Latest blog entries Sat, 19 Aug 2017 13:00:12 +0000 MYOB en-gb 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
Boeing: Days Of Jumbo Airliner Winding Up

From AvWeb

By Geoff Rapoport

Boeing told attendees at the Paris Air Show that it doesn’t expect to sell any more 747s for commercial air travel. Although the aircraft continues to sell slowly as a freighter and VIP transport, Boeing has only two remaining orders for the passenger version 747-8—not counting those sold to the bankrupt Russian carrier Transero, which surely will not be taking delivery of its jets. “We don’t see much demand for really big airplanes,” says Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president of marketing. “We find it hard to believe Airbus will be able to deliver the rest of their A380s in backlog.” Boeing has produced over 1,500 of the distinctive jets since its introduction in 1968.

Airbus, for its part, remains bullish on the very large aircraft market, but has been dragging its heels on committing to plans for an upgraded A380 without purchase commitments from airlines to buy new airplanes. Emirates, the largest operator of the A380, has been lukewarm on the proposed upgrades. The Middle Eastern carrier operates almost half of the world’s A380 superjumbos, and is very interested in ensuring Airbus can support a robust global resale market for the used market for the double-deckers in the Emirates fleet before committing to buying more. Tim Clark, Emirates president, was unequivocal about what he wants to see: “They need to put the A380s into other airlines.”

]]> (Mark) News Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:07:18 +0000
Airbus To Introduce Deployable Black Boxes

From RunwayGirl Network

By John Walton

In a bold move towards improving the survivability of aircraft flight recorders for commercial aircraft worldwide, Airbus is working in partnership with L3 Technologies and DRS Leonardo to combine and duplicate audio and data recorders, together with a automatically jettisoned recorder for use in longhaul and extensive overwater flight operations.

To start, the partnership is combining the flight data recorder with the cockpit voice recorder in one smaller device, the cockpit voice and data recorder (CFDR). The reduced size enables an Airbus A320 family aircraft to carry two of the fixed, crash-protected, combined recorders instead of one of each of the separate black boxes, increasing redundancy and the likelihood of readable information surviving a crash.

The data storage of the CFDRs will also increase, enabling a total of 25 hours of voice recording, and increasing the amount of data that is available to investigators, pursuant to aircraft tracking standard requirements from UN body ICAO and European safety regulator EASA. Current recorders are only required to contain two hours of voice recording.

]]> (Mark) News Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:18:31 +0000
Iran Airtour and Zagros Airlines Sign MoU for 73 Airbus Aircraft


By Amin Chini

Two of Iran’s domestic mid-size air carriers have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning a total of 73 new aircraft, Airbus today announced. Iran Airtour and Zagros Airlines’ commitments were disclosed at the Paris Airshow where the world’s major aircraft manufacturers have announced new orders and commitments during the past days.

Zagros Airlines, one of Iran’s prominent domestic airlines with a steadily growing fleet, signed a MoU with Airbus for the acquisition of 28 new aircraft, covering 20 A320neo and 8 A330neo. The commitment was signed today between the Iranian airlines’ CEO Seyed Abdolreza Mousavi and Airbus’ COO and President Commercial Aircraft Fabrice Brégier. Nearly half of the airline’s current 18-aircraft fleet consists of Airbus aircraft; 7 A320, 2 A321 and 1 A319. The rest of the fleet is composed of 5 MD82 and 3 MD83 aircraft. The A330neo would become the airline’s very first addition of a widebody aircraft, most likely indicating an international expansion. While Zagros Airlines currently operates a number of international flights a day to countries such as Turkey, Georgia and Georgia, the majority of the airline’s capacity is spread out on domestic routes.

]]> (Mark) News Mon, 26 Jun 2017 14:25:45 +0000
Qatar Airways seeks up to 10% stake in American Airlines

From Air Transprt World

By Karen Walker

Qatar Airways has made an unsolicited bid to take up to a 10% stake—an investment of at least $808 million—in American Airlines, an SEC filing American submitted Thursday revealed.

According to the June 22 filing, Qatar Airways would buy the stake on the open market. If that happens, it would make the Doha-based carrier one of American’s largest investors. Dallas/Fort Worth-based American stresses that the proposal was not solicited and says it “would in no way change the company’s board composition, governance, management or strategic direction.”

For now, it is unclear if or how the deal will proceed. In its filing, American states that its certificate of incorporation prohibits anyone from acquiring 4.75% or more of the company’s outstanding stock without advance approval from the board following a written request. The company’s board did not receive any written request from Qatar Airways, American says. American also notes that foreign ownership laws limit the total percentage of foreign voting interest in a US company to 24.9%.

]]> (Mark) News Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:51:42 +0000
Boeing Plans Tests For Autonomous Airliner

From AvWeb

By Mary Grady

Boeing plans to start flight tests next year of an artificial-intelligence system that would be capable of flying a commercial jet, Mike Sinnett, vice president of product development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said at a recent press briefing. Sinnett said his team will fly a simulator later this year with the AI system making some of the piloting decisions, and they will test-fly it next year on a real airplane. “There’s going to be a transition from the requirement to have a skilled aviator operate the airplane to having a system that operates the vehicle autonomously, if we can do that with the same level of safety,” Sinnett said, according to the Seattle Times. “That’s a really big if,” he added.

The standards that airplanes must meet are much higher than for cars, where fatality rates are high. Autonomous cars can easily improve on the accident rate compared to human drivers. Yet U.S. airlines have not had a fatal accident since 2009. That means the accident rate of autonomous airplanes will need “to be as good as zero,” Sinnett said. Sinnett said Boeing’s interest in autonomous flight is driven by a concern that the supply of qualified pilots may not be adequate to meet the needs of airlines. In the next two decades, Boeing forecasts sales of about 40,000 new commercial jets. “Where will the experienced pilots come from?” Sinnett asked. Sinnett plans to talk more about the autonomy project next week at the Paris Air Show, according to the Times.

]]> (Mark) News Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:00:03 +0000
China Eastern A332 at Sydney on Jun 11th 2017, engine shut down in flight

From The Aviation Herald

By Simon Hradecky

A China Eastern Airbus A330-200, registration B-6099 performing flight MU-736 from Sydney,NS (Australia) to Shanghai Pudong (China), was in the initial climb out of Sydney's runway 34L when the crew reported an left hand engine (Trent 772) fault and requested to maintain runway heading. The aircraft levelled off at 5000 feet, the crew shut the engine down. The crew subsequently reported it appeared the left hand engine's cowling was damaged and requested a runway inspection, the engine suffered the damage about one second after takeoff rotation. ATC informed the crew that a runway inspection did not find any debris on the runway. The aircraft returned to Sydney for a safe landing on runway 34L about 40 minutes after departure. A large hole was visible at the inboard side of the left hand engine's intake.

A seemingly similiar incident also involving a Trent 772 engine happened about 4 weeks ago, see Incident: Egypt A332 at Cairo on May 15th 2017, rejected takeoff due to engine failure.

]]> (Mark) News Mon, 12 Jun 2017 03:43:05 +0000
Passengers Demanding On-Ground Wi-Fi Experience In The Air

From Air Transport World

By Aaron Karp

Whether airlines can re-create the on-ground Wi-Fi connectivity experience for passengers is debatable, but whether passengers want and expect that level of connectivity is not, according to a panel of players in the infight connectivity field.

When passengers board a commercial aircraft that is Wi-Fi enabled, they expect to be able to stream videos and do everything they can do on laptops and personal electronic devices on the ground—and will complain when they cannot, sometimes to a global audience via social media, United Airlines IT director Jon Merritt said.


]]> (Mark) News Sat, 10 Jun 2017 12:22:21 +0000