Wednesday 30 November 2022

Mass disruption threatened at all Australian airports next week

Aviation fire rescue workers across Australia are prepared to stop work next week, which could cause "significant disruption" for air travellers.

The United Firefighters Union of Australia (UFUA) announced the strike will occur for four hours between 6am and 10am on Friday the 9th of December at all 27 airports due to industrial action over understaffing.

UFU aviation branch secretary Wes Garrett said the understaffing of firefighters was dangerous and they had no choice but to undertake the "stop work action".

"Every day the lives of 2,500 air travellers across Australia are being put at risk because they don't have the protection they need from understaffed aviation firefighters," Garrett said.
"Air travellers don't have the protection they need because Airservices cut 100 aviation firefighters from Australia's airports to cut costs in October 2021.

"Now, every month over 600 flights are operating from Australia's airports without the aviation firefighting protection they require under international aviation safety regulation."

He claimed it had been constantly occurring since October 2021.
Garrett acknowledged the strike would cause a significant disruption.
"We understand that this will be extremely disruptive for Australia's air travellers and aviation firefighters sincerely apologies for the inconvenience."
Retired aviation fire commander Trevor Rodgers said a shortage of aviation firefighters at an incident could have catastrophic consequences for passengers on a burning aircraft.
"Aviation firefighters have just three minutes to reach a burning aircraft and make an intervention to save the passengers," Rodgers said.
"After that three-minute period of time, the fire penetrates the cabin and the chances of people surviving a major crash internal fire is greatly reduced."

The federal government is yet to respond to the union's strike announcement.

Story sourced from here (excluding photos)

Tuesday 29 November 2022

Malaysia Airlines drops Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur flights "again"


Queenslanders planning a trip from Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines will soon need to adjust their travel plans, with the Oneworld member revealing its non-stop route will be permanently dropped from its schedule from the 27th of March next year.

Increased global economic challenges and a desire to remain on a growth trajectory were cited as reasons for the route cancellation, with Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail describing the move as “a difficult decision” following a thorough business review.

Ismail explains the airline chose to discontinue the route in order to “utilise our fleet at an optimum level, as well as maximising revenue on every route we fly to, while we face strong headwinds from the continued increase in fuel costs, foreign exchange, and interest rates.”

Non-stop flights between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide will continue as normal, providing up to 43 direct flights a week to and from Australia.

Malaysia Airlines’ codeshare agreement with Oneworld partner Qantas will still allow frequent flyers and travellers to connect with Kuala Lumpur, via Sydney or Melbourne.

Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur was previously axed by Malaysia Airlines in 2016 as part of a broader suite of cost-cutting measures, before restarting it in June 2019.

Earlier this year, Malaysia Airlines revealed plans to upgrade all Australian flights to the latest A330neo, replacing its ageing A330 fleet with the more advanced and comfortable jet. 
The new aircraft are expected to roll out between late 2023 and 2028.

Monday 28 November 2022

Air New Zealand's Mount Erebus disaster


Forty-Three years ago today, on the 28th of November 1979, Air New Zealand flight TE901 flew into Mount Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, killing all 237 passengers and 20 crew on board.  
Flight TE901 left Auckland International Airport around 8:00 am for Antarctica and was scheduled to arrive back at Christchurch International Airport at 7:00 pm after flying 5,360 miles (8,630 km). 
The aircraft would make a 45-minute stop at Christchurch for refueling and a crew change, before flying the remaining 464 miles (747 km) to Auckland, arriving at 9:00 pm.

(At the time of the crash, Air New Zealand had two IATA codes, TE for international flights (a relic from Air New Zealand's predecessor, Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL)) and NZ for domestic flights (acquired from the merger with the National Airways Corporation in April 1978). 

Investigations concluded that the accident was primarily caused by two errors.
1. a correction made to the coordinates of the flight path the night before the disaster, coupled with a failure to inform the flight crew of the change, with the result that the aircraft, instead of being directed by computer down McMurdo Sound (as the crew had been led to believe), was instead rerouted to a path straight toward Mount Erebus.

2. The decision of the captain to continue the flight at low level toward an area of poor surface and horizon definition when the crew was not certain of their position and the subsequent inability to detect the rising terrain which intercepted the aircraft's flight path.

The aircraft used on the Antarctic flights were McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 trijets. The aircraft on the day was registered ZK-NZP. 
ZK-NZP was the182nd DC-10 to be built, and the fourth DC-10 to be introduced by Air New Zealand. The DC 10 was handed over to the airline on the 12th of December 1974 at McDonnell Douglas's Long Beach plant. It had only logged 20,700 flight hours prior to the crash.

Air New Zealand had been operating a scheduled Antarctic sightseeing flights since 1977. 

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air New Zealand
Code: TE
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 
Registration: ZK-NZP
Serial Number: 46910
Engines: 3 x GE CF6-50C2
First Flew: 08/11/1974
Age: 5 Yrs

Sunday 27 November 2022

Extreme storm in Saudi Arabia damages two aircraft

A Saudia Airbus A330 and a Libyan Airlines Airbus A320 were damaged by the extreme weather conditions.

Heavy rainfall and violent hailstorms over Jeddah on the 24th of November resulted in disruption at the city’s airport and damage to at least two aircraft as they came into land.

An Airbus A330-300 belonging to Saudia was operating flight SV452 from Khartoum (KRT/HSSK) to King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED/OEJN)) when it encountered the inclement weather. The aircraft entered a hold at high altitude prior to landing to wait for conditions to improve.

The onboard crew attempted an initial approach, but subsequently climbed back to an altitude of 19,000ft and continued to hold. On its second approach, the flight encountered severe turbulence and damage to its nose cone and cockpit windshield.

The flight landed safely at 11:14, approximately 45 minutes after entering the first hold, however, the Airbus A330-300 had suffered significant damage as a result of the hail.

A Libyan Airlines Airbus A320 is also believed to have been damaged. The aircraft was operating flight LN1256 from Benghazi (BEN/HLLB) to Jeddah (JED/OEJN) when it encountered the same adverse weather conditions as the Saudia flight. The aircraft was climbing out of Jeddah's runway 16C at 08:54 (local) when the crew stopped the climb due to a hail strike damaging both windshields. The aircraft positioned for an immediate return to Jeddah but aborted the approach at about 2000 feet and climbed again to 8000 feet and subsequently entered a hold at 5000 feet to wait for better weather. The aircraft landed safely back on runway 16C about one hour after departure.

At the time of writing, both the Saudia and the Libyan Airlines aircraft remain on the ground in Jeddah.

Aircraft Information No 1
Airline: Saudia 
Code: SV/SVA
Aircraft: Airbus A330-343
Registration: HZ-AQ25
Serial Number: 1790
Engines: 2 x RR Trent 772B-60
First Flew: 10/04/2017
Age: 5Yrs. 6 Mts

Aircraft Information No 2
Airline: Libyan Airlines
Code: LN/LAA
Aircraft: Airbus A320-214
Registration: 5A-LAK
Serial Number: 4526
Engines: 2 x CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
First Flew: 03/12/2010
Age: 12 Yrs.

According to Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology, Jeddah recorded 179mm of rain in just four hours. The resulting flash floods tragically killed two people and left several buildings and roads badly damaged. The total amount of rainfall was the highest ever recorded, and exceeded that of the 25th of November 2009, when over 120 people died in flash floods in the city.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Flair Airlines runs off runway in Ontario


A Flair Airlines Boeing 737-800 travelling from Vancouver International Airport, BC (YVR/CYVR) to Kitchener-Region of Waterloo International Airport, ON (YKF/CYKF) has overrun the runway while landing today Australia time (25th November 2022 Canadian Time)
The flight's arrival on runway 26 around 6.30am (local time) was normal but overran the end of the runway and came to a stop with all tyres/gear on the soft ground about 140 meters/470 feet past the runway 08 end.
There were no known injuries, and as this story is very new there is no information if the aircraft sustained damage. The 134 passengers and 6 crew had to wait for stairs but then disembarked and were bussed to the terminal. Flair Airlines is a Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) and one of the airline principal owners is Miamai based 777 Partners. Flair has 3 Boeing 737-800 and 23 Boeing 737 MAX 8 in fleet

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Flair Airlines
Code: F8/FLE
Aircraft: 737-86J
Registration: C-FFLC
Serial Number: 37758 
Engines 2 x CFMI CFM56-7B27
First Flew: 07/10/2010
Plane age 12 Yrs. 1 Mth
Test Registration N1787B

The aircraft was acquired by Flair in 2019 but originally flew with Air Berlin.

Friday 25 November 2022

Another crew member dies of heart attack on board aircraft

A Gulf Air Airbus A321 diverted two hours into its flight after a crew member suffered a heart attack.

On Tuesday, the 22nd of November a Gulf Air Airbus A321 made an emergency diversion after a crew member suffered a heart attack. The flight was scheduled to fly from Bahrain International Airport (BAH/OBBI) to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG). After the crew member was taken ill, the flight made an emergency diversion to Iraq's Erbil International Airport (EBL/ORER), where the crew member was rushed to the local hospital. Unfortunately, the crew member was declared dead by Erbil's medical services shortly afterward.

Flight GF19 departed Bahrain's runway 30R at 22:40 UTC. Roughly two hours later, around 00:27 UTC, the airplane turned sharply to the southeast towards Erbil. At this point, the aircraft was just south of the crossroads connecting Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The airliner landed safely on runway 36 at Erbil at 00:52 UTC, no other injuries were reported. After the crew member was taken by local medical personnel, the airplane departed to finish its route.

The flight departed Erbil at 03:37 UTC and landed at CDG at 09:05 UTC. 
The airline has expressed its sympathies to the crew member's family. The company released a statement concerning the tragic event, which reads,

"The national carrier expresses its deepest condolences to the crew member's family and loved ones and confirms that the flight resumed to Paris as scheduled. Gulf Air reassures that the safety of its passengers and crew comes at the top of its priorities, and thanks the affected flight's passengers for their patience and understanding,"


Story sourced from here

Thursday 24 November 2022

Pilot who was incapacitated midflight passed away


Envoy Air, a regional carrier and subsidiary of American Airlines, confirmed on Tuesday that a pilot who suffered a medical emergency during a flight has died. The flight departed Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD/KORD) on Saturday bound for Columbus (CMH/KCMH) returned shortly after takeoff due to the captain reportedly being incapacitated.

While Envoy has not commented on the cause of the medical emergency, Captain Ric Wilson, Vice President of Flight Operations at the airline, said in a message to employees that the pilot was a captain in training.

The carrier said in a statement,

“Despite heroic efforts by those on board and first responders on the ground, our colleague passed away at the hospital. We’re deeply saddened and are doing all we can to support his family and our colleagues at this time.”

Envoy Air flight 3556 was bound for John Glenn Columbus International Airport and operated by N269NN, an Embraer E175. According to data from Flight Aware, the plane departed on runway 28R at 19.57 local time and flew on a path north of the airport before turning back towards the airport to land 8 minutes later at 20.05.

According to Aero Insider, the pilot in the right-hand seat reported to air traffic controllers (ATC) that the captain was incapacitated and that they needed to return to O’Hare at around 4,500 feet.

According to an archive of audio recordings on ATCLive, another pilot can be heard informing ATC of the incident.

“We need to return. Captain is incapacitated... he’s knocked out. We’re going to need paramedics.”

ATC then advised the pilot to start descending and to reposition the aircraft for arrival on runway 28C. On the ground, the pilot informed ATC that he would be able to get the plane off the runway onto a taxiway, but would need to stop again to move the captain off his seat in order to get the aircraft to gate L23.

When asked about paramedics, the pilot indicated that emergency responders should proceed to meet the plane at the gate, but he was unsure about the process of assisting the captain.

Wilson admired the captain in command in a statement.

“Sincere thanks to Line Check Airman, Captain Brandon Hendrickson, for his leadership and professionalism in the safe handling of his aircraft, passengers and crew,” Wilson said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now investigating the incident. Aviation sources believe the captain in training died of a heart attack, but officials have not confirmed the cause of death. Fifty-seven passengers and crew were onboard.


This story was sourced from here
Envoy Air Pilot Who Was Incapacitated Midflight Passed Away (

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Airlines are failing passengers who require assistance to fly

All passengers flying post-COVID lockdowns have noticed staffing problems at every level slowing down the process, but no passengers are more affected than those in need of assistance to reach their destinations. Flying with different disabilities is a dehumanising, painful and, sometimes, life threatening experience.

Disabilities affect roughly one in five of the population and there are many passengers who use what’s termed “special assistance” when moving around airports.

That could be someone partially sighted needing guidance to the gate, someone with sensory issues needing help at pinchpoints such as security or during boarding, or a passenger with a bad knee who can walk to the gate, but can’t do steps.

Around 27 million passengers with disabilities flew through US airports in 2019, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

And with a system already under stress, the results can be devastating.

In June, a passenger who’d booked special assistance died at London’s Gatwick Airport when he decided to make his way into the terminal unaided instead of waiting for assistance. A staff member had arrived at the gate to take three passengers to a buggy and had already taken the first person when the man, after waiting a long time, decided to walk. 

The airport has launched an investigation into the incident.

The people struggling with the lack of services say the shortage of workers, lack of customisation for each unique passenger and a lack of training are the key reasons already poor treatment has gotten worse.

“It’s definitely got worse since the pandemic,” says Roberto Castiglioni, director of Reduced Mobility Rights, which advocates for disabled travelers.

“Staff shortages are not only having an impact on not enough [assistance-dedicated] agent,” he says. “Where airports have seen shortages in security staff, there are very long lines to go through.”

Anyone who can’t stand for, at times, hours — whether elderly, pregnant or sick — has to request assistance, adding extra stress on a short-staffed system.

For Carrie-Ann Lightley — who’s wanted to fly from her native UK to Australia for eight years but felt “daunted” — after having her chair broken on a previous flight.

“The problem is the process and training — ultimately [assistance staff] aren’t trained to look after human beings, but to move luggage,” she says.

“I don’t feel I get an equal service to others. I pay the same price as everyone else but I can’t even access the toilet independently. Not a week goes by without a headline about assistance failures, but we’re not viewed as important enough a customer group.”

Once on the airplane lands, the problems don’t end. Late flights mean passengers in need of assistance can be last to board, which could separate them from potentially life-saving carry-on luggage. Airplanes are not required to have ADA compliant bathrooms. The Department of Transportation proposed a possible rule that would require new aircraft to provide accessible bathrooms... in 20 years.

Getting off the plane isn’t any easier. It seems at least once a week this year there’s a story about a person with a disability left on a plane for hours or stranded at airports after their wheel chair or critical accessibility equipment were lost or badly damaged.

The whole thing is heartbreaking. We all need to demand better of the airlines. 

Story sourced from here
Airlines Are Failing Passengers Who Require Assistance to Fly (

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Queensland lady forced to crawl down plane aisle

The below story is Follow on from a story I posted on Friday about Jetstar.


A Queensland woman in a wheelchair has slammed her treatment by Jetstar as disgraceful after she felt forced to crawl along the aisle of a plane.

In a video, Natalie Curtis can clearly be seen crawling along the floor to get to her wheelchair and disembark a Jetstar plane.

"Just the thought of crawling on the ground where everyone has walked on is sickening, you don't know what you're putting your hands on," Curtis said.
"There was probably about five people standing around watching as well."

The disability support worker from Townsville has spina bifida and has been in a wheelchair since high school and travels often.

The trip to Bangkok was to celebrate her birthday with her friend Natasha.
After touching down in Thailand, the women were first told the wait for a special wheelchair to fit down the aisle would be 40 minutes.
Curtis says she was then told by a worker that she would need to pay for it.

"She came on board, she was nicely dressed, with a clipboard, saying we have to pay for a chair and I'm like we don't need to pay for a chair, I have my own chair, (I) just need an aisle chair."

Natasha, her friend, contemplated carrying her but didn't want to injure herself or Curtis.
In a statement, Jetstar unreservedly apologised, saying it was "a miscommunication that resulted in the delay of an aisle chair".
The airline said it was looking into what happened as a matter of urgency.
The airline doesn't normally charge for aisle chairs and said, "at no point was an aisle chair withheld due to a request for payment".

Curtis was offered a refund and a voucher but said she didn't plan on ever flying with Jetstar again.
"Hopefully Jetstar learn from this, they really need to lift their game," she said.

Jetstar has apologised, saying there was a miscommunication.

Monday 21 November 2022

Man charged after urinating in his seat on flight to Brisbane

A New Zealand man has been placed on a good behaviour bond after urinating on the floor of a flight from Bali to Brisbane, police say.
Police claimed the 72-year-old consumed "a number of small bottles of wine during the flight" and was still sitting in his seat when he relieved himself onto the floor of the plane.
When he arrived in Brisbane, Australian Federal Police officers charged the man with disorderly behaviour on an aircraft.

According to the AFP, the man pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates and received a 12-month good behaviour bond and a $600 (AUD) fine.
Brisbane airport police commander Superintendent Mark Colbran said there was no excuse for the "disgraceful" behaviour.
"Antisocial or illegal behaviour is unacceptable in any setting and the AFP will not tolerate it at Australia's airports," the AFP officer said.

"The AFP expects passengers to be responsible when consuming alcohol – families and other travellers have a right to feel safe.''

Sunday 20 November 2022

LATAM Airlines hits fire truck and crashes on runway, two firefighters dead


A LATAM Airlines aircraft traveling from Lima (LIM/SPJC) to Juliaca (JUL/SPJL) collided with a firetruck on the runway as it was taking off from runway 16 in Peru's capital Lima on Friday, resulting in the death of two firefighters.

For reasons still unknown, the fire truck approached the active runway at high speed and collided with the aircraft, whose right main gear collapsed and caught fire due to friction against the runway.

Peru's health ministry said that 20 passengers were being treated at the local hospital, and at least two were in serious condition. The airline said no passengers or crew members were killed.
The ministry said 61 people had been moved to nearby clinics and hospitals from Jorge Chavez International Airport. It was not clear whether this was due to injury or just a precaution.

President Pedro Castillo expressed condolences to the families of the two firefighters in a statement on Twitter, saying he was praying for the recovery of those injured.

It was unclear why the firetruck entered the runway while the plane was taking off. The prosecutors' office said it was investigating the incident as potential manslaughter.

This is the second incident in less than a month involving LATAM Airlines, after one of its planes had its nose destroyed during a severe storm that forced it to make an emergency landing.

Chile-based LATAM Airlines' Peru branch said it was deploying all its resources to attend to those affected, and work with authorities to support the investigation.

Video posted on social media showed the jet colliding with the firetruck as it careened down the runway, then rapidly catching fire and smoking heavily as it ground to a halt.

Everyone in the departure lounge was apprehensive until we saw the plane stopped, and then the fire engines and ambulances arrived," said Mauro Ferreira, a Brazilian waiting to board a flight home to Panama, who filmed the incident.
"It was a harrowing feeling because we didn't know how many people were inside the plane and the flames were very tall."

Lima Airport Partners, which operates Jorge Chavez, Peru's most important airport, said the airport's runway 16/34 will remain closed at least through 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: LATAM
Code: LA/LAN
Aircraft: Airbus A320-271N
Registration: CC-BHB
Serial Number: 7864
Engines: 2 x PW PW1127G
First Flew: 16/11/2017
Age: 5 Yrs. 3 Days

Saturday 19 November 2022

British passenger puts his hand up stewardess's skirt and sexually assaults her

A 66-year-old British man faces trial in France for putting his hand up a stewardess's skirt and sexually assaulting her on a Jet2 flight from Leeds (LBA/EGNM) to Alicante (ACL/LEAL).

The passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing in the western French city of Nantes (NTE/LFRS) after the 'seriously drunk' 66-year-old carried out the sexual assault last Saturday morning.

The unnamed pensioner has admitted putting his hand under the skirt of the air attendant and touching her intimate parts while she was handing out refreshments.

When the plane touched down, he was arrested by French border police, and he is now due to face trial in December.

The aircraft's captain ordered the emergency landing. The man, a pensioner, has now been released under judicial control and must now appear in court for the trial on December 13, Nantes prosecutors said in a statement.

The accused 'admitted to what was committed against the air attendant. He was in a seriously drunken state when he was handed over to the the border police,' added regional prosecutor Renaud Gaudeul.

One passenger who was onboard the flight stated 'We were just settling into the flight, everyone on the flight around us were in good spirits. It was a 7am flight,  people were merry not drunk including our selves. We were just about to be served from the inflight bar as the chief stewardess apologised and said so sorry there’s been an incident at the back of the plane. The jet 2 team then concentrated on the issues.

'Obviously the Chinese whispers came down towards the front of the plane were we were sat. We were so distraught upset and angry that someone could do a vile act. We then realised that the plane was descending.

'We really haven’t got over this event and it has put a downer in the start of our break away together which we have waited for since Covid.'

In mid-May, a Ryanair flight between Manchester in England and Faro in Portugal was also diverted to Nantes airport after five drunken English travellers disturbed other passengers.

Friday 18 November 2022

Jetstar boots unaccompanied child from flight


Jetstar Airways has once again hit the headlines here in Australia. This time it is for removing an unaccompanied 11-year-old child from a flight. The child was traveling with his 13-year-old sister from Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD/YSSY) to the Gold Coast (OOL/YBCG) when the incident took place.

The original flight booking was made with the low-cost carrier’s parent company, Qantas. The original booking included the children’s father, who was later unable to travel and was taken off the ticket prior to the departure date. The children’s mother, Ms Garland, subsequently contacted Qantas to confirm that the children would still be able to travel, and she was advised that there would not be a problem.

However, once seated, the younger of the two children was removed from the Airbus A320 by Jetstar staff while his sister remained onboard, and the flight departed.

A spokesperson for Jetstar apologised for the miscommunication and explained the airline’s policy for unaccompanied minors, saying,

“We sincerely apologise to Ms Garland and her family for the extremely distressing situation. While we enjoy welcoming young passengers on board our flights, Jetstar does not offer an unaccompanied minor service and young passengers must meet certain requirements in order to travel independently with us, including being of secondary school age. A secondary school passenger can travel independently but must be at least 15 years old to accompany a child under secondary school age.”

Jetstar’s policy is confirmed on the airline’s website, which states that “an accompanying passenger for children and infants aged 2-11 must be at least 15 years old (except where the parent of the child or infant is less than 15 years old).”

Qantas, on the other hand, does allow passengers under 12 years old to travel alone when using the airline’s supervision service. For a fee of $50 AUD ($34) on domestic flights and $90 AUD ($61) on international flights, the unaccompanied minor is escorted through the airport by a Qantas customer service agent. Additional fees apply if this service is not pre-booked.

Following the incident, Jetstar has confirmed that a full refund has now been processed,

“We also apologise to Ms Garland for the delay and frustration she has experienced in obtaining a refund and can confirm that refunds are being processed for her family’s entire booking.”

While this case appears to have now been resolved, this is not the first time the Jetstar group has made the news for its mishandling of a passenger. Earlier this month, the carrier’s sister airline, Jetstar Asia Airways, came under fire when a passenger was denied an aisle wheelchair. The incident took place on a flight from Singapore (SIN) to Bangkok (BKK), leading to the passenger having to crawl off the aircraft.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Flight attendant sent to hospital after unruly passenger incident


An altercation on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco (SFO/KSFO) to Chicago (ORD/KORD) led to multiple passengers and one flight attendant being hospitalized after landing at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

UA476 departed San Francisco at 00:42 local time on the 13th of November, 43 minutes late. The Boeing 777-200 headed for Chicago O'Hare International Airport, where it landed four minutes late, at 06:03 local time. When the aircraft arrived at the gate in Chicago, local police boarded the plane because of an altercation between a passenger and multiple flight attendants.

In multiple videos shared by passengers, a woman holding a child appears standing in the aisle screaming at the flight attendants. Flight attendants are heard telling the passenger that the plane is landing at that she needs to take her seat for landing. The passenger pushes herself into a flight attendant blocking the aisle and tells the flight attendant to "f*** off" and that the passenger next to her smells of alcohol.

The woman repeatedly tells the flight attendant, "I will kill you." The videos are brief, but in one, a flight attendant is seen running down the aisle of the 777 to help de-escalate the situation.

At one point, four flight attendants are seen near the disturbed passenger, ready to assist and neutralize the situation.

According to Emily Jean, another passenger on the flight, the passenger in the incident acted strangely throughout the flight, muttering things under her breath that sounded like gibberish. The passenger, presumably named Sarah based on what the flight attendants say in the video, also told passengers, "Jesus Christ, our savior, is going to save us."

The crew of flight 476 requested that police meet the plane at the gate, and police officers met the aircraft at around 06:02. According to a statement from the Chicago Police Department, three people were taken to the nearby Resurrection Hospital for observation, including one of the flight attendants.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: United Airlines
Code: UA/UAL
Aircraft: Boeing 777-222
Registration: N779UA
Serial Number: 26941 
Engines: 2 x PW PW4077
First Flew: 10/07/1996

Wednesday 16 November 2022

U.S. Department of Transportation fines airlines $7.5 million

The Department of Transportation is cracking down on airlines that refuse to give customers refunds for canceled flights.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Monday announced that the department is assessing fines totaling $7.5 million against six airlines, and the DOT is ordering those airlines to pay $600 million in refunds to hundreds of thousands of customers who had been denied them.

"When a flight gets canceled, passengers seeking refunds should be paid back promptly," Buttigieg said. "Whenever that doesn't happen, we will act to hold airlines accountable on behalf of American travelers and get passengers their money back."

"A flight cancellation is frustrating enough and you shouldn't also have to haggle or wait months to get your refund," he said.

Airlines are required to pay customers refunds when a flight is canceled for any reason, but often, in an effort to keep the cash, many airlines offer vouchers or credit for future travel instead of a refund.

Airlines' refusal to give passengers their money back has become a huge source of consumer complaints, especially during the early days of the pandemic when almost no one was flying.

Bill McGee, an aviation consumer advocate with the American Economic Liberties Project, cites data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics showing that complaints filed against airlines for refusing to provide refunds soared in 2020 to more than 89,000, up 57 times from just about 1,500 in 2019.

"It's really unprecedented," McGee says. "We've never seen anything like it."

Buttigieg says DOT will make sure that refunds are available and processed promptly

One big problem was that would-be travelers often canceled their plans because of the pandemic and the significant travel restrictions in place, but the airline wouldn't cancel the flight until the last minute. In those instances, airlines usually were not required to offer refunds, but many did offer vouchers or credit for future travel instead. But those vouchers and credits often expired before some people were able to or felt comfortable traveling again.

And delays, cancellations and significant changes to flight schedules has become a significant problem this year, as airlines initially scheduled more flights than they had the staff to operate.

Buttigieg says airline operations have improved in recent months after a horrendous summer of flight disruptions.

"But still, flights do get canceled. And when that happens, DOT will be here to make sure that a refund is available and that it's processed as promptly as possible, that we're going to have people's backs when they experience a disruption," Buttigieg told reporters in a news conference over Zoom Monday.

But consumer advocate Bill McGee isn't so sure. While he says these enforcement actions are a small step in the right direction, "It's really too little and too late. The fact is, the biggest offenders here don't seem to be addressed."

He notes that one only relatively small U.S. carrier, Frontier, is being punished, along with five foreign carriers (six if you include Air Canada, which was fined by the DOT last year). And he agrees that Frontier "is one of the worst offenders.

"Why is it that none of these other airlines have been fined?"

But he says consumers filed thousands of complaints against United, Delta, American and other airlines over their refusal to provide refunds.

"Why is it that none of these other airlines have been fined?" Mc Gee asks. "And why is it taking so long ... why is it taking (almost) three years to investigate this, particularly since all the data is public?"

"Airlines that brazenly skirt the rules deserve to be fined, but this latest round of enforcement from the USDOT comes almost three years too late and leaves out the most egregious U.S. offenders," McGee says.

The airlines facing fines include just one U.S.-based carrier, Frontier, which has been forced to pay $222 million in refunds, and a $2.2 million fine. But in a statement, Frontier says it will pay just $1 million out of pocket, after having received a $1.2 million goodwill refund credit.

The other airlines subject to Monday's enforcement action are:
Air India – $121.5 million in required refunds paid and a $1.4 million penalty
• TAP Air Portugal – $126.5 million in required refunds paid and a $1.1 million penalty
• Aeromexico – $13.6 million in required refunds paid and a $900,000 penalty
• El Al – $61.9 million in required refunds paid and a $900,000 penalty
• Avianca – $76.8 million in required refunds paid and a $750,000 penalty

All of the consent orders are available at, docket number DOT-OST-2022-

The Department has also proposed stricter rules on airline customer refunds.

According to the DOT, consumers can file air travel consumer complaints online or by voicemail at (202)-366-2220.

Full story sourced from here

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Propeller strap penetrates cabin in flight


Last Thursday (10th Nov) a Link Airways Saab 340B, flying on behalf of Virgin Australia, performing flight VA-633 from Canberra (CBR/YSCB) to Sydney (SYD/YSSY), was departing Canberra's runway 35 when a strap, used to secure the left-hand propeller on the ground, struck and penetrated the left side of the aircraft causing minor injuries to three passengers. The flight crew, having received an emergency call from the cabin crew, stopped the initial climb at 3000 feet and returned to the airport for an immediate landing on runway 35 about 7 minutes after departure.

Australian Federal Police reported three people were assessed for minor injuries.

The ATSB deployed investigators on site and reported a ratchet strap attached to a propeller punctured the side of the plane, with one of its ends appearing inside the cabin shortly after takeoff. 
The strap that had been used to secure the propeller overnight had not been removed before the flight.

The airline reported the aircraft landed safely back, there were no injuries to passengers or crew.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Link Airways
Code: FC
Aircraft: Saab 340B
Registration: VH-VEQ
Serial Number: 340B-424
Engines: 2 x GE CT7-9B
First Flew: 21/08/1997
Age: 25Yrs. 2Mts.

Monday 14 November 2022

Knife wielding passenger cause emergency landing

Passengers onboard a Frontier flight from Cincinnati to Tampa were diverted to Atlanta when a passenger started threatening other passengers and crew with a box cutter.

FRONTIER AIRBUS A319-119 N949FR (MSN 2857)

On Friday, the 11th of November, Frontier Airlines flight 1761 departed from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG/KCVG) to Tampa International Airport (TPA/KTPA). Due to a passenger wielding a box knife and threating passengers and crew the flight diverted to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL/KATL). 

Reports are still unclear on how the passenger got the box cutter onboard, seeing as how strong security measures have been implemented since 9/11. No doubt, an investigation will be launched regarding how the weapon managed to get past security at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Frontier spokesperson Jennifer De La Cruz commented on the situation:
"The aircraft landed safely in Atlanta and the passenger in question was taken into custody by Atlanta law enforcement"

The passenger was initially spotted with one knife. However, a second box cutter was discovered after searching the man's carry-on belongings. Details of the passenger have not yet been released, but after diverting to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), he was taken into custody by the Atlanta police.

After the diversion, all other passengers were taken care of with overnight hotel accommodation.

The Frontier Airlines flight was operated by its Airbus A320, registration N393FR. For those familiar with Frontier's distinct tail designs, this aircraft features its 'Nevada the Red Fox livery.'

Several passengers noted the man was behaving erratically before the knife made an appearance. Some passengers even said he verbally admitted he wanted to 'stab or kill someone.' Cabin crew on the flight asked for anyone with a military or police background to move to the back of the airplane, where the man was sitting, to keep an eye on him until they could land.

The hero of the hour was a man by the name of Cumberbatch, a Navy veteran, who volunteered to do so. He maintained a sense of calm with the perpetrator until it was time to land, noting that many of the passengers did not even know they were involved in an emergency landing until they switched on their phones and realized they were in Atlanta. With assistance from another veteran, an ex-Army man, the two escorted the man off the aircraft and into police custody.

Box cutters have been prohibited within aircraft cabins since 9/11. These were among the weapons used by the Al-Qaeda hijackers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has commented on the severity of this situation, with spokesperson Patricia Mancha stating:

"TSA takes its role in transportation security very seriously. The situation with the Frontier flight is under investigation with the US Attorney's Office, as they are the lead federal agency in this matter. TSA has started an internal review of the incident by viewing CCTV, airport security checkpoint processes/operations and will continue to provide updates as they are available."

No passengers or crew were harmed in the incident, but the severity of the situation cannot be understated. Given the level of security required these days to board an airplane, serious questions will be raised about where the system failed.

Frontier scheduled a new flight for the affected passengers to depart Saturday 12th, from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) at 09:00, with anticipated landing at the original destination of Tampa International Airport (TPA) at 10:11, over 12 hours later than originally planned.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Frontier
Code: F9/FFT
Aircraft: Airbus A320-251N
Registration: N393FR
Serial Number: 10919
Engines: 2 x CFMI LEAP-1A26
First Flew: July 2022
Age: 4 Months

Sunday 13 November 2022

Mid-Air Collision at Dallas Airshow

                       BREAKING NEWS 
This is absolutely horrific, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the immediate families and friends and the US Airforce. 

Two historic military planes have collided and crashed to the ground during an air show in Dallas, exploding into a ball of flames and sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. 
The Commemorative Air Force said six people were on board the planes at the time of the crash, according to a CBS News report.

Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas-Redbird Airport, TX (RBD/KRBD) about 16 kilometres from the city’s downtown. News footage from the scene showed crumpled wreckage of the planes in a grassy area, apparently inside the airport perimeter. Dallas Fire-Rescue told The Dallas Morning News that there were no reported injuries among people on the ground.

“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said a witness who attended the air show with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”

Officials could not say how many people were on board the planes, but Hank Coates, president of the company that put on the airshow, said one of the planes, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, has a crew of four to five people. The other, a P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane, has a single pilot.

No paying customers were on the aircraft, said Coates, of Commemorative Air Force, which also owned the planes. Their aircraft are flown by highly trained volunteers, often retired pilots, he said.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board had taken control of the crash scene with local police and fire providing support.

The planes collided and crashed around 1.20pm, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Victoria Yeager, the widow of famed Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager and herself a pilot, was also at the show. She didn’t see the collision but did see the burning wreckage.

“It was pulverised,” said Yeager, 64, who lives in Fort Worth.

“We were just hoping they had all gotten out, but we knew they didn’t,” she said of those on board.

Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for November 11th-13th, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircrafts. Its Saturday afternoon schedule included flying demonstrations including a “bomber parade” and “fighter escorts” featured the B-17 and P-63.

Aircraft Information No 1
Airline: American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum
Aircraft: Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
Registration: N7227C
Serial Number: 77235
Engines: 4 x Wright R-1820 
Built: 1944

Aircraft Information No 2
Airline: American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum
Aircraft: Bell P-63F-1-BE Kingcobra
Registration: N6763
Serial Number: 296E1-1R
Engines: Allison V1710
Built: 1946

Joy flight over Bribie Island

Yesterday I was invited to go on a joy flight with a friend of mine out of Caboolture Airfield.
The aircraft we went up in was a Tecnam P92S Echo, we departed from runway 29 at 10.18am and after passing 300 feet we banked right and headed out towards the coastline of Bribie Island. The climb out was slightly bumpy but once we climbed to 3,000 feet it smoothed out. We headed up the coast towards Caloundra, passing the war bunkers. After doing a few circuits we headed south hugging the coastline once again. We had the ocean on one side and the Glass House Mountains on the other side, seriously does life get any better than this. We flew over the suburb of Bribie Island, buzzing another mate's house, and then made our way back to Caboolture Airfield. Once in the circuit we overflew the aerodrome before coming into land, once again on 29. The approach was very bumpy, and we experience some wind shear just before touchdown.  

Before the flight I arrived a little earlier to do some plane spotting as Caboolture is very busy on the weekends, for some reason it was extremely quiet for the 45 minutes I was there.


TECNAM P92 EAGLET G 5   24-8211 (MSN 1427)

CESSNA 172N VH-KBL (MSN 17268739)

PIPER PA-18-150 VH-KLI (MSN 18-7709042)

CESSNA 180K VH-IHG (MSN 18053161)

Caboolture Airfield is an aerodrome catering to general aviation and ultralight aircraft located in Caboolture, Queensland, approximately 55 km (34 miles) north of our state capital city, Brisbane, and 82 km (51 miles) from my home. The airfield is maintained and operated by the Caboolture Aero Club and shares a large training area with nearby Caloundra Airport and Redcliffe Airport. The airfield is a popular site for the restoration of historic aircraft and a number of associated businesses are located onsite.

The airfield has two grass runways, both of which operate with a displaced threshold to allow aircraft to sufficiently clear the Bruce Highway and local roads. The main runway strip is 11/29 which is 1,210 mts long (3,970 ft). For some reason there is a short, sealed area that exists at the runway 11 threshold stretching approximately 250m. The second strip, 06/24 is 821 mts long (2,694 ft).
There is no control tower at the airport, so pilots are required to co-ordinate aircraft movements using a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF).

Special thanks to Phil S for inviting me to join you, I had a really good time.

Saturday 12 November 2022

World's deadliest "mid-air" collision

On the 12th of November 1996, Saudia Flight 763, a Boeing 747 en route from Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL/VIDP), India to Dhahran International Airport (DHA/OEDR), Saudi Arabia, and a Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907, an Ilyushin Il-76 en route from Shymkent Airport (CIT/UAII), Kazakhstan to Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL/VIDP), India collided over the village of Charkhi Dadri, around 100 km (62 miles) west of Delhi. 

The crash killed all 349 people on board both planes, making it the world's deadliest mid-air collision and the deadliest aviation accident to occur in India. There were 312 POB the Saudi flight and 37 POB the Kazakhstan flight. The crash was caused by failure of the Kazakhstani crew to maintain the correct altitude, because of confused dialogue with the tower, communicated via the radio operator, while also apparently fighting turbulence.

Investigations showed the Kazakh aircraft had descended below its assigned altitude of 15,000 feet and was flying at 14,500 feet. A few seconds later the same aircraft had descended another 310 feet, giving an altitude of 14,190 feet, 810 feet below its assigned altitude. Shortly afterwards both aircraft collided, plummeting down in flames and crashed in an arid farming area.

The Saudia flight departed Delhi at 18:32 local time while the Kazakhstan flight was descending simultaneously to land at Delhi. Both flights were controlled by approach controller. The Kazakhstan Airlines plane was cleared to descend to 15,000 feet when it was 74 nautical miles (137 km) from the beacon of the destination airport, while the Saudia plane, travelling on the same airway but in the opposite direction, was cleared to climb to 14,000 feet. About eight minutes later, around 18:40, the Kazakhstan flight reported having reached its assigned altitude of 15,000 feet, but it was actually lower, at 14,500 feet, and still descending. At this time, ATC advised the flight, "Identified traffic 12 o'clock, reciprocal Saudia Boeing 747, 10 nautical miles (19 km). 
Report in sight."

The controller called Flight 1907 again and again, but he received no reply. He tried to warn of the other flight's distance but was too late. The two aircraft collided, with the tail of the Kazakhstan flight slicing through left wing of the Saudia 747 and horizontal stabiliser.

The factors contributing to the unauthorised descent of Kazak aircraft to FL-140, departing from the assigned FL-150, were:
1) inadequate knowledge of English language of Kazak pilot, resulting in wrong interpretations of ATC instructions.

2) poor airmanship and lack of proper CRM (Crew Resource Management) skill on the part of PIC (Pilot-in-Command) compounded by leadership quality lacking in him.

Aircraft Information No 1
Airline: Saudi Arabian Airlines
Code: SV/SVA
Aircraft: Boeing 747-168B
Registration: HZ-AIH
Serial Number: 22748
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce RB211-524C2
First Flew: 03/02/1982
Age at accident: 14 Years 10 Months

Aircraft Information No 2
Airline: Kazakhstan Airlines
Code: K4/KZA
Aircraft: Ilyushin Il-76TD
Registration: UN-76435
Serial Number: 1023413428
Engines: 4 x Aviadvigatel PS-90 turbofan engines

Friday 11 November 2022

Friday morning spotting at Brisbane Airport

Friday morning seems to be really busy at Brisbane airport, so I thought I would go out there this morning and do some plane spotting.

I got out there around 6.20am and left just after Malaysia landed at 9.00.

When I get up, I always check flightradar24 first and I noticed a Korean Air 777 heading from the west to east. It had ICN - SYD on the flight but I thought, its going the wrong way. It's at 370 so it's not diverting here, it must be going to Auckland I thought. Then it banked right and headed south over my home... very unusual flight path.

KOREAN AIR BOEING 777-300 HL8347 (MSN 63435)










REX SAAB 340B VH-ZLG (MSN 340B-375)

REX BOEING 737-85R VH-MFM (MSN 42805)


UNITED BOEING 787-9 N27957 (MSN 36409)






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