Monday 31 July 2023

Flight from Brisbane to Denpasar forced to divert to Darwin


Three Brisbane men are facing heavy fines after allegedly drinking duty-free alcohol and vaping on board a Virgin Australia flight from Brisbane (BNE/YBBN) to Denpasar (DPS/WADD), which had to be diverted to Darwin (DRW/YPDN) over concerns about their behaviour.
Last Friday, VA45 was due to depart at 9.45am but was heavily delayed, not getting away until 12.55pm. 

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said two 20-year-old men from Sheldon and Wellington Point and a 42-year-old East Brisbane man allegedly became intoxicated during the flight and were asked to move out of their exit row seats, as the crew was concerned, they would not be able to assist in an emergency.

The men allegedly initially refused to move, but eventually relocated seats.

Police allege the men proceeded to drink duty-free alcohol they'd purchased earlier and became increasingly disruptive, with one passenger allegedly vaping in their seat.

"Three hours into the flight, around 4pm Brisbane time, the captain made the decision to divert the flight to Darwin, over concerns the group's behaviour may escalate further," the AFP said in a statement.

"The aircraft landed in Darwin and AFP officers entered the cabin and escorted the three males from the flight without incident just after 4pm. (Darwin is 30 minutes behind Brisbane)

"The aircraft then continued its journey to Denpasar following the diversion to Darwin to offload the passengers."


Sunday 30 July 2023

Military chopper crashes near Hamilton Island: four missing


Four people are presumed dead after a late-night military helicopter exercise went terribly wrong.
The Australian Army helicopter, an MRH 90, was involved in the Exercise Talisman Sabre military exercise, and crashed into the ocean near Hamilton Island in Queensland at about 11pm Friday night.

Search efforts were delayed on Friday night because of bad weather, but the wreckage was found washed in the water south of the Hamilton Island Shute Harbour.

Specialist divers will join rescue personnel today to search for air crew onboard the Australian Army helicopter.
Debris from the MRH90 Taipan was hauled from the water off Lindeman Island yesterday afternoon.
It's understood the crew are all from Sydney and based at the Holsworthy Barracks.

"Defence can confirm there were four people on board at the time of the incident and sadly at this stage those personnel have yet to be found," Hill said.
"It is the defence's priority to look after those families, their members, their teammates and those that know them.

Talisman Sabre, is the ADF’s biggest training exercise, involving more than 31,000 soldiers, marines, sailors and pilots from across 13 countries.

Saturday 29 July 2023

United States Defence Force arrives in Brisbane en masse

On Thursday I heard from a really good friend that there were going to be a huge mass of defence force aircraft arriving in Brisbane that afternoon.

Aircraft like 
United States Air Force
2 x Boeing C 17A Globemaster's
2 x Gulfstream C-37A's
1 x Gulfstream C-37B's
1 x Boeing 747-E4B

Royal Australian Air Force
1 x Lockheed Martin C130J
1 x Boeing 737 BBJ
1 x Dassault Falcon 7X

So of course, I went out to the airport to catch these aircraft. Seeing the Boeing 747 E4 was the draw card, and it didn't disappoint.


LOCKHEED MARTIN C-130J A97-449 (MSN 5449)

GULFSTREAM C-37A 01-0028 (MSN 620)

GULFSTREAM C-37A 97-1944 (MSN 566)


BOEING 737-7DT A36-001 (MSN 30829)

GULFSTREAM C-37B 20-1941 (MSN 5613)

BOEING 747-E4B 73-1676 (MSN 20682)


U.S Defense Minister Lloyd Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are here in Brisbane for the AUSMIN meeting with Mr Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Saturday.
AUSMIN stands for 'Australia-United States Ministerial' Consultations

It is the first time Australia has hosted the annual discussions since 2019 – mainly because COVID disrupted international travel and the usual rotation pattern between the US and Australia.
The talks come as US and Australian forces participate in the massive Talisman Sabre war games in northern Australia, which this year have drawn in more than 30,000 military personnel from 13 different countries.

Friday 28 July 2023

Two dead in twin plane collision in Brisbane

                                      BREAKING NEWS 

A couple are dead, and a pilot has escaped without serious injury after a mid-air collision between two light planes at an airfield north of Brisbane.

The man and woman, both in their 60s, were killed when the plane they were travelling in collided with another aircraft at Caboolture airfield (YCAB) about 10.30am today.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s chief commissioner, Angus Mitchell, said the two planes – a Piper Pawnee and a Jabiru J430 – crashed while one was landing on one runway and the other was taking off from a crossing runway.

“Tragically, both occupants of the Jabiru were fatally injured. The Pawnee pilot was uninjured,” he said.

Queensland Ambulance Service’s senior operations supervisor, Matthew Davis, said a man and woman in their 60s were confirmed dead.

Davis described the scene as “incredibly confronting”.

“Any incident involving the loss of life, particularly under these circumstances [is] extremely, extremely difficult and hard, obviously, for the first responders and most importantly for the family.”

Police confirmed the planes were flying low when the crash occurred at the eastern end of the airfield.

“I’m not able to speculate on exactly where they were positioned when they collided, but I believe that it was in the process of landing and/or taking off,” Superintendent Paul Ready said. “It’s devastating that we’ve had a loss of life.”

Ready said the aerodrome would be closed while police investigated. He urged any witnesses to contact authorities. “There will be people who may have seen some of the aircraft and their movements prior to the collision,” he said.

Investigators from the ATSB arrived at the site on to begin piecing together what happened. The investigation is expected to take at least six weeks before the release of a preliminary report.

Caboolture Airfield is an aerodrome catering to general aviation and ultralight aircraft located in Caboolture, Queensland, approximately 55 km's north Brisbane. 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 primary strip is 11/29, which has an available landing distance measuring 1,210 m (3,970 ft).  There is no control tower at the airport and pilots are required to co-ordinate aircraft movements using a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). 
The airfield is maintained and operated by the Caboolture Aero Club Incorporated.

Aircraft Information No 1:
Operator: Private Owner
Aircraft: Jabaru J430
Registration: VH-EDJ
Serial Number: 827
Engines: Piston Gen 4 3300
First Flew: February 2019
Age: 4 .5 Years

Aircraft Information No 2:
Operator: Caboolture Gliding Club Inc
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee C
Registration: VH-SPA
Serial Number: 25-5008
Engines: Textron Lycoming Piston 0-540
First Flew: August 1974
Age: 49.11 Years


Thursday 27 July 2023

Searches of Australian women in Doha behind move to block Qatar Airways

QATAR AIRBUS A380-861 A7-API (MSN 235)

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King says the detention and forced sexual examinations of Australian women at Doha airport during the pandemic was not behind the decision to deny Qatar Airways’ request to double its Australian flights. The tourism industry said Qatar doubling its capacity would lower the price of international airfares, which that have remained high since Australia reopened its borders after the COVID-19 pandemic. But the government refused Qatar Airways’ bid to add 21 extra flights to its services from Doha into Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane last year.

A group of Australian women are suing the airline over being subjected to invasive searches at Doha Airport objected to the airline’s bid. Five of the women wrote to the minister asking her to consider their plight as she decided Qatar’s ongoing request.

“We ask that you give careful consideration to the fact that Qatar Airways refused to meet with us and resolve our complaints amicably, despite the fact that some of us were sexually violated during the incident while passengers onboard their airline,” they said.

“We implore you to instead consider an airline that will uphold human rights, adhere to international travel and human rights conventions, and do all things reasonably necessary to safeguard its passengers.”

A third Qatari government body has been hit with claims of sexual assault, battery, and false imprisonment in a lawsuit by five Australian women allegedly strip-searched at Doha's Hamad Airport. The women were among hundreds forcibly removed from aircraft at Doha on the 2nd of October 2020, as officials searched for the mother of a newborn baby in a bathroom at the terminal.

Taken out of the plane by armed guards, many say they were forced to have non-consensual gynaecological or intimate physical examinations. The women, who cannot be legally named, first sued the government-owned Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) and Qatar Airways in the Federal Court.

On Tuesday, they were allowed to also name Qatar Company for Airports Operation and Management (MATAR) in the lawsuit. According to court documents seen by AAP, MATAR is a corporate subsidiary of Qatar Airways and has been contracted out by the QCAA to manage the Doha airport.

The nurse and armed personnel who conducted the strip searches were employees of MATAR, the lawsuit claims. Qatar Airways is now seeking to either completely toss the allegations against it in a summary dismissal application or have the court delete certain paragraphs from the pleadings.

In a brief case management hearing on Tuesday, Justice John Halley vacated a 14 June hearing for this dismissal bid to give MATAR time to consider whether it also wanted to file a similar application.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

2 pilots dead as plane crashes fighting wildfires in Greece.

Two Greek air force pilots were killed in a plane crash while fighting raging wildfires in their country on Tuesday — and the tragic scene was captured on local TV. Footage showed the Canadair CL-215 plane flying low and dumping water over flames before the aircraft suddenly turned, crashed into a hillside and burst into flames on the island of Evia, east of Athens. The pilots were identified by Greek officials as Christos Moulas, 34, and his co-pilot, Pericles Stefanidis, 27, officials said. Defence Minister Nikos Dendias said the pilots died “in the line of duty… while attempting to protect the lives and property of citizens, as well as the environment of our country.”

A video of the accident sequence shows that the float on the right-hand wing tip struck a tree and broke off before the aircraft turned right and impacted terrain, bursting into flames.
The aircraft was attached to the 355th Tactical Transport Squadron of the 112th Combat Wing of the Greek Air Force.

Separately, a 41-year-old stockbreeder who had been missing since Sunday was found dead in a shack in a tough-to-reach area of the island, State broadcaster ERT reported. The deaths are the first reported in Greece as hundreds of firefighters, aided by Turkish and Slovakia forces, battle wildfires raging on the islands of Rhodes, Corfu and Evia for nearly a week as the Mediterranean suffocates under an intense heat wave. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ministers on Tuesday that conditions could possibly improve by Thursday.
“All of us are standing guard,” he said. “In the face of what the entire planet is facing, especially the Mediterranean which is a climate change hot-spot, there is no magical defense mechanism.”

Scorching temperatures could reach as high as 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius) in some areas of Greece mid to late week.

Aircraft Information:
Operator: Elleniki Polemikí Aeroporía
Aircraft: Canada CL-25 1A10
Registration: 1055
Serial Number: 1055
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-83AM
First Flew: 1979
Age: 44 Years


Tuesday 25 July 2023

Remembering Air France Flight 4590

Air France Flight 4590 was an international charter flight of Air France, traveling from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG) to New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY (JFK/KJFK), United States of America, flown by an Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde. 

On the afternoon of Tuesday, the 25th of July 2000, the aircraft taxied to runway 26R. Takeoff weight was calculated to be 186,900 tons, including 95 tons of fuel, which was one tone over the maximum takeoff weight. At 16:42:17 local time (14:42:17 UTC) the crew were cleared for takeoff.
At 16:42:31 (14:42:31) the captain commenced takeoff. At 16:42:54 (14:42:54) the co-pilot called one hundred knots, then V1, nine seconds later. A few seconds after that, tyre No 2 (right front) on the left main landing gear was destroyed after having run over debris on the runway during takeoff, blowing a tyre, which threw chunks of tyre into the underside of the left wing and into the landing gear bay with great force. The debris was lost by a Continental Airlines DC-10-30, registered N13067 (MSN 47866) which departed Paris as flight CO55 to Newark five minutes before,

The fuel tank built inside the left wing was completely full. When the tyre fragments struck the wing, the tank ruptured, thereby releasing large quantities of fuel. Tyre fragments severed wiring in the landing gear bay, preventing retraction of the landing gear. Fuel from the ruptured tank ignited, causing a loss of thrust in engines 1 and 2. Lack of thrust, high drag from the extended landing gear, and fire damage to the flight controls made it impossible to control the aircraft, which crashed into a hotel in nearby Gonesse two minutes after takeoff. All 109 people on board were killed, alongside four in the hotel. Six other people in the hotel were critically injured.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air France
Code: AF/AFR
Aircraft: Aérospatiale / BAC Concorde 101
Registration: F-BTSC
Serial Number: 203
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Olympus 593/610

Additional Information:
The aircraft involved was a 25-year-old Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde, it had its maiden flight on the 31st of January 1975 (during testing, the aircraft's registration was F-WTSC). The aircraft was purchased by Air France on the 6th of January 1976. It was powered by four Rolls-Royce Olympus 593/610 turbojet engines, each of which was equipped with afterburners. 

Air France grounded its remaining Concorde's immediately; British Airways, the only other operator of the aircraft, followed suit in August. Both airlines resumed services in November 2001, but less than two years after that, all Concorde service ceased permanently.

Twenty Concorde aircraft were built, six for development and 14 for commercial service.
Two prototypes
  • Two pre-production aircraft
  • Two development aircraft
  • 14 production aircraft (7 to AF and 7 to BA)

Sunday 23 July 2023

Remembering the Gimli Glider


Today we remember Air Canada Flight 143, or more commonly known as the "Gimli Glider".
AC143 was a Canadian scheduled domestic passenger flight between Ottowa (YOW/CYOW) and Edmonton (YEG/CYEG) that ran out of fuel on the 23rd July 1983, at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 m), midway through the flight. The flight crew successfully glided the Boeing 767 to an emergency landing at a former Royal Canadian Air Force base in Gimli, Manitoba that had been converted to a motor racing track. This unusual aviation incident earned the aircraft the nickname "Gimli Glider".  The accident is commonly blamed on mistaking pounds for kilograms, which resulted in the aircraft carrying only 45% of its required fuel load. However, the units error was the last in a series of failures that aligned in a Swiss cheese model to cause the accident. The aircraft departed Montreal and landed at Ottawa, a scheduled stop on its way to Edmonton. At Ottawa the plane was re-fueled and the crew were told 11,430 liters of fuel were on board. The flightcrew then thought they had 20,400 kilos of fuel (instead of only 9,144 kilos !). This amount was entered in the FMS. En route to Edmonton, at FL410, the EICAS warned low fuel pressure in the left fuel pump. The captain at once decided to divert the flight to Winnipeg, then 120 miles (192 km) away, and commenced a descent. Within seconds, warning lights appeared indicating loss of pressure in the right main fuel tank. Within minutes, the left engine failed, followed by failure of the right engine. The aircraft was then at 35,000 feet, 65 miles (104 km) from Winnipeg and 45 miles (72 km) from Gimli. Without power to generate electricity all the electronic gauges in the cockpit became blank, leaving only stand-by instruments, consisting of a magnetic compass, an artificial horizon, an airspeed indicator and an altimeter. Vectors were given to Gimli. The captain, who had flying experience on a glider, used gliding techniques to manoeuver the airplane for the approach. The landing gear was lowered, but the nose gear could not be lowered and locked. The 767 touched down on runway 32L within 800 feet of the threshold. The nose contacted the runway and the airplane came to rest short of a part of the runway which was at the time being used as a drag racing strip.

The Board of Inquiry found fault with Air Canada procedures, training, and manuals. It recommended the adoption of fueling procedures and other safety measures that were already being used by US and European airlines. The Board also recommended the immediate conversion of all Air Canada aircraft from Imperial units to metric units, since a mixed fleet was more dangerous than an all-Imperial or an all-metric fleet.

Following Air Canada's internal investigation, Captain Pearson was demoted for six months, and First Officer Quintal was suspended for two weeks for allowing the incident to happen. Three maintenance workers were also suspended. In 1985 the pilots were awarded the first ever Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship. Several attempts by other crews who were given the same circumstances in a simulator at Vancouver resulted in crashes. Quintal was promoted to captain in 1989. Pearson remained with Air Canada for ten years and then moved to flying for Asiana Airlines; he retired in 1995. Maurice Quintal died at the age of 68 on September 24, 2015, in Saint-Donat, Quebec.

The aircraft was temporarily repaired at Gimli and flew out two days later to be fully repaired at a maintenance base in Winnipeg. Following the full repair, the aircraft was returned to service with Air Canada. Following a successful appeal against their suspensions, Pearson and Quintal were assigned as crew members aboard another Air Canada flight.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air Canada
Code: AC/ACA
Aircraft: Boeing 767-233
Registration: C-GAUN
Serial Number: 22520
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D
First Flew: 10/03/1983
Age: 5 Months old

Thursday 20 July 2023

Thrust limited or buffet limited at high altitude,

When is an aircraft thrust limited or buffet limited at high altitude, and how do we know?

When cruising at high altitude, the aircraft gets closer to the edge of its operating envelope, and as a result, it becomes more limited in how it can perform.

Generally speaking, at high altitude, the aircraft will either be buffet limited or thrust limited. Buffet is caused by the separalion of airflow across an aircraft's wings and manifests itself as a high frequency vibration or "rumble" that can be felt through the airframe.

There are generally two types of buffet: 
High-speed and low speed.

High-speed buffet is caused by supersonic airflow over parts of the wing. When the supersonic air slows to subsonic speeds, a shock wave is formed. This shock wave causes airflow separation, which leads to buffet.

Buffet margins become more limiting when the airplane is in a turn. This is because more lift is required during a turn than would be required in straight and level flight.

More lift = a higher angle of attack and therefore a faster flow of air on the top surface of the wing, which can result in reaching the high speed buffet earlier.

Since the load factor is directly proportional to bank angle, ie more bank angle = more g, load factor defines the maneuvering capability of the airplane.

The buffet limited maximum altitude in the Boeing 737, is the maximum altitude at which an aircraft can manoeuvre to 1.3g without it experiencing a specified level of buffet.

This translates to 40 degrees of bank in level flight.
The Thrust limited altitude is determined by the amount of thrust being produced by the engines, combined with the aircraft weight, speed and outside air temperature.

When the aircraft reaches an altitude where it would be unable to achieve a 100 feet per minute residual rate of climb (sometimes set at 300fpm in the FMC) it is said to be thrust

This is indicated to the pilot by either a "T" or "B" next to the maximum altitude displayed in the FMC.
B = buffet limited, T = thrust limited.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Bird strike and blown tyres = runway evacuation

A Vueling Airbus traveling from Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN/LEBL) to Sevilla Airport (SVQ/LEZL) was in its take-off run on runway 25L at Barcelona when a large birstrike into an
engine forced the pilots to abort the take-off. The left main gear and nose tyres exploded due to the weight and the high-speed braking.

The incident took place on Sunday morning, (16th of July).
The pilot informed air traffic control of the incident and the 180 passengers on the flight VY2212 were evacuated on the runway via the emergency ramps and half a dozen passengers were treated on the spot for minor injuries, meanwhile the aircraft was declared ‘aircraft on ground’ for a thorough engineering inspection. 

According to a spokesperson from Vueling, the passengers were then transported to another Vueling flight which took off from the airport at 12:30pm local time. The incident saw all take-offs postponed for 45 minutes for safety reasons as airport technicians checked the runway. 

Bird strikes pose a significant threat to flight safety, but they are always fatal for the birds.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Vueling 
Code: VY/VLG
Aircraft: Airbus A320-214
Registration: EC-JTR
Serial number: 2798
Engines: 2 x CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
First flew:25/05/2006
Age: 17.1 years

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Spotting at the Gold Coast airport

As mentioned in the previous post, yesterday we drove down to the Gold Coast Airport to say "Goodbye" to Scoot, who were pulling out of the Gold Coast - Singapore route.

Below are the other photo's I took while waiting. 







AIR ASIA X AIRBUS A330-343 9M-XBG (MSN 1467)





Monday 17 July 2023

Scoot pulls out of Gold Coast after 11 years

Scoot Airlines, a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, had earlier this year revealed that it is discontinuing its non-stop flights between Changi Airport (SIN/WSSS) and Gold Coast airport (OOL/YBCG) in Queensland Australia from mid-July 2023, well it's sad to say today was that day.

Scoot commenced five times weekly Singapore – Gold Coast flights on the 12th of June 2012, with the city becoming the carrier’s second ever destination, launched just eight days after its inaugural Sydney services commenced.

The Gold Coast is a popular tourist destination on the Queensland coast, famous for its beaches, theme parks and nightlife, and apart from a two-year hiatus during COVID-19, Scoot has been flying to and from the city between three and five times per week for more than a decade using its wide-body aircraft. It originally started with Boeing 777's but roughly 7 years ago it changed to the current Boeing 787.

The withdrawal of Scoot unfortunately means there will no longer be any direct link between Singapore and the Gold Coast.

Scoot will continue to serve Melbourne 10 times per week, Sydney 10 times per week and Perth 12 times per week during the northern summer season. It doesn't call into Brisbane or Adelaide.

Its final arrival was delayed by 53 minutes, arriving on runway 14 at 9.18 a.m.
Its final departure was also delayed, it scheduled departure was 9.35 a.m. but didn't depart until 11.06 a.m.

SCOOT BOEING 787-8 9V-OFB (MSN 37118)

I heard the pax numbers were good on the route, but the aircraft is needed on other busier routes.