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Royal Air Maroc Dreamliner Hits Turkish B777



From AeronauticsOnline

opps_818

By Kaan Dincer

Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport has had multiple collisions on the ramp in recent months.

Earlier today, a Royal Air Maroc B787 Dreamliner, taxiing to runway 35L for its flight to Casablanca, hit a Turkish Airlines B777-300ER, which had just arrived from New York JFK. After the collision, TK B777 had severe damage to its APU, while the RAM B787 has damage in its right wing tip.

According to an ground employe, RAM B787 was being escorted by a “follow me” car during its taxi.

The RAM Dreamliner, registration CN-RGT, and Turkish B777, registration TC-JJZ, were towed away to Turkish Technic for further investigation.

After this accident, Turkish Airlines probably lost its one of the B777s for a long time which will make things difficult in this super busy summer schedule.

In May, an Asiana A330 sheared the tail off of a parked Turkish A321 while taxiing at Ataturk. More recently, another Asiana A330 barely avoided colliding with a Turkish Airlines plane.

 

 

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Air Vanuatu ATR 72 skids off runway at Port Vila

From Vanuatu Daily Post

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By Dan McGarry

Shortly before 11:00 this morning, an Air Vanuatu ATR-72 made an emergency landing in Port Vila. The aircraft, which had 39 passengers and 4 crew aboard, landed in a gentle tail wind. According to a statement issued by Air Vanuatu Ltd, the aircraft "was involved in a runway excursion. The incident occurred at the end of the runway on landing."

Neither the pilots nor the passengers on board sustained any injuries. Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu is investigating the incident.

The aircraft was inbound to Port Vila from Tanna. It apparently suffered loss of power to one engine as it overflew the island of Erromango, about 20 minutes away from Bauerfield airport in Port Vila. Multiple sources told the Daily Post that there was smoke in the cabin when the aircraft landed.

Subsequent to the publication of this article, passenger Tanika Pratten insisted that "smoke was everywhere in the cabin for 20mins prior to us landing".

Passenger Janis Steele added some details on a Daily Post social media discussion board:

"The cabin was filled with smoke from a fire below and they cut off the starboard engine mid flight. No oxygen masks dropped and visibility in the cabin was only a couple of meters and breathing was difficult. The plane went off the runway during the emergency landing and cut through the front half of a [Unity Airlines] plane before we stopped. We then (elderly included) had to jump down from the cabin with about a meter and a half drop. So relieved that everyone appears to be physically OK."

An aviation expert told the Daily Post that ATR 72 aircraft don't have drop-down oxygen masks, because they are not designed to fly over 25,000 feet. At such altitudes, he explained, a person can continue to breathe for a few minutes. In these conditions, the pilot has ample time to reach a safer altitude, where masks are not necessary. Oxygen feeds exist for individuals, but a mask has to be attached manually.

All passengers were given an emergency medical assessment by first responders. ProMedical staff report no injuries, but confirmed that 13 people reported discomfort due to the smoke, and requested further medical assessment.

The plane landed and after it had run a significant distance, it veered to the left, into an area in which several small charter aircraft were parked. One plane belonging to Unity Airlines was a 'write off' according to its owner. The nose section of the plane was obliterated, and there is a visible dent in one engine enclosure.

Another aircraft, operated by Air Taxi, suffered significant damage to its tail section. The owner of the aircraft told the Daily Post that she had not been allowed to approach her aircraft to assess damage.

In an update received by the Daily Post shortly after 1:00 p.m. today, Air Vanuatu offered additional detail:

"Air Vanuatu has advised all domestic and international services are continuing after the re-opening of Bauerfield airport.

"Passengers booked to travel on domestic services are advised to reconfirm their flights with Air Vanuatu by calling 22000.

"Air Vanuatu management is working closely with authorities to investigate the runway excursion of one of their ATR-72 aircraft.

"Chief Executive Officer Derek Nice has spoken with passengers and the operating crew of the flight and praised the crew for their professionalism and skill which contributed to no injuries from the incident."

The Daily Post visited the emergency operations centre established by Airports Vanuatu Ltd, which operates Bauerfield airport. Staff refused to comment, except to confirm that an incident had occurred. They declined to confirm the number of aircraft involved or, curiously, whether airport operations were resuming. They referred the newspaper to Air Vanuatu for this last piece of information.

Air Vanuatu Ltd later confirmed that the airport had reopened, and the confirmed that one flight, from Port Vila to Nadi, was cancelled. All other flights were going ahead according to schedule, they said.

First responders spoke glowingly of the professionalism of the AVL fire crew. One person with professional firefighting experience told the Daily Post that the ground personnel acted with professionalism and at the highest standard.

The identity of the pilots on board the aircraft has not yet been released.

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Malaysia Airlines In spotlight Over Pitot Tube Incident

From Airline Ratings

malaysia_a330

By Steve Creedy

Less than a week before the release of the final report into the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Malaysian carrier is again in the limelight over a potentially serious incident.

An Airbus A330 heading from Brisbane to Kula Lumpur on July 18 declared a PAN alert and was forced to return to the airport after its pilots reported its airspeed indicators failed.

The aircraft returned the runway after dumping fuel but landed hard and had to be towed from the runway. It is understood problems with nosewheel steering and the main landing gear doors meant it took 90 minutes to remove the plane.

It has been widely reported, initially by Seven News Brisbane, that the airspeed indicators were not working because covers on the pitot tubes were not removed.

Pitot tubes measure static and kinetic air pressure in a moving aircraft to determine the indicated airspeed.

They are considered critical to an aircraft’s safety and there have been several incidents and accidents related to pitot tube failures, including the crash of Air France Flight 447, also an A330, in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.

The pitot covers have red tags attached and pilots say they should have been detected during a walk-around by one of the flight crew or by ground crew during the aircraft pushback.

The Malaysia Airlines pilots should also have seen a discrepancy during the takeoff roll.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident and is expected to issue a preliminary report in coming weeks.

“As part of the investigation, the ATSB will examine the aircraft, collect recorders, and interview maintenance and flight crew,’’ the ATSB said on its website.

Pitot tubes on aircraft staying in Brisbane are covered because of the presence of wasps that can build a nest in the devices.

The pilots of an Etihad A330 aborted a take-off in November, 2013, after the captain observed an airspeed indication failure in his primary flight display.

The aircraft took off again after an inspection and the pilots again became aware during the takeoff roll of an airspeed discrepancy that resulted in the autothrust system and flight directors disengaging automatically.

The Etihad crew declared a MAYDAY and returned to Brisbane for an overweight landing.

A subsequent inspection found the captain’s pitot tube was almost totally obstructed by a nest identified as belonging to an Australian Mud Dauber wasp.

“Operators can minimize the risk of pitot probe obstruction by consistently using pitot covers even during short transit periods,’’ the ATSB’s investigation into the Etihad incident concluded.

“Standard operating procedures include the cross-checking of airspeed during the take-off roll. These checks are an important last line of defence in preventing an aircraft from becoming airborne with airspeed indication problems.”

The residue blocking the pitot tube was built up while the aircraft was on the ground for two hours but Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority says it has anecdotal evidence the wasps can build a significant nest capable of blocking a pitot tube, vent or drain within 20 minutes.

In May of 2018, CASA also issued a warning about Key Hole wasps in Brisbane, a species that has been around the airport since 2010.

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Watch: Drone Flies Dangerously "Feet Away" From An Airbus A380

From Zero Hedge

200FOOT_DRONESHOT

Fresh off the internet, an incredible video shows the moment an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flies into the path of the world’s largest passenger airliner.

Video of the incident was first reported by HelicoMicro, which has since circulated many drone and photography forums. The video shows just how stupid someone can be while operating a recreational drone near an airport.

According to Oliver Kmia, a photo analyst for Fstoppers, he confirms the A380 airliner belongs to the Dubai-based company Emirates, which took off from runway 14 at Plaine Magnien Airport located on the Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean. As the jumbo jet gains altitude, “the pre-positioned drone films the plane passing dangerously close at about 200 feet from the tip of the left wing,” Kmia said.

 

The A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus. It is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and can carry more than 500 passengers in a typical three-class seat configuration and up to 850 passengers in a densified all-economy cabin version.

Kmia mentions that there is no information about the identity of the pilot. However, he did indicate the video was initially posted on Facebook by Thierry Paris who describes himself as an A380 captain for Air France.

Paris wrote in the video caption: “That’s what a little crazy guy managed to do with a drone in Mauritius. Hello flight safety!!!”

The Airbus A380 of Emirates flight EK702 gaining altitude after takeoff from runway 14 in Mauritius Island. (Source: Facebook video)

Watch video here - https://www.facebook.com/anthonyyoutubevlog/videos/2270055023223165/

Please read more at - https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-20/watch-drone-flies-dangerously-feet-away-airbus-a380

 

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Airbus Rebrands CSeries, JetBlue Orders 60

From AirWise

A220

Airbus announced the rebranding of the CSeries of aircraft it took control of last week from Bombardier, as JetBlue ordered 60 of the A220-300 jet.

The CSeries’ CS100 and CS300 are now the Airbus A220-100 and A220-300, covering the 100 to 150 seat range, aimed at thinner routes than the company’s larger single-aisle aircraft.

“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” Airbus president of commercial aircraft Guillaume Faury said at the launch.

New York-based JetBlue is the first customer for the rebranded A220, signing an MoU for 60 firm orders for the larger 130-seat A220-300. The agreement includes options on a further 60 A220s.

Airbus said deliveries of JetBlue’s A220s will start in 2020, and if the options are taken up, the second batch would be delivered from 2025. All JetBlue’s A220s will be assembled at the Airbus Mobile, Alabama plant.

“We expect the A220 to be an important long-term building block in our goal to deliver superior margins and create long-term shareholder value,” JetBlue EVP Steve Priest said.

“We are confident the A220 will perform well in every aspect, including network, cost, maintenance, or customer experience. Simply put – our crewmembers, customers and owners are going to love this aircraft.”

JetBlue will use the A220s to replace its fleet of 100-seat Embraer E190s.

Speaking of the move to the A220, Priest said “We expect a seamless transition, and we’ve worked with Airbus and Bombardier to build in maximum flexibility to the order book as market conditions shift over time.”

JetBlue will take delivery of the first five aircraft in 2020, and expects to start phasing out its E190s shortly after.

As part of the agreement, JetBlue also converted part of its A320neo-family order. It will now take 25 of the larger A321neos instead of A320neos and adjust the timing of deliveries.

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777 Main Gear "Axle" Breaks

From AvWeb

axlebreak_718

777 Main Gear Breaks

By Russ Niles

Operators of Boeing 777s will likely be taking a close look at the landing gear on their aircraft after an unusual incident at Narita Airport in Japan on Friday. A Korean Air 777-300 was taxiing to the gate when the axle holding the rear set of wheels on the main gear broke. The wheels folded up onto themselves and the aircraft ground to a halt. The rear set of wheels touch first on landing because the gear is articulated at the strut and angles rearward in the air. There were no injuries but the passengers and crew had to leave via airstairs.

There was no indication the landing was particularly hard although newsinflight.com quoted a passenger as saying “the right side was tilted down when landing.” The Japanese transport ministry classified it as a “serious incident” and is doing a full investigation.

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Hijack Alert Accidentally Triggered by Plane at JFK Airport

From Travel Pulse

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By Donald Wood

Travelers coming through a busy New York City airport had a security scare Tuesday night after a pilot accidentally entered a hijack alert.

According to FoxNews.com, JetBlue Flight 1623 was scheduled to take off for a journey to Los Angeles from John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:30 p.m. ET when the plane stopped responding to air traffic control communications.

The loss of response to the tower was caused by the pilot entering a hijack alert by mistake, which caused the Port Authority Police Emergency Services to send heavily armed officers to board the plane and investigate the terror notice.

Several of the passengers on the JetBlue flight believed they were experiencing a terrorist attack.

“I hate guns. They were pointing them, like, at us. It was traumatizing,” passenger Alexa Curtis told CBS Los Angeles. “People were, like, crying. Everyone’s texting their family, and we were on ground, so usually this would happen in the air if it was going to happen. People were ready to die.”

The Federal Aviation Administration also released a statement about the accidental hijack alert:

“JetBlue 1623, an Airbus A320, experienced a radio equipment problem while taxing for departure at John F. Kennedy International Airport tonight at 8 p.m. The crew requested to return to the ramp. The FAA will investigate.”

Port Authority spokeswoman Lenis Rodrigues said the JetBlue aircraft was inspected and authorities cleared it before deeming there was no security threat.

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To Anyone Applying To Delta - Don't Bother

From Mark

delta_618

Thank you for your interest in a career with Delta Air Lines.

We received an overwhelming response to the Aviation Maintenance Tech II position (271831) in Raleigh/Durham which makes us feel both humble and proud that so many talented individuals like you want to join our team. This volume of response makes for an extremely competitive selection process. Although your background is impressive, we regret to inform you that we have decided to pursue other candidates for this position at this time.

We value our job candidates and invite you to review other job openings. We hope you see another job that you are qualified for and that sparks your interest!

Thanks again for your interest in a career with Delta Air Lines!

Sincerely,

The Delta Air Lines Talent Acquisition Team

To say that Delta's Human Resource computers are impenetrable, would be the understatement of the century.

I've applied for at least a dozen mechanic positions at different locations. With each application..... I'm sent the message above. Sometimes I'll send one in on a Saturday and get a negative reply on Sunday. Does anyone actually look at these things?? No!!

So Delta...... I won't be bothering you anymore. Edit: Actually this can be kinda fun. I'm going to keep applying. I'll see if I can note the apply date and time along when the refusal letter comes in.

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Rolls-Royce To Cut 4,600 Jobs

From AVweb

Rolls Royce Trent-1000By 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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Oops!!

From AVweb

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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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Southwest Airlines Flight 1380: an Uncontained Engine Failure?

From Engineering,Com

CFM56_418

By Andrew Wheeler

It'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 Victim

Several 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 Failures

Commercial 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 worse

Uncontained Engine Failure

A 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.

Southwest

An 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 Engine

In 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.

 

bladeoff_418

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TSA Gives Up On GA Security Plan

From AvWeb

CorporateJets_318

By Mary Grady

The 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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ATC Privatization Derailed

From AvWeb

atctower_218

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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“Undetectable” Defect Blamed For Engine Failure

From AvWeb

american383_feb18By 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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Warning To Pilots To Monitor Critical Approaches

From Airline Ratings

AirAsia_118

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.

The ATSB said that “the flight crew were conducting an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to Perth Airport. They made a number of flight mode changes and autopilot selections – normal for an ILS approach with all aircraft operating systems available, but some of which relied on data from the failed FMGC1. As a result, the autothrust system commanded increased engine thrust and the crew, who had not expected this response, elected to conduct a go-around. An increased crosswind then prompted air traffic control to effect a change of runway to a runway without a precision instrument approach procedure.”

The unresolved system failures, the conduct of the go-around, and the subsequent runway change all resulted in a significant increase in cockpit workload. This, combined with the crew’s unfamiliarity and preparation for the non-precision instrument approach to the new runway, hampered their management of the next descent said the ATSB.

“During the approach to the new runway, the crew descended the aircraft earlier than prescribed, but believed that they were on the correct flight path profile. They became concerned that they could not visually identify the runway, and focused their attention outside the aircraft. This distraction meant that the crew were not effectively monitoring the descent and the captain descended the aircraft below the segment minimum safe altitude.”

As the aircraft continued to descend, the air traffic controller received a “below minimum safe altitude” warning for the aircraft. The air traffic controller alerted the crew to their low altitude and instructed them to conduct a go-around. The crew then conducted another approach and landed without further incident.

ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said that the approach to land is one of the most critical phases of flight, and stressed the importance of flight crews understanding their aircraft systems and adhering to cockpit control, monitoring and communication procedures to ensure a stabilised approach during the approach and landing phases of flight.

“The approach and landing phases of flight are amongst the highest of workload for flight crews, and domestically and internationally where we see the highest accident rate” Mr Hood said.

“It’s a complex operation at the best of times, but when something unexpected occurs such as a failure of an aircraft system in-flight, it can add substantially to flight crews’ workload.

“It is critical that flight crew fully understand their aircraft systems and how they will respond in a degraded mode, and adhere to cockpit protocols and procedures to ensure a stabilized approach resulting in a safe landing. In this case, there was considerable added complexity for the flight crew as a result of adverse weather, and an air traffic control change to a runway without a precision approach.”

“The ATSB urges all flight crew to ensure that they understand their aircraft systems, and how the aircraft will respond in a degraded mode, and to adhere to cockpit protocols and procedures to ensure a safe approach and landing. If there’s any doubt or confusion, or if the stable approach criteria is not being met, communicate it, and never hesitate to conduct a go-around,” said Mr Hood.

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Jet Airways Pilots Fired For Leaving Cockpit Unattended During Flight

From The Independent

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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.

The incident occurred on a New Year’s Day flight from London to Mumbai, during which the male co-pilot reportedly slapped the female pilot after they got into heated argument.

The female pilot is believed to have left the cockpit in tears, followed briefly by the co-pilot.

As a result the cockpit was left unattended on the flight which had 324 passengers and 14 crew on board.

Aviation safety rules state at least one pilot should remain at the controls at all times during a flight.

The incident is alleged to have happened shortly after the Boeing 777 took off, at around 10am UK time.

The plane later landed safely and no one was injured.

The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told the Press Trust of India news agency that the pilot had also left the cockpit unattended twice during the incident, breaking safety regulations.

“Shortly after the plane took off, the two pilots had a fight,“ a source told The Times of India.

“The co-pilot slapped the lady commander and she left the cockpit in tears. She stood in the galley sobbing.

“The cabin crew tried to comfort her and send her back to the cockpit, but in vain. The co-pilot also kept buzzing [on the intercom to] the crew, asking them to send the second pilot back.”

The source added: “However, they had a fight for the second time following which she came out again.

“This time, the cabin crew was quite afraid of the fight happening in the cockpit. They requested her to go to the cockpit and fly the plane safely to its destination.”

A spokesman for the airline told the newspaper that an investigation had been launched after the incident.

“At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety.”

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Delta 747s operate final charter flights.

From Airline Ratings

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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.

The tour included manufacturer Boeing’s Paine Field as well as Atlanta and Los Angeles before ending in the former Northwest Airlines hub of Minneapolis-St Paul.

It ended in style with an officially-sanctioned “missed approach” by a Boeing 747-400 after circling the twin cities at low -altitude.

But the airline says planespotters and other enthusiasts will still have a chance to see a Delta 747-400 through January 2 as four of the big jets visit several airports on charter duties.

Remaining destinations are available on @DeltaNewsHub on Twitter and after that, Delta notes, the big planes will disappear from the skies.

“It’s only fitting that the Queen of Skies finishes her career with Delta carrying teams on to victory, said Bill Wernecke, Delta’s managing director, charter sales and operations. “The 747 has been an excellent ambassador to our military, sports teams, and corporate customers, and it has been an honor for our employees that flew, served, loaded, maintained and sold flights on this aircraft.”

The 747 was the first widebody to sell 1500 units and was instrumental in making air travel more affordable for millions of travelers by allowing airlines to fly more people for less cost.

But giving life to the plane that changed the world was a challenge that brought Boeing, the world’s biggest aerospace company, the then-biggest engine maker Pratt &Whitney and the legendary Pan American World Airways to their knees.

Boeing was immersed in an attempt to build an ill-fated supersonic transport, dubbed the Boeing 2707, and the 747 was considered an interim solution that might carry passengers for five to 10 years until supersonic transports took over.

It was the combined dream of Pan Am founder Bill Trippe and Boeing chief Bill Allen that brought the plane to fruition.

Boeing announced plans to build a 490-seat plane in April 1966, at a new plant in Everett, Washington.

The first Boeing 747-100, City of Everett, rolled out of the plant on September 30, 1968, and made its first flight the following February.

Pan Am operated the first commercial flight from New York to London on January 21, 1970, and Continental Airlines put it on domestic routes in June that year.

In following years, B747s would break records, carry space shuttles and transport US presidents.

Delta received its first 747 in 1970 and like many airlines of the day introduced luxury on-board lounges, including a six-seat space known as the Penthouse which came with its own dedicated flight attendant.

The 747 was also the first of the carrier’s aircraft with overhead bins for carry-on bags instead of open racks.

The airline would retire the last of its 747 fleet in 1977 and would not operate them again until it acquired a new fleet of 747s from its merger with Northwest Airlines in 2008. The merger would give Delta 16 747-400s, two 747-200s and 747-200 freighters.

Northwest had been the first airline to operate the Boeing 747-400 in 1989 and the enhanced version of the 747 would go on to be the biggest selling variant of the Queen of Skies. It included a two-crew glass cockpit, improved engines, optional additional fuel storage and a more efficient airframe.

Its reign has been ended by the emergence of fuel-efficient twin-engine planes with which it could no longer compete.

In Delta’s case, the 747s are being replaced by Airbus A350s. However, Boeing’s 787 and 777 aircraft have also done as much to hasten the demise of the plane.

The US manufacturer has continued to produce a new, more fuel-efficient iteration of the 747, the 747-8, in both passenger and freighter versions.

But it last year hinted it may end production if it failed to receive more orders for the program.

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Airbus on track to fly its electric aerial taxi in 2018

From Tech Crunch

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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.

Short hop flights are also an ideal application of battery electric tech, since that’s all that vehicles will be able to manage using fully electric power sources in the near-term. Plus, battery unit swapping or autonomous dock charging could help make it easier to make these vehicles fully self-flying in the future.

 

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AeroUnion Boeing 767 Engine Catches Fire in Los Angeles

From Aviation Voice

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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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Japan Airlines Commits to Boom Supersonic Aircraft

From Airline Ratings

boomsst_12517By 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.

“We’ve been working with Japan Airlines behind the scenes for over a year now,” said Blake Scholl, founder, and CEO of Boom Supersonic.

“JAL’s passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations. We’re thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers. Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any international airline’s fleet.”

“We are very proud to be working with Boom on the advancement in the commercial aviation industry. Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more time to our valued passengers while emphasizing flight safety,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines.

The JAL Group will continue to embrace new technology to deliver greater customer convenience and comfort, enhance its networks, and improve the quality of its products and services.

Including the JAL commitment Boom as 76 options for its supersonic airliner.

Virgin Atlantic announced 10 options in mid-2017 and there are three other operators for the other 46 aircraft.

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