Imagine spending thousands of hours of your life working on a single paper airplane that could be destroyed in just a few seconds. Take a match to this intricate paper airplane or crush it into a ball and years of work by Luca Iaconi-Stewart will be destroyed. The detail that he has incorporated into this model of a Boeing 777 aircraft made entirely of manila folders is simply astounding.
Turkish authorities say they still aren’t sure why a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 suddenly veered left at the end of its landing run and ended up hanging off the edge of a steep bank over the Black Sea late Saturday. The aircraft, which was on flight from the capital city of Ankara to Trabzon, on the northeastern coast, was safely evacuated and there were no reported injuries among the 168 passengers and crew. “We swerved all of a sudden,” passenger Yuksel Gordu told the Anadolu news agency. “The front of the plane crashed and the back was in the air. Everyone panicked.”
Video of the evacuation shows the slope where the aircraft ended up was muddy and the runway was wet but Weather Underground reported winds were light all Saturday evening and generally aligned with Runway 11/29. Emergency crews were on the scene within minutes and doused the aircraft with water. There was no post-crash fire. Drone video below shows the aftermath.
A British Airways Flight Was Grounded Due to Bed Bugs
by Melissa Minton
A British Airways Flight Was Grounded Due to Bed Bugs. Those who are squeamish might want to avoid British Airways for the time being. A flight from London to Ghana was recently grounded after the cabin crew refused to fly the plane due to a bed bug infestation. The crew walked off minutes before the scheduled takeoff from Heathrow Airport. According to Yahoo News UK, the crew was able to see the bed bugs “crawling over the seats” with their naked eyes. The flight's passengers and crew reportedly were sent on their way four hours after their scheduled departure time once a replacement plane had been secured.
The company has released a statement, confirming the latest event. “The comfort of our customers is paramount, so as soon as this very rare issue was identified at Heathrow, we immediately took the aircraft out of service for treatment.“ This is not the first time that British Airways has suffered from a bed bug infestation. In October 2017, a passenger, her eight-year-old daughter, and her fiancé all complained of multiple bites from the tiny bugs after a nine-hour flight. The company later apologized and upgraded the group for their return trip. And just three days ago, yet another passenger disembarked from a flight with dozens of bites. Not to mention, a mouse was found on a British Airways plane last year, leading to significant delays.
Over the past year, the airline has cut perks like free food and alcohol in economy class on short flights. Also, on flights less than four hours, economy passengers will no longer be able to recline seats, while legroom has also been scaled back. Just don't skimp on the pest control, BA. We're begging you.
Body Closes Honolulu Runway
By Russ Niles, AVweb
Not long after a false missile strike alarm rocked Hawaii on Saturday,
pilots and controllers at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at Honolulu
had to deal with the closure of one of the main runways because there was a
dead body on it. Authorities closed Runway 26L for more than six hours as they
gathered evidence about how the body got there.
Runway 26L is known as the reef runway and at this time of year is used by widebody aircraft to keep their approach over the water. They were shifted to 26R, which required them to maneuver over the city.
Officials still haven’t released the identity of the person found on the runway or how he or she got there but the shift in operations did cause a few aircraft to go around. No significant delays were reported. The body was spotted by the crew of an aircraft just after noon and the runway was closed minutes later. The incident happened about four hours after Hawaii’s emergency broadcast system sent out a false alarm over an imminent nuclear missile attack on the state. The false alarm was attributed to human error.
Virgin Galactic Back In The Air
By Mary Grady, AVweb
Virgin Galactic is ramping up its test-flight program in Mojave, with a goal to bring tourists to space later this year. Late last week, VSS Unity, the passenger-carrying part of Virgin’s space vehicle, completed its seventh glide flight, after a break of several months. During that downtime, Virgin’s engineers worked on testing and analysis, and made some small modifications to the vehicle, to ensure its “readiness for the higher loads and forces of powered test flight,” according to the company blog. A crew of two test pilots checked stability, control and transonic performance during the test flight, which topped out at Mach 0.9.
“At this stage of the glide flight programme, each flight is essentially a dry run for rocket-powered test flights,” according to the blog. “Where possible, the team replicates those powered flight conditions by, for example, adding water ballast to simulate the weight and positioning of the rocket motor. As during previous flights, the water ballast was jettisoned at around 22,000 feet, allowing the pilots to complete the flight and land in a lighter configuration, again simulating the conditions which will apply during space flight.” Virgin founder Richard Branson said recently that he expects Virgin Galactic to launch its first paying passengers into space by the end of this year. The tourism operations will be based at New Mexico’s spaceport.
Make Or Break Search For MH370
By Myron Nelson, AVweb
government of Malaysia has announced that it has signed a unique agreement with
a U.S. oceanic research company to resume the search for Malaysian Airlines
Flight 370, which mysteriously disappeared in March of 2014. The private
company, Ocean Infinity, based in Texas, has signed a speculative “no-find, no-fee” contract for 90 days that has the
potential to reward the research company up to $70 million on a graduated fee
scale based upon search results and the amount of area covered within the
allotted time. The search will focus on an area in the Southern Indian Ocean
approximately the size of Vermont that experts have narrowed down as having the
best chances for success.
The company will use its vessel Seabed Constructor for the search. The vessel is outfitted with a fleet of eight autonomous, non-tethered underwater vehicles fitted with high-tech cameras, sonars and sensors. It is believed that this new technology will be able to accurately map and search the area significantly more accurately, efficiently and at a much faster pace than the technology previously used in the search. “We have a realistic prospect of finding it,” said Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Oliver Plunkett. “While there can be no guarantees of locating the aircraft, we believe our system of multiple autonomous vehicles working simultaneously is well suited to the task at hand.” It has been reported that while the reward fee potential of the venture is speculative, the Malaysian government has agreed to underwrite the operating costs of the search effort and that two of its naval officers will be on board the search vessel as observers, participants and consultants. The vessel is on its way to the search area and search efforts are scheduled to start by Jan. 17.
First Airbus BelugaXL
By Mary Brady
The BelugaXL, the extra-large and unique cargo aircraft built by Airbus to transport huge aircraft sections among its various production sites in Europe, has rolled out from its assembly hangar in Toulouse, France, for the first time, this month, Airbus announced on Tuesday. The airframe is now structurally complete, the company said. It’s the first of five aircraft now under construction, and is expected to fly for the first time by this summer. The new airplanes will be bigger than the BelugaST transporters they are replacing. The ST can carry only one wing at a time for the A350 XWB jet, but the XL can transport both wings at once.
The aircraft is based on the Airbus A330-200 jet, with a highly modified fuselage. “We have the A330 as a foundation,” said Bertrand George, head of the BelugaXL program. “But many changes have been successfully designed, introduced into the aircraft and tested. Transforming an existing product into a super transporter is not a simple task.” The BelugaXL is about 20 feet longer and 3 feet wider than the BelugaST, and will be able to lift about 6.6 tons more payload. Five BelugaXLs are scheduled to enter service for Airbus’ airlift needs. Workers have now begun to build the second aircraft.
Aeromexico 737 Nearly Lands On Wrong San Francisco Runway
By Jon Hemmerdinger, FlightGlobal.com,
Pilots of an Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 lined up to land on the wrong runway at San Francisco International airport on 9 January before executing a go-around procedure, the third safety-related landing incident at San Francisco in about six months. A Virgin America A320 family aircraft was on Runway 28L awaiting takeoff at the time of the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration confirms. The incident happened at about 11:45, says the FAA.
Air traffic controllers cleared Aeromexico flight 668 from Mexico City to land on San Francisco's Runway 28R, and the pilot of the aircraft acknowledged the instruction, according to the FAA, which is investigating. "When the plane was about a mile from the airport, air traffic controllers noticed the aircraft was lined up for Runway 28L and instructed the crew to execute a missed approach," says the FAA.
Neither Aeromexico nor Virgin America responded immediately to requests for comment. Click on hyperlink to take you to Control Tower video…AeroMexico
U.S. Flight Demo For Volocopter
By Mary Grady
Volocopter, the German company that has long been working to develop a semi-autonomous VTOL, flew its aircraft for the first time in the U.S., on Monday. The aircraft flew briefly, unmanned and tethered, on a stage during the keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Volocopter also announced it had flown with a passenger for the first time last month, taking Intel CEO Brian Krzanich for a short flight inside a hangar in Germany. The aircraft was remotely piloted while Krzanich went along for the ride. “That was the best flight I’ve ever had,” Krzanich said after landing. “Everybody will fly like this someday.”
According to The Verge, Intel has been working with Volocopter to integrate its drone technology into the aircraft. The Verge also reported that besides the aircraft that flew during the keynote, the 2X production version also is on display at the show. The 2X rotors are set a bit higher, to enhance safety, says Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter, and the interior is roomier. Flight endurance now is about 30 minutes, but Reuter said the goal is to be able to stay aloft for at least an hour. That should be enough for the urban routes that he expects the aircraft to serve.
Company spokesperson Helena Treeck told AVweb on Tuesday the Volocopter will remain on display at CES for another four days, but will not fly again. She added there are currently no plans for the aircraft to appear elsewhere in the U.S. However, company representatives have told AVweb in the past they would love to bring the aircraft to the U.S. and fly at EAA AirVenture, so we’ll see.
Here Comes The Future
Every year around this time, when the days
are short and nights are long and cold, we can’t help spending some time
thinking about the future. A new calendar provides the illusion of a fresh
start, though in reality the Earth continues its elliptical orbit, as it has
for millions of years, oblivious to our human concepts. December 31 rings out
the old, and January 1 arbitrarily rings in the new, regardless of astronomical
realities. So what does the future hold? We all know that we don’t know. But we
choose to prognosticate anyway. And here’s my contribution — I think the two
aviation stories to watch in the new year will be autonomy and women. The pilot
community seems to be warming up to the idea of flying airplanes that are
smarter than us. Many of us still remember the days of stick and rudder,
islands in the sky and dead reckoning.
But even many diehard old-style pilots, who believe nothing beats the hands-on flying in a DC-3 or Cub, appreciate that technology that makes flying safer isn’t really a bad thing. And the safer it gets, and the easier it gets to be a safe pilot, the more people will be interested in learning to fly. The idea of a “flying car” isn’t really about having a machine you can park in your garage and drive to the airport. It’s about having an airplane that’s as simple and safe to operate as an automobile. And with autonomy surging in the automobile world, “as safe as driving” is going to change … cars driven by humans aren’t all that safe, but autonomous cars are. Autonomous, or semi-autonomous, airplanes will indisputably reduce the risks in GA flying. Already, the NTSB has reported that 2016 was the safest year in 50 years for general aviation. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that’s not because pilots are being more careful and training harder. It’s because more airplanes are better equipped with safety gear, from AOA indicators to envelope protection to parachutes.
As autonomous systems take over more and more of the chores of flying, and eliminate more of the risk, interest in private flying will soar. And that takes us to the next story — women. Aviation has been failing to inspire half the population, for decades now. The reasons for that are legion, but let’s not debate that. Let’s say that if the career track is there, for the airlines — and I think it is, especially now, with pilots in short supply — then there’s something in society that needs to change. And that’s the reality that it’s harder for women to combine an airline career with family life than it is for men. If that’s going to change, men are going to have to be willing to step up at home. Will that happen? Will we look back someday at 2018 as a turning point? Hard to say, but it’s a New Year. The shortest days of winter are over, and hope for the future reigns, at least for today.
Despite The Hassles of Air Travel
was a good year for flyers — here’s why.You may not have
enjoyed flying in 2017, but at least you were safe. According to two airline
safety groups, there were no recorded accidents on large passenger jets in
2017, making 2017 the safest year on record. The bad news: Passengers suffered
more than 891,000 delays and nearly 76,000 cancellations, out of 4.7 million
flights as of October, the most recent month for which data is available from
the Federal Aviation Administration. There were also system malfunctions and
service shortcomings. (Remember that passenger who was dragged off a United
Airlines flight?) On the safety side,
commercial airlines had a stellar year. Dutch aviation consulting group to70
calculated two regional airline accidents last year, which accounted for a
combined 13 deaths. All were on small prop or cargo planes. Since 1997 the
average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline,
for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by
international aviation organizations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety
Foundation and the aviation industry.
Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network
Those figures don’t include a crash Sunday in Costa Rica that claimed 12 people, including 10 U.S. citizens, on a private charter aboard a Cessna Grand Caravan prop plane. A family from Belleair, Florida, was killed in the crash. Also not included in that count is a crash in the Everglades in July that killed the pilot, the only person on board. (The report does not include small commuter planes.) According to the Aviation Safety Network, 10 fatal airline accidents were recorded in 2017 — five on passenger flights and five on cargo flights — resulting in 79 total deaths.
By comparison, 303 people died in 2016 from 16 accidents.
The report comes in a year where global air traffic again grew, by 3 percent, compared to 2016. That amounts to one fatal accident for every 16 million flights, to70 estimated. In 2017, there was one fatal accident for every 16 million flights, according to to70. The low number of accidents is a result of years of increased improvements in airline safety, Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network, told the Miami Herald. “There were no specific recent changes that contributed to the low number of accidents. The improvements have been built over years by a growing reliability of aircraft and engines as well as sharing incident data and learning from incidents before they turn into accidents,” Ranter said. He added that the positive numbers are a result of safety-driven efforts by numerous aviation organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Flight Safety Foundation. Not to be left out, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he had some part in the increased safety on aircrafts: “Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news — it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!” These statistics encompass only fatalities on aircraft. Staying on land wasn’t a safety guarantee.
A New Zealand woman was killed while holding onto the fence outside St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport — famous for its proximity to Maho Beach — due to the force of a jet blast. And in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a cargo plane overran the runway in January 2017 and crashed in a village killing at least 35 people. Other issues were less critical, but vexing nonetheless. They included hurricane-related delays, claims of price gouging from storm-affected regions, and a massive scheduling mix up at American Airlines that threatened to — but ultimately didn’t — cancel thousands of holiday flights. Just Monday, international travelers arriving in Miami on New Year’s Day were confronted with a two-hour outage of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s nationwide processing system, causing massive congestion at passport control. The issue was corrected by 9:30 p.m., but some passengers lost their connecting flights, American Airlines said in a statement.
American to Pay Bonuses After Tax Bill
By DAVID KOENIG
DALLAS – Airlines are sharing some of their
with employees and Boeing, the big aircraft maker. American and Southwest said
Tuesday that they will pay employees bonuses of $1,000 each, a
gesture that American said would cost $130 million. Southwest also said that it
exercised options to buy more new jets from Boeing while delaying orders for
some others. Unlike most other U.S. airlines, Dallas-based Southwest has long
been profitable and already pays cash income taxes. It earned $1.6 billion in
the first nine months of 2017, and will benefit immediately from the lower rate
on corporate income in the tax bill that President Donald Trump signed last
month. Open a New Window.
Blockchain will be bigger than you can imagine, but getting there will be harder than expected. Despite a consensus about Blockchain benefits, why haven’t we seen any use cases go live at scale? Southwest said it expects to record a non-cash credit of between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter to reflect the difference in rates between the time the tax expenses were accrued and when they will be paid.
Because of huge losses in previous years, other major U.S. carriers do not pay cash income taxes even though they have become hugely profitable. American, for instance, earned $1.7 billion in the first nine months of last year. All the airlines should benefit, however, from a provision in the new law that lets businesses more quickly depreciate the cost of investments — aircraft, in their case. CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said the new tax law will help American in the long run, presumably when it can no longer avoid income taxes by counting past losses. They said the tax changes will give the company more confidence to invest in planes and facilities and pay the employee bonuses. American said employees at the main airline and its regional affiliates would get their money in the first quarter.
Southwest said it will make payments next Monday. Southwest also announced that it would exercise options on 40 Boeing 737 jets valued at $4.5 billion while delaying 23 previous orders with a sticker price of $2.1 billion by up to five years. Southwest did not disclose financial terms, but airlines routinely get large discounts from list prices. Southwest also said that it will donate an extra $5 million to charities in 2018. A spokesman for the company said it paid out more than $25 million in cash, free tickets and other donations to charity in 2016, the last year for which final figures are available. In a regulatory filing, Southwest also said it expects to record $105 million in fourth-quarter expenses because of the moves announced Tuesday and other items, including a legal settlement, which it did not describe. The result will be an increase of about 3.5 percentage points in the company's forecast of so-called unit expenses — the amount per seat that it costs to fly one mile.
Airlines Group (IAG),
Steps in to Purchase Stricken Niki
By Breaking News Travel
International Airlines Group is to buy assets of the Austrian airline Niki, formerly part of the airberlin group.The deal is worth €20 million and will provide liquidity to Niki of up to €16.5 million. The transaction is being made by a newly formed subsidiary of Vueling which will be incorporated as an Austrian company and run initially as a separate operation. It is subject to customary closing conditions such as the EC competition approval. The assets include up to 15 A320 family aircraft and an attractive slot portfolio at various airports including Vienna, Dusseldorf, Munich, Palma and Zurich. The new company plans to employ approximately 740 former NIKI employees to run the operation.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Niki was the most financially viable part of airberlin and its focus on leisure travel means it’s a great fit with Vueling. “This deal will enable Vueling to increase its presence in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and provide the region’s consumers with more choice of low cost air travel.” airberlin ceased operations in October after equity investor Etihad withdrew financial support. Niki itself was grounded earlier this month after filing for insolvency protection. More details about the new subsidiary’s branding and route network will be provided in due course, when appropriate. IAG also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, and British Airways.
- Airliner Veers Off Cliffside
- AM737 Nearly Lands SanFra
- BA Grounded - Bed Bugs
- Body Closes HNL Runway
- Here Comes The Future
- First Airbus BelugaXL
- Despite Hassles of Travel
- IAG Steps to Purchase Niki
- Malaysia 370 Make/Break
- SW and AA to Pay Bonuses
- Virgin Galactic Back In Air
- Volocopter 1st US. Flt Demo