Friday 31 March 2023

2 Black Hawk helicopters crash in Kentucky

                            BREAKING NEWS

Nine US service members were killed after two helicopters with the 101st Airborne Division crashed late Wednesday in southwestern Kentucky, officials said. There were no survivors.
The two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed around 10 p.m. in Trigg County near the Tennessee border, officials at nearby Fort Campbell said early Thursday. They were taking part “in a routine training mission when the incident occurred,” the base said in a statement.

The helicopters were medical evacuation aircraft, and it’s believed the crash happened while they were flying and not during a medical evacuation drill, Brig. Gen. John Lubas, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division, said during a Thursday morning news conference at Fort Campbell.

The aircraft went down in an open field across from a residential area, so no additional casualties or injuries were reported, he said.

Army Brigadier General John Lubas, the division's deputy commanding officer for operations, said little was known so far about why the helicopters came down and he acknowledged he was not even sure whether they crashed into each other.

Brig. Gen. John Lubas, with the 101st Airborne Division, said there were five people in one helicopter and four in the other, which he described as “fairly typical.”

The Black Hawks that crashed were two of four total helicopters taking part in the training exercise, according to 101st Airborne Division spokesman Staff Sgt. Joshua Tverberg. One helicopter had stopped to refuel, and another was ahead of the two that went down.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a later statement on Thursday that he was “saddened by this tragic loss” and was working with the Army to “make sure our troops and their families receive the care that they need in the wake of this accident.”

“My heart goes out to the families of these servicemembers and to the members of the 101st Airborne Division who bravely and proudly serve our country each and every day,” he said.

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility military helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A entered service with the U.S. Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter.

KLM detoured due to unruly passenger

KLM BOEING 777-306 PH-BVW (MSN 66889)

A KLM flight from Amsterdam (AMS/EHAM) to Calgary (YYC/CYYC) was delayed on Sunday morning when an unruly passenger forced the airline to return to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. 
The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, departed from runway 36L at 12.58 p.m. (local). 2 hrs. 25 minutes into the flight, and almost over Iceland, the pilots decided to divert back to Amsterdam, and began to turn the aircraft around.

It's not yet clear who the passenger was targeting or why, but the man was overpowered by crew and passengers and handcuffed to his seat. 

At 5.38 p.m., 4 hours 40 minutes later, KL677 touched down on runway 06.
Dutch police met the flight at Schiphol Airport and took the passenger into custody. 

The flight, KL0677, then departed Schiphol Airport at 7:28 p.m. It landed in Calgary at 7:18 p.m. 

John Gradek, the head of McGill University's aviation management program, called the actions taken by the flight crew in this case reasonable. He told news reporters in Calgary, if a passenger is considered a threat or they are disrupting others on board, the crew can take action, typically starting with a warning but escalating to more serious action if their behaviour doesn’t change. “If you’re a passenger on the airplane and you see this, it is not a pleasant sight to see, and you want to make sure the airline acts in the interest of passenger safety and crew safety, bringing this aircraft back on the ground,” Gradek said. 
Gradek says KLM is not required to provide compensation to the passengers impacted because the situation was out of the airline’s control. “It was a security issue, and it really was something that the rules exempt the airline from compensation as a result of this incident,” he said. “So, if KLM decides to do anything, it'll be because KLM feels that they’re being a good service provider and want to do something, but there's no obligation for them to do anything.”

Aircraft Information:
Airline: KLM 
Code: KL/KLM
Aircraft: Boeing 777-206
Registration: PH-BQB
Serial Number: 33712
Engines: 2 x GE GE90-94B
First Flew: 21/10/2013
Age: 19 Yrs. 4 Mts.

Thursday 30 March 2023

Engine fire on United flight makes emergency landing in Houston

UNITED BOEING 787-9 N24973 (MSN 40941)

United Airlines flight UA129, travelling from Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH) to Rio de Janeiro/Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, RJ (GIG/SBGL) suffered a problem with engine no.1 during departure from Houston.
A Skywest flight following behind radioed the tower that they observed flames coming from the left engine of UA129. The pilot communicating with a control tower reported "flames in the departure before us," which the tower confirmed as United Flight 129. The Skywest pilot described the situation as a "fire in the left engine," which rendered the engine inoperable. 
The United pilots then confirmed that the flight crew had declared an emergency and the plane would be turning back.

The flight initially pushed back from the gate at 8:52 p.m. (local) on Tuesday night, taxied out for runway 15L and got airborne at 9.05 p.m.  Climbed to 2,300 feet before turning back and landing again on 15L 14 minutes later at 9.19 p.m. 

Aircraft Information:
Airline: United Airlines
Code: UA/UAL
Aircraft: Boeing 767-322
Registration: N641UA
Serial Number: 25091
Engines: 2 x PW PW4060
First Flew: 12/03/1991
Age: 32 Yrs.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

I want my money back - because a passenger died on my flight'

A woman claimed she was on a British Airways flight from Jamaica to London when a fellow passenger close to her died, disrupting the usual beverage service on the flight.


A British Airways customer has asked for compensation after someone had died on her flight. The unhappy passenger claimed that the airline has done “nothing” to compensate her for the “extreme trauma” she claims she suffered watching the person in front of her die.

In a long comment that has since been deleted from the Facebook page 'British Airways Complaints Advice', the unidentified woman claims the incident happened on a December 21 flight from Jamaica to London.

The post said they were flying with five children and their sister when the medical emergency began.

A passenger directly (two) rows behind us passed away in the most horrific way, giving us the most traumatic experience during a flight,” the post wrote.

Directly after mentioning that the person died, the woman complained about the tardiness of the flight.

"The flight itself was just short of three hours delayed which was very frustrating in itself," she wrote.

The unimpressed customer complained that the delay “ruined their routines” and made the kids fussy.
The airline gave the family a “limited amount” of food vouchers that equated to only “a meal,” she went on to complain, before lambasting the plane for not being clean enough.

“I’ve never in my life witnessed someone being shocked or having CPR performed and never would have expected that to have happened on a flight returning home,” her complaint continued.

Another issue she had with the sudden death was that it disrupted the usual beverage service.

The “flight services were halted and aside from the initial meal, drinks … were discontinued, so we did not receive a thorough flight experience that we had paid for" the unhappy customer complained.
Since witnessing the death, the family have been left “extremely sad” and had experienced “many sleepless nights.”

“I would have expected some sort of communication from (British Airways) to those of us that have been on the flight, particularly close enough to have been impacted and witnessed the whole experience to check on our wellbeing, apologize for the experience and offer some sort of compensation or counselling following it,” she continued.

The passenger finished by asking for compensation and asking BA to explain what they would do to stop "improve (their) services going forward".

"In no way is this acceptable and they should not be normalised or swept under the carpet," they finished.

A spokesperson for British Airways said: "Safety is always our highest priority, and our crew colleagues were focused on providing first-aid."

Cabin crew are trained to deal with medical emergencies - when an incident occurs they do often try to continue the onboard service as planned, where possible.

The rant went viral when someone spotted it on Facebook and posted it to the FlyerTalk forum.

Many people felt like she had not been appropriately sympathetic towards the person who tragically died on the flight.

“That poor person lost her life and all she was worried about was getting her breakfast before landing into London. Me Me Me Me,” one person wrote.

Another passenger commented: “All I can see in that text is ‘me me me me me me me … me & me’."
Most of the comments included how disgusting she is and how disrespectful she has been about the passenger losing their life.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Extreme turbulence leaves 10 injured and food on ceiling

A Hi Fly flight operated by TAAG Angola Airlines travelling from Luanda-4 de Fevereiro Airport (LAD/FNLU) to Lisboa-Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS/LPPT) has hit extremely severe turbulence, injuring 10 people.

The incident, which happened on the 23rd of March, showed meals, trays and plastic cutlery littered in the aisles on the flight after the turbulence hit and children could be heard crying in the background.

The plane's ceiling panels were cracked and perforated, and a plastic tray could even be seen wedged in the gap above the overhead bins. Eight passengers and two crew members were reported to have required medical assistance, with a doctor on board assisting one of the severely injured. Many of the other passengers on the flight showed symptoms of anxiety.

TAAG said "adverse atmospheric conditions" caused the turbulence, which reportedly struck as the plane was flying over the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They added in a statement that an ambulance and medical team were sent to Lisbon Airport, where the flight landed at 8.37pm, seven hours and 18 minutes after take-off.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: TAAG Angola Airlines
Code: DT/DTA
Aircraft: Airbus A330-343
Registration: 9H-HFA
Serial Number: 1779
Engines: 2 x RR Trent 772B-60
First Flew: 20/03/2017
Age: 6 Yrs

Aircraft History
01/04/2017 ZS-SXL South African Airways 
21/07/2021 9H-HFA HiFly Malta 
17/06/2022 9H-HFA TAAG Angola Airlines Operated by HiFly Malta 

Monday 27 March 2023

KLM / Air France 46 Yrs ago today

KLM BOEING 747-406 PH-BFH (MSN 24518)

On the 27th March 1977, 46 years ago today, two Boeing 747 passenger jets, KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736, collided on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife, killing 583 people, and making it the deadliest accident in aviation history. 61 passengers survived the accident. KLM had 248 POB (234 Pax and 14 crew) Pan Am had 396 POB (380 Pax and 16 crew, 335 Pax died 61 survived). At 12:30pm a bomb explodes in the Las Palmas passenger terminal. Because of warnings of a possible second bomb, the airport was closed. A large number of flights were diverted to Tenerife. Like KLM Flight 4805 from Amsterdam and PanAm Flight 1736 from Los Angeles and New York. Las Palmas Airport re-opened to traffic again at 15:00. Because the PanAm passengers remained on aboard it was possible to leave Tenerife at once. The taxiways were congested by other aircraft however. This meant the PanAm crew had to backtrack on runway 12 for take-off on runway 30. The entrance to runway 12 however, was blocked by the KLM Boeing. The PanAm flight had to wait for almost 2 hours before all KLM passengers had reboarded and refuelling had taken place. The KLM flight was then cleared to backtrack runway 12 and make a 180deg. turn at the end. Three minutes later (at 17:02) Pan Am 1736 was cleared to follow the KLM aircraft and backtrack runway 12. The PanAm crew were told to leave the runway at the third taxiway and report leaving the runway. At 17:05:44 KLM 4805 reported ready for take-off and was given instructions for a Papa beacon departure. The KLM crew repeated the instructions and added "We are now at take-off". The brakes were released and KLM 4805 started the take-off roll. Tenerife tower, knowing that Pan Am 1736 was still taxiing down the runway replied "OK ...... Stand by for take-off, I will call you." This message coincided with the PanAm crew's transmission "No ... uh we're still taxiing down the runway, the Clipper 1736". These communications caused a shrill noise in the KLM cockpit, lasting approx. 3.74 seconds. Tenerife tower replied: "Papa Alpha 1736 report runway clear.", whereupon the Pan Am crew replied: "OK, will report when we're clear". This caused some concerns with the KLM flight engineer asking the captain: "Is he not clear then?" After repeating his question the captain answers emphatically: "Oh, yes". A number of second before impact the KLM crew saw the PanAm Boeing still taxiing down the runway. The crew tried to climb away and became airborne after a 65 feet tail drag in an excessive rotation. The PanAm crew immediately turned the aircraft to the left and applied full power. The KLM aircraft was airborne, but the fuselage skidded over the PanAm's aft fuselage, destroying it and shearing off the tail. The KLM aircraft flew on and crashed out of control 150 m further on, sliding another 300 m bursting into flames.


"The KLM aircraft had taken off without take-off clearance, in the absolute conviction that this clearance had been obtained, which was the result of a misunderstanding between the tower and the KLM aircraft. This misunderstanding had arisen from the mutual use of usual terminology which, however, gave rise to misinterpretation. In combination with a number of other coinciding circumstances, the premature take-off of the KLM aircraft resulted in a collision with the Pan Am aircraft, because the latter was still on the runway since it had missed the correct intersection." KLM Flight 4805 was a charter flight for Holland International Travel Group and had arrived from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands. Its captain was Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten, age 50. At the time of the accident, Veldhuyzen van Zanten was KLM's chief flight instructor, with 11,700 flight hours, of which 1,545 hours were on the 747. The first officer was Klaas Meurs, age 42. At the time of the accident, Meurs had 9,200 flight hours, of which 95 hours were on the 747. Flight engineer was Willem Schreuder, age 48. At the time of the accident, Schreuder had 15,210 flight hours, of which 540 hours were on the 747. The aircraft was a Boeing 747-206B, registration PH-BUF, named Rijn (Rhine). The KLM jet was carrying 14 crew members and 234 passengers, including 52 children. Most of the KLM passengers were Dutch, while also on board were 4 Germans, 2 Austrians and 2 Americans. After the aircraft landed at Tenerife, the passengers were transported to the airport terminal. One of the inbound passengers, who lived on the island with her partner, chose not to re-board the 747, leaving 234 passengers on board.

Pan Am Flight 1736 had originated at Los Angeles International Airport, with an intermediate stop at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The aircraft was a Boeing 747-121, registration N736PA, named Clipper Victor. Of the 380 passengers (mostly of retirement age, but including two children), 14 had boarded in New York, where the crew was also changed. The new crew consisted of captain Victor Grubbs, age 56, first officer Robert Bragg, age 39, flight engineer George Warns, age 46, and 13 flight attendants.
At the time of the accident, captain Grubbs had 21,043 hours of flight time, of which 564 hours were on the 747. First officer Bragg had 10,800 flight hours, of which 2,796 hours were on the 747. Flight engineer Warns had 15,210 flight hours, of which 559 hours were on the 747.

Aircraft 1 Information
Aircraft: Boeing 747-206B
Operator: KLM
Flight Number: 4805
Registration: PH-BUF
Serial Number: 20400
First Flew: 14/9/1971
Age: 6 yrs

Aircraft 2 Information
Aircraft: Boeing 747-121
Operator: Pan Am
Flight Number: 1736
Registration: N736PA
Serial Number: 19643
First Flew: 24/12/1969
Age: 8 yrs

Story sourced from Wikipedia

Sunday 26 March 2023

Qantas aircraft low on fuel forced to land in very low cloud


A QantasLink Fokker 100 running out of fuel was forced to land through “very low” cloud after three previous attempts to touch down failed.

The ATSB revealed how the aircraft was flying from Perth (PER/YPPH) to the mining town of Paraburdoo (PBO/YPBO) in WA when it encountered unforecast bad weather and didn’t have enough in the tank to divert to another airport. Despite landing safely, the investigation revealed it took air traffic control 15 minutes to provide a weather forecast for an alternate airport to land at – a crucial delay that made a diversion impossible.

On approach, the pilot said he believed he saw some patches of cloud at just 250-300 mts above ground level or about the height of NSW’s iconic Sydney Tower. The ATSB’s transport safety director, Dr Stuart Godley, said the incident highlights the importance for all operators to consider how unforecast weather will be managed.

“This is so that safety assurance activities can review how effectively it is managed and provide feedback for management review,” he said.

The full investigation details how VH-NHV, operated by Qantas Group subsidiary Network Aviation, was conducting a scheduled passenger flight from the WA capital on the 22nd of November 2021 when it encountered the low cloud.

“Having completed two missed approaches at Paraburdoo, the flight crew had lost confidence in their flight plan weather forecasts and were reluctant to attempt a diversion to an alternate airport without current weather information for the alternate,” said Dr Godley.

The flight crew conducted a RNAV GNSS approach to Paraburdoo’s runway 24, which required the crew to visually acquire the runway – the minimum descent altitude or MDA – at a height above the aerodrome of no less than 584 ft. (An RNAV - GNSS) approach means an area navigation system, fitted to an aircraft, for which the AFM for the aircraft states that it is capable of meeting RNP 0.3 requirements. RNP means Required Navigation Performance)

The investigation report details that 25 seconds after the aircraft descended through the minima, the autopilot was disconnected, and the pilot monitoring announced that they had sighted the runway and that they were on profile. At this stage, the aircraft was 293 ft above ground level and 291 feet below the minima/MDA.

Flight data recorder information indicated a steady descent profile on the approach and a maximum of 5° heading change between the autopilot disconnect and landing.

“The actual weather conditions the flight crew encountered at Paraburdoo were below their landing minima and were continuing to deteriorate. The cloud base at Paraburdoo was difficult for the Bureau of Meteorology to forecast as detection of low cloud by satellite imagery was obscured by higher level cloud,” said Dr Godley.

After their second missed approach, the crew attempted to obtain from air traffic control an updated forecast for Newman Airport for a possible diversion there.

“However, the crew did not express any urgency when making this request, which, in combination with air traffic control workload at the time, resulted in a delay of 15 minutes before an update was offered. By that time, it was no longer required as the aircraft no longer had sufficient fuel remaining to divert to Newman.”

The investigation notes that the crew had no other means of obtaining updated weather forecasts for potential alternates beyond contacting air traffic control, as the aircraft was not fitted with an operational ACARS digital datalink messaging system, and the aircraft was beyond the range of the nearest AERIS automatic en route information service (which broadcasts a range of weather information from a network of VHF transmitters).

Meanwhile, there is an automated weather station at Paraburdoo, but it did not have a means of detecting the moisture content in the atmosphere above the surface.

“This increased the risk that low cloud below the instrument approach landing minima might not be forecast.”

Other than a procedure that limited the number of missed approaches to two, Network Aviation did not provide the flight crew with diversion decision-making procedural guidance when encountering unforecast weather at a destination, the investigation found.

In addition, the operator did not include the threat of unforecast weather below landing minima in their controlled flight into terrain risk assessments. This increased the risk that controls required to manage this threat would not be developed, monitored, and reviewed at a management level.

“The ATSB acknowledges and welcomes that, since the incident, Network Aviation has implemented several proactive safety actions in response to safety issues identified in the investigation,” Dr Godley said.

These include introducing several diversion decision-making tools for F100 flight crew, such as an amendment to their flight plans to include an ‘alternate summaries’ section for all flights, the top-of-descent arrival brief procedure to include ‘minimum divert fuel’, and the introduction of an F100 Company Procedures Manual with pre-populated standard divert calculations for F100 destinations.

In addition, the operator has updated their controlled flight into terrain risk assessments to capture the threat of adverse weather.

Story sourced from here

Saturday 25 March 2023

Off-duty pilot lands plane after captain becomes incapacitated.


A pilot from another airline helped land a Southwest Airlines flight that left early Wednesday from Las Vegas after its captain became "incapacitated" and required medical attention, according to the airline.

Southwest Flight 6013 had taken off from Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) runway 26R just after 6:44am local bound for Columbus, Ohio (CMH/KCMH). While it was airborne, one of its pilots "needed medical attention," a spokesperson for the airline said, without giving details about the health issue.

The Co-Pilot declared a PAN PAN PAN stating the captain had started to feel stomach pain and then "fainted or became incapacitated" for around five minutes.

The captain was taken to a seat in the main cabin and "came back" around 60 seconds later. "We need to get him on an ambulance immediately," a passenger heard the cabin crew saying.

Las Vegas resident Diane McGlinchey, who was on the flight with her husband, said that she didn't notice any panic when crew members initially went on the plane's public announcement system to ask whether medical personnel were on board.

The crew "calmly just would give us an update saying we're going to go back to Las Vegas, we have a medical emergency on board," McGlinchey said.

Meanwhile, a credentialed pilot from another airline who was on board as a passenger entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication as the second Southwest pilot flew the aircraft, the airline.

"We greatly appreciate their support and assistance," the spokesperson said of the pilot who stepped in.

The plane returned to Las Vegas' Harry Reid International Airport, an hour and six minutes later at about 7:50 a.m. 
A Southwest spokesperson said the plane landed safely and an alternate crew took over, operating the flight to Columbus.

"We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers' patience and understanding regarding the situation," the spokesperson said.

McGlinchey said she and her husband didn't realize it was the pilot who had had the medical emergency until after the plane landed. EMS and fire officials were already waiting, she said.

"That's when the pilot did come on and say that they were taking the captain off the plane," she said.

The other pilot from another airline happened to also be in his uniform, she added, and no one seemed anxious or worried when the flight turned around to go back to Las Vegas.

We were "very thankful that he was there," McGlinchey said of the pilot who intervened. "I'm positive that the first officer would have been able to land smoothly, but it definitely made it, I'm sure, easier for him to have someone there to do the radio part while he was landing the plane. So it went very smoothly."

Ross Aimer, the CEO of Aero Consulting Experts in California and a retired United Airlines pilot, said that commercial airline pilots undergo medical checkups every six months and that such health scares are rare.

With two pilots on every flight, the captain and the first officer are "equally qualified and trained" to operate the plane by themselves if the other becomes incapacitated, he added.

That by chance a third pilot was on board "was icing on the cake," Aimer said.

Southwest declined to comment further about the incident. It said in a statement that all of its pilots are "trained to fly as single Pilots for situations such as this one and our Pilot exhibited exceptional airmanship while in control of the aircraft."

The condition of the stricken pilot was not immediately clear.

McGlinchey said that after they got off the plane, passengers expressed concern for the ill person even before many realized it was the pilot.

"People were saying we didn't know who it was," she said, "but we were just praying that whoever it was was OK."

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Southwest Airlines
Code: WN/SWA
Aircraft: Boeing 737-79P
Registration: N7855A
Serial Number: 29357
Engines: 2 x CFMI CFM56-7B24
First Flew: 4th January 2005
Age: 18 Yrs 2 Mts

Aircraft History
13/01/2005 China Eastern Airlines as B-5093 
16/06/2017 Southwest Airlines as N7855A 

Friday 24 March 2023

Germanwings flight 9525

Germanwings flight 9525 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN/LEBL), Spain to Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS/EDDL), Germany.

The flight was operated by Germanwings, a low-cost carrier owned by the German airline Lufthansa. On the 24th of March 2015, the aircraft, an Airbus A320-211, crashed 100 km (62 miles) north-west of Nice in the French Alps. All 144 passengers and all six crew members were killed. It was the only fatal crash involving a Germanwings aircraft during the company's 18 years in operation.

The crash was deliberately caused by the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies and declared unfit to work by his doctor. Lubitz kept this information from his employer and instead reported for duty. Shortly after reaching cruise altitude and while the captain was out of the cockpit, Lubitz locked the cockpit door and initiated a controlled descent that continued until the aircraft hit a mountainside.

The collision with the ground was due to the deliberate and planned action of the co-pilot who decided to commit suicide while alone in the cockpit. The process for medical certification of pilots, in particular self-reporting in case of decrease in medical fitness between two periodic medical evaluations, did not succeed in preventing the co-pilot, who was experiencing mental disorder with psychotic symptoms, from exercising the privilege of his licence.
The following factors may have contributed to the failure of this principle:
- the co-pilot's probable fear of losing his ability to fly as a professional pilot if he had reported his decrease in medical fitness to an AME;
- the potential financial consequences generated by the lack of specific insurance covering the risks of loss of income in case of unfitness to fly;
- the lack of clear guidelines in German regulations on when a threat to public safety outweighs the requirements of medical confidentiality.

Security requirements led to cockpit doors designed to resist forcible intrusion by unauthorized persons. This made it impossible to enter the flight compartment before the aircraft impacted the terrain in the French Alps.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Germanwings
Code: 4U/GWI
Airline: Airbus A320-211
Registration: D-AIPX
Serial Number: 0147
Engines: 2 x CFMI CFM56-5A1
First Flew: 29th November 1990
Age: 24 years 4 months

It made its first flight on the 29th of November 1990 and was delivered to Lufthansa on the 5th of February 1991. The aircraft was leased to Germanwings from the 1st of June 2003 until mid-2004, then returned to Lufthansa on the 22nd of July 2004 and remained with the airline until it was transferred to Germanwings again on the 31st of January 2014. The aircraft had accumulated about 58,300 flight hours on 46,700 flights.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Army helicopter crashes near Jervis Bay

Australian defence force personnel have been rescued after an army helicopter crashed into the ocean off the New South Wales south coast during a routine counter-terrorism training exercise last night, after what a witness described as an explosion near the rotors.
10 soldiers were plucked from the water after the Army MRH-90 Taipan multi-role helicopter ditched into the water near Jervis Bay, 195km's south of Sydney.

Two of the crew sustained minor injuries from the crash that occurred just after 9pm.

“All 10 Australian defence force personnel on board the aircraft have been recovered and accounted for and are being assessed by medical personnel at HMAS Creswell, south of Nowra, NSW,” an ADF statement said.

The chief of army, Lt Gen Simon Stuart, thanked emergency responders for their quick action.

“Tonight quick responses from ADF personnel and emergency services and well drilled teams prevented a potential tragedy,” Stuart said.

“We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident to determine the cause and ensure the platform remains safe to operate.”

The ADF has temporarily paused the training activity and will ground the MRH-90 Taipan fleet while the cause of the incident is investigated.

The incident site is being contained by Australian federal police and port services personnel.

The MRH-90 is one of the most advanced tactical troop transport helicopters of the 21st Century. As a multi-role helicopter, the MRH90 can undertake troop transport, search and rescue, special operations and counter-terrorism missions.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

NZ court forces Emirates to compensate passenger for “misleading and deceptive” advertising


While Emirates might be celebrating in Dubai over the change in livery, only the third change since the airline was founded back in 1985, a New Zealand court didn't share their excitement.

Emirates has been forced to repay NZ$13,555 (approximately US$8,500) to a passenger after a business class flight failed to meet expectations, according to New Zealand media.

A court in New Zealand has ruled in favour of a man who purchased business class tickets to London for he and his wife on Emirates, only to find out upon boarding that the cabin product did not match the one Emirates was using in its promotional materials in New Zealand.

One particularly contentious point was the fact that the Boeing 777-300 deployed by Emirates on its route from New Zealand was not fitted with lie-flat seats, as are other types of aircraft with newer interiors.

On top of that, the two travellers were also disappointed by the IFE system, which was also of an older version and did, allegedly, malfunction during the flight, as well as the absence of a mini-bar onboard. The couple ended up booking first class tickets for another leg of the trip in order to make sure they had access to those amenities.

The airline argued that its ticket terms and conditions allow for changes in the type of aircraft as per the prevailing operational requirements at the time of the flight. But this failed to convince the court, which considered the aircraft allocation to be a regular occurrence rather than an occasional one.

Monday 20 March 2023

Saudi Arabia's brand new airline, Riyadh Air, set to take on competition.

When low-cost carrier Bonza launched in Australia last year, it announced it was buying four new Boeing 737 MAX 8s. Saudi Arabia, home to the world's largest oil reserves, rolls differently.
When the kingdom launches an airline, it gets bankrolled to the tune of $50 billion, for starters, and orders a fleet of 100 jets from Boeing and Airbus.

This week, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund announced the launch of Riyadh Air, an airline that will try to take on the might of regional rivals such as Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, and put pressure on global carriers like our very own Qantas.
It's the latest move by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's day-to-day leader, to make Saudi a serious global player in business, tourism and aviation. Flush with cash, Riyadh Air will try to mimic and better Emirates, the Dubai airline which played a crucial role in the rapid transformation of the emirate from humble desert outpost to luxury holiday destination and regional business hub.

Analyst Matthew Findlay from Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting told that Riyadh Air, by virtue of its gargantuan war chest, will be out to deliver top service onboard high-spec passenger jets. "Their own citizens will want to travel and they'll want to travel in style," he said.
Passengers in economy can likely expect "generous services and amenities on board", he said, as Riyadh Air looks to match the premium set-ups of Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, the carriers of their energy-rich neighbours.

"This means nice and comfortable seats, wonderful cuisine," Findlay said.
"A lot of other carriers will have to step up."
Riyadh Air will not replace Saudia, the kingdom's current flag carrier, but instead complement that airline, and appeal to a global traveller.
The new airline has been strategised as a direct competitor to the other aviation superbrands in the Gulf. National pride will be at stake.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story, Riyadh Air will serve more than 100 global destinations by 2030, and will help diversify the Saudi economy away from oil revenues.
When complete, King Salman International Airport in Riyadh will be one of the largest in the world, boasting six parallel runways.
It will have the capacity for 120 million travellers by 2030, rising to 185 million by 2050.
Saudi has made no secret of its plans to try and knock off the glamorous emirate of Dubai as the preferred holiday and business destination in the region.
Many of the world's top companies make their Middle East base in Dubai.
But the 36-year-old Prince Mohammed wants that to change.

Story sourced from here

Sunday 19 March 2023

Cathay Pacific plans to unpark all aircraft by early 2024

(Photo taken February 2021)

The chief executive of Cathay Pacific has said he hopes to have all of his parked aircraft in the air by the start of 2024. Ronald Lam said this week that the airline was steadily returning aircraft to service so that it aims to operate 70% of its pre-pandemic passenger capacity by the end of this year, and 100% by the end of 2024.

"At the end of 2022, we had 222 aircraft in our fleet, and around 20% of them were parked outside of Hong Kong," he said. "We've been steadily unparking them this year and hopefully, by early next year, all the aircraft will be unparked."

ch-aviation fleets advanced data shows that Cathay Pacific has 67 inactive aircraft, with 11 of these out of service for maintenance reasons. The remaining 56 are stored at Hong Kong, Alice Springs, Ciudad Real, and Xiamen.

The data reveals that three A320-200s, two A321-200s, seven A330-300s, twelve B777-300s, and eleven B777-300(ER)s are at Alice Springs. 

(Photo taken February 2021)

A single B777-300(ER) is stored at Xiamen, while eight A330-300s are still at Ciudad Real. The remaining 11 aircraft are stored at Hong Kong International. Cathay Pacific subsidiary HK Express also has two A321-200s parked at Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific has experienced a swift rebound since Hong Kong and mainland China reopened, according to Lam, who said: "We've been seeing light at the end of the tunnel since late last year."

Cathay's well-publicised employee attrition rates have now subsided to normal levels, although labour shortages remain a challenge. "We're still seeing supply-side constraints, mainly on the manpower front, and when I say manpower, it's not just in the air but also on the ground," he said. He added that the airline was looking to recruit a further 3,000 workers this year but denied Cathay was facing a staffing crisis.

"Hong Kong opened up late, so there's quite a lot of catch-up," he admitted. "But I think we are making good progress, and we are moving very fast as a city and as an airline. I'm very confident that given a little bit more time, we'll be back on par with other cities and airlines."

I have been keeping a record on the movements of stored aircraft in Alice Springs. If my records are up to date, as of today, there are 72 aircraft on the ground. Two of those though belong to Nauru Airlines and will never fly again
Cathay Pacific have 27 aircraft and Cathay Dragon have 8 aircraft.


Since the 1st of January this year 6 Cathay Pacific and 1 Cathay Dragon have departed Alice Springs.

Saturday 18 March 2023

Singapore Airlines called out for allegedly discriminating against student with disability

Student Isabella Beale says Singapore Airlines discriminated against her on separate occasions for being an amputee.


Isabella, 23, was travelling with family to and from Europe in January this year when she says she was singled out for being seated in emergency exit row seats that had been booked by another family member.

During the booking process, Singapore Airlines currently lists those who are pregnant, those under 15, those with infants or those in need of "special assistance" as being unable to sit in emergency exit rows.

While Ms Beale is a congenital amputee without a left forearm, she does not require any assistance.

Ms Beale said that on her flight from Australia a staff member left her feeling humiliated in front of other passengers.

"All of a sudden an air hostess approaches me and, in quite a loud tone and quiet, like frantic and rushed, she just says, 'Get out, get out of that seat now, you need to get up'," Ms Beale said.

"I'm a bit taken aback, and I switch seats with my partner, which I think is going to be fine as long as I'm not directly next to the emergency door … everyone is looking at us at this point and can overhear the conversation.

"[She] goes, 'No, get up you have to sit in the row behind'.

"I had a little cry just because it was such an affronting thing to happen … it was very humiliating and upsetting."

Peak bodies for Australians with disabilities say such incidents are common, and government and authorities can take action to improve the situation.

The federal government said disability discrimination and access to air travel would be a key focus of an upcoming aviation review. Ms Beale said while she understands that not having someone with a disability in an exit row may be an airline's policy, that does not excuse staff treating people with disabilities poorly.

"I understand that there might be policy around this, I'm not saying I need you to sit me in emergency, I'm saying I need you to treat me like a human being," she said. On her return flight to Australia, Ms Beale alleges she once again experienced discrimination from staff, even after she consulted with staff members at the check-in desk about where she could sit.

The check-in desk staff confirmed and reissued her ticket, which was still in the exit row of the plane. "It was probably tenfold worse the second time around," she said.

"At first it's one woman and she comes up to me … it's almost take-off time and she goes 'Show me your ticket. You have to move'. Without speaking politely, without acknowledging me as an individual.

"She spoke to my partner and she spoke to my partner's mother, it felt like there was an assumption that I couldn't understand.

"And I don't know if that assumption came because I'm a person with a disability or if she assumed that because I had a physical disability, I had an intellectual disability, which wouldn't matter either way … you still speak to me. I'm still a person." Ms Beale said after she asked for an explanation as to why she had to move seats, more airline staff came onto the flight.

"Then the second ground staff person comes on, and by this point there's two air hostesses, two ground staff, people in the entire flight watching this entire interaction occur," she said.

"The manager gestured at my missing limb and just said 'Well, the problem's obvious, the problem's obvious', and continued repeatedly to say that in front of an entire flight of people.

"I was really upset and hurt and felt like I was being vilified for my disability in front of all of these people, and they were all in a rush and all raising their voices and yelling."

In a statement, a Singapore Airlines spokesperson apologised for "distress or embarrassment caused by the request to move".

Story sourced from here.
Singapore Airlines called out for allegedly discriminating against student with disability - ABC News

Friday 17 March 2023

Pilots suspended from duty over coffee in the cockpit

Two pilots have landed in trouble after a photo of their Holi* celebration went viral on social media. SpiceJet has stood down the two pilots for jeopardising flight safety after the photo showed them keeping gujiyas^ and beverages on a critical console in the cockpit.

The incident took place on the day of Holi celebrated across the nation on the 8th of March Wednesday. A photo of the celebration went viral on social media with users calling the act extremely "unprofessional".

SpiceJet has grounded both the pilots for risking the lives of the flyers onboard the Delhi-Guwahati SpiceJet flight.

"Both pilots have been off roster pending an inquiry. SpiceJet has a strict policy for consumption of food inside the cockpit which is adhered by all flight crew. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken upon completion of the investigation," a SpiceJet spokesperson said.
The action was reportedly taken after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday asked the airline to immediately identify the crew members and act against them. Complying this with directive, the airline a day later off-rostered (taken off flying duty) the pilots.

"Appalling & extremely unprofessional behaviour by @flyspicejet pilots. If the liquid (resting on the fuel cutoff levers) spills, it can short circuit the electronics affecting a range of systems and compromise the aircraft’s ability to fly safely,".

* Holi is a popular and significant Hindu festival celebrated as the festival of Colours, Love and Spring. It celebrates the eternal and divine love of the god Radha and Krishna.

^ Gujiya is a sweet dumpling of Indian origin, made with suji or maida flour and stuffed with khoa.

Thursday 16 March 2023

First ever flights between Vietnam and Queensland

VIETJET AIRBUS A330-343 VN-A810 (MSN 0952)
(Photo taken from Brisbane Airport website)

50 years after Australia established diplomatic relations with Vietnam, the first non-stop flights connecting the rapidly developing nation and Queensland will launch in June.

Vietjet will operate twice weekly services between Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Brisbane Airport (BNE), with Eco-Class fares staring from $AUD200 one-way (plus taxes & fees).

The flights are predicted to inject $25.6 million into Queensland’s visitor economy and support 240 jobs in the first year of operation. The three-year deal will support the planned growth of flights to four services per week by year three.

Brisbane Airport Corporation Chief Executive Officer Gert-Jan de Graaff says the arrival of Vietjet enhances BNE’s role as a key Asia-Pacific Gateway.

“Vietnam is a rapidly growing market for Queensland and we are delighted to have Vietjet join the BNE family. To have Vietnam and the Sunshine State connected for the first time by non-stop flights will deliver benefits in two countries.”

“This historic new service from Vietjet will enable family and friends in Vietnam easy connection to Queensland and will cut hours off a journey.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said this is another big win for Queensland’s $200 million aviation war chest which is tipped to add 1.18 million direct international inbound seats to Queensland and almost a billion dollars for the visitor economy.

“Visitors from Vietnam sharing Queensland’s great lifestyle benefits accommodation and hospitality providers and tourism operators, while growing more good Queensland jobs.

“It’s Queensland’s time to shine on our golden decade of tourism opportunity to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Vietjet operates around 450 flights per day across 160 routes, with 52 destinations within Vietnam. It also has potential to deliver passengers to Queensland from across its vast international network which serves Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, mainland China, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Europe.

Vietjet’s Vice President Nguyen Thanh Son says the addition of Brisbane to its list of destinations would be a catalyst for the growth of tourism and trade between the two nations.

"We are very excited to fly first direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Queensland. The addition of Brisbane to our list of destinations would be another development to broadly connect Australia and Vietnam.”

Vietjet operates a modern fleet of 100 aircraft and will deploy an Airbus A330-300 onto the brand-new route to Brisbane from June 16, with a configuration of 12 business seats plus 365 seats in economy.

Flight VJ83 will arrive from Ho Chi Minh City every Monday and Friday at 21.10 
Flight VJ84 will depart Brisbane Ho Chi Minh City every Monday and Friday at 23.10. 
Tickets are on sale from today.

As Australia’s most connected domestic hub, passengers arriving in Brisbane from Vietnam will be able to connect to 53 destinations across the country, with 30 of them in Queensland.

Story sourced from here

Sunday 12 March 2023

Twenty hours on a plane:


From late 2025, Qantas hopes to run the first of its “Project Sunrise” flights – up to 20 hours non-stop from the east coast of Australia to Europe and the US east coast.

Australia’s national carrier has trumpeted the flights as “the final frontier of aviation”, but health and industry experts hold concerns for the passenger experience and question whether eliminating a stopover will ultimately increase aircraft emissions.

Qantas first announced its vision to run the ultra-long-haul routes in 2017, but Covid pushed back the predicted 2022 launch. With global aviation now booming again thanks to the post-pandemic hunger for travel, Project Sunrise is firmly back on the agenda.

The airline already runs non-stop flights from Perth to London and Rome, which have proved popular despite costing more than traditional services that stopover in Asia. Qantas runs Boeing 787s from Perth to Europe and has used that aircraft for a test flight on the Sydney-London route, but it says Project Sunrise will rely on the superior fuel efficiency of Airbus’s A350-1000.

The airline has ordered 12 of them to be fitted out with 232 seats – far fewer than the usual configuration of 300 to 350 seats – so the planes can carry the extra fuel needed to travel roughly 18,000km without stopping. With fewer potential customers per flight, Qantas will lean into the high-end market, with 40% of the cabin to be “premium seating”.

Each plane will have six first-class suites, 52 business suites, 40 premium economy seats, and 140 standard economy seats at the rear. So far, the airline has revealed more about the front end of the plane. First class will feature a 2-metre bed, personal wardrobe and 32-inch television in each suite, which will be 50% larger than the suites on its existing A380s. Business class will have generous legroom and privacy walls.

Story sourced from here
Twenty hours on a Qantas plane: is this the future of aviation or a fresh hell in economy? | Air transport | The Guardian

Saturday 11 March 2023

Armed robbery - Delta Airlines Airbus damaged by gun fire; two dead.

DELTA BOEING 777-232 N706DL (MSN 30440)

Last Wednesday, the 8th of March 2023, a Delta Air Lines Airbus A350 was hit by gunfire during a failed armed robbery on the apron at Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International airport (SCL/SCEL).

The Airbus A350-941 had arrived in Santiago operating flight DL147 from Atlanta (ATL/KATL) at 7:20am local time. However, it was hit by stray gunfire at around 8:00am local time as a failed armed robbery took place near a LATAM Airlines Group Boeing 787 parked at the adjacent gate.


The Boeing 787-9 (CC-BGP MSN 38469) had arrived in Santiago operating flight LAN505 from Miami (MIA/KMIA) at 6.50am local time and was the target of the robbery, as it was carrying $32.5 million U S in cash ($49,324,632 Aust). 
The valuable cargo was supposed to be transferred to an armoured truck at the airport, and then be delivered to several banks in the country.

During the shootout between the robbers and security officials, a number of bullets struck the Delta jet’s fuselage, mainly the aircraft’s vertical stabilizer. 

Footage shared on the internet shows four bullets impacted the aircraft’s vertical stabilizer. However, Delta spokesperson reportedly said that the aircraft was “extensively examined following the incident and confirmed to be clear of serious damage”.

A group of ten heavily armed robbers were able to avoid security and make their way to the apron at the International Airport. According to the Chilean news agency, Agencia Uno reported that “Three vehicles with at least ten people entered the Santiago Airport to steal $32 million.”

Tragically, during the shootout, an official of Chile’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation and one of the attackers died. CNN Chile further reported that the robbers were armed with long guns and pistols. Two of the vehicles in which they escaped were later found burnt near the airport. A third car was found later.

Following the incident, the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC) released a statement saying it regretted the death of Claudio Villar Rodriguez, an airport security official who was gunned down by the robbers.

“The actions of the officials at our institution managed to prevent this criminal act but unfortunately, with the high cost of the life of one our own. The DGAC has reinforced the security mechanisms and had provided our aviation security officials with equipment and training which made it possible to repel this robbery attempt,” the statement read.

Delta Air Lines has published the statement below:

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those impacted by today’s sad events at Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport and Delta will work closely with all aviation stakeholders as these events are investigated. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our people.”

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Delta Airlines
Code: DL/DAL
Aircraft: Airbus A350-941
Registration: N574DZ
Serial Number: 265
First Flew: 4th February 2019
Age: 4 Yrs 1 Mth
Engines: 2 x RR Trent XWB

Friday 10 March 2023

Remembering Ethiopian 302

On the 10th of March 2019, an Ethiopian MAX 8 aircraft crashed near the town of Bishoftu six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people aboard. There were one hundred and forty-nine passengers and eight crew.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Addis Ababa-Bole Airport (ADD/HAAB), Ethiopia to Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO/HKJK), Kenya

  • One minute into the flight, the first officer, acting on the instructions of the captain, reported a "flight control" problem to the control tower.
  • Two minutes into the flight, the plane's MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) activated, pitching the plane into a dive toward the ground. The pilots struggled to control it and managed to prevent the nose from diving further, but the plane continued to lose altitude.
  • Three minutes into the flight, with the aircraft continuing to lose altitude and accelerating beyond its safety limits, the captain instructed the first officer to request permission from air traffic control to return to the airport. Permission was granted, and the air traffic controllers diverted other approaching flights. Following instructions from air traffic control, they turned the aircraft to the east, and it rolled to the right. The right wing came to point down as the turn steepened.
  • Five minutes into the flight, the pilots struggled to keep the plane's nose from diving further by manually pulling the yoke, the captain asked the first officer to help him, and turned the electrical trim tab system back on in the hope that it would allow him to put the stabilizer back into neutral trim. However, in turning the trim system back on, he also reactivated the MCAS system, which pushed the nose further down. The captain and first officer attempted to raise the nose by manually pulling their yokes, but the aircraft continued to plunge toward the ground.
  • Six minutes later the aircraft disappeared from radar screens and crashed at 08:44.

This was the second MAX 8 accident in less than five months after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 on the 29th of October 2018. Both crashes prompted a two-year worldwide long-term grounding of the jet and an investigation into how the aircraft was approved to service.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Ethiopian Airlines
Code: ET/ETH
Aircraft: Boeing 737 Max 8
Registration: ET-AVJ
Serial Number: 62450
First Flew: 30/10/2018
Age: 4 Months
Engines: 2 x CFMI LEAP-1B

Thursday 9 March 2023

A woman in Germany reveals "I’m in a sexual relationship with airplanes"

A woman in Germany has revealed she’s “in a sexual relationship” with aircrafts — and she has taken 30 mini vacations in the last year just to share the skies with her soulmates.

Sarah Rodo, 23, claimed that after experiencing turbulence while trying to date fellow humans, she discovered true love while on her first-ever flight aboard a Boeing 737.

Since then, Rodo has “met” many planes — which she considers to be one “collective being” named Dickie. She added that she finds the wings of the plane are the sexiest part of the plane — and size doesn’t matter.

“I currently own three large models, [but] I also have many small models, over 60 in total, and they are custom-made,” the frequent flyer told “Many are from airlines or from travel agencies, with the larger models measuring between 49-inches and 63-inches long.”

Rodo, who said she’s spent nearly $4,267 on model airplanes, revealed that she identifies as objectum sexual. Yes, that’s a real thing. Also known as objectophilia, this particular love-match occurs when individuals develop strong sexual or romantic feelings for a specific inanimate object, according to a 2022 study published in the Spring Nature medical journal.

Some academics have theorized that the condition could be linked with autism spectrum disorder.

” I’m proud to be objectum sexual – it’s a wonderful sexuality,” Rodo said.  However, Rodo lamented the fact that she can’t get any privacy with her lovers. ”The only sad thing is that I can’t be alone with a real plane,” lamented Rodo.

“I flew a lot in the last year to be with the Boeing as often as I possibly could. I took about 30 flights and always combined it with a city trip or vacation.”

Rodo said that she loves visiting new places with her high-altitude amour.

“With my love, I’ve traveled to Stockholm, Malmö, Copenhagen, Budapest, Vienna and Paris,” Rodo said, listing off their destination rendezvous. “I also often visited Katowice in Poland as a day tour.”

Despite not being able to share alone time with a plane, Rodo said that she makes up for it by sleeping with all of her models. The aviation lover also said that she has five different airplane tattoos on her body. “I also have five airplane tattoos,” stated the mile-high lover. “The newest is a 737-800 on the right forearm.”

Rodo said she’s “met a new plane” that might give her main squeeze a little competition.

“I also have a new bigger model that looks like Dickie, but he has more detailed wings . . . his name is Charlie,” said Rodo, coyly.

Despite the delays in her flight plan of spending time with Dickie, Rodo said she still hopes to one day walk down the tarmac with him.

“Currently there are small plans to get married to the 737 series. However, I will not move abroad,” said Rodo. “In the meantime, I have my models and will continue going on trips to hang out with planes.”

Story sourced from here.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Remembering Malaysia 370


Today marks the 9th anniversary of the disappearance of the Malaysian 777 and even though bits and pieces believed to be from the stricken 370 have been found, the actual aircraft is still missing.
Flight MH 370 was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on the 8th of March 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/WMKK), Malaysia to Beijing-Capital International Airport (PEK/ZBAA) China. Flight 370 last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 local time when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff. The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers' radar screens at 01:21 local time. Malaysian military radar continued to track Flight 370 as it deviated from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula. Flight 370 left the range of Malaysian military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 miles) northwest of Penangin in northwestern Malaysia. The aircraft was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations; six of those were Australians. Investigators thought the most likely location for the jet was in the Indian Ocean after analysing information from the British satellite telecommunications company Immarsat. Likely locations for the airliner could be tracked by knowing the distance from the fixed satellite, but it would also change depending which direction the plane was flying in after its last known position and at what speed it was travelling at. If it was flying north then possible locations could stretch as far as the border between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Thailand. But if it was flying south possible sites could range from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Authorities believe the Indian Ocean is the most likely site After 7 years of extensive searches and many possible sightings of floating objects, Investigators have found no trace of the Malaysia Airlines 777 or it's 239 passengers.
Initially search efforts focused on the South China Sea area. On the 24 March 2014 further analysis of the Inmarsat satellite data indicated that MH370 flew south and ended its flight in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. A surface search was conducted of probable impact areas along an arc, identified by calculations based on Inmarsat data. The search was carried out from the 18th of March - 28th April 2014. This search effort was undertaken by an international fleet of aircraft and ships with the search areas over this time progressing generally from an initial southwest location along the arc in a north-easterly direction. No debris associated with MH370 was identified either from the surface search, acoustic search or from the ocean floor search in the vicinity of acoustic detection, which were initially believed to have been from the pingers on the flight recorders. The ocean floor search was completed on the 28th of May 2014.
On the 26th of June 2014 the ATSB published a new search area based on refinements to the analysis of both the flight and satellite data. The priority area of approximately 60,000 km2 extends along the arc for 650 km in a northeast direction from Broken Ridge, an underwater ridge. The width of the priority search area is 93 km.
On the 29th of July 2015 a flapperon washed ashore on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. On the 5th of August it was established to have been from MH370.

Flight 370 was operated by a nearly 12-year-old Boeing 777-2H6ER, registration 9M-MRO (MSN 28420). This was the 404th Boeing 777 produced, it first flew on 14th May 2002 and was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on 31st May 2002. For the sake of the loved ones left behind and for the staff at Malaysia Airlines I hope they find the aircraft soon.


Tuesday 7 March 2023

Two Norwegian Dreamliner's to be scrapped at Prestwick Airport


I seriously can't believe this; the Boeing 787 only took to the skies for the first time on the 15th of December 2009 and there are talks of scrapping them.  All Nippon Airways (ANA) took the first 787-8 on the 25th of September 2009.

Two Norwegian Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which are only 10 years old are to be scrapped for spare parts at Prestwick Airport (PIK/EGPK). The work will be managed by Dublin-based EirTrade Aviation, an aviation asset management and trading company. The aircraft are the first Dreamliners to be retired, but the parts will help firms lower their maintenance costs.

First flown commercially in 2011, the 787-8 remains Boeing's flagship widebody aircraft.
EirTrade Aviation chief executive Ken Fitzgibbons said that with the first B787s approaching their 12-year check, the disassembly was ideal for aviation firms looking to source used serviceable material (USM) for their aircraft to reduce the cost of maintenance.

He added: "As no B787s have been retired from commercial service to date, there is almost no USM market for this platform at the moment.

"We are entering into a specialist area and hope to become a market leader in the provision of USM for the platform which will enable the reduction of the cost of maintenance events for B787 aircraft owners." EirTrade declined to reveal the identity of the owner of the two aircraft which are being scrapped, citing a confidentiality agreement, but it has been reported that they were formerly operated by Norwegian Air Shuttle.

The disassembly process will be coordinated in Prestwick and managed by EirTrade, and is expected to take about three months to complete.

The two 787-8's are registered as;

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Norwegian Long Haul
Code: DU/NLH
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 
Registration: VP-CVL 
Serial Number: 35304
Engines: 2 x RR Trent 1000
First Flew: 13/06/2013
Age: 9 Yrs 9Mts

Previous Registrations:
EI-LNA 28th Jun 2013 
LN-LNA 10th Feb 2016
VP-CVL  29th Jun 2021
VP-CVL 26th Jan 2022

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Norwegian Long Haul
Code: DU/NLH
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 
Registration: VP-CVM
Serial Number: 35305
Engines: 2 x RR Trent 1000
First Flew: 13/06/2013
Age: 9 Yrs 9Mts

Previous Registrations:
EI-LNB August 2013
LN-LNB May 2015
VP-CVM Jun 2021

Monday 6 March 2023

Emergency landing for a Condor plane at Mauritius Airport

A Condor plane travelling from Frankfurt International Airport (FRA/EDDF) to Mauritius-Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU/FIMP) had to make an emergency landing in Plaisance last Thursday morning. The aircraft passed through a severe turbulent zone in the airspace of the Seychelles, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office. 

The emergency landing of Condor flight DE 2314 from Frankfurt at 6.29am (local) with 270 pax on board. Authorities reported 17 injuries, two of them very serious. The police, the ambulance service and the airport medical service were mobilised to assist the passengers on board the plane.

Airport Traffic Control said in a statement it was informed of the emergency landing only a few minutes before it landed on the Plaisance.

Airport police are following up the evacuation of the casualties. The 2 injured were evacuated by SAMU and others received treatment by medical team. 

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Condor
Aircraft: Airbus A330-941
Registration: D-ANRA
Serial Number: 1966
Engine: 2 x RR Trent 7000-72
First Flew: 28th November 2022
Age: 3 Mts

Sunday 5 March 2023

Remembering BOAC Flight 911

BOAC Flight 911 (call sign "Speedbird 911") was a round-the-world flight operated by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) that crashed near Mount Fuji in Japan on the 5th of March 1966, with the loss of all 113 passengers and 11 crew members. The Boeing 707 jetliner involved disintegrated mid-air shortly after departing from Tokyo, as a result of severe clear-air turbulence.

The flight was a scheduled service from San Francisco (SFO/KSFO) to Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH) via Honolulu (HNL/PHNL) and Tokyo (HND/RJTT).
The Boeing 707 was expected to arrive at Tokyo Airport at 16:45 on the 4th of March. However, due to poor meteorological conditions at Tokyo and because the precision approach radar (PAR) of the GCA was out of service, it diverted to Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF) and landed there at 18:00.
After staying overnight at Fukuoka, Flight 911 left for Tokyo at 11:25 and landed there at 12:43.
The aircraft was prepared for the next leg to Hong Kong and a flight plan was filed for a flight. At 13:42 the crew contacted ATC requesting permission to start the engines and clearance for a VMC climb via Fuji-Rebel-Kushimoto. The aircraft left the ramp at 13:50. It was instructed to make "a right turn after " and departed Tokyo Airport at 13:58. After takeoff the aircraft flew over Gotemba City on a heading of approximately 298 deg at an altitude of approximately 4900 m and indicated airspeed of 320 to 370 knots. The aircraft, trailing white vapor, then suddenly lost altitude over the Takigahara area, and parts of the aircraft began to break away over Tsuchiyadai and Ichirimatsu. Finally, over Tarobo at an altitude of approx. 2000 m, the forward fuselage broke away. The mid-aft fuselage together with the wing, making a slow flat spin to the right, crashed into a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji.
The forward fuselage crashed into the forest approx. 300 m to the west of the above site and caught fire.

At the time, it was the third fatal passenger airline accident in Tokyo in a month, following the crash of All Nippon Airways Flight 60 on the 4th of February and that of Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402 just the day before.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC
Code: BA/BOA
Aircraft: Boeing 707-436
Registration: G-APFE
Serial Number: 17706
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Conway 508

Saturday 4 March 2023

Close encounter for Qantas and British Airways.

The ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) will monitor the introduction of new take-off procedures at Sydney Airport after a British Airways 787 and Qantas A330 flew too close to each other in September last year. The incident saw the Boeing aircraft’s collision avoidance system become activated before its first officer spotted the Airbus.

A report into the ‘loss of separation occurrence’ revealed how an unusual set of circumstances led to the mix-up, including that the traditionally longer-haul A330-200 was operating a domestic flight meaning it had a higher climb performance.

The ATSB’s director of transport safety, Stuart Macleod, said, “Maintaining separation in high traffic terminal areas, such as Sydney, requires that both controllers and flight crews remain vigilant, maintain open communications, and use the available systems and tools to minimise the risk of errors.

“When sequencing departures, controllers should consider a number of factors, including how the flight duration (and the associated fuel load) will likely affect aircraft climb performance.”

The full report reveals how, on the afternoon of Wednesday the 28th of September 2022, a Boeing 787-9, operated by British Airways, took off from Sydney’s (SYD/YSSY) runway 16R at 3.10pm for a scheduled passenger service to Singapore (SIN/WSSS). Approximately two minutes later, an Airbus A330-200, operated by Qantas, departed the same runway for a scheduled passenger service to Cairns (CNS/YBCS).

Both aircraft were directed to follow the same standard instrument departure (SID) routing, the DEENA 7 SID, for their respective climbs to 28,000 ft.

This SID required the aircraft to meet two separate conditions after take-off before turning to the north-west: they had to pass the DEENA waypoint, and they had to climb to at least 6,000 ft.

“Because aircraft have to satisfy two separate conditions prior to turning, there is no way to ensure aircraft will turn at the same location when conducting the DEENA 7 SID,” Macleod said.

In the September incident, the trailing A330 was being used on a domestic flight, with a correspondingly lower fuel load and higher climb performance than it would have had for an international flight.

“The departure controller did not expect this and instead expected the A330 to have a similar climb performance to the 787 it was following, thus remain behind it and turn at about the same location.”

Instead, the A330 reached 6,000 ft as it passed DEENA and began its turn about 20 km from the airport. Meanwhile, the heavier 787 reached 6,000 ft sometime after passing DEENA and began its own turn about 25 km from the airport.

This meant the trailing A330 was turning inside the path of the 787, as they both climbed to the same flight level.

During the event, the separation between the aircraft was reduced to 2.4 NM laterally and 600 ft vertically – below the required separation standards of either 4 NM laterally (for ‘heavy’ aircraft) or 1,000 ft vertically – before the controller advised the aircraft and separation was re-established.

The British Airways flight crew later advised they had received a traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) traffic advisory during the event, and the first officer had subsequently visually identified the A330.

The ATSB final report notes that, in the last decade in Australia, there has been eight loss of separation occurrences involving aircraft cleared on a SID, where a following aircraft has climbed faster than the preceding aircraft.

Aircraft Information: No 1
Airline: Qantas 
Code: QF/QFA
Aircraft: Airbus A330-202
Registration: VH-EBK
Serial Number: 0945
Engine: 2 x GE CF6-80E1A4
First Flew: 1st July 2008
Age: 14 Yrs 7 Mts

Aircraft Information: No 2
Airline: British Airways 
Code: BA/BAW
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Registration: G-ZBKF
Serial Number: 38622
Engine: 2 x RR Trent 1000
First Flew: 17th January 2016
Age: 7 Yrs. 1 Mt

Full story sourced from here
British Airways 787 and Qantas A330 fly too close – Australian Aviation