key differences between Australia’s 5G and that of the US is the transmissions currently do not extend into the part of the spectrum worrying the US aviation industry CASA said.

Aircraft radio altimeters operate in 4.2-4.4Ghz range and the 5G transmissions subject to the interference debate are in the adjacent 3.7-4.2GHz spectrum. According to CASA Australian 5G transmissions currently top out at 3.7GHz, well below the radio altimeter frequencies.

Thursday 20 January 2022

International airlines suspend flights to US over 5G

Major international airlines cancelled flights heading to the United States or changed the planes they’re using Wednesday, the latest complication in a dispute over concerns that 5G mobile phone service could interfere with aircraft technology.

Some airlines said they were warned that the Boeing 777, a plane used by carriers worldwide, was particularly affected by the new high-speed wireless service. The aircraft is the workhorse for Dubai-based Emirates, a key carrier for East-West travel, and its flight schedule took one of the biggest hits.

It was not clear how disruptive the cancellations would be. Several airlines said they would try to merely use different planes to maintain their service.

The cancellations and changes came a day after mobile phone carriers AT&T and Verizon said they would postpone new wireless service near some US airports planned for this week. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared a number of aircraft to fly into airports with 5G signals, but the Boeing 777 is not on the list.

Similar mobile networks have been deployed in dozens of other countries — sometimes with concessions such as reducing the power of the networks near airports, as France has done. But in the US, the issue has pitted the FAA and the airlines against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and telecommunications companies.

The 5G service uses a segment of the radio spectrum that is close to that used by radio altimeters, which are devices that measure the height of aircraft above the ground and help pilots land in low visibility. The FCC, which set a buffer between the 5G band and the spectrum that planes use, determined that it could be used safely in the vicinity of air traffic. AT&T and Verizon have said their equipment will not interfere with aircraft electronics.

But FAA officials saw a potential problem, and the telecom companies agreed to a pause while it is addressed.

On Wednesday, Emirates announced it would halt flights to several US cities due to “operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S. at certain airports”. It said it would continue flights to Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

“We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns, and we hope to resume our US services as soon as possible,” the state-owned airline said.

Of particular concern appears to be the Boeing 777. Emirates only flies that model and the Airbus A380 jumbo jet.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways said that the FAA “has indicated that radio waves from the 5G wireless service may interfere with aircraft altimeters”.

“Boeing has announced restrictions on all airlines operating the Boeing 777 aircraft, and we have cancelled or changed the aircraft for some flights to/from the US based on the announcement by Boeing,” ANA said. It cancelled 20 flights over the issue to cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Sunday 16 January 2022

Major airlines forced to fly ‘ghost flights’

Major airlines forced to fly empty ‘ghost flights’ to keep prized slot times.

One major airline estimates it has had to fly 18,000 ghost flights due to pressure from regulators, despite the economic and environmental consequences. Thousands of planes from some of Europe’s biggest airlines have been forced to fly empty planes in order to keep their prized departure and landing times at major airports. Europe’s second biggest carrier, Lufthansa reports it had to operate 18,000 ‘ghost flights’ over the winter, despite the polluting effects of these flights running in direct opposition to the EU’s climate goals. Around 3000 of those flights were from the carrier’s subsidiary, Brussels Airlines. This week, Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, denounced the unnecessary flights, tweeting: “The EU surely is in a climate emergency mode.” A similar plea was made by Belgium’s federal mobility minister Georges Gilkinet to the EU, arguing that the extra services were baffling from both an economic and ecological point of view. A statement from Lufthansa also called for more short-term flexibility due to severely decreased demand. “Without this crisis-related flexibility, airlines are forced to fly with planes almost empty, just to secure their slots,” it said. Under pre-pandemic rules, the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule means airlines must use at least 80 per cent of their allocated slots in order to keep their flight times, however the EU has relaxed this to 50 per cent to account for the decreased appetite in flying. From a regulatory perspective, they ensure major airlines aren’t able to hog valuable flying times, which prevents competition from smaller carriers and new airlines from emerging. Despite this, a senior spokesman for the European Commission – the executive branch of the EU – has refuted the claims of airlines being forced to operate ghost flights. Stefan De Keersmaecker quoted data and forecasts from Eurocontrol which reported initial traffic from 2022 was at 77 per cent of pre-pandemic rates. “In addition to the lower slot use rates, companies may also request a ‘justified non-use exception’ – to not use a slot – if the route cannot be operated because of sanitary measures, e.g. when new variants emerge during the pandemic,” he shared on Twitter. “EU rules therefore do not oblige airlines to fly or to keep empty planes in the air. Deciding to operate routes or not is a commercial decision by the airline company and not a result of EU rules. “On the contrary, the Commission measures allow avoiding empty flights. Because, yes, such flights are bad for the economy and the environment.” 
Here in Australia, flight slots are allocated by Airport Co-ordination Australia which divide takeoff and landing slots, however the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule has been suspended during the pandemic. The US Federal Aviation Administration has also relaxed the policy, with limits only applying to Level 3 airports like New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington D.C.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Silk Way West Airlines calls into Brisbane


While most of Brisbane slept last night a Silk Way West Boeing 748, with a callsign of Silk West 5862, was touching down on 01R at 12.20am from Chicago via Honolulu. Knowing it was going out today, we headed out to the airport to see this amazing looking, rare aircraft. 

It was due to leave at 2pm, then we were told 3pm and finally at 4.03pm Silk West 571 pushed back. At 4.11pm it started taxiing and got airborne, once again off 01R, at 4.16pm. This time it is heading to Hong Kong.

Below are some other shots we took while we waited.



QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VXE (MSN 30899)







QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VZQ (MSN 39357)




Thursday 13 January 2022

Passenger breaches cockpit of American Airlines 737

AMERICAN AIRLINES B737-823 N965AN (MSN 29544)   File Photo

A man was arrested in Honduras on Tuesday after entering the cockpit of an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 during the boarding process. The unidentified male broke into the cockpit and damaged some cockpit controls and attempted to jump out a cockpit window before crew members intervened and police arrested him. The American Airlines Boeing 737 set to operate AA488 between San Pedro Sula-Ramon Villeda Morales Airport (SAP/MHLM) and Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA) was boarding its 121 passengers when the incident occurred.

According to ABC News, the man ran down the jetway, entered the cockpit, damaged some controls, and tried to jump out a window when pilots attempted to stop him. Footage posted on Twitter shows the man half out the window. AA488 is the 14:58 departure, one of American’s three daily flights between San Pedro Sula and Miami. The flight normally reaches Miami two and a half hours later. As a result of the damage done to the operating aircraft by the cockpit intruder, the plane was grounded in Honduras, and American Airlines sent a replacement aircraft down to collect the passengers.

No one was injured during the incident, and American Airlines praised how their crew handled the situation. In a statement, the airline said:

“We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation.”

Multiple media outlets are reporting this as a case of air rage. However, it is unclear whether it is an air rage incident or a mental health issue. While air rage is an increasing problem for airlines, successful attempts to enter aircraft cockpits are rare.

In June last year, a passenger on a United Express flight departing from Los Angeles and bound for Salt Lake City left his seat while the plane was moving, pounded on the cockpit door, managed to open the service door, and jumped from the aircraft. He was promptly arrested and taken off for medical treatment.

In July, a man in St Petersburg, Florida, was on the run from police when he drove through the security gate at the US Coast Guard Station at St Petersburg Airport. He then got into a hangar, boarded a C-130, and managed to get into the cockpit before police arrested him.

In September, a passenger on a JetBlue flight from Boston to San Juan was dissatisfied because he couldn’t make an inflight phone call and subsequently charged the cockpit, shouting in Spanish and Arabic to be shot.

After seriously assaulting a flight attendant, half a dozen crew members were able to subdue the man with flex cuffs, seat-belt extenders, and other improvised items before the flight landed in San Juan, and police took the man into custody,

Story sourced from here but with additions
Passenger Breaches Cockpit Of American Airlines 737 In Honduras - Simple Flying

Remembering Air Florida Flight 90 - 40yrs today

On the 13th January 1982 at 3:59 p.m. (20:59 UTC),  Air Florida Flight 90, a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Washington National Airport (now Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport)  (DCA/KDCA) to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, (FLL/KFLL) with an intermediate stopover at Tampa International Airport (TPA/KTPA) crashed into the Potomac River shortly after take off.  

At about 14:20 maintenance personnel began de-icing the left side of the fuselage with de-icing fluid Type II because the captain wanted to start the de-icing just before the airport was scheduled to reopen (at 14:30) so that he could get in line for departure. Fluid had been applied to an area of about 10 feet when the captain terminated the operation because the airport was not going to reopen at 14:30. Between 14:45 and 14:50, the captain requested that the de-icing operation be resumed.
The left side of the aircraft was de-iced first. 
No covers or plugs were installed over the engines or airframe openings during de-icing operations.

At 15:15, the aircraft was closed up and the jet way was retracted and the crew received push-back clearance at 15:23. A combination of ice, snow, and glycol on the ramp and a slight incline prevented the tug, which was not equipped with chains, from moving the aircraft. Then, contrary to flight manual guidance, the flight crew used reverse thrust in an attempt to move the aircraft from the ramp. This resulted in blowing snow which might have adhered to the aircraft. This didn't help either, so the tug was replaced and pushback was done at 15:35. 
The aircraft finally taxied to runway 36 at 15:38.
Although contrary to flight manual guidance, the crew attempted to deice the aircraft by intentionally positioning the aircraft near the exhaust of the aircraft ahead in line (a New York Air DC-9). This may have contributed to the adherence of ice on the wing leading edges and to the blocking of the engine’s Pt2 probes.

At 15:57:42, after the New York Air aircraft was cleared for takeoff, the captain and first officer proceeded to accomplish the pre-takeoff checklist, including verification of the takeoff engine pressure ratio (EPR) setting of 2.04 and indicated airspeed bug settings. Takeoff clearance was received at 15:58. Although the first officer expressed concern that something was 'not right' to the captain four times during the takeoff, the captain took no action to reject the takeoff. The aircraft accelerated at a lower-than-normal rate during takeoff, requiring 45 seconds and nearly 5,400 feet of runway, 15 seconds and nearly 2,000 feet more than normal, to reach lift-off speed. 
The aircraft initially achieved a climb, but failed to accelerate after lift-off. 
The aircraft’s stall warning stick shaker activated almost immediately after lift-off and continued until impact. The aircraft encountered stall buffet and descended to impact at a high angle of attack. At about 16.01, the aircraft struck the heavily congested northbound span of the 14th Street Bridge and plunged into the ice-covered Potomac River. It came to rest on the west end of the bridge 0.75 nmi from the departure end of runway 36. When the aircraft struck the bridge, it struck six occupied automobiles and a boom truck before tearing away a 41-foot section of the bridge wall and 97 feet of the bridge railings. Four persons in vehicles on the bridge were killed; four were injured, one seriously.

The airliner broke through the ice covering the river and sank. 
There were only five survivors.
In addition to those who died aboard the 737, four persons on the 14th Street Bridge were killed when the airliner struck their cars. Many people who witnessed the crash tried to help the survivors by going in to the freezing water to reach them.

The U.S. Park Police responded with a 1979 Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II helicopter, Eagle 1, (N22PP, serial number 45287) flown by Officers Donald W. Usher and Melvin E. Windsor. The pilot, Don Usher, hovered low, sometimes with the skids of the helicopter in the water, while Gene Windsor tried to reach the survivors.

The aircraft involved, a Boeing 737-222, registered as N62AF, was manufactured in 1969 and started its life with United Airlines under the registration N9050U.
It was sold to Air Florida in 1980. The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A turbofan engines, and had recorded over 27,000 hours before the crash.

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Covid Isolations Cancels 80 flights at Sydney Airport

Nearly 80 flights arriving and departing from Sydney Airport were cancelled on Tuesday, as Omicron forces aviation staff into isolation.

The disruption is affecting domestic and international flights from airlines including Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar, Cathay, Fly Pelican and Delta.

The news comes a day after Virgin formally announced it would slash its flight capacity for January and February by 25 per cent and place its recently resumed sole international service to Fiji on hold.

On Tuesday, 78 flights were cancelled at Sydney, 47 at Melbourne and 48 at Brisbane, with NSW alone recording 220,816 COVID cases this week.

The high numbers have led to a string of changes to get employees back to work by both state and federal governments, including allowing asymptomatic close contacts in frontline industries to return to work if they’re asymptomatic, switching PCR tests for over-the-counter antigen tests and mandating a third booster shot.

It follows Virgin on Monday announcing it would significantly cut its capacity for the rest of summer. Chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said the measures will not impact the business or its customers long-term.

“One thing we have learnt from the last two years is that we need to keep adapting as circumstances change. So, we will continue to do that, and have made some temporary changes to our network to manage the current environment,” Hrdlicka said.

“We do know that as we make the shift to living with COVID-19, there will continue to be changes in all our lives and we look forward to continuing to connect our guests with their families, friends, colleagues.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to any guest impacted by the changes to our flight schedule during this time.”

The suspended routes are:
  • Adelaide-Darwin
  • Adelaide-Cairns
  • Adelaide-Sunshine Coast
  • Coffs Harbour-Melbourne
  • Hamilton Island-Melbourne
  • Sydney-Townsville
  • Melbourne-Townsville
  • Gold Coast-Launceston
  • Gold Coast-Hobart
  • Sydney-Fiji

Customers with existing bookings on impacted services will be “re-accommodated”, according to Virgin, and the airline encourages affected customers to reach out for more information.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Pushback tow tug catches fire at Mumbai airport

A pushback tow tug caught fire at Mumbai airport earlier yesterday.
The aircraft tug was on-site to push back Air India flight AI-647 from Mumbai to Jamnagar, which had 85 passengers on board.
The incident occurred around 1 pm, according to NDTV. Video's of the blaze has gone viral on social media. A video of the incident shows fire extinguishers on the site, trying to put out the flames.

According to a statement by Mumbai airport’s Public Relations Officer, the fire was brought under control in 10 minutes. “All operations are normal,” the statement read, adding that no person sustained any injuries due to the incident. Air India commented that no damages were sustained due to the fire. The airlines added that it was “checking with the airport ground handler for more information”. No official reason has been given regarding how the vehicle caught fire. According to a Times of India report, the tow tug had returned after refueling and was being attached to the aircraft when it burst into flames.

Sunday 9 January 2022

Aircraft catches fire at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International airport

A fire has broken out in the cabin of a cargo plane at Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport:

A Russian airline cargo plane, a Tupolev Tu-204-100C, suddenly caught fire in the cabin during the launch process, and after receiving the on-site aircraft maintenance notice, Hangzhou airport organized fire, medical, public security and other departments to rush to the scene.

At 4:40 A.M. the Aeroflot cargo plane, which was due to fly from Hangzhou-Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH/ZSHC), China to Novosibirsk-Tolmachevo Airport (OVB/UNNT), Russia, suddenly burst into flames inside the cabin.
After receiving the emergency call and nature of the emergency, Hangzhou airport immediately started the emergency procedure, with fire and first aid rushing to the scene within two minutes and successfully securing the area and rescuing the 8 crew members on board. 
8 Fire services attended to the fire, but could not prevent the fire from spreading through the entire fuselage. The fuselage eventually fractured just behind the wings and broke into 3 pieces causing damaged beyond repair.

According to the manifest information, the cargo plane was loaded with about 20 tons of general cargo and about 26 tons of aviation fuel. at present, the relevant dangerous situations have been successfully eliminated, and the relevant departments are further investigating the specific causes of the fire.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Aviastar-TU (Flying for Cainiao)
Code: 4B/TUP
Aircraft: Tupolev TU 204-100C
Registration: RA-64032
Serial Number: 1450742264032
Engines: 2 Soloviev PS-90A
First Flew: 18/07/2002 (19 years 6 months)

Saturday 8 January 2022

Finnair aircraft diverts to Helsinki after smoke reported in cabin

A Finnair Airbus A350 passenger aircraft travelling from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL/EFHK) to Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK/VTBS) made an emergency landing back in Helsinki, Finland after smoke-filled cabin sparks potential fire risk.

According to data, flight AY141 took off from Helsinki's runway 15 at 5.32 p.m., an hour later that its scheduled 4.20 p.m. departure, and was due to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) around 7.35 a.m. the following day. While the aircraft was commencing the climb from Helsinki airport, smoke detector indications alerted the crew to a potential fire onboard. The climb was paused at 3,800 ft and the flight crew decided to return to Helsinki for an emergency landing on runway 22L twelve minutes later.

Passengers noticed a suspicious steam in the cabin and shared pictures of the incident on social media.
After landing the passengers were taken to hotels and no further incidents were reported.

Investigations later found the source of steam that entered the interior of the A350 aircraft was the de-icing fluid that ended up in the wrong place, i.e. the auxiliary power plant. The airline will continue to investigate the matter with its partners and ensure that the same thing does not happen again. 

The smoke seen and smelled by the passengers was therefore, in reality, steam.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Finnair
Code: AY/FIN
Aircraft: Airbus A350-941
Registration: OH-LWH
Serial Number: 097
First Flew: March 2017

Friday 7 January 2022

Air New Zealand named the world's SAFEST airline for 2022

Air New Zealand has been put at the top of the list of the safest airlines in the world for 2022 by, the world’s only safety, product, and COVID-19 rating website. has also announced its Top Twenty Safest Airlines and Ten Safest Low-Cost Airlines for 2022 from the 385 it monitors. 

Evaluating Factors of the Safest Airlines in the World

In making its evaluation of the safest airlines in the world, takes into account a comprehensive range of factors that include: airline’s crash over 5 years and serious incident record over two years, audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies, government audits, industry-leading safety initiatives, fleet age, and COVID-19 safety protocols. In selecting Air New Zealand as the world’s safest airline for 2022, editors noted that the airline operates in some of the most challenging weather conditions and remote environments. It is also leading the way with technical innovation and has a very young fleet with an average age of just 6.8 years.

Air New Zealand has also been involved in a range of safety improvements such as the Future Air Navigation System; real-time monitoring of its engines across its fleet, and precision approaches around mountains in the cloud, using RNP.

Air New Zealand’s chief executive Greg Foran said;
“Air New Zealand is very humbled to receive this recognition, particularly given the high safety standards the airline industry holds itself to. We’re in good company and a big congratulations to all airlines on the list.

“The Air New Zealand promise is to take manaaki (care) further. To do that we have to take our approach to safety further. For us, it’s not about safety first – it’s about safety always. We want everyone to go home safely every day.

The Top 20 Safest Airlines for 2022

Top 20 are in ranking order;
  1. Air New Zealand,
  2. Etihad Airways,
  3. Qatar Airways,
  4. Singapore Airlines,
  5. TAP Air Portugal,
  6. SAS,
  7. Qantas,
  8. Alaska Airlines,
  9. EVA Air,
  10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic,
  11. Cathay Pacific Airways,
  12. Hawaiian Airlines,
  13. American Airlines,
  14. Lufthansa/Swiss Group,
  15. Finnair,
  16. Air France/KLM Group,
  17. British Airways,
  18. Delta Air Lines,
  19. United Airlines
  20. Emirates.
Qantas lost its number one ranking due to an incident at Perth Airport in 2018, where a combination of factors caused a 737 crew that had just exited runway 03 to taxi past stop bars and enter an active runway – 06 – almost colliding with another company 737 on its take-off roll. The report into that complex and serious incident was not issued till late 2020, and too late to be included in the 2021 safety rankings.

Top 10 Safest Low-Cost Airlines for 2022 editors also identified their Top 10 safest low-cost airlines.
In alphabetical order they are;

  1. Allegiant, 
  2. easyjet, 
  3. Frontier, 
  4. Jetstar Group, 
  5. Jetblue, 
  6. Ryanair, 
  7. Vietjet, 
  8. Volaris, 
  9. Westjet, 
  10. Wizz.

Story sourced from here

Thursday 6 January 2022

Airport staff find a newborn baby in plane toilet bin

AIR MAURITIUS A330-202 3B-NBM (MSN 0883)

Airport staff found a newborn baby boy in plane toilet bin as 20-year-old woman is arrested in connection with the incident
  • Newborn baby found in the toilet bin of an Air Mauritius plane on New Year's Day
  • Woman, 20, arrested in connection and could be charged for abandoning a baby
  • She initially denied being the mum but medical exam showed she had just given birth
Airport staff in Mauritius have found a newborn baby boy in a plane toilet bin and arrested a 20-year-old woman in connection with the incident. Officials discovered the newborn in the bin of the Air Mauritius plane during a routine customs check after the aircraft touched down in Mauritius on New Year's Day. The baby was born during the flight from Madagascar but was not discovered until the plan landed at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU/FIMP) in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis. The woman detained in connection with the discovery initially denied she was the infant's mother but a medical examination confirmed she had recently given birth.
The Malagasy woman had come to Mauritius on a two year work permit.
She was taken to hospital for treatment and was ordered to undergo a medical examination to confirm whether she had recently given birth.
The unnamed woman and her son are both doing well in hospital.
She is under police surveillance and will be questioned when she is released from hospital, police said. It is expected she will be charged with abandoning her newborn.

This is not the first time a new born has been left on a plane, A similar incident took place in October 2020 when a newborn baby was discovered abandoned in a toilet in Hamad International Airport in the Qatari capital, Doha. Officials then forced thirteen female passengers to undergo an invasive vaginal examination to determine whether the infant's mother was onboard in an incident that sparked widespread outrage.
Qatar later apologised over the searches and handed one official a suspended sentence. The women have demanded legal action against the hard line Islamic nation over the incident.