Latest blog entries Tue, 17 Oct 2017 05:36:39 +0000 MYOB en-gb Complex Three-Engine Ferry For A380

From AvWeb

By Russ Niles

Air France plans to ferry a damaged A380 back to France from Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador on three engines but before it can do that it has to install a new engine that won't be running. The aircraft lost the front section of its No. 4 engine, including the 10-foot fan, over Greenland on Sept. 30 and made an emergency landing at the Cold War-era air force base at Goose Bay, stranding 521 passengers and crew for 12 hours until two aircraft could be dispatched to pick them up. Besides the engine, the aircraft suffered pylon and wing damage and the combination has greatly complicated the effort to repatriate the Super Jumbo.

The wrecked engine will be removed and sent to Wales for inspection by the manufacturer Engine Alliance. For balance and aerodynamic stability a new engine will be installed but because of the other damage it can’t be hooked up and made operable. While there is plenty of power from the remaining engines for takeoff (Goose Bay has 11,000 feet available) the flight planning and crew training requirements for the ferry flight are extensive. We can’t verify the information supplied by Capt. Dave Wallsworth, a British Airways A380 captain, who maintains a regular Twitter feed about his job, but by his account, the rescue mission is a monumental effort.

From Captain Dave on Twitter

]]> (Mark) News Sun, 15 Oct 2017 13:41:13 +0000
ATC Proposal Dominates NBAA

From AvWeb

By Russ Niles

Aviation leaders presented a united front Tuesday in their resolve to kill a bill that would turn air traffic control services over to a nonprofit corporation. At the annual media breakfast at the NBAA-BACE convention being held in Las Vegas, the leaders of most general aviation groups urged delegates to flood the inboxes of their elected representatives with messages of opposition to the proposal. They were also told the bill currently in play, H.R. 2997, doesn’t have the votes to go through but that shouldn’t stop them from letting their representatives know about their opposition. A video featuring well-known aviation leaders appears below.

The main issue is the makeup of the 13-member board of directors they say is weighted toward airline representation. The fear is that access to and availability of airspace will be prioritized for airlines at the expense of general aviation. EAA Chairman Jack Pelton acknowledged that “fatigue” over the frequent call by he and his colleagues for grass-roots political support is a real factor in this current battle but he also noted the process is simple. NBAA President Ed Bolen said the process he and the others have been through in fighting the bill is an example of why the current system should be preserved. The leaders have had numerous meetings with elected officials to make their case and they’ve been received without reservation. He said if the 13-member board of directors takes over, they will be under no obligation to hear from those affected by their decisions.

]]> (Mark) News Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:16:03 +0000
Damaged A380 Diverts To Goose Bay

From AvWeb

By Russ Niles

Air France is facing a daunting technical challenge to repair an extensively damaged A380 at one of Canada’s most remote airports. Flight 66 from Paris to Los Angeles was almost across the Atlantic when the No. 4 engine had an uncontained failure that blew off the cowl and the crew diverted to Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. Twitter photos show extensive damage to the engine and it appears the pylon and perhaps the wing are also affected. Passengers reported hearing a loud noise followed by vibration and an hourlong flight to Goose Bay. It's the second uncontained engine failure on an A380 but the first one, on a Qantas super jumbo in 2010, involved a Rolls-Royce engine. The engine that blew on Saturday was made by Engine Alliance, a joint venture by GE and Pratt & Whitney. The aircraft had about 520 passengers and crew on board and the airport is not equipped to handle that kind of influx so passengers were kept on the airplane waiting for other aircraft to be sent to pick them up. The A380 likely isn’t going anywhere soon.

Goose Bay is a former U.S. Air Force Base used in the Cold War as a nuclear weapons staging base and it has 11,000-foot and 9,000-foot runways. These days only a small Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter squadron is based there. Only regional airlines offer scheduled service so it doesn’t have facilities to do major repairs on an A380. The airline will have to ship in the parts and create temporary facilities to fix the plane. Last February a Swiss Global Airlines Boeing 777 had to land in Iqaluit, Nunavut, due to engine problems and the airline swapped the engine in a large tent. But there was no secondary damage to the aircraft in that incident and the A380 repairs are likely to be more involved.

]]> (Mark) News Sun, 01 Oct 2017 21:58:19 +0000
US airlines say goodbye to the iconic Boeing 747

From Airline Ratings

By Steve Creedy

The last US airlines operating the passenger version of the Boeing 747 are in the process of saying goodbye to the “Queen of the Skies” with United Airlines’ last flight scheduled for November 7.

Delta Air Lines and United are moving to retire the iconic US-made jumbo jet after almost four decades in service.

United’s farewell 747 flight will be from San Francisco to Honolulu and its last international 747 flight will head to Seoul, Korea, from San Francisco on October 29.

]]> (Mark) News Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:54:16 +0000
Horizon Cancels Route In Pilot Shortage

From AvWeb

By Russ Niles

Horizon Air says it can no longer fly to Colorado Springs from Seattle because it doesn’t have enough pilots. The airline, cancelled six percent of its flights in June because of its pilot shortage but this might be the first time a route has been abandoned because of it. Horizon says it faces a pilot shortage for at least another year according to a news release from the Colorado Springs Airport. The release quoted airline officials as saying shortages “are expected to continue for some time.”


Meanwhile, while Horizon is a subsidiary of Alaska, the parent company is shifting some of its regional capacity to Skywest Airlines and essentially allowing the independent regional carrier to compete with its own company. Skywest flies 20 new Embraer E175 jets for Alaska and while Horizon has ordered 30 similar aircraft, it only has two in the air and recently deferred delivery of six of the Brazilian airliners. Horizon flies mainly well-used Bombardier Q400 turboprops. Skywest has ordered five more E175s to use on Alaska routes and Horizon’s pilot union filed a lawsuit disputing Horizon’s deferral of its E175 delivery.

]]> (Mark) News Sun, 17 Sep 2017 15:54:35 +0000
Airport Worker Hurt After Being Hit by Airliner

From Travel Pulse

By Donald Wood

An American Airlines regional flight that landed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport struck a pushback tractor as it was being taxied to the gate, leaving the driver of the vehicle injured.

According to Fox Charlotte, American Eagle Flight 5233 arrived Wednesday in North Carolina from Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia, when it started to taxi to the gate. At around 4 p.m. local time, the plane struck the tug near the north side of the E terminal.

None of the thirty-one passengers and three crew members on board the plane at the time of the incident reported injuries. As for the driver of the pushback tractor, he was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

]]> (Mark) News Fri, 15 Sep 2017 02:16:14 +0000

From Airline Ratings

By Steve Creedy

A Jetstar Boeing 787 was forced to return to Singapore’s Changi Airport after debris from a shredded tyre damaged a wing and caused flaps to malfunction.

The plane was headed to Melbourne with 231 passengers and 11 crew on board when the pilots received an alert that the wing flaps were not retracting evenly.

Flaps are moveable flight surfaces on the wing designed to increase lift at lower speeds during landing and take-off. The forces affecting an aircraft become unbalanced if the flaps on both wings do not deploy and retract together.

]]> (Mark) News Sat, 02 Sep 2017 14:06:50 +0000
UK Study Slams Seat Spacing

From Airline Ratings

By Geoffrey Thomas

As the US Federal Aviation Authority moves to examine spacing between airline seats, has uncovered a 2001 UK study which warned about the safety consequences of shrinking airline seating.

The UK study “Anthropometric Study to Update Minimum Aircraft Seating Standards” was initiated by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) under United Kingdom (UK) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) funding and found that many economy-class passengers do not have enough space to assume the correct “brace” position for emergency landing. It also found the seats themselves are obstacles to quick emergency evacuation of the cabin.

The study’s findings into the distance between seats (seat pitch) adds significant weight to a US Court ruling forcing the US Federal Aviation Authority to look at minimum standards for seat pitch and width on commercial airliners.

]]> (Mark) News Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:24:11 +0000
Ditching Pilot Charged With Fraud


Texas pilot Theodore R. Wright III emerged from the Gulf of Mexico in 2012 with a story to tell.

By Jim Moore

He had ditched a Beechcraft Baron; filmed himself and his passenger treading water while awaiting rescue; and soon made the rounds on television with his video and harrowing tale of a cockpit fire, emergency descent, and water landing. Federal prosecutors say that was actually the first in a series of acts in a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and arson by destroying two airplanes, a sports car, and a yacht.

Wright and his passenger from the 2012 Baron ditching, Raymond Fosdick, are among four men who now face decades in federal prison if convicted of all charges in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler. Wright was arrested June 28, posted bond, then lost his freedom again July 5 when U.S. District Court Judge Ron Clark ordered Wright to be remanded to custody pending a trial scheduled to begin in October.

]]> (Mark) News Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:45:30 +0000
Honeywell Launches Self-Diagnosing Sensors For Aircraft

From Aviation Voice

Honeywell announced a new series of self-diagnosing sensors designed to improve the performance of aircraft systems and reduce maintenance costs associated with false readings.

Honeywell, a leading provider of aerospace sensors as well as propulsion engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity services and logistics for the aerospace industry, is introducing Integral Health Monitoring (IHM) series proximity sensors that can detect when a sensor has been damaged or otherwise impacted.

The patented proximity sensors can be designed into a range of aircraft systems such as thrust reverser actuation systems, flight controls, aircraft doors, cargo loading systems, evacuation slide locks and landing gear.

“Aircraft operators who receive a sensor reading often cannot be sure if they have a system issue that needs to be addressed or if the sensor itself is malfunctioning,” said Graham Robinson, president of Honeywell’s Sensing and Internet of Things business, which produces more than 50,000 sensing products for a range of industries from aerospace to medical to oil and gas.

]]> (Mark) News Sun, 13 Aug 2017 15:02:46 +0000
Would You Take a Pilotless Flight?

From Travel Pulse

Pilotless planes may be the ultimate catch-22.

By Patrick Clark

According to new research from UBS, a transition to pilotless commercial flights could save the aviation industry billions of dollars. However, it turns out that only a fraction of travelers would be willing to board an automated flight.

The new UBS report determined that the airline industry could save as much as $35 billion per year by doing away with traditional human pilots. It also found that only 54 percent of people would agree to take a pilotless flight, including just 17 percent of travelers from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia.

]]> (Mark) News Wed, 09 Aug 2017 02:10:31 +0000
Air Canada Flight Misses By Four Feet

From AvWeb

By Geoff Rapoport

New flight recorder data says Air Canada flight 759 (ACA759), an Airbus A320, descended as low as 59 feet above ground level and the 55-foot tall 787 on taxiway C before beginning to climb out on its go-around—coming potentially as close as 4 feet from a collision. At four minutes to midnight on July 7, ACA759, which had been cleared to land on Runway 28R at San Francisco International, instead lined up on taxiway C, on which three aircraft were holding for takeoff. After prompting by the one of the pilots of United flight 1 (UA1), the first in line for takeoff on taxiway C, who was well positioned to see that ACA759 was not headed towards a runway, the tower controller instructed ACA759 to go-around. After advancing the thrust levers at 85 feet above ground level, the aircraft continued to sink to a minimum altitude of 59 feet, before overflying at least two more aircraft. Altitude figures in the NTSB report are likely based on the A320’s radar altimeter, according to an A320 pilot who spoke with AVweb about the incident. The extent to which the accuracy of the radar altimeter may have been influenced by extremely close proximity to aircraft underneath has not yet been reported by the NTSB.

According to initial interviews with the flight crew, the both pilots appear to have been confused by the absence of lighting on runway 28L, which had been closed for construction. Its lights were turned off at the time of the incident, and a 20.5-foot wide flashing X had been placed near the threshold. The Air Canada pilots reporting believing that runway 28R was actually 28L and they therefore believed that taxiway C was runway 28R. According to the NTSB, the pilots “did not recall seeing aircraft on taxiway C but that something did not look right to them.” At 0.7 miles from the runway, the Airbus crew had asked the tower to confirm there were no aircraft on 28R and that they were cleared to land. The NTSB only learned of the incident two days after the fact, at which point the cockpit voice recorder had been over-written by subsequent flights.

]]> (Mark) News Sat, 05 Aug 2017 13:35:42 +0000
Plane Nearly Ran Out Of Fuel After Pilots Forgot To Bring Up Landing Gear

From The Telegraph

By Hugh Morris

Two pilots have been suspended from duty after their aircraft, carrying 99 passengers, nearly ran out of fuel because they forgot to retract the landing gear after take-off.

Air India Flight AI676 was en route to Mumbai from Kolkata on July 22 but was forced to divert to Nagpur when the crew became alarmed by the speed at which the aircraft was losing fuel thanks to the additional drag created by the extended wheels.

An unidentified source told the Times of India that the “brand new Airbus A320”, one of the most fuel efficient aircraft in existence, had struggled to climb after take-off, prompting the pilots to settle on an altitude of 24,000 feet as opposed to a usual cruising height of 35,000 feet. The source, who made a point of saying that both pilots were women, said it flew like this at 230 knots - as opposed to around 500 knots - for about an hour-and-a-half, while the extended landing gear dragged heavily on the aircraft.

]]> (Mark) News Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:09:51 +0000
Singapore Jet Twice Breached Minimum Altitude Rules Near Canberra

From Airline Ratings

Computer entry removed minimum altitude protection on one sector.

By Steve Creedy

A  Singapore Airlines plane approaching Canberra in February twice breached minimum altitude requirements and at one point was 700ft below the lowest height at which it was safely allowed to fly.

High terrain around Canberra meant the Boeing 777-200 with 13 flight crew and 235 passengers was supposed to fly no lower than 5300ft on a sector between two waypoints known as SCBSG and SCBSI but the plane descended to 4600ft.

]]> (Mark) News Sat, 29 Jul 2017 14:11:22 +0000
Boeing forecasts need for 2.1 million new airline personnel by 2036

From Air Transport World

By Mark Nensel

Boeing projects the world’s commercial aviation industry will require at least 2.1 million new operational personnel—pilots, technicians and cabin crew—by 2036.

As detailed in its 2017 Pilot and Technician Outlook released July 25, Boeing estimates the global airline industry by 2036 will need 637,000 new commercial airline pilots, 648,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians and 839,000 new cabin crew members. To meet this demand, airlines will have to hire approximately 106,200 personnel annually.

The report was produced by the newly launched Boeing Global Services, a business unit formed from customer services groups within Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space & Security units.

]]> (Mark) News Wed, 26 Jul 2017 15:08:08 +0000
Initial Canadian report on San Francisco taxiway mix-up shows it was a close call.

From Airline Ratings

By Steve Greedy

Initial Canadian report on San Francisco taxiway mix-up shows it was a close call.

An Air Canada Airbus A320 which lined up to land on a busy taxiway in San Francisco on July 7 is estimated to have flown just 100 ft (30m) above two of the aircraft as it aborted a landing and narrowly escaped disaster.

The plane carrying 135 passengers from Toronto avoided catastrophe when it was ordered to go around as it lined up on San Francisco International Airport’s taxiway C instead of a runway parallel to the taxiway, 28R.

]]> (Mark) News Mon, 17 Jul 2017 14:21:17 +0000
Circular runway plan poses questions

From Airline Ratings

Researcher investigates radical redesign of airports.

Analysis: Jerome Greer Chandler

A BBC video is taking YouTube by storm, chronicling one man’s vision of circular runways that could revolutionize the way the world travels.

Researcher Henk Hesselink is working with Netherlands Aerospace Centre to test the idea but questions remain about the idea.

]]> (Mark) News Sun, 09 Jul 2017 11:32:34 +0000
Qantas high-speed wi-fi trial proving popular with passengers

From Airline Ratings

By Steve Creedy

Airline aims for a broader rollout in September.

A second Qantas plane has been equipped with the airline’s new on-board wi-fi and up to eight more are being fitted out as encouraging trial results suggest a broader rollout in late September.

The airline currently has a single Boeing 737, VH-XZB, trialing the ViaSat system and says about 3500 people a week have been giving the free service a go.

]]> (Mark) News Tue, 04 Jul 2017 16:57:23 +0000
Boeing Is Planning To Build What Will Be The Ultimate City Connector

From Airline Ratings

By Geoffrey Thomas

Boeing is planning to build what will be a revolutionary new aircraft that will make it economically viable to literally connect hundreds of new non-stop routes between smaller cities.

At last week’s Paris Air Show, Boeing’s VP and general manager of airplane development, Mike Delaney gave a tantalizing glimpse of what air travel will become by late 2024.

The new aircraft that could be called the Boeing 797 but is now known at Boeing as the New Midsize Airplane will come in two models and seat between 220 and 270 passengers. It will fit between the single-aisle 180-230 seat Boeing 737 and the much larger and ultra-long range 250-350 seat 787.

]]> (Mark) New Aircraft Fri, 30 Jun 2017 13:33:20 +0000
Jet2 flight from Manchester to Tenerife 'bursts wheels on landing'

From The Independent

By Will Worley

A Jet2 flight from Manchester to Tenerife has burst its wheels on landing.

The airline confirmed the news to The Independent. No injuries have been reported.

Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido announced the news on his Twitter account.

]]> (Mark) News Thu, 29 Jun 2017 12:57:23 +0000