Latest blog entries http://rotate.aero/blog Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:07:52 +0000 MYOB en-gb Rolls-Royce To Cut 4,600 Jobs http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/rolls-royce-to-cut-4-600-jobs http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/rolls-royce-to-cut-4-600-jobs

From AVweb

By Kate O'Connor

Rolls-Royce announced on Thursday that it will be eliminating 4,600 jobs—nearly 10 percent of the positions at the company—over the next 24 months as part of a company-wide restructuring plan. The UK-based engineering firm says that after an initial cost of £500 million ($665 million), it expects the restructuring to reduce annual costs by £400 million ($532 million) by 2020. The first third of the job cuts are expected to be made by the end of 2018.

In the same statement in which it announced the job cuts, Rolls-Royce reiterated that it intends to focus on civil aerospace going forward. The company says it currently has orders for over 2,700 engines for wide-body aircraft and business jets and plans to increase engine production “targeting over 600 wide-body engines a year by the end of this decade.” According to the company, it has launched six new engines for the civilian market including the Trent XWB and the Pearl 15.

Rolls-Royce has been struggling with its Trent 1000 engine—primarily used on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner—since issues involving excessive wear were discovered in 2016. Due to the durability problem, an AD was issued in April 2018 limiting extended single-engine operations to within 140 minutes of an airport for some 787s equipped with Trent 1000s. The company has also recently had trouble with parts shortages for the engines. It has been reported that Rolls-Royce has spent almost £1 billion ($1.3 billion) to address the issue so far.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Fri, 15 Jun 2018 21:50:48 +0000
Oops!! http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/oops http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/oops
wing_shear0518

From AVweb

By AVweb Staff

Authorities in Turkey are investigating why an Asiana Airlines Airbus 330-300 sheared off the vertical stabilizer of a parked Turkish A321 in Istanbul over the weekend. Video taken of the incident reveals that the Asiana flight was taxiing for a flight to Seoul when it struck the other airplane parked in an alleyway. No one was hurt in the incident.

The Turkish aircraft’s vertical stabilizer collapsed and folded over the fuselage, although the base of it appeared to remain attached. According to Flightradar 24, the damaged A321 was manufactured in 2006 and acquired by Turkish Airlines in 2014. The Korea Times said Asiana confirmed that its aircraft struck the Turkish airplane and this caused a fire in the stub of the stabilizer that’s just visible in the video.

 

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Tue, 15 May 2018 11:27:58 +0000
Southwest Airlines Flight 1380: an Uncontained Engine Failure? http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/southwest-airlines-flight-1380-an-uncontained-engine-failure http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/southwest-airlines-flight-1380-an-uncontained-engine-failure
bladeoff_418

From Engineering,Com

By Andrew WheelerIt's every passenger's nightmare: flying miles above the Earth and an explosion occurs. You might check the loudness of it relative to your position on the plane. Air rushes, objects are flying around the cabin means there’s a hole somewhere…Oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, confirming your fears.On Tuesday April 17th, 2018, this nightmare became real. A Boeing 737-700 flown by Southwest Airlines, with 144 passengers inside, two jet engines underneath, took off from LaGuardia (NY) for Dallas. About 20 minutes after takeoff, the flight reached cruising altitude of 32,000 ft and the captain turned off the seat belt sign. But, encountering turbulence, the crew requested seat belts back on, according to a passenger. Right after, the left engine seemed to explode and debris broke a window. A passenger was sucked into the window and was struck, half in and half out. Passengers tried to pull her back into the cabin, succeeding only after the plane performed a rapid descent and an emergency landing, but the damage was done. The passenger died from blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.The VictimSeveral rows back from the fan blades, in the window seat sat Albuquerque resident and mother of two Jennifer Riordan. There had been an announcement of turbulence, according to a passenger on the aisle seat of the same row, and both the middle seat and the aisle seat passengers had secured their seat belts. Riordan had secured her seat belt, too, say NTSB inspectors.Cabin Pressure The pilot, in this case former US Navy Pilot Tammy Jo Shults, set the cruise altitude on a cabin pressure controller during pre-flight procedures. After the wheels come off the ground during takeoff, the outflow valve began to close, which initiates pressurization of the cabin.The 737-700 would take about 20 minutes to ascend to a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet. That is when flight SWA 1380 lost its blade. The cabin air pressure is about 10 pounds per square inch, which is equal to the air pressure at about 6000 feet above sea level. The stronger the structure of an airplane, the more differential pressure it can tolerate. The average is 8 lbs. per square inch. When the cabin window of flight SWA 1380 was shattered, the pressurized air blew outward.According to Federal Aviation Regulations, pilots begin to need oxygen when they fly above 12,500 feet for over 30 minutes without cabin pressurization. Passengers however, need to use oxygen continuously anywhere above 15,000 feet in altitude without cabin pressurization. After the engine failure, Shults and her co-pilot descended to 10,000 feet in just five minutes, high enough to not hit anything, but low enough so that everyone aboard can breathe safely.

Engine FailuresCommercial airplanes have a variety of safeguards to protect the passengers during engine failures—the use of multiple engines, for example. Pilots are trained to cut off fuel to a failing engine and land a plane on the remaining engine. A modern jet engine assembly has thousands of moving parts, many of them rotating at very high speeds. The fan blades, visible from the front, are the biggest. The largest of jet engines spin the fan blades at about 4,000 RPMs generating forces of up to 7,000g. Parts can exit the cowling at speeds of 1,000 ft/s, about the speed of a handgun bullet, but with considerably more mass. A turbofan blade’s tendency to break off is well documented and has caused a number of tragic mishaps. A turbine blade part will destroy the engine, but the plane will most likely land. Passengers will have a very bad day, but will be able to walk out to kiss the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calls this a category 3 event. Category 4, the dreaded uncontained engine failure, occurs when the blade or debris exits the engine and fatally damages flight systems, rips into the aircraft cabin and/or causes a crash landing—or worseUncontained Engine FailureA jet engine under development must show that it can withstand an uncontained engine failure. In the video below is what may be the first such test available to the public, test engineers hold their breath as a Rolls-Royce engine destined for the Airbus A380 spins up. An explosive device shoots a fan blade off its mounting, reducing the engine to a smoking ruin. In a protected facility, the engineers exhale and congratulate each other. Nothing shot out of the engine where it should not have.

 

The number of uncontained “gas turbine engine rotor failures” has been on a steady decline over the years, as reported by the FAA in a 1997 report, even though the number of miles flown has increased. Protection rings surround the fan blades to contain them should they come off. In this and the previous Southwest failure, the containment rings seem to appear intact. However, in both cases, the inlet cowl was torn away and is completely missing. It is likely that pieces of the inlet cowl formed a cone of debris, with at least one piece striking the window of the airplane.The fuselage is protected by a Kevlar band wrapped around it. It's wrapped in the same position aft on the plane as the fan blades. That’s why there’s no windows there [row 11], according to John Baker, PE, in EngTips, our online engineers forum.In light of damage occurring from debris blown back from the engine in flight, it would seem the Kevlar bands, in line with the fan blades would only offer protection while the aircraft is on the ground, which is not when the blades are spinning their fastest and would be encountering their highest forces. U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators at Philadelphia airport found that the No. 13 fan titanium alloy blade broke off near the disk hub. The disk hub was examined, and evidence of fatigue cracking was discovered. According to NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt, the fan blade separated in two places, and that it appears the secondary failure of the turbofan engine was caused by this fatigue fracture. Sumwalt described the damage to the leading edge of the left wing, saying it “was banged up pretty good,” and that they could “see paint transfer.” The NTSB found no acrylic shards from the windows inside the airplane around row 14, where the victim was seated, and the window was broken.Sumwalt spoke highly of the CFM56 engines and the entire Boeing 737 fleet, but indicated awareness about the similarity of the uncontained engine failure of the August 27thSouthwest Airlines flight of 2016. SouthwestAn August 2016 Southwest Airlines flight 3472 from New Orleans to Orlando also suffered an uncontained engine failure, also from a from a fan blade breaking off and also destroying the front cowling. It also made a foot-long tear in the wing. However, flight 3472 landed with all 104 passengers and crew intact.After the 2016 incident, engine manufacturer CFM issued guidance protocol for ultrasonic inspection of specific high-time fan blades and the FAA released a proposed Airworthiness Directive to require engines that logged more than 15,000 cycles-in-service to undergo ultrasonic inspection in June of 2017. According to Reuters, Southwest, along with other airlines, pushed back on CFM’s protocol, saying the engine manufacturer had “vastly understated” the cost and number of engines in operation and inspecting all engines in 12 months was not enough. Southwest also requested not all fan blades be inspected. The FAA proposed the testing be done in 18 months, to which the airlines agreed. However, there is little to indicate that the tests were done as proposed. Former NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker said, “There did not seem to be an urgency” at the FAA to complete the inspections.MRO-Networks.com reports that Southwest was looking to cut maintenance costs by using parts from old engines in a 2012 report. It is not known if the fan blades were taken from old August 2016 engines. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the engine had logged only 10,000 cycles since being overhauled. A cycle is one takeoff and one landing. The plane had been inspected Sunday. NTSB inspector Sumwalt said in him preliminary report that a crack appeared towards the inside of the fan blade and would not have been visible in a visual inspection. The EngineIn August 2016, Southwest Airlines Flight 3472 suffered a similar failure, an uncontained engine failure with a CFM56 turbofan engine -- the same engine as last week's Flight 1380.The CFM56 engine is the world’s bestselling jet engine, according to CFM, with over 30,000 delivered and powering both Boeing and Airbus planes. CFM is a joint venture composed of equal parts GE (US) and Safran (France).Southwest announced in 2012 that it is phasing out the 737 "Classic" with the CFM56-3 engines starting in 2012 and finishing by 2017. Several parts on the CFM56-3 engines are interchangeable with the CFM56-7 which is used on Boeing 737-700. It is not knows if the turbine blades in either incident were from the older engines. What Happens Next? In the next two weeks, the FAA will issue an airworthiness directive requiring inspections of specified CFM56-7B turbofan engines. According to a statement released by the FAA on April 18th, “The directive will require an ultrasonic inspection of fan blades when they reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings. Any blades that fail the inspection will have to be replaced.”In response to the recent tragedy, Southwest released a statement saying they would be accelerating ultrasonic inspections of CFM56 engine fan blades, which they said would take about 30 days. Southwest Airlines reported operating 693 737-700/800s as of December 31st, 2017.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Wed, 25 Apr 2018 11:25:09 +0000
TSA Gives Up On GA Security Plan http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/tsa-gives-up-on-ga-security-plan http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/tsa-gives-up-on-ga-security-plan

From AvWeb

By Mary GradyThe Transportation Security Administration has withdrawn its proposal to establish a security program that would have affected private and corporate aircraft operators, the agency said on Friday. The agency had proposed the “Large Aircraft Security Program” in 2008, suggesting operators of GA aircraft that weigh more than 12,500 pounds should be required to implement security programs, vet their crews and check passengers against federal watch lists. The TSA held a series of public meetings and reviewed more than 7,000 comments from the public that were submitted in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. On Friday, the TSA said that based on all of the information they received, and “a re-evaluation of the proposal in light of risk-based principles,” they have decided to abandon the effort.Nobuyo Sakata, AOPA’s director of aviation security, said the GA community’s active opposition to the plan was key to the TSA’s decision to withdraw the proposal. AOPA said in a statement they will continue to actively participate in the Aviation Security Advisory Committee and work cooperatively with the TSA to address security concerns and improve other security programs such as the DCA Access Standard Security Program for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Alien Flight Student Program. NBAA, GAMA and EAA also lobbied against the proposal.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:37:18 +0000
ATC Privatization Derailed http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/atc-privatization-derailed http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/atc-privatization-derailed

From AvWeb

By Russ Niles

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., has announced he is no longer pursuing the separation of air traffic control from the FAA. After a couple of attempts and massive opposition from hundreds of groups with a stake in aviation, Shuster, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, conceded Tuesday his bill doesn’t have the support to pass. “Despite an unprecedented level of support for this legislation – from bipartisan lawmakers, industry, and conservative groups and labor groups alike – some of my own colleagues refused to support shrinking the federal government by 35,000 employees, cutting taxes, and stopping wasteful spending,” Shuster wrote in a statement. Instead, he said he’ll work toward long-term funding for the FAA in a proper reauthorization bill.

Shuster proposed moving air traffic control to a nonprofit corporation run by a board of directors that most in general aviation believed would be dominated by airline interests. The initiative also had the support of President Donald Trump but Shuster could not muster enough congressional support. AOPA was the first to react and while President Mark Baker acknowledged the massive lobbying effort that helped kill Shuster’s bill, he also pledged support for Shuster’s call for stable funding for the FAA. “We look forward to working with Chairman Shuster and other leaders in Congress on a bill that improves aviation for every American and ensures our skies remain the safest in the world,” Baker said.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Thu, 01 Mar 2018 01:45:13 +0000
“Undetectable” Defect Blamed For Engine Failure http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/undetectable-defect-blamed-for-engine-failure http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/undetectable-defect-blamed-for-engine-failure

From AvWeb

By Mary Grady

An internal defect caused an uncontained engine failure, leading to a fire, during the takeoff roll of a Boeing 767 in October 2016, the NTSB said in its probable-cause hearing on Tuesday. The subsurface defect led to cracking in a turbine disk. The cracks were undetectable using current inspection methods, the investigators found. “Even though there have been significant advances in the safety performance of passenger airplanes over the last few decades, this accident shows there are still improvements that can be made,” said NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Current inspection methods – those that can fail to uncover a defect in a safety-critical component of an airliner – need a closer look.”

The American Airlines flight, bound for Miami, was on its takeoff roll at Chicago O’Hare International Airport when a turbine disk in the right engine failed, sending metal fragments through a fuel tank and wing structure. Leaking fuel fed a fire. The flight crew aborted the takeoff and stopped the airplane on the runway. All passengers and crew evacuated and survived. One passenger was seriously injured after encountering jet blast from the good engine, which was still running. The NTSB found several problems with the evacuation procedures, including a lack of communication between the flight crew and cabin crew. The airplane was damaged beyond repair.

The NTSB made one recommendation to American Airlines, one to Boeing, and seven new recommendations to the FAA. The NTSB also reiterated two recommendations to the FAA on emergency evacuations because that agency has yet to favorably act upon them. The complete accident report will be available in a few weeks. The findings, probable cause and safety recommendations, as well as Sumwalt’s prepared remarks and the PowerPoint presentations given on Tuesday, are all available online.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Sun, 04 Feb 2018 14:29:05 +0000
Warning To Pilots To Monitor Critical Approaches http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/warning-to-pilots-to-monitor-critical-approaches http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/warning-to-pilots-to-monitor-critical-approaches

From Airline Ratings

By Geoffrey Thomas

Australia’s crash investigator has urged airlines and pilots to give heightened attention to risk areas such as understanding your aircraft systems, and adhering to cockpit monitoring and communication procedures to ensure a stabilized approach during the approach and landing phases of flight.

In a special release, related to a serious incident in Perth in 2016, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said that “unexpected events can substantially increase an already-high cockpit workload. If the criteria for safe continuation of an approach are not met, flight crew should initiate a go-around.”

The incident occurred at night on 19 February 2016, when an Indonesia AirAsia A320 was arriving from Denpasar, Indonesia. During the cruise, the captain’s flight management and guidance computer (FMGC1) had failed, and the flight crew had elected to use the first officer’s duplicate systems.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Sun, 21 Jan 2018 19:04:38 +0000
Jet Airways Pilots Fired For Leaving Cockpit Unattended During Flight http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/jet-airways-pilots-fired-for-leaving-cockpit-unattended-during-flight http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/jet-airways-pilots-fired-for-leaving-cockpit-unattended-during-flight

From The Independent

By Lydia Smith

Jet Airways has fired two pilots who allegedly got into a fight and stormed out of the cockpit during a flight, leaving the controls unattended.

The Indian airline said in a statement it had “terminated services of both the cockpit crew with immediate effect”.

The staff involved, a man and a woman, were taken off flight duties following an investigation.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:30:02 +0000
Delta 747s operate final charter flights. http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/delta-747s-operate-final-charter-flights http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/delta-747s-operate-final-charter-flights

From Airline Ratings

By Steve Creedy

The last Boeing 747 passenger jets operated by a US airline are doing the rounds on Delta Air Lines sports charter flights before heading off to be parked in the desert on January 3.

The handful of NFL charters to airports such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and New Orleans signal an end of an era for US airlines, although the plane lauded as the “Queen of the Skies” will fly on in other parts of the world.

After operating its last scheduled 747 flight between Korea and the US, Delta hosted an “All Hail The Queen” farewell tour for employees and select frequent fliers before Christmas.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Thu, 28 Dec 2017 01:43:07 +0000
Airbus on track to fly its electric aerial taxi in 2018 http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/airbus-on-track-to-fly-its-electric-aerial-taxi-in-2018 http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/airbus-on-track-to-fly-its-electric-aerial-taxi-in-2018

From Tech Crunch

By Darrell Etherington

Airbus is looking to put its flying taxi in the air next year, confirmed CityAirbus chief engineer Marius Bebesel this week. The schedule is on track after CityAirbus conducted successful ground tests of the electric power system it’s using to propel the vehicle through the air.

The CityAirbus craft is a vertical take-off and landing craft that uses a four rotor design, and that would be able to take up to four passengers on short flights in dense urban areas, with the aim of connecting major transportation hubs including train stations and airports. It’s designed to be pilot operated at launch, but to eventually transition to being a fully autonomous vehicle once the tech catches up.

CNBC reports that Airbus is aiming to operate the craft along fixed, predetermined routes, with top air speeds of around 80 mph. They’ll be able to skip over the traffic that can dramatically increase travel times entering and exiting busy city transit points, which would theoretically also help alleviate ground congestion.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Fri, 22 Dec 2017 02:43:09 +0000
AeroUnion Boeing 767 Engine Catches Fire in Los Angeles http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/aerounion-boeing-767-engine-catches-fire-in-los-angeles http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/aerounion-boeing-767-engine-catches-fire-in-los-angeles

From Aviation Voice

AeroUnion Boeing 767-200 freighter, performing freight flight from Los Angeles to Guadalajara with 2 crew, was in the initial climb out of Los Angeles when a crew about to taxi into position called out “engine on fire”.

Tower immediately followed advising AeroUnion of smoke coming from their right hand engine (CF6). The crew advised they would continue on runway heading, tower offered a right turn onto runways 06 or 07 on pilots discretion, the crew decided to stop climb at 1500 feet and return to runway 25L.

The aircraft joined a right downwind for 25L, tower instructed one aircraft on final for 25L to go around and another one to immediately change to approach frequency again. The 767-200 landed safely on runway 25L about 8 minutes after departure, emergency equipment checked the aircraft and reported pretty heavy smoke from the engine, the crew advised they had already discharged one bottle of fire agent.

The occurrence aircraft is still on the ground in Los Angeles about 24 hours after landing back.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Sun, 10 Dec 2017 03:06:26 +0000
Japan Airlines Commits to Boom Supersonic Aircraft http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/japan-airlines-commits-to-boom-supersonic-aircraft http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/japan-airlines-commits-to-boom-supersonic-aircraft

From Airline Ratings

By Geoffrey Thomas

Japan Airlines and US-based Boom Supersonic have announced a strategic partnership to bring commercial supersonic travel to passengers with a commitment to 20, 55-passenger supersonic jets.

Through this agreement, JAL will provide its knowledge and experience as an airline to support Boom in developing the Mach 2.2 aircraft.

As part of the agreement, JAL has made a strategic investment of $10 million in Boom and is collaborating with the company to refine the aircraft design and help define the passenger experience for supersonic travel.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:07:04 +0000
First A330-300P2F Enters Service With DHL http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/first-a330-300p2f-enters-service-with-dhl http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/first-a330-300p2f-enters-service-with-dhl

From Aviation Tribune

DHL Express has become the first operator to take delivery of the A330-300 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) converted aircraft from Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus.

This delivery, which took place at EFW’s freighter conversion facilities in Dresden, follows the successful completion of test flights in October and awarding of the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November. DHL Express has firm orders for eight A330-300P2F units in total, with additional options to receive another 10.

“DHL Express is very excited to be bringing the first A330-300 P2F into commercial operation within our international air network,” said Geoff Kehr, SVP, Global Air Fleet Management, DHL Express.

“The first aircraft is scheduled to strengthen our Asia Pacific air network, bringing added capacity and increased efficiency to a market where we are seeing dynamic express volume growth.”

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Sun, 03 Dec 2017 15:06:17 +0000
ATR-72 Veered Off Runway After Captain’s Seat Moved Fully Backwards http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/atr-72-veered-off-runway-after-captain-s-seat-moved-fully-backwards http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/atr-72-veered-off-runway-after-captain-s-seat-moved-fully-backwards
starbowatr1_1217

From Aviation Safety Network

Starbow flight S9 104, an ATR 72-500, suffered a runway excursion during takeoff from Accra-Kotoka Airport in Ghana.

During take off roll from runway 21 and before reaching a speed of 70 kts, the captain's seat suddenly moved full backwards violently and shifted to the left. Whilst controlling the aircraft with the nose wheel steering, the violent seat movement led to the captain turning the tiller to the left causing the aircraft to veer off the left side of the runway. The captain could not gain control of the aircraft until it came to a stop close to the perimeter fence after efforts by the copilot to retard the power levers.

All propeller blades of the no.1 engine were damaged with some prop tips severed after impacting barbed wire at the airport perimeter fence.Five occupants sustained minor injuries.

The aircraft, 9G-SBF, had only been delivered to Starbow on 22 November 2017.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:20:57 +0000
Airbus To Lead BAe 146 Electric Propulsion Demonstration http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/airbus-to-lead-bae-146-electric-propulsion-demonstration http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/airbus-to-lead-bae-146-electric-propulsion-demonstration

From AIN Online

Using a BAe 146 airframe, the E-Fan X demonstrator would fly with one of four engines replaced with an electric motor some time in 2020. (Image: Airbus)

By Gregory Polek

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens will collaborate on a hybrid-electric technology demonstrator expected to fly in 2020 called the E-Fan X, the companies announced Tuesday at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. The partners plan to replace one of the four gas turbine engines in a BAe 146 test bed with a two-megawatt electric motor. Plans call for the replacement of a second gas turbine with an electric motor once the program achieves sufficient system maturity, said Airbus.

“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future,” said Airbus chief technology officer Paul Eremenko. “The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective.”

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:17:07 +0000
Autonomous Commercial Aircraft - Who Asked For It Technology http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/autonomous-commercial-aircraft-who-asked-for-it-technology http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/autonomous-commercial-aircraft-who-asked-for-it-technology

From Blue Hawk Aviation

In the seemingly unstoppable rollout of who-asked-for-it and what’s-next technology, automated commercial airliners seems to be a hot topic these days. To this end, a just released UBS study argues that a vast savings realized from putting pilots out of work will overcome our demonstrated reluctance to not having a Sully Sullenburger, or anyone for that matter, in the cockpit when the poop hits the fan.

Fortunately, writing for Forbes Dan Reed penned a much more cogent and ordered response to this “Wall Street knows best” report than I am able to for this blog. Read it here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2017/08/11/heres-why-technology-artificial-intelligence-arent-good-answers-for-the-growing-pilot-shortage/#5006b9ef3527

Mr. Reed argues that any lower consumer costs can only get us so far up this particular mountain because there are very significant barriers to autonomous airliners, especially when one considers that in commercial air travel, the safety “bar” is set at a zero failure rate (i.e. no fatalities). These barriers include: nowhere near ready for primetime technology, as of yet undreamed of regulatory requirements and schemes, conveniently and vastly underestimated financial barriers, and a widespread and persistent lack of consumer acceptance that will likely span generations.

The technology piece is probably the lowest of these hurdles to leap, which isn’t to say it will be anything approaching easy. In high reliability industries like commercial aviation and nuclear power generation, outright adoption of disruptive technology doesn’t just happen because a tech billionaire has a wet dream. Technological change is stepwise, and even glacial, and with very good reason. These are industries where even the smallest of human errors can result in catastrophic and outsized loss of life and property. Proponents speak as if many pieces necessary for autonomous control of aircraft are on the shelf and ready to go. Tell me how Equifax just lost the most personal information of fully half the American population to hackers, yet we are somehow ready now with AI and to harden and protect the IT, control systems, spectrum and data links needed to control and back-up an autonomous commercial airliner? There is a nice looking, slightly used CIA RQ-170 drone now owned by Iran that might tell a very different story.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:28:50 +0000
A Good Laugh Is Needed Sometimes http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/a-good-laugh-is-needed-sometimes http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/a-good-laugh-is-needed-sometimes

From AVWeb

DHS Hacked Airliner Systems

By Russ Niles

The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly told a cyber security conference it was able to hack the internal systems of a Boeing 757 sitting on the ramp at Atlantic City Airport with no help from anyone on board or anywhere near the aircraft. “We got the airplane on Sept. 19, 2016. Two days later, I was successful in accomplishing a remote, non-cooperative penetration,” DHS cyber security expert Robert Hickey is quoted as saying by Avionics Today. “[Which] means I didn’t have anybody touching the airplane, I didn’t have an insider threat. I stood off using typical stuff that could get through security and we were able to establish a presence on the systems of the aircraft.” Hickey was speaking at the CyberSat Summit in Virginia Nov. 8.

How the hack was done is classified but Hickey suggested it gave the hackers comprehensive access to the aircraft’s systems. Hickey noted that newer aircraft like the Boeing 737 MAX and 787 and Airbus’s new A350 have more robust security but 90 percent of the fleet has the same vulnerabilities as that 757. Two years ago a security researcher claimed to have gained access to an airliner's flight systems through its entertainment system but those claims were never verified.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Wed, 15 Nov 2017 04:05:22 +0000
Engine Failure Takes Out Two Engines of SA Airlink RJ85 http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/engine-failure-takes-out-two-engines-of-sa-airlink-rj85 http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/engine-failure-takes-out-two-engines-of-sa-airlink-rj85
rj85engines_1117

From Aviation Voice

SA Airlink Avro RJ-85, performing flight from Harare to Johannesburg with 34 passengers and 4 crew, was enroute nearing the top of descent towards Johannesburg when the #2 engine suffered an uncontained failure ejecting parts of the hot section and turbine towards the #1 engine causing the engine to fail, too.

The aircraft continued to Johannesburg, was vectored for an approach to runway 21R (runways 03 were active) while other aircraft were pulled off the approaches to runways 03 and landed without further incident, vacated onto taxiway L and taxied to the apron followed by the emergency services awaiting the aircraft.

The airline reported all passengers remained uninjured and wrote: “While en route one of the four engines suffered an uncontained failure which then caused damage to its adjacent engine. Upon assessing the damage and status of the aircraft, the crew elected to continue to Johannesburg where it landed safely under the power of its remaining two engines.

At no point was the safety of the passengers or crew in jeopardy. Airlink has notified the South African Civil Aviation Authority, which will launch an investigation into the event in order to determine its likely cause. Airlink will provide whatever technical assistance is requested by the SACAA.”

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Sun, 12 Nov 2017 14:20:22 +0000
When Automation Fails, Qantas Pilot Employs Military Training http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/when-automation-fails-qantas-pilot-employs-military-training http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/when-automation-fails-qantas-pilot-employs-military-training

From AIN Online

By Pete Combs

When the autopilot suddenly switched itself off aboard Qantas Flight 72 on Oct. 7, 2008, pilot Kevin Sullivan was puzzled. The Airbus A330, on a flight from Singapore to Perth, was approaching the coast of northwest Australia near the town of Exmouth. The weather was clear and the aircraft seemed to be operating normally.

The mystery was compounded by the jarring sound of the stall warning. Odd, Sullivan thought. He was in cruise configuration at 37,000 feet on a clear day. Whatever the A330 was doing, it wasn’t stalling. A moment later, Sullivan found himself staring straight ahead at the Indian Ocean and his world changed forever. The aircraft’s complex automation had malfunctioned and the only thing that stood between Qantas Flight 72 and the deep blue sea was Sullivan’s extensive experience.

“It was an aggressive pitch-down—violent, without warning,” Sullivan told AIN. “I had to brace myself on the glareshield. There are no warnings that say the airplane can maneuver violently on its own. But it did.”

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:21:05 +0000
747 Flies Final U.S. Passenger Flight http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/747-flies-final-u-s-passenger-flight http://rotate.aero/blog/entry/747-flies-final-u-s-passenger-flight

From AvWeb

Boeing’s 747, the iconic humped two-decker jet, flew its last flight for United Airlines on Tuesday. The four-engine widebody has lost ground to more-efficient modern aircraft. A United Airlines crew flew the final trip, from San Francisco to Honolulu, tracing the same route as the first United 747 flight in 1970. “From a 1970s-inspired menu to retro uniforms for flight attendants to inflight entertainment befitting of that first flight, passengers will help send the Queen of the Skies off in true style,” United said in a news release. The 747 will remain in Honolulu, United said, and passengers on the final flight were booked to go home on a different airplane. United was the airplane’s last U.S. operator in the passenger capacity. Delta retired its last 747 on Sept. 7.

British Airways, Korean Air and a few other international airlines still fly the jets on passenger trips. Boeing will continue to produce the 747-8F, exclusively for freight operators. The freighter can carry up to 224,900 pounds, with a range of 4,120 NM, and the ability to open up the whole nose of the airplane is a key feature when loading large items.

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contact@rotate.aero (Mark) News Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:48:37 +0000