Sunday 31 December 2023

Qantas crew pin down passenger on flight from Bali to Melbourne

QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VYD (MSN 33992)

Federal police are investigating after Qantas cabin crew were forced to pin down a disruptive passenger on a flight from Bali earlier today. Video on social media shows Qantas staff and other passengers holding the man down with a knee to his back, after a disturbance on a flight from Bali to Melbourne.
QF046, operated by a Boeing 737-838 (VH-XZM), departed Denpasar (DPS/WADD) at 10.46pm (local) and landed in Melbourne (MEL/YMML) five hours later at 6.47am (local) 

Australian federal police boarded the aircraft once it arrived in Melbourne and questioned the 28-year-old from Victoria. The flight was an overnight service from the popular holiday destination, which left late Saturday night and arrived early Sunday local time.

Police say they have not yet laid any charges, but investigations are continuing.

“The AFP responded to a request for assistance from an airline at Melbourne airport [on Sunday] after receiving a report of a disturbance on an international flight into Australia,” a spokesperson said.

“A male passenger, 28, was allegedly restrained by airline staff and fellow passengers. AFP officers boarded the aircraft upon arrival and questioned the Victorian man before he was taken for a medical assessment.” A Qantas spokesperson said the airline was working with police, who were requested to meet the plane on arrival.

“The safety of our customers and our crew is our number one priority, and we have zero tolerance for disruptive of threatening behaviour,” the spokesperson said.

Friday 29 December 2023

6-year-old put on wrong Spirit flight

SPIRIT AIRBUS A321-231 N661NK (MSN 6867)

The family of a 6-year-old boy who was put on the wrong Spirit Airlines flight and wound up hundreds of miles from his final destination is considering legal options as it becomes increasingly frustrated that the company hasn’t been able to explain the mix-up.

Ramos said she was left in the dark, confused as to what may have happened to her grandson for 40 minutes, until he FaceTimed her.

She then set out on a four-hour drive, one way, to pick up the 6-year-old, sharing that the major mishap was one of the most terrifying experiences of her life.

Spirit Airlines has offered to reimburse her for the drive. The company also told Ramos on Tuesday that it would pay for Casper’s return flight to Philadelphia and a round trip for Ramos to accompany him.

But Ramos says all she wants is answers, as she revealed that her grandson is now afraid to be alone.

The airline allows unaccompanied minors — whose ages must range between 5 and 14 years old — to travel domestically across the US on direct flights.

Here in Australia Infants (under 2 years) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or an accompanying passenger who is at least 15 years old. 
Passengers aged 12 years or above may travel alone (subject to meeting our Independent Traveller Requirements).

Thursday 28 December 2023

Melbourne Airport hits record numbers for international flights


2023 is ending on a high for Melbourne's Tullamarine airport with a record number of international airlines now flying to Melbourne Airport.

Tuesday night saw the latest arrival. 
South Korea’s Asiana Airlines started seasonal services to Seoul, making it the 38th international carrier to serve Melbourne Airport. The airline is operating two direct flights a week between Melbourne Airport (MEL/YMML) and the South Korean capital of Seoul (ICN/ RKSI) using a state-of-the-art Airbus A350 aircraft, fitted with 311 seats.
HL8361 departed Seoul as OZ6033 at 8.24 am and landed in Melbourne ten hours later at 8.28 pm (local time)
OZ6043, should have departed at 10.00pm but didn't get away until 11.00 pm and landed in Seoul 7.24 am 

With a population of more than nine million people, Seoul is a global economic hub and the gateway to one of the world’s manufacturing powerhouses as well as being the home of the world-famous K-Pop.

At this stage flights will operate every Tuesday and Thursday, departing Melbourne at 10pm and arriving at Seoul’s Incheon Airport the following morning.

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Turbulence terror puts 11 in hospital

Eleven passengers have been hospitalised after 'freak' mid-air turbulence that forced a plane travelling from Bridgetown-Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI/TBPB) to Manchester International Airport (MAN/EGCC) to divert less than three hours after taking off.

The 225 passengers and 13 crew members aboard the chartered Airbus A330 plane serving passengers on a P&O cruise were expecting to make it home for Christmas, after they took off from Barbados just before midnight on the 23rd of December.

But two-and-a-half hours after Maleth Aero Flight 1975 had taken off from Barbados, the Airbus experienced severe 'clear-air turbulences' while cruising at 38,000 ft.

The plane diverted to Bermuda L. F. Wade International Airport (BDA/TXKF) and the passengers were forced to spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day away from their families.

The 11 passengers were taken to hospital. Their wellbeing is not currently known.
None of the 13 crew members were injured during the flight.
A replacement plane was set to take off 4pm on Boxing Day, arriving back in the UK in the early hours of Wednesday the 27th of December.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Maleth Aero
Code: DB/MLT
Aircraft: Airbus A330-203
Registration: 9H-MFS
Serial Number: 0700
Engines: 2 x GE CF6-80E1A3
First Flew: October 2005
Age: 18 Yrs

Monday 25 December 2023

Merry Christmas


Whatever you are doing today, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas.
If you don't celebrate Christmas, I wish you an amazing holiday season.
Christmas is not just about spending time with family and friends; it's about creating precious memories that will last a lifetime. I hope today brings joy to your heart and happiness to your home. 
May your day be filled with love, laughter and good health - not just for Christmas day but every day.

Sunday 24 December 2023

Hijacking Air France Flight 8969


As we get ready to spend time with loved ones over this holiday season, spare a thought for the passengers that were on this aircraft. This would be a Christmas they will never forget.

On the 24th of December 1994 four armed men boarded Air France Flight 8969 which was due to depart Algiers-Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG/DAAG) for Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO) at 11:15 am. The men were dressed as Algerian presidential police; they wore blue uniforms with Air AlgĂ©rie logos. Their presence originally did not cause any alarm. Two of the men began inspecting the passengers' passports while one went into the cockpit and the fourth stood guard. Claude Burgniard, a flight attendant, recalled noticing that the "police" were armed and one of them had dynamite showing, which she considered to be unusual as the Algerian police were not normally armed when carrying out checks. The Algerian military felt suspicious on noticing that the Air France flight appeared to have an unauthorised delay, so they began surrounding the aircraft. Zahida Kakachi, a passenger, recalled seeing members of the Special Intervention Group (GIS), known as "ninjas", outside the aircraft. Kakachi recalled hearing one of the "police" say "taghut," an Arabic word for "infidel", upon seeing the GIS men gathering outside the A300; she then realised that the four men on board the plane were terrorists. 

The four hijackers then revealed that they were not police, but mujahideen seeking to establish an Islamic state in Algeria. They had assault rifles, submachine guns, pistols, homemade hand grenades and two 10-stick dynamite packs. Later, at one point during the flight, the men placed one pack of dynamite in the cockpit and one pack under a seat in the middle of the aircraft, then linked them with detonator wire. They also took the uniforms of the pilots to confuse Algerian army snipers.

The hijackers were walking through the plane yelling.
Allah has chosen us to die and Allah has chosen you to die with us. Allah guarantees our success, Insha'Allah.

They had hijacked the aircraft because the national airline Air France was a symbol of France, which they viewed as infidel foreign invaders. 24 hours in, the hijackers released some of the passengers, mainly women with young children and those with severe medical conditions. Over 170 people still remained on board the plane. The hijackers offered to release the remaining Algerian passengers, but the Algerians refused to leave the aircraft. Delhemme recalled that one passenger who was refusing to leave said that he thought the crew would be killed if he did, and Delhemme believes that the passengers' motives were sincere. By the end of the 25th of December, the hijackers had freed a total of 63 passengers. The terrorists murdered three passengers and their intention was to blow up the plane over the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The terrorists demanded the plane be flown to Marseille. When the aircraft reached Marseille, the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), a counter-terror unit of the French National Gendarmerie, stormed the plane and killed all four hijackers. The remaining passengers and crew survived the 20-minute gun battle. Of the remaining passengers, 13 received minor injuries. 9 of the 30 GIGN operatives received injuries; of them, 1 received serious wounds. 3 crew members received injuries. 138 of the 220 passengers were Algerian citizens. A significant number of the passengers were French people leaving Algeria. Captain Bernard Delhemme said that the hijackers, who had extensively planned the operation, did not anticipate that most of the passengers would be Algerians.  The whole incident from start to finish lasted 54 hours.

Aircraft Information
Airline: Air France
Code: AF/AFR
Aircraft: Airbus A300B2-1C 
Registration F-GBEC
Serial Number: 104
Engines: 2 General Electric CF6-50C2R
First Flew: 28/02/1980
Age at Incident: 14 Yrs 10 Mts

Saturday 23 December 2023

Spotting at Brisbane Airport

This morning my wife and I headed off to the airport early in anticipation of the arrival of the new Qantas Airbus A220 which is currently in Canberra. It was due to come to Brisbane today but unfortunately it was cancelled. On the upside one of the best live stream plane spotting channels on YouTube was broadcasting live from Brisbane airport. Julia and Gavin from Julia Flights were there broadcasting.
If you love aviation, and you must if you are reading this, then you must follow our dear friends at Julia Flights. Gavin and Julia are really friendly, down to earth people and when they stream, the stream is always exciting and informative. You can find their channel here. Julia Flights - YouTube
Next time they go live, make sure you say "hello" and I am confident they will welcome you into the family.






CHINA EASTERN AIRBUS A330-243 B-5936 (MSN 1461)







QANTAS BOEING 737-838 VH-VZC (MSN 34197)








CHINA AIRLINES AIRBUS A350-941 B-18906 (MSN 092)





UNITED BOEING 787-9 N27959 (MSN 36407)

Friday 22 December 2023

Turkish Airlines is coming to Australia next year


Turkish Airlines is set to begin flights to Australia in March 2024 after being granted more frequencies by Australia’s government. It had been given permission for an initial 21 flights a week to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and the new Western Sydney airport, which opens in 2026.

The airline is now able to increase frequency to 28 flights a week from the start of the northern winter 2024 timetable and 35 a week from winter 2025. 

Initial services will operate from Istanbul via Singapore with connections from Turkish Airlines’ UK departure points. However, Turkish Airlines this week announced a huge order for 355 Airbus aircraft, including 15 A350-1000s, which can operate from Istanbul to Australia non-stop.

The airline’s chairman Ahmet Bolat told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News: “We will commence flights to Australia between the 15th of March and the 25th of March 2024. The Australia flights will involve a layover, a 10-hour stopover in Singapore, and then a further seven-hour journey to Australia.” 

On the back of Turkish Airlines getting the go-ahead for daily flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the Istanbul-based airline says it’s now in discussions with Rex to serve as its Australian partner.

This could allow inbound travellers on Turkish Airlines to book a single itinerary by adding local Rex flights onto their TK ticket – and, if taken the full distance, could also align the Star Alliance member’s Miles&Smiles rewards program with the newly-launched Rex Flyer scheme when it comes to earning points and enjoying status benefits.

Thursday 21 December 2023

Remembering Pan Am Flight 103

 35 Yrs ago today Pan Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie killing everyone on board.

Pan Am Flight 103 was a regular scheduled transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. At 19.03 on the 21st of December 1988, N739PA, (the aircraft operating the fight) was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew in what became known as the Lockerbie bombing. Large sections of the aircraft crashed onto a residential street in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 people on the ground. With a total of 270 people killed, it is the deadliest terror attack in the history of the United Kingdom. Following a three-year joint investigation by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November 1991. In 1999, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi handed over the two men for trial at Camp Zeist, Netherlands, after protracted negotiations and UN sanctions. In 2001, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was jailed for life after being found guilty of 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing. In August 2009, he was released by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died in May 2012 as the only person to be convicted for the attack. In 2003, Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and paid compensation to the families of the victims, although he maintained that he had never given the order for the attack. Acceptance of responsibility was part of a series of requirements laid out by a UN resolution in order for sanctions against Libya to be lifted. Libya said it had to accept responsibility due to Megrahi's status as a government employee.  Some relatives of the dead, including the Lockerbie campaigner Dr Jim Swire, believe the bomb was planted at Heathrow airport and not sent via feeder flights from Malta, as the US and UK claim. A cell belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (General Command) had been operating in West Germany in the months before the Pan Am bombing.

After a three-year joint investigation by the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation indictments for murder were issued on November 13, 1991, against Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer and the head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA), and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, the LAA station manager in Luqa Airport, Malta. United Nations sanctions against Libya and protracted negotiations with the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi secured the handover of the accused on April 5, 1999.
On January 31, 2001, Megrahi was convicted of murder by a panel of three Scottish judges and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Fhimah was acquitted.

The same aircraft was involved in another incident 18yrs earlier on the 4th of November 1970.
Pan Am Flight 114 was operating from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York to Orly Airport, Paris, France. There were 148 passengers and a crew of 15 aboard the flight. The takeoff at 21.17 EST was uneventful. The flight had been cleared to 31,000 feet, and experienced turbulence during the climb at approximately 27,000 feet. It was described by the flight crew as an occasional “nibble.” At approximately 21:46 EST, the aircraft encountered moderate to severe turbulence as it passed Nantucket, Massachusetts. During the encounter, which lasted approximately 4 minutes, 21 passengers and 2 stewardesses sustained injuries which ranged from minor to serious. The seatbelt sign was on at the time of the encounter and had been on since takeoff.  At 22:07 EST, the flight crew requested clearance back to JFK Airport and later requested and received preferential air traffic control handling. The aircraft landed on runway 31R at 23:39 EST. 

Aircraft Information.
The aircraft was a Boeing 747–121, registered N739PA (CN 19646) and was named "Clipper Maid of the Seas". It was the 15th 747 built, it first flew on the 25th of January 1970 and was delivered in mid-February 1970. It had PW JTD-7A engines.
The aircraft was 18yrs old at the time of the Lockerbie incident.

THE 747
  • 1556 built
  • 18th loss
  • 12th fatal accident
  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Plane crashes in Russia have tripled since the invasion of Ukraine

Russia has seen triple the number of plane safety incidents this year compared to 2022.
Sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine have left airlines unable to get new planes or spare parts from major manufacturers. According to data compiled by Newsweek and the independent Russian outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe, there have been 180 plane malfunctions this year.

Between 2018 and 2022, there was an average of 55 plane malfunctions, with 60 last year, per Novaya Gazeta Europe. Russia recorded 11 civilian airplane incidents in the first eight days of December alone.

The sanctions left more than 700 planes worth $12 billion stranded in Russia after being leased to operators, Business Insider reported in 2022. Lessors managed to retrieve some of the aircraft, before a new law was implemented allowing foreign jets to be re-registered as Russian, per the BBC. Despite the sanctions, Russia has managed to keep many jets flying — smuggling in 14 million dollars of spare parts or taking them from grounded jets and creating a so-called "Frankenstein fleet.

But this all comes with safety risks, which appear to be showing up with the number of malfunctions. Two weeks ago, a Boeing 737 operated by Russian airline S7 bound for Moscow had to make an emergency landing after both its engines caught fire shortly after taking off in Siberia. 
15th of August, hundreds of Russian tourists were left stranded in Turkey after two Boeing 777s operated by Red Wings were unable to take off because they broke down due to technical issues. Then on the 12th of Sptermber Ural Airlines was forced to ditch an Airbus A320 in a Siberian wheat field after its hydraulics system failed. The jet is still stuck there, as the airline is trying to repair it so it can take off from the field.

Monday 18 December 2023

United Boeing 777 was 748 feet away from hitting the ocean and crashing

UNITED BOEING 777-222 N793UA (MSN 26946)

On the 18th of December 2022 a United Airlines flight travelling from Kahului Airport, HI (OGG/PHOG) to San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO/KSFO) lost altitude about 1 minute after departure from Kahului Airport, Hawaii, while in instrument meteorological conditions, which included heavy rain. The airplane descended from 2,100 ft to about 748 ft above the water before the crew recovered from the descent. No injuries were reported, and the airplane was not damaged. 
The NTSB was not originally notified of the event, since it did not meet the requirements of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 830.5. However, the NTSB learned of the event about 2 months later and chose to open an investigation. By that time, both the cockpit voice and flight data recorder durations had been exceeded. The investigation utilized flight crew statements and other records as information sources.

The captain (who was the pilot flying) reported that he and the first officer had initially planned for a flaps-20 takeoff (flap setting of 20°) with a reduced-thrust setting, based on performance calculations. However, during taxi, the ground controller advised them that low-level windshear advisories were in effect. Based on this information, the captain chose a flaps-20 maximum thrust takeoff instead. He hand-flew the takeoff, with the auto throttles engaged. During the takeoff, the rotation and initial climb were normal; however, as the airplane continued to climb, the flight crew noted airspeed fluctuations as the airplane encountered turbulence. When the airplane reached the acceleration altitude, the captain reduced the pitch attitude slightly and called for the flap setting to be reduced to flaps 5. According to the first officer, he thought that he heard the captain announce flaps 15, which the first officer selected before contacting the departure controller and discussing the weather conditions. The captain noticed that the maximum operating speed indicator moved to a lower value than expected, and the airspeed began to accelerate rapidly.

The captain reduced the engine thrust manually, overriding the auto throttle servos, to avoid a flap overspeed and began to diagnose the flap condition. He noticed that the flap indicator was showing 15°, and he again called for flaps 5, and he confirmed that the first officer moved the flap handle to the 5° position.

Both pilots recalled hearing the initial warnings from the ground proximity warning system (GPWS), and the first officer recalled announcing “pull up - pull up” along with those initial GPWS warnings. The captain then pulled aft on the control column, initially reduced power to reduce airspeed, and then applied full power to “begin the full CFIT [controlled flight into terrain] recovery.” The first officer recalled that, as the captain was performing the recovery, the GPWS alerted again as the descent began to reverse trend; data showed this occurred about 748 ft above the water. After noting a positive rate of climb, the captain lowered the nose to resume a normal profile, ensured that the flaps and speed brakes were fully retracted, and engaged the autopilot. The remainder of the flight was uneventful.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: United Airlines
Code: UA/UAL
Flight Number: UA1722
Aircraft: Boeing 777-222
Registration: N212UA
Serial Number: 30218
Engines: 2 x PW PW4077
First Flew: 18th July 2000
Age: 23.5 Years

Sunday 17 December 2023

Delta passengers spend night on remote Canadian military base

DELTA BOEING 757-251 N545US (MSN 711)

270 Delta passengers and crew were forced to spend the night on a chilly and remote Canadian military base after their Detroit-bound plane made an emergency landing due to a mechanical issue.

Delta flight 135 from Amsterdam (AMS/EHAM) to Detroit (DET/KDET) was diverted to Goose Bay (YYR/CYYR) “out of an abundance of caution,” a spokesperson for the airline told reporters.

The plane ran into a problem with its de-icing mechanism for one of its engines and needed to make an emergency landing somewhere with an airstrip long enough to accommodate the large aircraft, passengers told reports. The passengers ended up waiting for more than 20 hours to get back in the air and on their way to Michigan in the nightmarish scenario.

After landing at the Goose Bay Airport, the travelers waited on the tarmac for between five and seven hours for another plane to arrive to transport them to Detroit, passenger Nathan Johnson said.

But, when the second plane finally arrived and everyone boarded, they were told that the flight crew had timed out of workable hours and they would all need to leave the plane that just arrived, passenger Johnson, 45, said.

Another passenger who was traveling with her husband and their 4-year-old detailed the disastrous trip on her Instagram.

“Boarded a new plane after waiting 7+ hours, waited an hour after boarding for take-off only to hear that the crew and pilot have finished their allotted hours of flying and need to rest now for 10-12 hours. Now Delta is looking for accommodations for us all,” Shikha Joshi wrote in an Instagram story.

The tired travelers — some of whom didn’t have coats for the Canadian cold — were eventually transported in groups of 25 to 30 via school buses to nearby military barracks.

“We were shuttled back to the rooms with no understanding of what our next time was going to be as far as when we should wake up or when we should be ready,” he said. “There was no communication.”

There, they were given rooms with beds and basic amenities to get some shuteye, as well as snacks and water. Many passengers, however, didn’t have any spare clothes or essentials which they packed into checked luggage.

Johnson and his wife were forced to sleep in the clothes they had been wearing since beginning their trip home from Munich, Germany.

After a few hours at the barracks, buses arrived to bring the passengers to a "third plane". Their flight finally left the Canadian base at 5 p.m., with snow falling outside, Johnson said.

“Crew duty times were impacted due to weather and runway conditions at the Goose Bay airport causing the airport to suspend operations,” Delta said in a statement. “Delta sent additional aircraft to Goose Bay to bring customers to their final destination Monday.”

Their airline said affected customers will be compensated for the very long delay.

First Aircraft Information:
Delta Airlines
Code: DL/DAL
Flight Number: DL135
Aircraft: Airbus A330-323
Registration: N811NW
Serial Number: 0690
Engines: 2 x PW PW4168A
First Flew: 21st July 2005
Age: 18.6 Years

The second and third aircrafts to arrive were

Second Aircraft Information:
Delta Airlines:
Code: DL/DAL
Flight Number: DL9972
Aircraft: Airbus A330-223
Registration: N816NW
Serial Number: 0827
Engines: 2 x PW PW4168A
First Flew: 14th March 2007
Age: 16.9Years

Third Aircraft Information:
Delta Airlines
Code: DL/DAL
Flight Number: DL9964
Aircraft: Airbus A330-223
Registration: N851NW
Serial Number: 0609
Engines: 2 x PW PW4168A
First Flew: 8th June 2004
Age: 19.5 Years

Saturday 16 December 2023

Australians left stuck in Tuvalu after airport's runway damaged

Australians have been left stranded on the island of Funafuti, Tuvalu in Fiji after Fiji Airways cancelled all flights to and from the tiny Pacific Island national indefinitely due to damage to the airport's runway.
The airline is the only international carrier that services Tuvalu.

"Fiji Airways wishes to advise that all flights scheduled to operate between Suva or Nadi and Funafuti in Tuvalu have been suspended until further notice," the airline said in a statement.

"The airline has had to take this step-in light of runway damage at Funafuti International Airport."

The statement added:
  "We will continue to monitor the situation and are seeking information from the Tuvalu authorities on the effectiveness of the repairs currently underway."

A passenger from Adelaide, said his flight out on Thursday had been cancelled and then another was cancelled on Saturday. It is unclear how many Australians are stranded but with two flights cancelled so far there could be more than 140 travelers waiting to leave, he said.

He said he had been told extremely heavy rain had caused the damage to the airport runway.
"Heaviest ever, according to the locals, who said they had never experienced that amount of rain," he said.

He said there were concerns among traveler's they might not be home before Christmas.

One passenger said "I had surgery booked for this Tuesday, and unless I leave tomorrow, I'll not be in Australia for that surgery," he said.

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Passenger manages to fly to LA without a ticket, visa or passport

According to a recent security report, in early November a Russian-lsraeli dual national was able to fly from Copenhagen to Los Angeles with Scandinavian Airlines Systems without a passport, ticket, or visa,

The report states that when the man arrived into Los Angeles, officers discovered that he was not listed on the Scandinavian Airlines (flight SK931) or any other flight.

The suspect said he was confused, hadn't slept for three days and couldn’t remember how he got through airport security in Denmark, authorities say.

An investigation is currently ongoing.
The incident has brought a spotlight on security at SAS and Copenhagen

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for Central California by FBI Special Agent Caroline A. Walling, said the passenger committed the offense of being a stowaway on an aircraft, a crime that carries a potential jail sentence of up to five years.

When he was questioned by CBP officers, his bag was searched and found to contain Russian ID cards and an Israeli ID card but no passport, authorities said.

Monday 11 December 2023

Russian cargo plane's engine explodes shortly after take-off,

Dramatic video shows the moment a stricken Russian cargo planes engine explods shortly after take-off, leaving a trail of fire as the plane desperately dumped fuel. The Tu-204, which was travelling from Ulan-Ude-Baikal International Airport (UUD/UIUU) to Changzhou Airport (CZX /ZSCG) was seen with smoke coming from the engine followed by a long streak of a vibrant orange flame as it jettisoned fuel before making an emergency landing at the airport it had left from in Ulan-Ude, East Siberia.

The Aviastar aircraft is used to ferry goods between China and Russia amid Western sanctions against Vladimir Putin's regime. It had been flying from Baikal Airport in Ulan-Ude to Chinese city Zhangzhou when the explosion led to fire in its left engine.

Alexey Tsydenov, head of the Buryatia region, said the aircraft had dumped most of its fuel before making an emergency landing using just one engine.

Speaking after the event, witness Lyubov Pichueva said: 'I heard a powerful explosion coming from above. 'At first, I thought it was fireworks, but the sound was too strange. It was very scary.'

Witnesses said they were able to see the plane dumping fuel as it tried to avert a horrifying disaster.
One said: 'It was burning very bright just now. Something is falling out of it… It is dumping something.'

All five crew on board managed to survive the terrifying ordeal as the plane landed safely at 8:30 am local time (0:30 am GMT). An investigation is underway by the East Siberian Transport Prosecutor's Office

Russia has suffered a spate of air safety issues and the country is the subject of a 'red flag' by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). In the first eight months of this year, there were 120 air accidents in Russia involving civil aircraft operated by Russian airlines. This is more than double the number in recent years despite significantly fewer flights as a result of Putin's war against Ukraine.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Avaistar - TU
Code: 4B/TUP
Aircraft: Tupolev Tu-204C
Registration: RA-64024
Serial Number: 1450743164024
Engines: 2 x Aviadvigatel PS-90A
First Flew: May 2002
Age: 20.5 Yrs

Sunday 10 December 2023

South African Airways to return to Perth, and Cathay doubles flights


Direct flights between Perth (PER/YPPH) Australia and Johannesburg (JNB/FAOR) South Africa look set to return in March 2024, promises a South African Airways executive, as the Star Alliance member works to rebuild its international network.

Speaking in an online webinar to the South African Tourism Services Association earlier this week, as reported by trade outlet, the airline’s General Manager for Sales, Marketing, e-Commerce and Distribution Carla da Silva said SAA hoped to put its Perth schedule online next week, ahead of a March 2024 launch.

There would initially be three flights a week between Perth and Johannesburg, she added. Da Silva said January 2024 would see the arrival of three newly-leased long-range jets which, alongside a possible Airbus A350, would also allow the restart of flights to London and Frankfurt.

Da Silva noted that after being grounded for some 18 months due to bankruptcy during the global pandemic, the carrier resumed a pared-back service in September 2021 and has slowly been adding flights since then, as well as returning to profitability. The airline also remains a Virgin Australia partner.
Qantas has upgraded its Sydney-Johannesburg route from a Boeing 787 to an Airbus A380 from July 2024, although the flights will no longer run on a daily basis.


While on Perth, Cathay Pacific is now doubling down on flights between Perth (PER/YPPH) and Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH), increasing connections from three to six per week while also rolling out an aircraft change.

To that end, it’s out with the Airbus A350 and in with the Boeing 777, resulting in an extra two business class flatbeds on every flight, plus a score more premium economy and economy recliners, if that’s where you’ll be for the eight-hour journey.

Taking flight every day except Tuesday, CX140 departs Perth at 12:10am, reaching Hong Kong at 7:45am; the CX171 return leaves Hong Kong at 3:10pm those same six days, arriving into Perth at 10:50pm.

Thursday 7 December 2023

Jetstar takes advantage of Bonza's situation


Australia's newest low-cost airline Bonza announced on the 30th of November that most flights to / from the Gold Coast, Bundaberg, Cairns, the Whitsundays, Mildura and Geelong in Victoria were pulled due to a delayed regulatory approval to fly.


Jetstar, the biggest airline operating from the Gold Coast Airport, jumps on Bonza's Gold Coast woes with discounted flights Jetstar is offering discounted fares to passengers affected by Bonza's Gold Coast cancellations as more routes are affected by the wait for CASA approval.
Bonza has already axed all Gold Coast-Darwin flights for December, with the
route to now launch on the 2nd January. Other Gold Coast routes, including Melbourne's Avalon Airport and Cairns, have been delayed indefinitely while CASA's approval process continues for its wet-lease agreement with Flair.


The rival carrier is offering $117 one-way fares between the Gold Coast and Avalon and $174 one-way fares between the Gold Coast and Cairns for affected passengers. Those looking to claim the discounted fares are being advised to contact Jetstar's Live Chat service with a copy of their original Bonza booking and cancellation notification

"We will continue to monitor the situation and advise if there are additional alternative options for passengers impacted by other Bonza route suspensions," Jetstar said on its website.

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Brisbane Airport forecasts 3.7m passengers over holidays

Brisbane Airport has this week revealed their forecast for passenger numbers over the Winter holiday period, which is expected to be 3.7m passengers.
It is understood the range for this is between the 1st of December to the 28th January, which is expected to increase by 20% compared to the same period last year.

Brisbane Airport also outlined what they expect to be the busiest days in that date range from their international terminal:
Rank Date Total passengers International Terminal
1 Sat 6th of January 2024 20,200
2 Fri 22nd of December 2023 20,000
3 Sun 7th of January 2023 20,000
4 Sat 23rd of December 2023 19,800
5 Fri 5th of January 2024 19,400

Commenting on this further was Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO of Brisbane Airport:

“It’s vital our hospitality industry is ready for the return of this powerhouse market”.

“The growth of arrivals from India has been meteoric. This is a rapidly expanding market with a new generation of travelers connecting with friends and family in Queensland.”

“For Queenslanders heading overseas, New Zealand remains the most popular destination simply because we have the biggest number of Kiwis in Australia and many love to connect with family at this time of year. Over the Christmas period there are up to 92 flights per week in each direction, up from 70 last year.

“This is the first Christmas holidays that Queenslanders have been directly connected to Vietnam, thanks to Vietjet, so it is a trending destination.”

"Capacity to Japan has recently quadrupled through Qantas and Jetstar and is very popular for Christmas. And United Airlines has begun it service from Brisbane to Los Angeles, which is expanding capacity to the United States.”

“To think during the darkest days of the pandemic there were days of zero international passengers, and now we are back to 20,000 per day.”

All eyes will be on how Brisbane Airport gets on over this Winter period.

Monday 4 December 2023

Engine failure on China Eastern A330


A China Eastern Airbus A330-300 travelling from Shanghai (SHA/ZSSS) to Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH) suffered a mid-air uncontained engine failure.

The flight departed Shanghai's runway 36L at 08.32 and climbed to flt lvl 340. An hour and ten minutes into the flight, the crew reported a malfunction to the aircraft's left engine. This was followed by extreme vibration and very loud noises.

The aircraft immediately made an emergency landing in Xiamen (XMN/ZSAM). No injuries have been reported in the incident.

Once on the ground, engineers discovered that one and a half of the fan blades broke from the engine and ejected through the top of the engine.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: China Eastern Airlines
Code: MU/CES
Aircraft: Airbus A330-343
Registration: B-8970
Serial Number: 1798
Engine: 2 x RR Trent 772B-60
First Flew: 19/05/2017
Age: 6.5Yrs

Sunday 3 December 2023

Airline serves baffled passengers 'dog food' in awkward translation blunder

Plane passengers were left confused by a mistranslation blunder after 'imported dog food' was seen on the menu by those flying business class with China Eastern Airlines

Plane passengers were left baffled after they were offered "imported dog food" on their flight as a menu option, rather than more palatable dishes you would usually tuck into.

When flying business class, passengers tend to expect a range of fancy dishes to be served up. But when dog food appeared as an option, alongside "smoke pepper beef" and "cucumber", people were left with many questions.

The China Eastern Airlines Business Class dinner menu was posted on Facebook by Conrad Ru, who wrote "What exactly is it?". It subsequently landed on Reddit, where people were quick to point out that "most likely the translation has gone wrong", joking "Besides, how bad could dog food be?"

In response to the "dog food" on the menu, someone wrote: "Pretty certain that it is a mistranslation. But a severe loss of face for the huge airline." Another added: "Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to laziness."

Someone saw the opportunity to make a pun, commenting: "Dog food can be canned and is safe to eat. If imported, it can have high safety standards. Standards that are through the woof."

A fan backed the airline though, saying that they loved flying with them - but there were no excuses for the bad translation. They said: "I love this airline. I only flew it once but it once but it was a long flight and I changed planes twice (same airline) and the flight crew was so awesome!! Incredibly friendly and helpful [...]The food was really yummy too. It's sad to see them making such mistakes when they have plenty of experts in China who could proofread things for them. 

Saturday 2 December 2023

Delta pilot threatens to shoot captain over medical diversion

DELTA BOEING 737-832 N374DA (MSN 29622)

Federal authorities in Utah have charged a former Delta Air Lines pilot for allegedly threatening to shoot the captain during a flight last year. Jonathan Dunn was charged in a Utah District Court for disrupting the crew's operations on a commercial flight.

According to an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Inspector General, Dunn used a firearm to assault and intimidate the flight's captain. This incident happened on a Delta flight between two unspecified destinations on the 22nd of August 2022.

The DOT released this statement about the incident:

"After a disagreement about a potential flight diversion due to a passenger medical event, Dunn told the Captain he would be shot multiple times if he diverted the flight."

Meanwhile, the federal court in Utah said about Dunn's indictment:

"The indictment alleges that, on or about the 22nd of August 2022, Dunn, the crew's First Officer, interfered with the performance of a crew member by using a dangerous weapon to assault and intimidate the Captain. Dunn was authorized to carry a firearm through the Transportation Security Administration's Federal Flight Desk Officer program."

Why did the First Officer have a gun and how did it get past security you ask?

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) created the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program as an additional security measure after the terrorist attacks on September 11. 
The FFDO program allows flight crew to receive specialized training and carry weapons onboard to protect against terrorism. The participants are federal law enforcement officers certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FFDOs have jurisdiction over the cabins of commercial or cargo aircraft while on duty.

It is unknown what caused Dunn to misbehave while on duty. Dunn had no previous health issues severe enough to prevent him from flying since he had a medical certificate while working at Delta. Dunn got his medical certificate revoked after the incident, with Delta later revealing in a statement that he was no longer employed there. The DOT, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are conducting the investigation. Dunn is scheduled to face a federal court again in Salt Lake City late November.

Friday 1 December 2023

Same airport, same day, two crashes

On the 28th of November, two Embraer EMB-120 crashed at Kikoboga Airstrip (HTMK) in Tanzania.
The first crash involved a Unity Air Zanzibar EMB-120.
As the aircraft landed, its right-hand main landing gear collapsed. The aircraft then veered off the runway and came to a stop on the grass. No injuries were reported from the 30 passengers and three crew.

However, just six hours later, at the same airport, another Embraer EMB-120 crashed on the same runway. 
The aircraft this time was operated by Sindbard Air which was travelling from Kikoboga (HTMK) to Zanzibar (ZNZ/HTZA).
As the aircraft was accelerating for takeoff, its nose gear collapsed. It veered off the runway and collided with a building. Just like before, no injuries were reported.

Kikoboga Airstrip is an airstrip serving the Mikumi National Park in the Morogoro Region of Tanzania and is owned by the Government of Tanzania. The airstrip is 1,737 ft / 529 m AMSL.

Aircraft Information: No:1
Owner / Operator: UnityAir Zanzibar
Code: AFD
Aircraft: Embraer EMB 120ER Brasilia
Registration: 5H-MJH
Serial Number: 120358
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney PW118
First Flew: Sept 2004

Aircraft Information: No:2
Owner / Operator: Sindbard Air
Code: -
Aircraft: Embraer EMB 120ER Brasilia
Registration: 5H-FLM
Serial Number: 120325
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney PW118
First Flew: March 2008