American Airlines Flight From Tampa Forced To Land Due To Mechanical Trouble, Daniel Figueroa IV Tampa Times

TAMPA — An American Airlines flight bound for Charlotte, N.C., was forced to return to Tampa International Airport on Thursday morning after pilots received an error message in the cockpit, according to an American Airlines spokesperson. Shortly after takeoff, around 7 a.m., the airport received an alert that the flight had a mechanical issue and needed to return to the airport, TIA spokesman Danny Valentine said. The flight landed safely at 7:18, he added. According to flight tracking website, the plane made it to skies over Spring Hill before turning around. "Our maintenance team is evaluating the error message that was received in the cockpit, and our team in Tampa is in the process of rebooking passengers on other flights,"


American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said. "We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans and we are sorry for the trouble this caused." Ross said the twin-jet Airbus A320 has no record of previous issues.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the FAA will investigate the incident.


SCOTT KEELER | Times An American Airlines jet takes off from Tampa International Airport, Friday, 12/1/17. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker received the 2017 Tony Jannus Award at Tampa International Airport, Friday. He answered questions about the potential American Airlines pilot shortage Christmas week. Records show flight 2020 was scheduled to depart Tampa at 6:47 a.m., and land at Charlotte Douglas International Airport around 8:30 a.m.

Air India Express 737 Suffers Belly Gash After Striking BY: Aaron Chong, Flight Dashboard

An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 was diverted to Mumbai Chhtrapati Shivaji International airport after one of its wheels hit the boundary wall of Tiruchirappalli International Airport on 12 October at 01:18 local time. The low-cost carrier tells FlightGlobal the incident happened while the aircraft was taking off. It was operating as flight IX611 from Tiruchirappali to Dubai, carrying 136 passengers and crew members. No one was injured in the incident. While the airline was unable to specify the aircraft's registration, flight tracking sites suggest that the 737 bears the registration VT-AYD, and that it landed in Mumbai at 05:39 local time.

Images on social media show a long tear in the fuselage immediately aft of the main landing gear bays. Local media reports indicated that the pilots, who apparently claimed to be unaware of the incident, have since been removed from duty.

Twitter/Tarun Shukla: Air India Express adds that investigations are underway, and that the 737 is undergoing repairs at Mumbai airport. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that VT-AYD was built in 2009, and is owned and managed by Air India Express.

The Price To Renovate New York JFK Is Up To $13 Billion — And Will Make Travel Worse By Gary Leff

Three years ago New York announced redevelopment plans for LaGuardia airport. Getting in and out of LaGuardia has been miserable ever since, and at the end of the process there won’t be more runways, there won’t be more airspace capacity, and there won’t be much better transit to and from the airport. A year and a half ago plans to redevelop New York JFK were introduced and expected to cost $10 billion. That’s already up to $13 billion. We get better road traffic patterns (in some measure reverting to how traffic used to circulate around the airport) but we don’t get… more runways, more airspace capacity, or better transit to and from the airport.

New York airport projects are so slow that it takes more than seven years to install runway lights after the funding has already been allocated. All of this attention from top officials is doing a better job driving projects forward but in my view they’re the wrong projects. To be sure JFK is a decrepit physical plant. Here’s a geyser spurting at baggage claim at New York JFK’s terminal 8. Of course that’s home to American Airlines, one of the newer terminals, and one not slated to be redeveloped in the governor’s $13 billion plan. Unquestionably new terminals will be nicer and more aesthetically pleasing than what we have today, though they won’t do much to improve the actual travel experience — getting to, in and out of the airport quickly. Things like first-class shopping, dining, and business amenities aren’t actually about the passenger experience.

Instead we’re going to get lots of high end retail because passengers are the product not the customers. In order to fund projects what airport authorities are doing is getting the private sector to front much of the bill, and in exchange those investors get the future revenue stream. Public-private partnerships aren’t free. They give up (a larger amount of) future income in exchange for current funding. That’s probably a good idea, but it’s largely a one-time bet you can make, so you need to use the cash realized from the transaction wisely. Retail is how investors make their money back, selling to passengers. It’s why airports like Dallas Fort-Worth and Chicago O’Hare remove convenient moving walkways, so passengers are more likely to stop into shops along their way. We need runways, we need more efficient air traffic control that allows more planes to traverse congested airspace especially in the Northeast. Demand-based pricing for takeoffs and landings might be an improvement here to. An airport’s capacity matching demand is the first consideration. And then,

  • Airports need to be easy to get to.
  • They should have security near the entrance [including for better security, as the Brussels and Istanbul airport bombings show the area outside security is a target and you want to get people through security as quickly as possible].
  • Gates should be as close as possible or as quick to reach as possible

We’d be much better off with airports that efficiently moved people from their initial location to their gate, and on arrival to their final destination, than with sprawling complexes that are cumbersome to traverse but accommodate more retail. Airport restaurants are generally bad anyway. You can only sell off the airport’s future income stream once. Investing the money is new mega-terminals means not investing the money in things that would actually improve the airport most. As a result these choices mean the New York JFK travel experience will be worse than it otherwise could be.

Westjet Unveils Brand Revamp

By Kimberley Youngh

Aerospace, Inflight

WestJet has unveiled its refreshed brand outlining its global ambitions and heralding new products aimed at international and Premium travellers. The refreshed brand was unveiled along with a national advertising campaign, called ‘Love Where You’re Going’ along with its first three international Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner routes and a new Platinum WestJet Rewards tier at an event in Calgary. “Today’s announcement marks a pivotal time for WestJet,” said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO. “Love where you’re going embodies both the thrill of travel and the sheer ambition we at WestJet have for our airline. Our 13,000 WestJetters are unique assets, and what we deliver for our 24 million guests is something that cannot be replicated.”

The updated brand image and positioning will begin to be reflected across WestJet’s assets including, its airport presence across Canada and gradually across the fleet. In addition to the brand refresh, it was revealed WestJet will launch its first three 787 Dreamliner non-stop routes from Calgary to London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin on 28 April, 17 May and 1 June, 2019, respectively. The first of 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners ordered by WestJet will arrive in Calgary early in 2019, with two more arriving by April.

WestJet’s Dreamliners will carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airline’s newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and updated Economy. As part of the ‘new’ WestJet, the rewards programme will also introduce a new Platinum tier, targeted for launch later this year. Video at:

Boeing CEO Says Air-Taxi Prototype Will Be Ready for Takeoff Next Year

By Emily Chang and Thomas Black 

Boeing CEO Muilenburg on Flying Car, Hypersonic Plane and Working With NASA.Boeing Co. says the age of air taxis is getting closer. A prototype will be in the air next year, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said. The plane maker is also working with regulators to develop a traffic-management system for the aircraft in five years. “Think about a future in which you will have three-dimensional highways to relieve traffic congestion,’’ Muilenburg said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg TV in Seattle. “So we’re working on both the ecosystem -- the regulatory framework -- and the new vehicles. All of that is happening now.’’

The Chicago-based aerospace giant is investing heavily in a vision that evokes the futuristic world of “The Jetsons,” the 1960s-era cartoon show. Pilotless rotorcraft will eventually ferry people and cargo across clogged urban areas, Muilenburg said. To hasten that goal, the company last year bought drone pioneer Aurora Flight Sciences, which is among the companies vying to develop a flying taxi with Uber Technologies Inc.

‘Rapid Progress’

Boeing is also working with a startup called SparkCognition and U.S. regulators to design an air-traffic system to keep the aerial vehicles safe and operating efficiently, Muilenburg said. He didn’t specify if the prototypes would be pilotless right away. “I would expect that within five years we’ll see initial operational capability being fielded,’’ he said. “You’re going to see rapid progress here over the next several years and you’re going to see Boeing with our partners right at the forefront.’’ Boeing is also working on a hypersonic aircraft capable of zipping passengers between any two cities in the world in a couple hours. The engine technology is “in hand,” he said. The main sticking point is to ensure there would be enough paying customers to make the investment pay off. “This is something again I expect to see happen over the next decade,” he said, “so a little bit longer time frame.”

United Flight Attendant Removes Woman From Business Class Due To Her Crying Baby By  Matthew

For all the noteworthy progress United Airlines had made over the last year, it just takes one bad story to sink the ship. We may have our story…Imagine you are a young mother and step onto a 14-hour flight from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco and find your seat in business class. Your eight-month-old is crying and you do your best to calm him down. But he won’t stop. Naturally, he annoys other passengers who complain to the flight attendant. Now imagine that the flight attendant approaches you and sees you doing everything in your power to soothe your child. But instead of offering a hand or gently asking if she can help, she angrily berates you. She cites the “rule book” in defense of her position that a baby cannot cry for more than five minutes (seriously) and marches you back to economy class to further berate you, insisting that you leave your seat.

When asked to produce the rule book, the FA condescendingly laughs and claims she cannot produce it due to the lack of internet…on a flight that has internet. She reminds you that that “many airlines” do not allow children in business class, insinuating that you do not belong there. Signaling to the rest of the cabin, the FA states that fellow passengers have been complaining. Other passengers sheepishly deny this. You re-take your seat in business class ashamed and humiliated. Paying $28 to access internet, you tell your story on Facebook. Sadly, this is a true story. Thankfully, though, our story does not end here. Other FAs came to the aide of the passenger and the captain even came over to apologize. A team of United representatives met the woman and her son at San Francisco with profuse apologies and a full refund of her ticket.


Addressing the incident, United has empathically stated that children are welcome in business class: Young families are welcome on our flights, including in business class. We are continuing to review the incident internally and the flight attendant is being held out of service pending the investigation. United handled the aftermath well. Their action was swift and decisive and frankly praiseworthy.  But why was that flight attendant so nasty in the first place? Why did she make up those rules? Will there be any consequences for this? I don’t want to turn this into a union-bashing piece, so let’s just assume she won’t lose her job. And perhaps she should not if this is her first incident (kudos to United, though, for pulling her from service). But we see a pattern with the “few bad apples” at United. So often, they’ve been doing the job so long and they are practically unchangeable. Good luck trying to bring about any improvements in behavior. One of the pillars of United’s core4 program is caring. What this FA did is the absolute opposite of caring. The solution is not easy.


FAs cannot be suddenly radically transformed, especially through HR programs and memos. I would love to see other factors besides seniority play a role in whether a FA is able to hold a line on a longhaul route, but that is unrealistic. Individual consequences for these types of customer service failures are sadly not likely to ever occur in the U.S. airline industry.  Thus, the only path forward I see is if FAs “counsel” fellow FAs. Other FAs—those who get it, those who care—must be the ones to quickly correct their fellow FAs, without fear of reprisal if their seniority is less.  Think how other FAs and the captain on this flight diffused the situation. The passenger shares, however, that the offending FA remained rude for the rest of the flight. Some FAs are incorrigible…they are only human. But sometimes we are rude when we don’t mean it. Sometimes we are tone deaf without malice intent. Encouraging FAs to speak up and correct their flying partner might reduce this sort of behavior. It’s worth a shot. I’m glad United has made clear that children are welcome in business class. I’m also glad the passenger was refunded the price of her ticket, which is very generous compensation. But most of all, I’m happy that the captain and other FAs did not succumb to groupthink but stood up for the young mother trying to soothe her crying baby. 

British Airways Celebrates 60 Years Of Transatlantic Jet Flight

By Breaking Travel News

Sixty years ago, British Airways, then called British Overseas Airways Corporation, became the first airline to fly a turbo jet engine aircraft between Europe and New York, reducing the journey time from 18 hours to around seven. On October 4th, 1958 the airline flew two de Havilland Comet 4 aircraft, one from New York to London and the other from London to New York. One of the original cabin crew members, Peggy Thorne, 91, had joined BOAC in 1950 and was hand-picked to serve customers on the first flight.Today, British Airways hosted Peggy, and captain Hugh Dibley, a former Comet 4 navigator, at an event to celebrate the historic achievement.“It was marvelous,” Peggy remembers. “We were used to travelling to New York on Boeing Stratocruisers which took up to 20 hours.

We couldn’t believe the flight was possible in such a short time.”US airline Pan Am had been promising that it would be the first airline to do this but was beaten by Britain’s BOAC with its new jet engine aircraft by several weeks.It was front page news. Back in 1958, Comet 4 could fly just 48 customers every day from London. Today British Airways operates up to 12 flights a day from the capital, offering around 3,500 seats. On the Comet there were two cabins, Deluxe and First Class. Today, British Airways flights feature four cabins, to suit all budgets - World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World and First. In 1958 a ticket to travel on the Comet staggeringly cost the equivalent of £8,000.  Dibley said: “The Comet 4 was delivered to BOAC on September 30th and flew across the Atlantic on October 4th, which was quite a surprise to some people, not least because it was so fast!”

With just a few months left before British Airways begins its Centenary celebrations, Alex Cruz, British Airways chief executive, paid tribute to the crew of the first flights. He said: “British Airways and its predecessors have always pioneered innovation and hospitality, and this is a great early example. “Next year we celebrate 100 years of taking Britain to the world and bringing the world to Britain, and the quality of service we provide to customers is better than ever.”

FAA Adds More Checks
On 737 Engines
By Mary Grady  

The FAA on Monday issued a new Airworthiness Directive that affects about 1,800 Boeing 737 aircraft operated in the U.S. The AD requires additional inspections of the fan blades in all the airplanes equipped with the same type of blades that caused a catastrophic engine failure in April, when one passenger died on a Southwest flight after a window was broken by engine debris. A previous AD had mandated the inspections after 3,000 flight cycles, but the new AD reduces that interval to 1,600. The AD takes effect on Oct. 16.

The updated rule was prompted by continuing research undertaken by CFM, the engine manufacturer. CFM issued a Service Bulletin in July advising operators of the new interval recommendation. The FAA’s AD now makes that new interval mandatory. The FAA estimates each inspection will take about two hours, costing the airlines an average of about $170. If a fan blade fails the inspection, it would cost about $51,000 to replace it.

America's Deadliest Battle: World War I's Meuse-Argonne Offensive 100 Years Later By Greg Norman | Fox News

Cart says 60 percent of all battlefield deaths in World War I were caused by artillery, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive had plenty of it. Howitzers belonging to the 106th Field Artillery are prepared for action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  (National WWI Museum and Memorial)  “The number of artillery pieces used in this offensive was staggering,” he said. “So it was everywhere.” By early November, the U.S. forces reached their objective and on the 11th, an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germans, ending the war. That day every year has become the American holiday Veterans Day.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, left 28,000 Germans dead as well, according to the Army Heritage Center. One of the most famous stories to come out of the offensive was the exploits of the “Lost Battalion,” a group of American soldiers who ended up getting surrounded in the Argonne Forest by the Germans. During one rescue attempt of the soldiers, American artillery forces accidentally started shelling their own men. “WE ARE ALONG THE ROAD PARALELL 276.4. OUR ARTILLERY IS DROPPING A BARRAGE DIRECTLY ON US. FOR HEAVENS SAKE STOP IT,” Maj. Charles W. Whittlesey cried out in a message affixed to a carrier pigeon that flew to his compatriots nearby. The troops held their position for five days and nights and eventually were rescued, but ended up losing 107 men, according to statistics from the National Archives.

Army Air Force Lt. Harold E. Goettler and Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley managed to assist in the rescue effort by dropping supplies to the stranded troops from a plane – one of first times that American forces did so, Cart says, and both went on to earn the Medal of Honor, along with Whittlesey and other soldiers. “Heroism at that time was recognized as doing something beyond the regard for themselves,” Cart told Fox News. “They had to do something that took them out of their own safety zone and saving other humans.”

Alitalia Boeing 777 Diverts To Salt Lake City (+Video) by Enrique Perrella, Flightaware

MIAMI — An Alitalia Boeing 777-200(ER), operating flight 621 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Rome-Fiumicino (FCO) had to divert into Salt Lake City (SLC) yesterday because of an unruly passenger. Following the departure from LAX, the plane climbed to its assigned altitude of 35,000ft. As the aircraft continued onwards on its planned route, an unruly passenger forced the flight crew to divert into SLC less than 70 minutes after departing from LAX. As shown by Flightaware, and local Twitter feed,  the aircraft had to enter into prolongated holding patterns while fuel was jettisoned.


After the aircraft landed, it was met by law enforcement officers, who reportedly removed the unruly passenger to allow the flight to depart back to Rome. According to SLCScanner, the 777 remained on the ground for approximately two hours 30 minutes before departing back to FCO, at 22:24 local time. A flight from LAX to FCO typically lasts approximately 11 hours. This journey, however, lasted more than 15 hours with the unscheduled stop in SLC. It is unclear whether the passenger was charged and fined by the airline. Alitalia currently operates a fleet of 11 Boeing 777-200(ER)s and one 777-300(ER).  The airline links Rome-Fiumicino with Los Angeles on a daily basis during summer time.

Boeing, National Science Foundation (NSF) Partner For Aviation Education
By Mary Grady   

Pilot, mechanic and air traffic controller may be the most high-profile jobs in aviation, but career tracks in engineering and management are also crucial to aviation’s future. This week, Boeing and the National Science Foundation announced a $21 million investment to accelerate training and diversity in those critical areas. "The initiatives will help develop more technical workers and provide research opportunities for women and veterans seeking to join or return to the STEM workforce,” said Heidi Capozzi, a Boeing executive in human resources.

NSF will partner with educational institutions to develop online training in critical skill areas for students and Boeing employees, covering topics such as model-based engineering, systems engineering, mechatronics, robotics, data science and sensor analytics, program management and artificial intelligence. The first project is expected to launch next year. Boeing is donating $10 million to the NSF to develop the programs, and the NSF will donate $10 million in scholarship funding. Boeing also will give $1 million to an NSF initiative to increase the number of women and veterans in STEM fields.

American Airlines Brings Passengers to Hawaii That It Has No Intention of Flying Home (But That’ll Change Next Year)

by Gary Leff

At an employee Crew News session last week a pilot asked American Airlines President about weight restrictions flying Hawaii back to the mainland of the U.S. using Airbus A321 aircraft.  American cannot fly as many people back to the mainland as they fly from the mainland to Hawaii. From my understanding we leave people in Hawaii every day because the Airbus can’t make it back to Phoenix with a full load, is that our plan to take people somewhere where we can’t bring them all back?  Robert Isom says “many days I wouldn’t mind being left in Hawaii” but that “it’s one of the reason we keep the Boeing 757s.”

He goes on to explain that they’re going to keep some 757s in the fleet for five or more years, “We have isolated that fleet of 757s that we think are going to be the ones we can hold onto for the next 5-plus years. We’re going to work those and continue to keep those in the fleet for as long as we can.” Next year American Airlines will take delivery of Airbus A321neos, and those will go to Phoenix because the current A321CO (classic) would be even more restricted flying Hawaii – Phoenix than it is flying Hawaii – Los Angeles. But the A321neo should be able to fly Hawaii – Phoenix without difficulty.

Management explains further; American currently takes weight restrictions from Lihue – Los Angeles and on some days Maui – Los Angeles. But the A321neo will have full payload capability out of all Hawaii markets except for Lihue which may take a slight weight restriction.

Boeing’s New 787s Flee Florence in a Cross-Country Exodus
By Justin Bachman &
Julie Johnsson

If it can fly, it can evacuate…Boeing Co. flew at least eight of its 787 aircraft out of a South Carolina factory to Seattle on Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm expected to strike the Carolinas later this week. The Dreamliners escaped potential damage by flying cross-country to Paine Field, an airport adjacent to Boeing’s Everett, Wash., assembly plant, according to flight tracker The bugout included two 787-9s destined for Hainan Airlines Holding Co. and a 787-10 for United Continental Holdings Inc., the first U.S. customer for the largest model of the wide-body aircraft, which lists for a cool $325.8 million.

More 787’s seeking shelter from Hurricane #Florence on their way to Washington, including the first 787-10 for Unit… Boeing suspended operations at its North Charleston, S.C., assembly plant this morning as part of a mandatory evacuation order for coastal areas. The workers who prepared the jets for their trek were among the last to leave, according to a company message to employees. Florence grew larger on Tuesday with 130 mph winds. Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina border.

I’m at Everett’s Paine Field with photographer @MattMrozinski watching another @BoeingAirplanes 787 Dreamliner ferryies… The storm comes amid a production bottleneck for Boeing that’s left undelivered 787s stacking up at the plant and in Everett because of supplier issues. The company delivered only eight of the carbon-composite jets in July and August, falling short of its target of 12 per month.

Boeing Calling Back Retirees To Fix 737 Production Snags

By Eric M. Johnson, Reuters 

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Boeing Co Is Bringing Retired Workers back on the job as the world's largest planemaker tries to fix delays at its 737 jetliner plant outside Seattle, a union official told Reuters on Monday. The snarl at its plant in Renton, Washington, triggered by shortages of engines and fuselages as Boeing sped production to record levels in June, is likely to hurt third-quarter results and threatens its goal to boost build rates again in 2019, some analysts said after meetings in the Seattle area last week. Single-aisle aircraft like the hot-selling 737 and Airbus A320 families are the cash cows of the world's two largest aircraft manufacturers.

Investors will get a peek on Tuesday at how far behind Boeing is when it releases its order and delivery tallies for August, a month after deliveries fell to the lowest level in years. Deliveries are crucial to planemakers because that is when airlines pay most of what they owe for the aircraft. Boeing started hiring retired mechanics and inspectors on a temporary basis after reaching an agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Aug. 15, union spokeswoman Connie Kelliher said. Boeing had a similar agreement with the union last autumn following a round of voluntary layoffs, Kelliher said.

Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said the company was dedicating additional resources to the Renton site "to ensure timely deliveries to our customers." Boeing has already deployed about 600 employees and new hires to Renton in recent weeks to help fix delays, analysts said. It was not clear how many retired workers Boeing intends to hire.

2019 SPILLOVER? About 50 semi-finished 737s were scattered around the Renton plant last week, analysts said, several times the number of semi-finished aircraft Reuters reported in July. Boeing largely attributes the snarl to shortages of fuselages from Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems Inc and engines from CFM International Inc, a venture between France's Safran and General Electric Co. "We are working closely with our suppliers Spirit and CFM as they track toward recovery, as well as our customers," Bergman said. "Our team has been mitigating supplier delays, and our factory continues to build 52 airplanes per month." CFM is working to fix delays by year-end, the GE-Safran venture said. Spirit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Among airlines with large 737 fleets, American Airlines Group Inc has seen slight delays on a small number of 737 MAX deliveries, while No. 4 carrier Southwest Airlines Co sees "minor changes" on future deliveries, but the delays have not disrupted operations, company representatives said. Aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corp was still seeing 737 delivery delays of "a month or less," spokeswoman Laura Woeste said. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Additional reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Captain Orders 40 Pizzas For Cancelled Flight

By Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN

(They were stuck overnight after their flight was diverted. So the captain brought them 40 pizzas.)

 (CNN)Passengers from American Airlines Flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth were bracing for a long night. Their plane was diverted to the regional airport in Wichita Falls, Texas, on Thursday due to severe thunderstorms that impacted the northern part of the state, and 159 frustrated passengers were facing the prospect of being stuck there until morning. Trying to ease their inconvenience, the plane's captain, Jeff Raines, called the local Papa John's and ordered 40 fresh pizzas for delivery at Wichita Falls Municipal Airport (SPS). A video of the act shows the captain running back and forth between the delivery car and the stranded passengers to personally deliver the pizzas. "I don't think I've seen this before," Josh Raines, who works at the airport and shot the video, tweeted.


In a message on Facebook, the captain said his entire team participated to help the passengers.  "Thanks for the compliments however this was a "TEAM" effort," Raines said.  "My First Officer was on the telephone with crew tracking / hotel desk arranging for our release and hotels for the entire crew. The Flight Attendants manned a galley cart from the aircraft serving waters, juice, and sodas to all the passengers in the terminal. All while the Envoy SPS Personnel were arranging for a bus, re-booking flights, and answering a flurry of questions from these passengers. Thanks to everyone for your help - there is no "I" in TEAM."


American Airlines confirmed to CNN the flight was diverted because of bad weather, and continued its journey to Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday morning.

"We are always proud of our crew members who take great care of our customers who fly on American Airlines and are fortunate that they are the best in the business," said airline spokesman Tom Henderson.

Pratt Working On Geared Turbofan Vibration By Russ Niles



Bloomberg is reporting that Pratt & Whitney has been quietly assessing excessive vibration in its new-design geared turbofan engines in the latest of a string of teething problems with the fuel-sipping design. Bloomberg says a vibration issue has caused cockpit alerts in A320neos that have been delivered to airlines all over the world. Pratt told Bloomberg it’s working on the problem. The FAA has confirmed it’s working with Pratt to identify the cause but it hasn’t issued any orders or bulletins to operators. 

Bloomberg says its sources estimate that about 10 A320neos are grounded at a time while engineers probe the cause. Like most major technological leaps, the geared turbofan has suffered a series of service entry problems and Pratt is under pressure to get them fixed. The engine uses about 30 percent less fuel than previous generation engines and since fuel is the largest cost for airlines it’s a big attraction. Airbus has kept its chin up through the difficulties, which also affect its newly acquired A220 line of jets that it took over from Bombardier, but there are cracks appearing in that brave face as stock prices dropped more than a full percentage point on the latest news. Airbus says it still plans to deliver 800 A320neos this year. “The risk is that the series of issues with the GTF engine may have begun to test investor’s patience,” Bloomberg reported Jeffries International analyst Sandy Morris as warning clients.

Delta Jet-Engine Failure at 18,000 Feet Draws U.S. Safety Probe By Alan Levin and Mary Schlangenstein

  • Boeing 757 aircraft returned to Atlanta shortly after takeoff
  • Flight 1418 was carrying 121 passengers and six crew members

U.S. safety regulators are investigating an engine failure on a Delta Air Lines Inc. jet that forced pilots to shut down the turbine and return to Atlanta shortly after takeoff.  The accident occurred Wednesday on a Boeing Co. 757-200 bound for Orlando, Florida, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday on Twitter. Delta Flight 1418, which had 121 passengers and six crew members, landed safely and there were no injuries. The engine failure occurred at about 18,000 feet, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Delta incident is at least the fourth since August 2016 in which an engine failure has allowed debris to escape. The powerplants are designed with a hardened exterior so that even in the event of a blowout, fan blades and other components can’t get out and threaten fuel tanks, passengers and other sensitive aircraft structures. Flight 1418 “experienced a maintenance issue in the right engine shortly after takeoff,” Anthony Black, a Delta spokesman, said in an interview. All maintenance on the engines is performed by Delta’s TechOps unit. The Atlanta-based carrier is cooperating with the NTSB investigation, Black said.

Pratt Engines

“Once they have completed their investigation we will change the engine and the aircraft will be ready to be placed back into service,” he said. Delta isn’t certain how soon that will be. The 27-year-old aircraft had two PW2037 engines made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. Pratt didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.  The NTSB didn’t provide further details.  The agency is also investigating several other cases in which engine failures allowed debris to escape. A woman died in an accident April 17 on a Southwest Airlines Co. flight. The Boeing 737 lost a fan blade, which careened in front of the protective shield and tore off the front of the engine. After debris broke a window, the woman was partially sucked out of the plane. In August 2016, a Southwest Boeing 737-700 had to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida, after a fan blade broke off and debris struck the fuselage, wing and tail, causing the plane to lose cabin pressure. A preliminary NTSB investigation found evidence of a crack “consistent” with metal fatigue in the blade of the CFM56 engine made by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Safran SA. No one was injured.

Two months later, an American Airlines Group Inc. flight was accelerating for takeoff at Chicago’s O’Hare airport when the right engine exploded, sending shrapnel through the casing and ignited leaking fuel. One wing of the Boeing 767-300 was engulfed in a fireball as passengers rushed to get off the plane. Twenty people were injured. The GE CF6-80 engine had an apparent manufacturing defect, the NTSB said later, causing a disk to break into at least four pieces.

NTSB Investigating Report Of Engine Failure On A Delta Jet

By DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Safety investigators said Thursday that they are looking into a reported engine breakdown on a Delta Air Lines jet shortly after takeoff. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted that it was investigating a reported "uncontained" engine failure on Wednesday night's Delta Flight 1418 from Atlanta to Orlando, Florida. The NTSB said the crew of the 27-year-old Boeing 757-200 jet with 121 passengers and six Delta employees on board shut down the engine and returned safely to Atlanta. The NTSB said there were no injuries. An uncontained failure occurs when rotating engine parts break off, creating shrapnel that can damage other areas of the plane. A broken fan blade caused an uncontained engine failure on a Southwest Airlines plane that killed a passenger earlier this year.

An NTSB spokesman declined to comment about the Delta incident beyond the tweet. Anthony Black, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Delta, issued a statement saying the plane "experienced a maintenance issue." He said Delta was cooperating with the NTSB and will replace the engine when the investigation is over. Jenny Dervin, a spokeswoman for engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney said the company was participating in the investigation. She declined to comment further. According to data captured by tracking service, the Delta jet took off shortly after 11 p.m. and climbed to about 18,000 feet in eight minutes before slowing down, leveling off, and then beginning a measured descent back to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The plane was in the air for about 28 minutes.

Modern airliners are designed — and pilots are trained — to fly safely with one engine. The greatest danger posed by engine failure is that broken pieces can be spit out at high speed, damaging controls, fuel tanks or the fuselage. That is what happened on Southwest Flight 1380 as it cruised 32,000 feet over Pennsylvania on April 17. A woman was fatally injured when she was pushed partly out of a window broken by flying debris. The pilots were able to land in Philadelphia without serious injuries to other passengers. The Southwest engine was made by a different company, a joint venture of General Electric and France's Safran SA. The NTSB plans a hearing on the Southwest case Nov. 14.

American Airlines to exit EMB-190s in 2020

  By Ch-aviation

American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) will retire its fleet of twenty EMB-190s in 2020, Managing Director of Fleet Planning and Analysis, Ryan Travis, has said. According to an internal company letter seen by Airways Magazine, the Embraer Regional Jets will likely be placed with another carrier. The aircraft currently average almost 11 years of age and are all owned and operated by the carrier itself.

In the same letter, Travis also stated that American's remaining fleet of McDonnell Douglas twinjets - now down to two MD-82s and thirty-two MD-83s - “are due to retire next year” i.e. 2019. These aircraft could potentially be replaced with second-hand A319-100s.
Cayman Airways Announces Denver as New Destination in Its Network By Aviation Tribune

Cayman Airways (CAL) announced the addition of new seasonal nonstop flights between Grand Cayman and Denver, Colorado, starting March 2, 2019. It will be the longest scheduled commercial flight the airline has ever operated, made possible by the upcoming arrival of the first of CAL’s four brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. “Cayman Airways plays a key strategic role in providing airlift to the Cayman Islands and so we’re excited about the introduction of non-stop service between Grand Cayman and Denver, Colorado” said Minister for Tourism, the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “Denver is well known as a community of avid divers who will be thrilled by having the convenience and opportunity to dive in Cayman more often. We are especially pleased that the arrival of CAL’s first Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft this November will help to support dive tourism due to the aircraft’s ability to serve long-range destinations.”

Colorado is home to the sixth-largest population of Scuba divers in the U.S., and is ranked as the fastest-growing state for Scuba divers since 2010, according to the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, making Denver a natural addition to the Cayman Airways network for growing dive tourism for the Cayman Islands.Chairman of the Board of Directors for Cayman Airways, Phillip Rankin, said: “The introduction of the Denver route is a milestone for Cayman Airways as the longest scheduled commercial flight we’ve ever operated in the airline’s 50-year history. It is just the first of many benefits our national airline will achieve for our country with the Fleet Modernization Plan that will see our National Airline boast having the newest jet fleet in the region, while being the first Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operator in the Caribbean.” President and CEO of Cayman Airways, Fabian Whorms, commented: “The new Denver nonstop service will reduce the travel time to Cayman from typically between nine and eleven hours using multiple flights, to less than five hours aboard a direct flight on our brand new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft with industry-leading comfort and legroom in both our Business and Economy cabins, combined with our renown Caymankind in-flight experience, which includes free Rum Punch. We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors from the Mile High City with our special introductory roundtrip airfares starting from US$396 plus taxes.”

The city of Denver is also celebrating the new CAL route as the city’s first and only Caribbean-based airline to operate nonstop service there. According to officials at Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver currently ranks as the second-largest U.S. market without nonstop service to an island in the Caribbean, with demand reaching 650 passengers per day. Additionally, Denver is the largest U.S. market without nonstop service to Grand Cayman, with nearly 250 passengers a week traveling to this tropical destination. DEN officials said the travel demand between Denver and Grand Cayman is strong, recording more than 10 percent growth over the past year.“Each new airline or a nonstop destination provides our residents and visitors more options to explore the world, while also creating new tourism and businesses opportunities here in Denver,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We thank Cayman Airways for investing in our community, and we’re pleased to welcome them as the first Caribbean-based airline to serve Denver.”

CEO of Denver International Airport (DEN), Kim Day, stated: “We are delighted to welcome our newest airline, Cayman Airways, to DEN, as they provide nonstop service to the Caribbean. This will be a great option for our large Scuba diving population as well as for Coloradoans just looking for a way to explore the Cayman Islands and relax on the beach.” The new Cayman Airways Denver service will operate twice-weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, throughout the peak travel periods of December through August.

Air Force One Deal Near

By Russ Niles, AVWeb


President Donald Trump has again intervened in the negotiations with Boeing to modify two new 747-8i airliners to serve as the primary Air Force One aircraft and backup but it remains to be seen if the president’s promise of $1 billion in savings will be realized. Defense One reported Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at the White House last Tuesday to try to break an impasse between the Air Force, which normally buys its own airplanes, and Boeing. The Air Force wants a fixed-price deal, meaning Boeing would eat any overruns, but Boeing is less keen on the idea. The Air Force already has the aircraft. It bought two 747-8is that were supposed to go to a Russian airline that went bankrupt, so the negotiations are about the many modifications required.

Defense One’s sources said the logjam was broken in the White House meeting and details are expected in the next few weeks. Shortly after his election, Trump tweeted that the agreed-to $4 billion deal for the new jets should be canceled because of the cost. Trump later said he’d managed to shave $1 billion off the cost. One of the casualties of the cost-cutting was reported to be air-to-air refueling capability. The rationale for the move was that new 747s can reach just about anywhere on the planet from Washington without a fill-up but refueling is also considered a strategic necessity in case the aircraft needs to stay airborne in a prolonged crisis. It seems like that need is still a factor since the Air Force recently spent $24 million to replace the refrigerators on the current aircraft so they can store the 3,000 meals that are normally loaded to sustain occupants for a long flight.

Runway Debris Suspected In Colombian DC-3 Excursion

By Flight Dashboard,

David Kaminski-Morrow

Colombian investigators are recommending that civil aviation authorities conduct an immediate inspection of San Felipe airport to ensure that it complies with safety requirements, after landing accident involving a Douglas DC-3. The inspection should particularly focus on runway maintenance and the removal of foreign objects, says Colombian accident investigation authority GRIAA. Operated by Air Colombia, the DC-3 (HK-3293) had been conducting a visual approach to San Felipe with nine passengers and a crew of three, along with 1.8t of cargo.But as the aircraft landed on runway 18, it gradually pulled to the left. As the crew attempted to correct the DC-3’s track, it veered off the runway 280m after touchdown, listing to the left and causing the wing and propeller to strike the ground.

It came to rest, facing north-east, 434m from the threshold, having sustained substantial damage to its left-hand engine, propeller and wing. Examination of the tyre marks on the runway surface showed that the left-hand tyre’s tread was nearly 50% wider than its right-hand counterpart. The investigation also found a 15cm iron rod embedded in the inside wall of the left-hand tyre. Inspection of the runway also found a 13cm iron rod on its surface “located in the path” of the left wheel track of the DC-3. Passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft. Flight Fleets Analyzer lists the Air Colombia DC-3 as a 75-year old airframe.

Blue Angels Upgrade

To Super Hornets

 By Kate O'Connor



The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a contract to configure nine F/A-18E and two F/A-18F Super Hornets for the Blue Angels demonstration team. Since the team’s first performance in 1946, the Blue Angels have used eight aircraft models, including the F11F-1 Tiger, F-4J Phantom II and A-4F Skyhawk II. They have been flying F/A-18C/D Hornets since 1986. The contract for getting the eleven Super Hornets ready for their debut with the Blue Angels, which is worth approximately $17 million, was awarded to Boeing on Monday.


Although not specifically stated what changes would be made to the aircraft, conversions on the team's currently flying Hornets included removing the aircraft nose cannons, installing smoke-oil tanks and adding a spring on the sticks. Overall, the Super Hornet is bigger by about four feet in both length and wingspan than the Hornet and heavier by roughly 10,000 pounds. At a maximum speed of Mach 1.6, the Super Hornet is slightly slower than the Hornet’s max of Mach 1.8.


According to a Department of Defense release, the Blue Angels Super Hornet conversions will be performed at Boeing’s St. Louis, Missouri, facility. The scheduled completion date for the project is December 2021.

Lessons From A Veteran Cargo Dog By Mike Hart



After a half-century of experience in the cargo flying sector, long-time pilot Stan DeLong has seen it all. He claims to be semi-retired, but he still flies a Piper Navajo Chieftain during United Parcel Service’s peak season, and is chief pilot and check airman for Gem Air, LLC. If you make the mistake of assuming his experience is geographically limited, he also is check airman for Côte d’Ivoire (formerly the Ivory Coast) in Africa... but that intriguing story will have to wait for another time. Since I am still relatively new to the cargo world, I was determined to meet with DeLong to glean as many insights and as much wisdom as possible. In a world where we learn from experience, the only other thing that comes close is learning from the experiences of others, so I basically had just one overarching question: What makes a safe cargo pilot? His answers were illuminating and applicable to all pilots.


Background: Stan Delong’s cargo pilot career started in 1967 in a 1965 Alon A2 Aircoupe with a 90-hp Continental engine. He flew loudspeaker components from Cassville, Wisconsin, across the Mississippi River to Dubuque, Iowa, where they would be loaded onto an Ozark Airlines aircraft for shipment to their destinations. It was only a 20-mile flight, but that beat the convoluted drive required to get the products across the river. Later he flew mail in a Cherokee Six from Dubuque, Iowa, and LaCrosse, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was in the period when cargo operators were just beginning to require instrument ratings, but DeLong was ready with an IFR ticket. The habit of staying a rating or two ahead of increasing requirements remained with him the rest of his career. It’s also a useful tip the rest of us should ponder.


Through the 1980s and 1990s, he worked for Ameriflight managing fleets of Beech 99s, Beech 1900s, Fairchild Metroliners and Piper Navajo Chieftains. He had many roles—training pilot, assistant chief pilot, division chief pilot and division manager for the Salt Lake City office—fulfilling major cargo carrier and unscheduled ad hoc deliveries, and ensuring checks, packages and boxes made it to their destinations on time. DeLong’s cargo résumé includes many long routes, like the one from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Great Falls, Montana, but also featured unique, pop-up deliveries. Like getting up in the pre-dawn hours to ensure a helicopter transmission made it to a mining site in Telluride, Colorado, and ensuring a critical insulation blanket was dispatched from Hill AFB to Vandenberg AFB, where it could allow a launch to take place.


External SA: This Fairchild Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III operated by Ameriflight was captured on a ramp at the company’s Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport headquarters. The Metro III fleet operated by Amerflight has a maximum payload of 4,900 lbs. and a 628-cubic foot cargo capacity. It cruises at 275 knots. There is an old joke that the winds aloft forecast is the only weather a cargo pilot looks at to calculate fuel because it doesn’t matter what the other weather is, you’re still going. This isn’t true, of course, although winds aloft are particularly critical because the main commodity of the cargo business is time and delivery. Packages are usually on a plane instead of a truck for a reason. That reason underpins the entire air cargo business. DeLong believes the safest pilots work hard at understanding developing weather. “When weather is down, you need to know where, why and what you’re going to do about it,” said DeLong, who then joked semi-seriously that when the weather is too bad for IFR, you may still have a safe VFR option. Like any pilot, cargo pilots need to have a solid understanding of developing weather. But, DeLong said, “More than being a good stick, a safe cargo pilot is one who really knows what is going on in the 3D spherical envelope that surrounds the plane.“ Where is the icing layer 100 miles ahead? And what conditions are pilots ahead reporting? It might be safer to find a spot between layers, but that means listening to and processing what you are hearing on frequency and turning it into a picture in your head,” said DeLong. “A good cargo pilot is constantly updating a picture of what is happening along the route and what options that creates.”


“A good cargo pilot has to know how to calculate the ways to optimize the route to get the destination on time. And a good cargo pilot also has a backup plan when the destination is a no-go.” But then what? DeLong offered another scenario: “It may be that drivers can meet and unload the aircraft at an intermediate airport, but after the plane is unloaded, does the airport have an IFR departure? Ground deicing equipment if it is snowing? You can choose an alternate airport, but you don’t want to get your aircraft high-centered at an airport you could get into, but then can’t depart.” Every pilot should always have a set of options to stay out of, or deal with, deteriorating conditions. You should know how to calculate the ways to optimize the route to get to the destination safely, even if it isn’t on time, but you also need to be thinking about the next leg and getting the airplane back to base. The plane is important, safety is important and taking care of both requires significant forward thinking.


Internal SA: Cargo pilots are not just paid for takeoffs and landings; they are also paid to monitor the machine that keeps them aloft and alive. Is everything in the green? How is the fuel burn? What will be the next ATC frequency? On long routes, it’s tempting to take it easy when very little else is happening. Referring to stories about pilots known to have taken catnaps on long legs—not entirely a fairy tale—DeLong said, hopefully ironically, that kind of relaxed behavior doesn’t fit well in the cargo business. “It is important to always be aware of the airplane and its systems,” said DeLong. “The pilot whose head is always in the game will catch system failures early and can execute a plan and recover. The ones who have drifted off, or checked out of monitoring duty, run the risk of checking out permanently.”


When you fly thousands and thousands of hours, your number will come up for some kind of mechanical failure. The more you fly, the more opportunity you have to experience engines that stop working, vacuum pumps that fail, gear that doesn’t come down or a deicing system that isn’t keeping the airframe clear of ice. When you pay systematic attention, you may be able to troubleshoot or resolve bad things before they are critical. But when you don’t pay systematic attention, bad things get worse. Safe pilots, good pilots, will balance their attention to that 3D spherical envelope outside the plane with a solid understanding and awareness of what is going on with the plane and its systems.


Staying Ahead: Ameriflight’s Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain fleet has a maximum payload of 1750 lbs and a cargo capacity of 245 cubic feet. It’s roughly 100 knots slower than the Metro III. This one was spotted at the Visalia (Calif.) Municipal Airport. Photo: Andre Wadman

Over the decades of interviewing, training and checking out pilots, DeLong has developed a theory that all pilots have a speed where they can keep up and a speed where they get behind. DeLong said new pilots are usually 100- or 120-knot pilots, meaning they can keep up with aircraft as long as it is no faster than 120 knots. Flying cargo usually means you are flying swifter and more complex aircraft, from 160 knots for a typical Cessna Caravan, to 300 knots for a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner typically originating at a Class Bravo hub. The demands of flying complex cargo planes and the associated airspace starts sorting pilots into bins.”


There are some pilots that will never get beyond 250 knots. It isn’t personal, it isn’t even skill-based, it’s just a cognitive workload issue,” said Delong. In other words, not every pilot is capable of super-sonic flight or more complexity. The speed factor is how far ahead the pilot's mind can be in 10 minutes. As the saying goes: Never take an airplane anywhere your mind has not visited at least 10 minutes earlier. For a 120-knot pilot, that means visiting 20 miles earlier, 150 knots = 25 miles, 200 knots = 35 miles, and 250 knots = 45 miles. Since the speed limit below 10,000 feet MSL is 250 KIAS, everything above that becomes academic. DeLong told a story of how he trained someone in Côte d’Ivoire to be first officer in a Merlin, but then had to tell the owner to never advance the person to the left seat. “He was good enough for the right seat, but he was not a 250-knot pilot. He was a Mach none pilot.” Despite his advice, the Mach none pilot was eventually promoted to the left seat of a 300-plus-knot aircraft, which he destroyed on a rubber plantation during a hard landing, most likely because he deployed beta thrust well above the runway prior to touchdown.


We all want to believe we are capable of flying any aircraft that we are checked out in, but it is equally important to be brutally honest with ourselves and stay safely below the point at which we feel overwhelmed and out of bandwidth. This cargo season, DeLong determined that it was safer for me to stay in a Caravan, a plane I already had 500 hours in. He decided I wasn’t ready for the Navajo Chieftain, a faster twin-engine plane. Can I handle a Chieftain? Probably, but in foul weather, Class Bravo, and less than 20 hours in the airframe, he thought it was smart to wait another year. I gladly deferred to his experience and wisdom.


Checking Your Ego: When asked about the biggest dangers, DeLong turned the conversation to the pilots themselves, because the job is ripe for competition. A cargo pilot’s mission—to deliver on time and with the lowest failure rate achievable—is a pressure situation. It comes with permission to be creative, but not to be stupid. A creative pilot is one who might still be able to get to a destination by filing to an alternate airport, shooting the approach to get beneath a layer and access better winds aloft, then flying VFR to the destination. Creative does not mean breaking laws or taking unnecessary chances to hit delivery goals. DeLong said the most dangerous cargo pilot is one who is macho and competitive, someone who turns the pilot lounge into a competitive arena. “Competitiveness in a flight department is toxic. Competitive egos can create a cancer that can quickly spread and ruin the safety culture of a flight department.” His talk about ego made me ponder not flying the Chieftain. Ego tells me to push and strive. Ego wanted me to give the Chieftain a try, which literally meant finishing my check flight and heading into the winter peak cargo season in a plane I was still getting to know. My experience said to listen to those with experience and take slow steps rather than leaping into the fire.


Exercising Good Judgement While Retaining PIC Authority: There is a perception that cargo companies have a “Push the pilots out the door” culture, no matter the conditions. It has an element of truth. The pilot is always aware that while he or she is waiting for weather or dispatch, there are folks in trucks at the other end who don’t know exactly what’s going on, much less whether they should keep waiting. One delay may not cause any problems, or it can cascade into multiple delays along the cargo delivery stream, with the inevitable minor or major logistical logjams to solve, and possibly disappointment when a package isn’t delivered on time. While the pilot’s go or no-go decision is critical for the folks downstream, the final authority rests with the pilot in command who owns the risk. It is smart to remember that questions like, “Are you sure you can’t make it here before noon?” are not intended to pressure the pilot into taking unnecessary chances to arrive prior to noon.


Noon is likely a logistical breakpoint, a time when the delivery options have to change. For cargo pilots, or any pilot for that matter, it doesn’t matter if the cargo absolutely, positively has to be there overnight—weather issues are given a pass by the customer, and you will not be punished (at least by a good employer) for making a weather call. On the other hand, there is not a lot of forgiveness for showing up to the airport late, getting the wrong fuel load or failing to be prepared for the flight you are about to take. And there is possibly no forgiveness for taking off when you should have stayed on the ground.


Time is Money, but Safety Buys Time:The commodity cargo pilots sell is time and delivery. Compared to commercial pilots who haul passengers, a smart cargo pilot has more latitude for shaving off minutes and seconds without impacting safety. The boxes won’t complain if a turn is a bit steep or if the descent rate in a non-pressurized aircraft is uncomfortable. This is not permission to shortcut procedures but creates opportunities to be more efficient. A cargo pilot will be thanked for efficient departures, flight paths that take full advantage of winds aloft and minimal time-wasting on the ground. “Get-there-it is built into the cargo dog’s life. Your employer makes a living off pilots who don’t just get there, but get there on time,” said DeLong. “The key is balancing pressure with good judgment. We all know good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” That may be an old cliché, but DeLong has survived 50 years of cargo dog experience. His insights, gathered over a lifetime, apply to all pilots since they face the same risks—cargo pilots simply have more exposure due to the amount of flying they do.

See more: 

Ryanair Announces
A New Bag Policy
by Ryan Air (World Airline News)

Ryanair has announced plans to cut check bag fees by introducing a lower cost check bag service and reduce the volume of free second gate bags which has been causing flight delays, from November 1, 2018 as follows: Priority Boarding customers (currently 30%) can continue to bring 2 free carry-on bags. Non-priority customers can only bring 1 free (small) carry-on bag from 1 Nov.  If non-priority customers want to bring a 2nd bigger (wheelie) bag they can buy a lower cost check bag at time of booking. This 10kg (22 lbs.) wheelie bag must be checked in at the airport bag drop desk.

– All customers with checked bags can now switch from the €/£25 x20kg bag to the cheaper €/£8 x10kg checked bag. The new policy will go live at boarding gates on/after 1 November 2018 and for all bookings made on/after 1 September 2018. 60% of Ryanair customers will be unaffected by this bag policy change, since 30% of customers already buy Priority Boarding and 30% already travel with only 1 free (small) carry-on bag. Ryanair expects that of the remaining 40% of (non-priority) customers affected by this new policy, most will either switch to priority boarding or will switch to traveling with 1 free (small) carry-on bag only, and others will buy the lower cost 10kg check bag.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: “From November 2018, we are introducing a new lower cost 10kg checked bag and changing our carry-on bag policy to eliminate boarding/flight delays. Priority Boarding customers will continue to enjoy two free carry-on bags. All other (non-priority) customers will be allowed one free (small) carry-on bag, and those who wish to check in a second bigger 10kg bag can do from €/£8 at the time of booking.  This new policy will speed up the boarding and cut flight delays. 60% of customers will be unaffected by these changes and we expect that the other 40% will either choose to buy Priority Boarding or a 10kg check bag or will choose to travel with only one (free) small bag as 30% already do so today.”

Hours After Domestic Violence Arrest, Husband Crashes Stolen Plane Into His Own Home Where Wife Was Staying

By Alex Stone & Joyeeta Biswas Aug 13, 2018,

Photo KTVX Watch: Pilot dies after plane crashes into Utah home with couple inside.


Just hours after being arrested and released on bail for allegedly assaulting his wife, a Utah man stole a plane and crashed it into his own home where his wife was staying, police said. The man, 47-year-old Duane Youd, did not survive the crash Monday, officials stated. Flames engulfed the house in the city of Payson after the crash and ensuing fire at 2:30 a.m. Youd's wife as well as a boy were inside the house at the time of the crash. They were lucky they escaped and the plane did not hit other buildings or any power lines, police said.

Youd's biological children were not in the home at the time of the crash. Before stealing the plane, Youd called his biological children who were staying in the home where he later crashed and told them to "go stay at their mother's house" that night, which they did, police said.The scene of a plane crash is blocked off as Federal Aviation Administration officials investigate the area in Payson, Utah. Youd was an experienced pilot who had access to the twin engine Cessna 525 jet because he flew for the company that owned it, authorities said. He was the only one in the aircraft when it crashed and killed him.

Video taken by a neighbor showed flames coming out of the house and people watching from a distance. The neighbor said his mother heard the plane pass by twice before hearing the crash. In another video taken after the crash, the engines of the jet can be heard continuing to whine and actually seemed to be revving up, even as the house goes up in flames.The crash was the third incident with Youd that required authorities within a 12-hour period.  At 7:30 p.m., the night before, Youd had been arrested for assaulting his wife and was released on bail, police said.

In this frame from video, emergency personnel work at the scene of a small plane that crashed into a house in Payson, Utah. Hours later, at 12:30 a.m., Youd called and asked a patrol officer be present at his house to "keep the peace" as he picked up belongings and his truck, officials said. There was no argument during this incident. The plane crash took place just two hours later. Police said Youd had also been arrested for domestic violence at the house in a previous incident within the past year. Federal Aviation Administration officials investigate the scene of a plane crash in Payson, Utah, Aug. 13, 2018. The National Transportation Safety Board will be at the scene later today to investigate, officials said.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) Damaged in Rome

By  Daniel Sander

MIAMI — A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) was damaged yesterday at Rome–Fiumicino Airport as it pushed back for its flight back to Hong Kong. The aircraft’s right wing hit one of the airport’s floodlight poles, causing severe damage to the raked wingtip. The aircraft involved is B-KPY, a 6-year-old Triple Seven, which was delivered to the airline back in January 2012. Photos show parts of the aircraft’s wing on the ground. Rome Aviation Spotters managed to capture the incident, showing the rear section of the raked wingtip partially wrapping the airport’s pole.

The airline confirmed that the aircraft “was involved in a towing incident in which one of its wingtips struck a standing pole.” “The incident occurred when the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was being towed by a truck operated by a local ground handling agent at the airport,” a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman stated. This is one of Cathay Pacific’s re-configured 777s, which has been fitted with more seats in Economy Class. The airline has adopted the industry-wide 10-abreast seating configuration, fitting 368 passengers in Economy Class.

Cathay Pacific announced in February this year that it would increase its Hong Kong – Rome service to a daily flight on its higher-capacity 777-300(ER)s during the summer season. For the winter season, however, the schedule drops to four-times per week with the airline’s new Airbus A350-900.

Xiamen Air Boeing 737-800 Skids Off Runway in Manila

By August 16 by Airways

MIAMI — A Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-800 has skidded off the runway at Manila-Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines. The aircraft’s left engine was detached from the wing following the troubled landing. Local news report that a strong thunderstorm passed through the airport at the time of the incident. The Philippines has experienced terrible floodings over the last week. tells that Flight MF8667 had descended to 18,000ft towards Manila, then entering a holding pattern to the north-east of the airport for about 14 minutes before positioning for an approach to Runway 24.

“The approach was aborted at 23:40 and the aircraft position for another approach,” the report says. “The aircraft touched down at 23:55 but went off the runway. At the time of the accident, a thunderstorm was passing the airport.” A Weibo user uploaded a video showing the moment when the aircraft vacated the runway at high speed. Following the incident, Manila Tower’s controller called numerous times ‘Xiamen Air 8667,’ getting no responses from the troubled aircraft. The controller then asked the following traffic to go-around. With no fatalities reported, the aircraft is resting at the end of Runway 24. Preliminary reports list a few passengers with injuries.

Alitalia’s Future Still Up In The Air By Jon Champs

It’s been over a year since Alitalia’s bankruptcy and nothing’s been done to sell off the airline. Italy is in a precarious political situation with a right wing left wing coalition that looks as if it’s unlikely to survive 12 months.  With Lufthansa, easyJet, Cerberus Capital and Wizz Air all after all or parts of Alitalia, on August 3rd the new Transport Minister Danilo Tonenelli, decided none of the tabled offers were suitable. The bizarre politics of a left-right coalition has set a series of very different priorities but both agree that 51% of the Airline remains government owned – but not government run.

Quite how this will resolve itself for the airline, which is carrying on as though nothing has happened, leaves them in a vacuum. In fact it’s business figures are markedly improved and it’s going through what industrial psychology has suggested is “Chapter 11 syndrome”. This is where employers and employees suddenly subconsciously respond to a challenged situation, that may make or break them. They tend to pull together and work better. Sadly the syndrome dissipates quickly once companies come out of Chapter 11 and relax without the goal to escape it. So, for those interested in buying the airline – they have as much of an idea as to what happens next, as you or I do. Italy is now on vacation for a month – nothing new is likely to emerge before October.

Carry-On Bag Catches Fire At The Savannah Airport.

Here’s What Happened

By Lisa Wilson

Carry On Bag Smoked Savannah Airport TSA Carried Out.pngWhen a carry-on bag started smoking last month at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, quick action by a Transportation Security Administration officer kept passengers and screening equipment safe, a news release said. Mark Howell, regional spokesman for the TSA, said on Thursday that a passenger at the security checkpoint July 20 called attention to the smoking bag. The carry-on bag had been scanned and was waiting to be searched at the security checkpoint, he said. Darrell Wade, a lead TSA officer, grabbed the bag and got it safely outside the terminal, according to the news release from the TSA.


Photo (TSA lead officer Darrell Wade (right side of Photo) reacted quickly when a bag started smoking at the security checkpoint at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport on July 20, 2018. The item causing the smoke turned out to be an e-cigarette. By Transportation Security Administration


Law enforcement officers were called and determined the bag contained a malfunctioning vape battery, the news release said.“The battery caught fire, and the bag started smoking real quick,” Howell said, explaining that the heat melted a hole in the bottom of the bag. The news release said that the checkpoint was able to remain open, and no one was injured. Battery-powered e-cigarettes, vape pens and other such devices are allowed in carry-on bags but not checked luggage, the news release reminded flyers. The devices should be taken out of bags that are checked at the gate.

Should airline reimburse couple who waited for lost luggage? By Sean P. Murphy

The Ferrises wound up losing two days of their vacation while holed up in a hotel at the airport, constantly checking online for updates on their luggage. Once they got their bag back, they quickly hit the road, but there was no way to recoup the days they lost. The Ferrises did, however, want to be reimbursed for the cost of the hotel they stayed in and other expenses they considered direct consequences of the missing bag. Neil Ferris tallied the cost at about $1,500, including new and missed hotel reservations, the price of their missed connecting flight, and the car rental they needed to get on with their trip. But Norwegian offered a paltry $54. “Basically, Norwegian said, ‘Sorry, we don’t owe you anything,’ ” said Neil Ferris. “I thought, ‘You got to be kidding. That’s outrageous.’ ”

Question: Is Norwegian responsible for paying the expenses the Ferrises incurred while they waited for the luggage? I’ve looked at Norwegian’s contract with its passengers, the international rules on delayed baggage, and the e-mail exchange between Ferris and Norwegian over who bears the cost. About half of the Ferrises’ claim is for two nights at a Sheraton hotel at the airport. That’s a lot of money. I think I would have insisted on something in writing from Norwegian before checking in, but the Ferrises did not do so. Still, I think the airline owes something more than an apology and nominal amount to the couple. It comes down to reasonable conduct, and I think the Ferrises understandably worried about the difficulty of getting the missing piece of luggage to them once they left Charles de Gaulle airport. It would have been different if the Ferrises had been planning to stay in Paris. When my wife and I traveled to Barcelona two years ago, our luggage was lost. But we were staying in the heart of the city. And early the next morning, a cheerful driver delivered the goods. No harm, no foul. (My wife had wisely stashed spare toothbrushes and other essentials in our carry-on bags.) But Paris was never on the Ferrises’ itinerary. They were heading to the countryside and planned to keep moving from one place to another every couple of days. Could the Ferrises really count on Norwegian to hit a moving target by dispatching a driver over rural roads?

Sure, Norwegian says. “It would take some time, of course, but we have contracts with a number of delivery firms for this and do this on a regular basis,” said Anders Lindstrom, a Norwegian spokesman. Lindstrom also said the airline could find no employee at the airport who acknowledged telling the Ferrises to wait at the airport for bags. “Norwegian’s ground handler would/should not ask a customer to stay at the airport,” he said. The airline’s policy, he said, is to encourage travelers to move forward with their travel plans even without their luggage.

© Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff Neil and Maureen Ferris sought to be reimbursed about $1,500 by Norwegian Air. They were offered $54. “I really expected them to reimburse me,” Neil Ferris said. “It feels like a case of mistreatment.” Disputes like this are one reason travelers should document everything. Of course, when you are in the moment, the stress can cloud your usual impulse to write it down. The Ferrises’ failure to keep records is understandable: The couple at first thought they faced only a short-term delay, only to have the crisis drag on for two days. Neil Ferris, 72, is a retired high tech business executive who has traveled extensively. He said he loves Norwegian, which has made a name for itself by offering low prices, and praises the airline for taking good care of him after a flight got canceled at the last minute recently in Ireland. But Ferris said he wants to get the word out to other travelers to be wary in such circumstances.

“I really expected them to reimburse me,” he said. “It feels like a case of mistreatment.” The Ferrises wound up having a grand time, but a mishap at the beginning of a vacation can color the entire experience, Ferris said. Instead of basking in the sun in Saint-Emilion, a tiny wine-making town that was to be their first stop, they were stuck at the airport. Ferris compiled his expenses and submitted them to Norwegian, including $850 for the hotel, $175 for the flight to Bordeaux they missed, and $120 for the hotel in Bordeaux that they skipped.The airline’s response: “Norwegian apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the delay in your bag.” (The “any” in this sentence bothers me; better to say “We apologize for the inconvenience caused . . .” There was inconvenience; own it.) 

Norwegian said it would give the couple $54 — the maximum allowable reimbursement of $47 for toiletries, plus $7 for two T-shirts Neil Ferris purchased. “To ensure all passengers are treated equally, all airlines follow common rules when handling delayed baggage claims,” the airline wrote. “Our liability is limited in line with these international regulations.” That suggests that all airlines are severely limited in how much they can reimburse passengers, right? Not so. The international agreement among airlines imposes a limitation of about $1,600. It says airlines are liable for expenses incurred due to delayed baggage. It does, however, say airlines aren’t liable when they can prove they “took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid” losing baggage and causing delay. Well, c’mon. Norwegian failed to get Neil Ferris’s suitcase on the plane with him. The airline failed at one of its core functions. There’s nothing reasonable about that. Norwegian, make a better offer than $54.

American Airlines Flight From Reagan National Airport Delayed - By 635 Kg Of Paperwork

By Lori Aratani, Washington Post

Washington: There are days when paperwork weighs you down - and there are days when you are weighed down by so much paperwork your flight can't take off. Monday was such a day, when American Airlines Flight 163 bound for Los Angeles found itself literally grounded by 635 kg of what the pilot termed "government documents." The excess weight had to be unloaded before the flight could take off from Reagan National Airport in suburban Arlington, Virginia. It seemed fitting for Washington, a town where documents - shredded or not - figure prominently in the daily narrative. Robert Hernandez, an associate professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California, couldn't help but chuckle when he heard the announcement."Sooooo... my flight is delayed because it has too much weight. The pilot announced that they are now going to unload 1,400 lbs of FEDERAL PAPERWORK. wut" - Robert Hernandez @webjournalist 6 Aug "I don't know if the pilot was kidding or not, but we were overweight," he said.

Hernandez, in town for an academic journalism conference, joked that perhaps it had something to do with the Robert Mueller investigation, which has amassed more than a million pages of documents since it began last year, according to some reports. Matt Miller, an American Airlines spokesman, confirmed that a flight was delayed about 30 minutes and that the airline removed 635 kg of cargo. As to whether all that weight was federal paperwork, he's not certain. The captain's comment, he said, may have been in jest. American Airlines has a contract with the US Postal Service to transport mail, he said, so some of that weight could have been overstuffed flat rate boxes and birthday cards bound for the West Coast. Miller said the cause was a weather-related weight restriction - there were storms followed by intense heat on Monday - and that meant the crew had to lighten up the plane. As was shown during last year's heat wave in Arizona, when American was forced to cancel dozens of flights in and out of Phoenix, air is less dense when it's hot, which can affect an aircraft's ability to get off the ground. Other than the paperwork problem, Hernandez said, the flight was uneventful, but the memory still makes him laugh.

Washington Post

U.S. Airlines Hired Over 4,000 Pilots This Year. Here's Why They'll Be Hiring Even More Written

By Conor Shine,

Aviation Writer, Dallas News

After a decade of instability and bankruptcies that saw hiring slow to a crawl, U.S. airlines have been adding pilots at a breakneck pace over the last three years amid rising revenues and renewed growth ambitions. Major U.S. commercial and cargo airlines have hired more than 3,000 pilots in each of the last three years and have hired 4,353 more through October of this year, surpassing the total hires in 2016. Regional airlines are raising entry-level pay and adding bonuses in hopes of attracting more new pilots to fend off a looming pilot shortage. Add in continued waves of departures as more aviators hit the federally mandated retirement age of 65, and arguably there's never been a better time to become a pilot.“Right now, the demand is so strong, when you qualify, you’re going to get multiple job offers,” said Louis Smith, a retired Northwest Airlines pilot and president of career-counseling company Future & Active Pilot Advisors. “It’s a sellers market.”

Smith’s group is hosting a free pilot career forum at DFW Airport Saturday to introduce potential pilots to the profession and the steps it takes to make it into the cockpit. It’s a career Smith said that can yield $10 million dollars in lifetime earnings and benefits at a major airline, with a job description that's unlike any other. But getting there means investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, thousands of hours of training and years working up the airline food chain. “We always tell future pilots to avoid becoming a pilot if it’s specifically for the money or if you want to work a 9 to 5 job,” Smith said. “Airlines never close. The time away from home can be very stressful on families. You get sick of those little bars of soap. You need a passion for flying to enjoy the cockpit profession.” Southwest Airlines captain Kyle McDaniel arrives for work at Dallas Love Field, Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

Taking off

For aspiring pilots who aren’t in the military — the faster growing segment of the workforce — there are a number of paths to an airline job. But they all center around one goal: building towards the minimum number of flight hours, typically 1,500, needed to start at a regional airline. That journey usually starts at a flight school or four-year university that offers aviation-related degrees, Smith said. Training and education costs regularly stretch into the six figures, he said, with a range that can go from $50,000 to upwards of $200,000, depending on the length and type of program

Latest MH370

Report Remains Inconclusive

By Mary Grady

Despite an all international effort to discover why the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 crashed in March 2014, the accident investiga-tion team has concluded in a report released Monday that it was “unable to determine the real cause for the disappearance.” The team said they were hampered by the lack of evidence, since the airplane has never been found. About two dozen pieces of wreckage have washed ashore in southeast Africa, but only three have been confirmed as part of the lost B777. The report concludes, “Without the benefit of the examination of the aircraft wreckage and recorded flight data information, the investigation was unable to identify any plausible aircraft or systems failure mode that would lead to the observed systems deactivation, diversion from the filed flight plan route and the subsequent flight path taken by the aircraft.”


The report also declines to suggest the crew was to blame, noting there was “no evidence” that either the pilot-in-command or the first officer had “experienced recent changes or difficulties in personal relationships or that there were any conflicts or problems between them.” Communications with ATC prior to the disappearance were routine, and no evidence of anxiety or stress was detected. “There had been no financial stress or impending insolvency, recent or additional insurance coverage purchased or recent behavioral changes for the crew,” according to the report. The leader of the investigation, Kok Soo Chon, said at a news conference, “We are not of the opinion that it could be an event committed by the pilot.” Kok also said the report is not considered final, since it was not possible to examine the wreckage or flight recorders.

Re-enactments of the final flight, undertaken in a simulator using the available flight data, established that the aircraft’s turn off course was “likely made while the aircraft was under manual control and not the autopilot.” It could not be established whether the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilots. The report noted that air traffic controllers who were monitoring the flight didn’t follow procedures and failed to watch radar displays as required. They also delayed activating emergency processes, which delayed the start of search-and-rescue operations.

The investigative team included experts from the U.S., China and Australia. Kok said the report is not considered final, since it was not possible to examine the wreckage or flight recorders. Malaysia’s transport minister, Anthony Loke Siew Fook, said the government would review the safety recommendations in the report and take steps to prevent similar future air accidents, according to The Wall Street Journal. The government will also conduct a “thorough investigation” and punish those found guilty of any misconduct, he said.

American, Southwest and United pilots agree: No one-pilot cockpits By Yahoo News

Tens of thousands of pilots for United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines and nearly 50 other commercial airlines raised their collective voices today and said “no way” to a bill now before the U.S. Congress with a provision in it authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration to launch a research and development program for single pilot all-cargo flights.


The operative phrase there is “single pilot,” an operating option that has sent a collective chill down the spines of commercial airline pilots who fear that if cargo flights are allowed to operate with just one pilot in the cockpit, commercial passenger flights could be next. The bill before Congress states that remote-piloting or computer-piloting technology would be used in conjunction with the single pilot in the cockpit manning the plane.But pilots say such an approach to flying a commercial aircraft doesn’t take into account everything that happens in a cockpit, including interacting with air traffic control, communicating with dispatch, checking weather conditions, visually scanning for other aircraft, and monitoring engines and fuel, among other responsibilities.


 What’s worse, during non-routine situations (think engine explosion, for instance), the workload in the cockpit can very suddenly increase exponentially. That is why pilots are sending a message to Congress that a cockpit needs to be manned with two well-trained, fully qualified pilots, not just one. Noted Dan Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association the represents more than 15,000 pilots who work for American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL), the world’s largest airline: “Given the threat posed by computer hacking and accident rates for autonomous vehicles and military and civilian drones, it’s astonishing that policymakers would even consider this notion.” Added Pedro Leroux, president of NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots that represent 2,700-plus pilots who fly for NetJets Aviation: “The two-person flight deck model exists not for the sake of redundancy, but to promote safety through shared decision-making and communication-.”

Finally, firebrand Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, underscored the most important concern about flying a commercial aircraft with just one pilot in the cockpit:  “Air travel has never been safer. In fact, 2017 was the safest year in aviation history. Yet, the U.S. Congress is attempting to pass legislation that would allow operators to eliminate one of the most vital safety features of commercial aviation — two pilots in the cockpit.”

Hard Landing Creases 767 Fuselage By Russ Niles 

It is likely the flying days of an Atlas Air Boeing 767 are over after “hard landing” at Portsmouth Airport in New Hampshire on Friday. The old airliner, filled with troops returning home, hit the ground hard enough for the fuselage to buckle and leave a crease in the skin. There were also reports that the collision with earth ripped fixtures from the ceiling inside the cabin. There were no reported injuries among the troops.

The number of passengers aboard wasn’t immediately released but the aircraft, a 300 model, can carry up to 351 people in all economy configuration and the troop flights normally fly full. As of Sunday, accident websites were reporting the aircraft was still on the ground in Portsmouth. The sites are reporting that an inspection revealed serious damage to the aircraft.

Aeroméxico Crash Investigation Recovers Flight Recorders

By AirwiseNews

Investigators from Mexico’s civil aviation authority have recovered the flight recorders from the Aeroméxico aircraft that crashed on takeoff from Durango airport on Tuesday. Flight AM2431 was on a domestic flight to Mexico City when it came down shortly after takeoff in Durango in what has been reported as poor weather. All 103 passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft, with most sustaining only minor injuries. Mexico’s Secretary of Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said in a tweet that of the injured, only four people remain in a serious but stable condition. Aeroméxico said there were 88 adult passengers, nine minors, two infants, two pilots and two flight attendants on the flight to Mexico City. Many of the passengers are US citizens, with American consular officials in Mexico providing assistance.

The airline said a dedicated team in Durango continues to provide help to passengers and their families. Aeroméxico chief executive Andrés Conesa said the company has allocated all available resources to dealing with the accident. “Our priority is attending to passengers and their families. We’ve aligned all our efforts to taking care of their needs the best we can at this time.” The airline said the actions taken by the crew during the evacuation of the aircraft were critical in avoiding loss of life.  “We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to all who responded to the accident and have provided care to those affected, their professionalism and support have helped immeasurably.” Mexico’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) is leading the investigation with help from Brazil and the United States. The Embraer E190 was made in Brazil and its engines supplied by General Electric of the US.

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