Guest-Travel Passes From Airline Employees Must Be Used Responsibly

By Savvy

(Sent  By Our Member, Manny Comanche)

We’ve come across a very unfortunate situation in which a woman traveling non-rev from Jamaica through Miami to New York (on an American employee’s passes) was kicked off of her connecting flight due to her inappropriate attire and after you see her videos, you’ll agree that her behavior most likely played a part in her removal. This guest-traveler then posted an obscenity-filled, nearly 30-minute long video on Facebook.

We’re not worried about her as much as we are concerned for her cousin who shared the buddy passes with her. Should a guest-traveler misbehave or cause a disruption, the airline employee may be the one that suffers in the end. UPDATE: American employees have told us that the Philadelphia based American Airlines employee who provided the passes as been fired.

Jetiquette Tips for those using an employee’s guest travel benefits:

1. Dress appropriately, as if the job of the employee whose passes you are using depends on it.

2. If there are issues, don’t make a scene. Politely ask what you can do to remedy the situation and do it.

Nardia Bennett, who is traveling with her daughter, is wearing jeans which are torn extensively and do not comply with the employee travel dress code policy, “didn’t take it lightly” (her own words) when agents informed her she could not fly. In the video (at 14:12), Ms. Bennett confronts a supervisor who also informs her that her inappropriate conduct has also played a role in her being denied boarding.

The Really Bad Part

That’s not even the worst news. What Ms. Bennett neglected to consider was how her cousin, who according to her is the American Airlines employee who provided the passes, will likely be reprimanded and have their pass privileges suspended. After you watch this video, you’ll wonder how the employee will even avoid being fired. What’s even worse is that Ms. Bennett’s behavior puts buddy pass privileges at all airlines in jeopardy since management refers to instances such as these as a reason to drastically alter policy.

Video 1: Ms. Bennett has a meltdown after being denied boarding
Warning: Strong Language from buddy pass rider.

Video 2: American agent offers Ms. Bennett and her daughter snacks. Her comments are interesting.

Video 3: The saga continues when she arrives at the gate of her morning flight (in the same outfit). By now, the videos have been swirling on the interwebs for hours.

Video 4: American Airlines management personnel at Miami International Airport caught up with her.

Video 5: The Miami-Dade Police eventually showed up to escort Ms. Bennett out of the America. Go to this hyperlink to see videos.

Iraqi Airways Pilots Suspended After Fight Breaks Out In Cockpit At 37,000 Feet By Alexandra Deabler | Fox News

Photo: The flight was heading from Mashhad, Iran, to Baghdad, Iraq, when the 2 pilots allegedly got into a heated argument over a food tray.  (iStock)


Two Iraqi Airways pilots have been suspended after an argument turned physical in the cockpit at 37,000 feet in the air, The Independent reported. The Wednesday flight was heading from Mashhad, Iran, to Baghdad, Iraq, carrying 157 passenger when the two pilots allegedly got into a heated argument over a food tray, the publication reported. In a letter to Iraqi Airways management, reported by The Independent, the co-pilot said, “Conversation with the pilot became heated because he forbade an air hostess from bringing me a meal tray, under the pretext that I hadn’t asked him for authorization.”


According to the letter, the pilot “hit and insulted [the co-pilot], prompting the arrival of a security agent,” who came to break up the fight. Once the plane landed, the two continued to argue and “the pilot again hit and insulted” the co-pilot, the letter claims.The co-pilot said he also hit the pilot, claiming he “had to defend [him]self.” The plane safely landed in Baghdad and none of the passengers reported injury. Iraqi Airways confirmed to The Independent last week that both men are being investigated by the airline and face a possible lifetime flying ban if found guilty. “The transport ministry has opened an investigation with the two pilots who argued with each other in-flight,” the airline said in a statement.

Aviation Restoration Series Gets Release Date
By Kate O'Connor

Hemlock Films announced at AirVenture 2018 that the premier season of its documentary series of The Restorers is scheduled to be released for the first time on Veterans Day 2018. The series was inspired by Hemlock’s 2003 documentary titled The Restorers: Giving History a Future..., which won an Emmy Award in 2004. Like its predecessor, The Restorers – Season 1 examines historic aircraft restorations. It consists of five one-hour episodes, each focused on a specific restoration-related theme. Themes include aircraft recovery, women aviators in history and restoration, and the Doolittle Raiders.

The Restorers – Season 1 will be available to stream through Amazon’s video-on-demand services on Nov. 11, 2018 and will be released on PBS in 2019. Hemlock Films has previously produced two other award-winning historic aviation documentaries. Beyond The Powder follows the 2014 Air Race Classic and the original 1929 Powder Puff Derby and Red Tail Reborn explores the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. The company is also working on a film about World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots for the Commemorative Air Force, titled CAF Rise Above: WASP.


NTSB Reports On Florida Midair

By Mary Grady Updated Article 07-30-18


In its ongoing investigation into a midair collision that killed four people in Florida on July 17, the NTSB has reported that the two airplanes “converged nearly straight on.” The Piper PA-34-200 Seneca twin and Cessna 172N both were owned by the Dean International flight school, based at Miami Executive Airport (TMB). A private pilot was flying the twin, with a designated pilot examiner on board, and a student pilot and flight instructor were aboard the Skyhawk. Citing preliminary information from the FAA, the NTSB reported the Piper was en route to a nearby training area at an altitude about 1,500 feet MSL, flying northwest, and no longer communicating with the TMB tower, as it was outside the Class D airspace. The Cessna was returning from the training area at an altitude about 1,500 feet MSL, flying southeast, and had contacted the TMB tower just prior to the collision. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, the NTSB said, with visibility recorded as 10 statute miles. FAA and NTSB records show this was the third fatal crash for the flight school since 2013. Last week, the school’s owner, Robert Dean, said he would be closing down the school. About 200 students were enrolled there, most of them from Saudi Arabia, India and Latin America. The school has been in operation since 1995.

NTSB: Planes Crashed ‘Nearly Straight On’ Over Everglades, Killing 4
By   MIAMI (CBSMiami)

The Cessna was returning from the training area at an altitude about 1,500 feet msl and had contacted the TMB tower just prior to collision. The controller acknowledged the transmission and issued a traffic advisory, but no further communications were received from the Cessna,” according to the NTSB preliminary report.


The report also states, “During the wreckage examinations, red and blue paint transfer was found on a top inboard section of Cessna right wing. Cessna tire marks were found on the Piper right wingtip and the left main landing gear tire of the Cessna was not recovered. Additionally, the right upper strut attach fitting from the Cessna was found in the Piper tailcone. The Cessna left front wing spar carry-through fitting (near left wing root) was found in the outboard right wing of the Piper. In addition, a section of Cessna right wing spar fragment was found in the Piper vertical stabilizer.” Those killed in the crash were 19-year-old Nisha Sejwall, 22-year-old Jorge Sanchez, and 72-year-old Ralph Knight, who were all pilots. Flight student Carlo Zanetti Scarpati, 22, also died in the crash. Both planes were registered to Dean International, Inc., a flight school, which operated out of Miami Executive Airport. The operator of Dean International has since said the school is shutting down.



FAA Seeks Controller Applicants

By AVweb

The FAA will accept applications nationwide from people interested in becoming air traffic controllers, beginning this Friday, July 27, the agency announced this week.  Applications will be accepted until next Tuesday, July 31, or until a sufficient applicant pool has been reached to meet the needs of the FAA, whichever comes first. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, speak English clearly and be no more than 30 years old (with limited exceptions). A combination of three years of education and/or work experience is required. Applicants also must pass a medical examination, security investigation and the FAA’s pre-employment tests. The median annual wage for air traffic control specialists was $127,805 in 2016, according to the FAA website.

 The salaries for entry-level ATC specialists increase as they complete each phase of training. Applicants must be willing to work anywhere in the U.S. Active-duty military members can apply, but they must provide documentation certifying they expect to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after the date the document is signed. Accepted applicants will be trained at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Initial selection does not guarantee placement into federal civilian service, the FAA notes at its website. Entry-level applicants must complete required training courses at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City and gain on-the-job experience before becoming certified professional controllers. Interested applicants should visit the FAA jobs website to start building their applications, or go to this site for more information about ATC careers. The FAA’s hiring practices in recent years have been met with some pushback, including a lawsuit claiming the practices are discriminatory.

Delta Expands Pilot Pipeline

By AVweb


With an expectation to hire 8,000 pilots over the next 10 years, Delta this week announced it has developed new career-path options to help ensure it has plenty of applicants for those jobs. “Delta conducted several years of research to create a pilot outreach and pathway program that will inspire and attract the next generations of high-quality talent,” said Steve Dickson, Delta’s vice president for flight operations. “We listened to feedback from students, parents, faculty, administrators and Delta employees to help overcome barriers for potential pilot candidates, such as career-path uncertainty and the CFI shortage.” The new Propel program will provide a defined, accelerated career path for future pilots, Dickson said. The program comprises a college path, a company path and a community outreach effort to identify and support aspiring pilots in kindergarten through high school.

The college path will partner with eight universities that offer aviation programs. Select candidates will be provided a “qualified job offer,” providing a defined career path, an accelerated timeline and a Delta pilot mentor. Candidates can choose from several paths, including flying for a Delta Connection carrier, a job-share flying for Delta Private Jets and instructing at an aviation college, or flying military aircraft in the Air National Guard or Reserves. The company path will provide current Delta employees with a career transition opportunity and support if they choose to pursue a pilot career. Both programs will begin to accept applications in August. For community outreach, the company plans to work with a variety of aviation organizations and reach out to students with scholarships, engagement and mentoring. Delta said it is still exploring options for helping prospective pilots to finance their training. More details can be found at Delta’s website.

JetBlue Orders 60 A220-300s

by James Field Airway News


LONDON — Following the launch of the Airbus A220, formally known as the CS100 and CS300 from Bombardier, JetBlue has placed an order for 60 A220-300 aircraft, with deliveries due to begin in 2020 respectively. On top of this order, JetBlue has also converted 25 of their A320neos in their order book to A321neos instead and have adjusted their delivery schedules for these aircraft. “We are evolving our fleet for the future of JetBlue, and the A220-300’s impressive range and economics offer us flexibility and support our key financial and operating priorities,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “As we approach our 20th anniversary, the A220, combined with our A321 and restyled A320 fleet, will help ensure we deliver the best onboard experience to customers and meet our long-term financial targets as we continue disciplined growth into the future.”


“JetBlue’s selection of the A220 aircraft as a complement to its growing A320 Family fleet is a tremendous endorsement – both of the A220 itself and of the way these two aircraft can work together to provide airline network flexibility and a great customer experience,” said Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus.“JetBlue will be able to leverage the unbeatable efficiency of both the A321neo and the A220-300, as well as taking advantage of the roomiest and most customer-pleasing cabins of any aircraft in their size categories,” Schulz added. “We’re honored by JetBlue’s confidence in selecting the A220-300 aircraft which adds to their existing order of the A320neo family of aircraft both powered by the Pratt & Whitney GTF engine,” said Chris Calio, president of commercial engines at Pratt & Whitney. “We’ve been powering JetBlue with our V2500® engines since they started operations in 2000. We now look forward to also supporting JetBlue across their two new fuel-efficient, next-generation aircraft platforms,” Calio continued.


JetBlue will be using the Pratt and Whitney PW1500G engines for the A220-300 which will provide up to 40% lower fuel burn per seat than the airline’s current Embraer E190 fleet. The A220-300 will be replacing the E190s as they are phased out over the next few years. JetBlue said that they used thorough analysis to make their decision regarding the purchase of the A220-300. The additional range and passenger capacity will add flexibility to the carrier and enable them to operate to destinations which were previously deemed to be unprofitable. “We expect the A220 to be an important long-term building block in our goal to deliver superior margins and create long-term shareholder value,” said Steve Priest, executive vice president and chief financial officer, JetBlue. “We are confident the A220 will perform well in every aspect, including network, cost, maintenance, or customer experience. Simply put – our crewmembers, customers, and owners are going to love this aircraft,” Priest concluded. While the E190 has played an important role in JetBlue’s network since 2005, the airline’s fleet review determined that the A220’s economics would allow the airline to lower costs in the coming years.


The A220 was designed by the previous manufacturer Bombardier to seat between 130 and 160 customers, enabling financial and network advantages over the current 100-seat Embraer configuration. JetBlue will take the first five A220-300s in 2020 to celebrate the carrier’s 20th birthday with the remaining 55 being delivered between 2020-2025 and will coincide with the phasing out of the E190 aircraft.The carrier does have an option to pursue an additional 60 of the type but will begin in 2025, even with the consideration of converting them into A220-100 (Bombardier CS100) orders if deemed necessary. The aircraft will be produced in Mobile, Alabama. All-in-all, this has been a fantastic start to the launch of the A220 and as we approach Farnborough over the course of next week, this is obviously setting the tone for what a busy airshow the A220 is going to have!

Cosy FAA Inspector Let

Infractions Slide

By Kate O'Cconnor


A government report says a longtime FAA inspector allowed unqualified pilots to fly for the U.S.’s largest airline. The report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Transportation says that the 28-year veteran “seems to have been affected by his relationship with [American Airlines].”

The safety concerns—which only involved maintenance verification flights, not any flights carrying passengers—were originally brought to the FAA by the Allied Pilots Association (APA). After APA reported that its concerns had gone largely unanswered for 18 months, the Inspector General’s office stepped in to audit the FAA’s effectiveness in addressing the issue. In addition to finding that the FAA’s oversight of American “lacked objectivity,” the OIG report also pointed out issues with the FAA’s response method, which “ultimately routed [APA’s] letter back to the target of the complaint for response.”

The audit report (PDF) concluded with seven recommendations to improve program oversight and how the FAA responds to future safety concerns, including establishing criteria for evaluating correspondence and taking into account risk factors—such as the length of time inspectors oversee the same air carrier—when evaluating inspector objectivity. In response to the audit, the FAA said that it concurred with all of the recommendations as written and plans to implement all of them no later than June 2019. The inspector has since retired from the FAA and that American has put its flight test program under new leadership.

Farnborough 2018: Neeleman Backed Airline Places Huge

Airbus A220 Order

By Breaking News

A new US airline start-up has announced a commitment for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2021. The memorandum of understanding was revealed at the Farnborough Air Show. This new airline is backed up by a group of experienced investors led by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, investor in TAP in Portugal and controlling shareholder in Azul airlines in Brazil. “After years of US airline consolidation, the conditions are improving for a new generation of US airline to emerge, focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” said David Neeleman, majority investor in the new venture. “The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions.

 “With deliveries starting in 2021, we will have ample time to assemble a world-class management team and another winning business model.” Complementing the A320 family, the A220-100 and A220-300 models cover the segment between 100 and 150 seats and offer a comfortable five-abreast cabin. With the most advanced aerodynamics, CFRP materials, high-bypass engines and fly-by-wire controls, the A220 delivers 20 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft. The type will serve a worldwide market for smaller single-aisle airliners, estimated at least 7,000 such aircraft over the next 20 years.

Airbus markets and supports the A220 aircraft, which is manufactured under the recently finalised partnership agreement between Airbus, Bombardier and Investment Québec. “This US airline start-up’s decision for the A220 as the platform on which to launch their new business model is a testament to the passenger appeal and operating economics of this outstanding aircraft,” said Eric Schulz, chief commercial officer for Airbus. “This commitment confirms the important role the A220 aircraft now occupies in our Airbus single-aisle portfolio.” The A220-300 will be powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.

Ryanair, Lufthansa & Laudamotion Get In A Vicious Spat Over Aircraft By AviationNews. online

RyanAir has just been given EU approval for it’s effective staged take over of the former Niki brand of Air Berlin, recently won back by its original founder Niki Lauda. He soon realised he could never finance and run the airline so sold a first stake in it to RyanAir of 25.7%, which will rise to 75% in a years time. In order to operate the airline 9 A320’s were leased from Lufthansa under an E.U. derogation order to balance competition after the fall of AirBerlin and Lufthansa taking up much of the slack. The derogation order ended following the E.U. approval of RyanAir’s purchase of Laudamotion last week. RyanAir – with whom Lufthansa has a less than friendly relationship, accused Lufthansa of demanding the A320’s back and terminating the leases without due cause.

Lufthansa is having none of it and claims that the cash strapped Laudamotion “repeatedly failed to make lease payments”. They terminated the leases and are taking the aircraft back. RyanAir is claiming they’re doing it because of the E.U. approval of the take over – and to be fair it’s the last airline Lufthansa would have wanted owning Laudamotion, and Lufthansa admitted that Eurowings needs the aircraft. However Lufthansa is adamant Laudamotion didn’t pay its leases and that’s the only reason. In turn RyanAir is accusing Lufthansa of not paying Laudamotion for flights it operated for them, which they deny. The suggestion being that by not doing so, Laudamotion didn’t have the money to pay the leases on the aircraft used to fly for Lufthansa, and Lufthansa allegedly held back the money to stop the leases being paid so they could get the aircraft back.

American, Jetblue And Southwest Bid For Delta's Former Cuba Route By David Allison  – Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle


Three U.S. airlines — American, JetBlue, and Southwest — are bidding to take over a route to Cuba that's being abandoned by Delta Air Lines Inc. In May, Delta (NYSE: DAL) said it will terminate its Saturday service to Havana, Cuba, from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Sept. 1. Delta had said back in December that it would dramatically reduce flights to Cuba from JFK International, just over a year after launching them. Delta cited U.S. government policies that have resulted in lower demand for travel to Cuba from areas outside of South Florida.

Now, American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL) is proposing an additional weekly Saturday-only Miami-Havana flight using 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, beginning no later than Dec. 22. JetBlue Airways Corp. (Nasdaq: JBLU) says it wants the route for an additional weekly Saturday-only Fort Lauderdale-Havana flight using 162-seat Airbus A320 aircraft, beginning on Nov. 10. And Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) proposes an additional weekly Saturday only Tampa-Havana flight using 175-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, beginning within 90 days after it gets clearance from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Delta continues to operate daily flights between Atlanta and Havana and twice daily flights between Miami and Havana. American, JetBlue, Southwest and United Airlines Inc. also operate other U.S.-to-Cuba flights.The U.S. DOT says it will award the route to the airline that's most likely to offer and maintain the best service for the traveling and shipping public. It will also consider the effects of the applicants’ service proposals on the overall competitive environment, including effects on market structure and competition in the U.S.- Cuba market. Read more about it here.

New York-London Is The World's First Billion-Dollar Airline Route

By Dan Reed, Contributor

Photo: A British Airways jet taxis at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport with the city's skyline barely visible in the distance.  Traver Collens/Getty Images. BA's route between Kennedy Airport and London's Heathrow route in the first route to produce more than $1 billion in revenue in a 12-month period.  For the first time in history one airline has brought in more than $1 billion from just one very highly-traveled – and pricey – route. British Airways took in a record (of more than $1,037,724, 867 dollars) from flying passengers between London and New York in the 12-month period from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018.


That’s according to OAG, a global air travel information company that tracks schedules and operational data from more than 900 carriers worldwide. BA planes spent 42,117 hours in flight between New York and London during the 12 months period measured. That works out to $24,638 in revenue per hour of flight. That $1 billion revenue performance on the New York-London route was almost double the $543,723,893 million that Singapore Airlines took in on the 10th most lucrative route in the world between Singapore and Sydney, Australia.

Just two domestic U.S. routes showed up on the list of the world’s 10 biggest revenue-producing routes recently published by OAG. The $698,074,171 that American Airlines took in from flying between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Los Angeles International airport was good enough for fifth place on the list. United took in $687,674,312 from its San Francisco International-Newark Liberty Airport route; good enough for 6th place.

To be sure, all 10 of the biggest revenue-producing routes are heavily traveled, but in some cases they aren’t as heavily traveled as casual observers might expect. The New York-London route, for example, ranks as only the 16th most heavily traveled route, measured by the number of flights per year. That, too, is according to OAG.


Five of the Top Ten revenue-producing routes in the world either begin or end at London's Heathrow Airport. Heathrow is the world's third-busiest airport, has only two runways, which makes it one of the most congested airports in the world. Airport supporters and business leaders in the U.K. long have sought authority and financing to build a third runway and sixth terminal - at a cost of around $19 billion - to relieve congestion and increase the airport's capacity but have been blocked by environmentalists and neighboring communities that long have opposed Heathrow expansion. In late June Parliament voted heavily in favor of adding a third runway, moving the project closer to actual launch than it ever has been before. But continued opposition via the courts is expected to slow, or even block Heathrow's growth over the next decade.  Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

VR Pilot Tech Now Includes ‘Touch’  By Mary Grady


Virtual reality systems for flight simulation now include “haptic” capabilities, simulating a sense of touch when interacting with the virtual environment.

The U.S. company FlyInside partnered with the Go Touch VR startup, based in France, to develop the system for the market, and introduced it last month at a trade show in France. “This haptic solution can be adapted for pilot training,” Go Touch VR said in a news release. The technology is “realistic, flexible, scalable, [and] affordable,” the company said. The advantage for pilot training is that the VR systems cost much less than simulators, but with the haptic capabilities, they are approaching the same level of experience.


The Go Touch VR system provides three small devices for each hand, which clip on to the user’s fingertips. The devices contain numerous actuators beneath a flexible rubber cover, and by applying variations in pressure, they can replicate the sense of object stiffness, coarse textures and the feeling of holding physical objects in your hands, according to Wired. A VR headset provides 3-D visual input to create the illusion of being in an aircraft cockpit. “When we couple [the haptic device] with a visual rendering in virtual or augmented reality, you reach out your hand toward an object, activating the skin pressure, the brain ‘clicks’ and lets you perceive the virtual object in front of your eyes as real, because it is feeling a sensation that it is expecting,” Eric Vezzoli, Go Touch CEO, told Wired. The technology is still in development and not yet available for sale. AVweb's Geoff Rapoport looked at a VR simulator last year at Oshkosh. View on YouTube

Regional Airlines Hurt By Worsening Pilot Shortage: "It Should Be A National Concern"
By Kris Van Cleave CBS News 

Arlington, VA. -- When a major airline needs a pilot to fly planes, they often look to the regional airlines. But when pilots for smaller commuter planes move over to the majors, it's getting harder to find their replacements.


Since 2013, Yuma, Arizona, a largely agricultural region of about 200,000, has seen airline departures drop more than 50 percent. Now, the only flights out go to Phoenix. The Yuma to Phoenix route is operated by a regional carrier, just like 42 percent of the nation's air service. The smaller airlines are being hurt by pilot retirements and the expansions of bigger carriers. Recent studies predict a shortage of more than 14,000 pilots by 2026. 

Lyle Hogg is president of regional carrier Piedmont Airlines, which needs to train and replace as many as 240 pilots a year. "The pipeline for young aviators is drying up and it should be a national concern," Hogg said. That's because without enough pilots, flights would have to be canceled or service to some cities stopped. The cost of initial pilot training is almost three times more expensive than it was in the 90s. After a deadly crash in 2009, new pilots are required to fly for 1,500 hours before being eligible for hire.

New hire Corey Cave spent three years and tens of thousands of dollars to log enough hours. "The cost, it just delayed me a little bit," Cave explained. Hogg says many of their young pilots have has much as $300,000 in debt by the time they work for a regional carrier. Piedmont is trying to cut down on that cost by using flight simulators. "We can simulate all kinds of weather situations, all different malfunctions," Hogg said, "Much better than we can do it in an aircraft and much more safely." Airline groups have been pushing Congress to change the 1,500 hour rule, but there is resistance to that. To attract pilots, regional airlines have aggressively increased starting pay to about $60,000. A few years ago, they were closer to $40,000.

Delta Begins Flying the Airbus A350 From Los Angeles Today!

By, Eric Rosen

Since Delta debuted the concept it had designed for new business-class suites aboard its order of 25 Airbus A350 jets in August 2016, the airline has steadily been taking delivery of the new jets and deploying them on routes from its hubs at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL). The Delta A350 makes its LA debut today. However, on Monday, fliers from another Delta hub will be able to experience the new jet and the new Delta One suites, as well as a new premium economy section called Premium Select.

Delta will begin flying its route between Los Angeles (LAX) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on Monday, July 2. The launch coincides with the debut of Delta’s first Boeing 777-200 that has been refitted with the new suites as well, and which begins flying today from Detroit to Shanghai every other day (another A350 flies the alternate days). Delta flight DL89 departs Los Angeles at 1:30pm and arrives in Shanghai the following day at 5:50pm. The return, Delta flight DL88, departs Shanghai at 8:40pm and arrives back in Los Angeles the same day at 6:00pm. Just beware that, because of the timing of these flights and the distances, they are not operated by the A350 every day. Instead, Delta uses a Boeing 777 with its older seats on alternating days.

Suites and Seats

According to its fleet information page, the Delta A350 has 32 of the new Delta One suites. They are arranged in a staggered 1 – 2 – 1 configuration where the seats toward the edges of the cabin alternate being closer to the aisle and closer to the window. The double seats running along the center of the cabin are shifted either right or left of the preceding row in order to maximize seat pitch. Each suite is 21 inches wide and reclines to a fully flat bed up to 81 inches. Each also has a fully closing door, though it does not go as high as the ceiling.

Delta's new business-class suites have closing doors.

Among other ergonomic and service features are Do Not Disturb indicators, customizable individual ambient lighting settings, dedicated stowage spaces for personal belongings like electronic devices and shoes, memory foam cushions and universal power outlets and high-powered USB ports. The suites’ entertainment systems are 18-inch high-resolution touchscreens, and flights offer high-speed 2Ku Wi-Fi for a fee. Business-class passengers are also treated to TUMI amenity kits stocked with Kiehl’s skincare products, Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding, and menus created by celebrity chefs as well as wines chosen by the airline’s sommelier, all served in the airline’s bespoke Alessi tableware. Delta Each suite reclines to a lie-flat bed of up to 81 inches. The Premium Select cabin is right behind Delta One with 48 seats laid out in a 2 – 4 – 2 pattern. Each has 38 inches of pitch, seven inches of recline and is 18.5 inches wide. They have 13.3-inch in-flight entertainment screens and in-seat power outlets. Passengers also receive premium service and amenities including Sky Priority access at the airport, TUMI kits and Westin Heavenly blankets.

Seats on Sale

You can purchase tickets on the route aboard the new aircraft. Fares in July start at $1,053 round-trip in economy, $1,398 in Premium Select and $3,788 in Delta One. Other Routes - In addition to the new Los Angeles-Shanghai service, you can find Delta’s A350s flying the following routes.


  • Detroit (DTW) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Detroit (DTW) – Beijing (PEK
  • Detroit (DTW) – Seoul (ICN)
  • Detroit (DTW) – Shanghai (PVG)
  • Detroit (DTW) – Tokyo (NRT)
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Seoul (ICN)


Though the aircraft is already operating daily out of Delta’s other hubs, this first flight for Los Angeles is an exciting development for West Coast fliers and hopefully a sign of increased A350 service to come.

Transcend Air Introduces Vy 400 Vtol Commuter

By Kate O'Connor



Transcend Air Corporation has announced that it has begun development on a six-seat vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) concept designed to carry business travelers between major cities. The Transcend Air Vy 400 will be a piloted, turbine-powered model intended for four to five passengers. The company has also said it has plans to launch a commuter airline service in early 2024. “This is a necessary and transformative addition to city-to-city transportation options,” said Transcend CEO Greg Bruell.

“It solves multiple problems at once: We’ll take cars off congested roads, reduce pollution around airports and lower the cost of air transportation while drastically reducing travel times.” According to Transcend Air, it has built and flown 15 prototype VTOL aircraft since 2009. The company says the tilt-wing Vy 400 will have a range of up to 450 miles and be able to cruise at 405 MPH. It will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67F engines and be equipped with a BRS whole-aircraft parachute. The expected useful load for the aircraft is 2,200 pounds. The aircraft weighs 4,800 pounds empty and can carry 960 pounds of fuel. According to the company website, a Vy trip from New York to Boston would take 36 minutes and cost $283 per seat. Transcend Air plans to open the order book for the aircraft in late 2020 at a price of $3.5 million

777 Main Gear Breaks

by Russ Niles


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

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

JetBlue Radio Issues Cause Security Concerns By  

Kate O'Connor


A JetBlue flight out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) triggered a significant security response after it lost radio contact with the tower while taxiing for takeoff at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. “Shortly before departure, Flight 1623 from New York JFK to Los Angeles experienced a radio issue impacting the crew’s ability to communicate and a false alarm was sent to JFK tower,” a statement from JetBlue spokesperson Paula Acevedo said. Some sources have reported that the crew entered the transponder code signaling a hijacking (7500) instead of the code for a communications failure (7600).

According to several passengers, the Airbus A321 was quickly surrounded by emergency vehicles and “heavily armed” law enforcement personnel boarded the aircraft. “While communication was re-established via alternate channels, authorities responded in an abundance of caution,” the JetBlue statement continued. “The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection.” The crew was reportedly back in contact with authorities by 8:15. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey also issued a statement saying that the aircraft had been inspected and cleared with no security threat. Passengers were able to depart for Los Angeles several hours later via another aircraft. The FAA has said it will investigate the incident.

Air Asia Pilot Urges Prayers As 'Technical Issue' Forces Turnaround

By Jay Croft & Jon Ostrower, CNN


Story highlights  
  • Passengers said a loud bang was followed by sustained shuddering
  • Pilot identified a technical issue with the engine before turning around

(CNN) An AirAsia X flight to Malaysia from Perth, Australia, was forced to turn back Sunday after the twin-aisle Airbus A330-300 aircraft began shaking due to what the airline called a "technical issue." A spokesman for the Perth Airport said, "The pilot identified a technical issue with the engine. The plane turned around and safely landed back at Perth Airport." "We were asleep and heard a loud bang around the 1-hour-and-15-minute mark," passenger Damien Stevens told CNN. "It shook for the whole ride back, close on two hours."While it's not yet clear what caused the issue with the jet's Rolls-Royce engines, any imbalance inside a rapidly-spinning jet engine can cause violent vibrations that are felt throughout the aircraft.

Twin-engine aircraft like the A330 are designed to fly and land safely with only one engine operating. "It was really shaky, very scary," Stevens said. Stevens and friend Mitch Jamieson were on their way to Myanmar for a holiday. Stevens said the pilot asked passengers to pray twice. And passengers were told to hold "the brace position" for about two minutes during the landing, he said, which was smooth. He praised the pilot, who shook hands with everyone after the flight was over. "The plane erupted with applause once we landed." Some passengers posted videos on social media showing the shaking inside the cabin. "I thought I might die," along with a video clip showing the plane's seats rattling.


AirAsia X Berhad confirmed in a statement that flight D7237 for Kuala Lumpur took off at 6:40 a.m. local time with 359 passengers on board and landed back at Perth Airport shortly before 10 a.m. AirAsia X is the long-haul arm of low-cost carrier AirAsia, one of the largest low-cost airlines in the world. "The safety of our guests is our utmost priority," the airline said in a statement. The issue with the jet's Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine is the second significant incident this month and the third since May. A China Eastern Airlines A330, also powered by Trent 700s, was forced to turn back to Sydney just after takeoff for Shanghai after part of its engine nacelle broke apart. Similar damage was sustained on an Egypt Air flight in May. Sunday's incident, however, appears to have been unrelated to those issues. Photos suggest the external structure of the engine nacelle was undamaged. "We are aware of the incident and will be working closely with relevant partners to understand the cause of the issue," said a spokesman for Rolls-Royce.

Man ID’d Who Got Onto
Hartsfield-Jackson Tarmac,
Approached Delta Flight

By Zachary Hansen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A man got onto the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Tuesday, authorities confirmed, and approached a Delta Air Lines flight from Miami that had just landed. Jhryin Jones, 19, scaled a fence at the airport and ran onto an active taxiway, Atlanta police spokeswoman Stephanie Brown said. He then approached the aircraft, jumped on the wing and began to pound on the windows, she said. Video obtained by Channel 2 Action News appears to show the man approaching the aircraft while wearing only underwear. The incident happened on the taxiway shortly before 5 p.m., the airport tweeted. The man was taken into custody by Atlanta police.

Jones was charged with criminal trespassing, public indecency and obstruction of law enforcement officers, Brown said.T he airport initially tweeted that someone “exited an aircraft stopped on a taxiway after arrival.” They later backed off that narrative. The airport said operations were not impacted by the incident. There is no impact to operations at this time.  An investigation is ongoing.

NASA: Tests Show ‘Significant’ Aircraft Noise Reduction

By Mary Grady


A series of flight tests has successfully demonstrated a “significant reduction” in the noise generated by aircraft operating near airports, NASA said in a news release on Monday. The test flights, which concluded in May, took place from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. NASA’s Gulfstream III research aircraft flew at 350 feet, above a 185-sensor microphone array deployed on the Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The flights combined several technologies that achieved a 70 percent reduction in airframe noise during landing, NASA said. Airframe noise is generated by the aircraft’s movement through the air, and doesn’t include noise generated by the engines.

The jet was equipped with porous landing-gear fairings, and a series of chevrons was installed near the leading edge of the landing-gear cavity, with a net stretched across the opening to alter airflow and align it more with the wing. The researchers also had installed an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge wing flap, which had previously been flight-tested. “The number one public complaint the FAA receives is about aircraft noise,” said Mehdi Khorrami, NASA’s principal investigator for the project. “NASA’s goal here was to reduce aircraft noise substantially in order to improve the quality of life for communities near airports. We are very confident that with the tested technologies we can substantially reduce total aircraft noise, and that could really make a lot of flights much quieter.”

Norwegian Airlines Adds New Nonstop London Flights At Tampa International Airport

By Frances McMorris, Tampa Bay Business Journal


Big Ben and Westminster Bridge at dusk, London, UK

Norwegian Air will launch two-times weekly nonstop flights to London’s Gatwick Airport from Tampa International Airport beginning in October. This brings a new carrier to Tampa and adds another option for reaching Europe from the Tampa Bay region. TIA currently offers daily service to London Gatwick Airport on British Airways, and the addition of the Norwegian flights will for the first time offer Tampa passengers a choice of two airlines flying nonstop to the same European city. The Norwegian flights will depart from Tampa on Wednesdays at 10:50 p.m. to arrive in London at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, and on Saturdays the flights will depart at 10 p.m. to arrive in London at 9:55 a.m. Sunday. From London, the flights will depart Wednesdays at 2:55 p.m. to arrive in Tampa at 8:35 p.m. and on Saturdays at 2:05 p.m. to arrive in Tampa at 7:45 p.m.

“The arrival of Norwegian Air is yet another example of the strength of our region. As our community continues to grow, the airport is growing with it,” TIA CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement. Norwegian’s service between Tampa and London will be on a 787-9 Dreamliner with 309 Economy seats and 35 Premium Economy seats. This is the first Dreamliner with regularly scheduled service at Tampa International. Introductory fares will start at $214.90 one-way for economy seats and $604.90 one-way in premium economy. “Tampa Bay will be a very popular destination amongst European travelers," said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s chief commercial officer. "Similarly, Europe is in high demand among Tampa Bay and Florida residents.”

With the addition of Norwegian Air, TIA now has seven international carriers and flies to more than a dozen cities around the world. The airport has seen a more than 120 percent increase in international passenger growth since 2011. Of TIA’s record 19,624,284 total passengers last year, some 885,200 were international travelers; a 4.7 percent increase from 854,300 the year before. “International visitors have a profound economic impact on Tampa Bay every year, so we’re thrilled that Norwegian Air is providing yet another great option for Tampa Bay-bound travelers,” Visit Tampa Bay President and CEO Santiago C. Corrada said.

Florida’s beaches and weather have long been a favorite among British tourists and seasonal residents, said Visit St. Pete-Clearwater President and CEO David Downing. “The United Kingdom remains our top-producing international market, so this new Norwegian Air service aligns perfectly with our existing strategic goals,” Downing said. “We’re confident that these additional nonstop flights will stimulate UK visitation not only to America’s best beaches, but to the entire region.”

Tall Towers Get Clearance By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
and Frances McMorris
Tampa Bay Business Journal

One of Water Street Tampa's residential towers — one with condominiums, one with apartments and both perched on top of a grocery store — has received a key approval from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. The authority on Thursday approved a height variance to make way for 815 Water Street, which should be the second building to go vertical within Water Street. Water Street is the $3 billion, mixed-use district under development in downtown Tampa. Strategic Property Partners, controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, is the developer.

815 Water Street includes a 26-story, 196-unit condo tower on the east side of the site, which is at Channelside Drive and Water Street, near the entrance to the Tampa Riverwalk and across the street from Amalie Arena. The apartment tower is 21 stories with 222 units. This is the location of 815 Water Street, the first residential building in Water Street Tampa

Infrastructure work on the property is underway. It is 1.6 miles from Peter O. Knight Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration found no hazards with conditions. The airport and FDOT had no objections as long as conditions are followed. Among those conditions is that the project is restricted to the heights approved by HCAA, which are lower than the FAA heights. The maximum height cannot exceed 314 feet above mean sea level. SPP marked the groundbreaking of its first phase in late April when a 26-story which is why a variance was required.

Ryanair Joins With British Airways To Call For Action On Air Traffic Control Strikes

By Breaking Travel News

An alarming increase in air traffic control strikes across Europe has wreaked havoc on airlines, their passengers and business, according to Airlines for Europe. This year is shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for such strikes in Europe. Year-to-date, A4E member airlines have been forced to cancel nearly 5,000 flights as a result of the strikes, directly impacting around 784,000 passengers across Europe. In addition, millions of travellers have been affected by flight delays caused by airspace diversions and residual backups.According to Eurocontrol, 39,000 flights – around 30 per cent of the total en-route delays in May - were delayed due to air traffic control strikes. In addition, Eurocontrol projects total delay minutes for 2018 will be up by 53 per cent compared to 2017 as a result of strikes and capacity shortages (14.3 million in 2018 versus 9.3 million minutes in 2017). PriceWaterhouseCoopers showed that the economic cost of air traffic control strikes in the EU between 2010-2017 was €13.4 billion.

Last summer, the European Commission said that since 2005 there have been around 357 air traffic control strikes in the EU, 254 of which have occurred in France.Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “IAG and Ryanair are planning to submit a complaint to the European Commission as air traffic control strikes represent the biggest challenge for our industry. “They are destroying European air traffic and having a huge impact on consumers.“It’s a really frustrating cause of disruption that affects all airlines but in particular has a significant negative impact on Spain’s tourism and economy. “Continuous strikes by air traffic control staff in Marseille have a disproportionate impact on those airlines flying from Barcelona because they control flights over most of the Mediterranean airspace. “For Vueling this means that 50 per cent of its flights are affected. “The EU must act now to protect the rights of the consumers and prevent long term damage to European economies”.

In response to the continued air traffic control strike disruptions, A4E has proposed a mandatory 72-hour individual notification period for employees wishing to strike, protection of overflights while ensuring it does not come to the detriment of local services, and a guarantee on minimum services to be provided.IAG and Ryanair’s complaint will argue that by not adequately protecting flights over France, EU law is infringed. In a rare show of unity between legacy and low-cost carriers, Michael O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, added: “These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on the governments, and the EU commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that air traffic control providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.“Europe’s air traffic control providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled daily either because of strikes or because Europe’s air traffic controllers don’t have enough staff.“

The situation is particularly acute at weekends where British and German air traffic control providers are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough air traffic control staff to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate.

“Urgent action must now be taken by the UK and German governments, and the EU commission, otherwise thousands more flights and millions of passengers will be disrupted, particularly in the peak months of July and August, unless this air traffic control staffing crisis is addressed.” Eurocontrol director general Eamonn Brennan earlier this week warned under investment in air traffic control capacity could see millions of passengers grounded in coming years.

Bell, Safran Team On Hybrid Engines By Mary Grady


Bell and Safran have agreed to work together to develop hybrid-electric power systems for Bell’s eVTOL aircraft concept, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Bell will lead the design, development and production of VTOL systems, and Safran will work on “a disruptive propulsion system,” according to the companies’ news release. “This announcement is another proof point of our commitment to providing transportation of people and logistics in new, innovative and more efficient ways,” said Scott Brennan, Bell’s director of innovation, at a transit conference in Cologne. “Our work with Safran is a historical milestone for future transport solutions.” 

Bell showed a mock-up of its four-seat eVTOL air-taxi cabin concept recently at the Uber conference and also at Heli-Expo. Bell officials have said they expect to start flight trials of their eVTOL by about 2020. Safran said its innovation teams have been working on hybrid solutions for future propulsion systems for several years.

Study: Full-Stall Training Pays Off  By Mary Grady


Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed new simulations that they believe will help pilots to better recover when faced with an aerodynamic stall. “Part of the challenge is that pilots are often trained on simulations that take an aircraft right up to the point of aerodynamic stall but not past it,” said Peter Grant, a professor at the university’s Institute for Aerospace Studies. “Most commercial flight is on autopilot, until or unless the situation becomes critical. Suddenly, the autopilot switches off and we’re putting pilots in a position where they need to take over under the worst possible circumstances.” Grant worked with a pool of 15 professional pilot volunteers, and trained them to recover from four different types of full stall in the flight simulator.

“Once we had trained them on what to look for and how to respond, all 15 were equally capable of performing under stall conditions,” said Grant. “This suggests representative modelling is sufficient for full-stall recovery training.” The FAA had asked researchers to develop new ways to study, simulate and teach pilots about full-stall recovery following the Colgan Air crash and others in which a failure to recover from a stall was a factor. Grant’s research was developed in response to that request. The new simulations for stall recovery are expected to be incorporated into new pilot training programs that the FAA plans to roll out starting in 2019.

Fort Lauderdale Airport To Close Runway In 2019; Flights Will Be Cut Larry Barszewski, SFl Sun Sentinel


Airport director Mark Gale predicts the number of flights could drop by 20 to 25 percent when the north runway closes from June through October, 2019. Travelers at Fort Lauderdale’s airport will have fewer flights to choose from next year as one of its two runways is shut down for five months. Airport director Mark Gale predicts the number of flights could drop by 20 percent to 25 percent when the north runway closes from June through October 2019. He said international flights probably would not change, since there are fewer of them and officials don’t want to see this growing segment of airport traffic affected. Instead, the airport is working with domestic airlines, Gale said. The airlines could reduce the number of flights to popular destinations such as New York or Chicago and instead use larger planes to accommodate the same number of passengers.

Officials estimate there may be a million fewer passengers boarding planes at the airport in 2019 because of the reduced flights. “We are working with the airlines and the FAA control tower to more closely anticipate the impact and potential reduction in flight operations,” airport spokesman Greg Meyer said.The summer work schedule also will have less of an effect on the airlines than if it were done during the height of the tourist season, he said. However, the summer also has heavy thunderstorms, which could delay air traffic and potentially create larger back-ups for takeoffs on the one runway.

The north runway has been in use at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport since 1943 when it was a naval air station in World War II. It was last closed in 2004 for a major resurfacing, where the top layer of asphalt was removed and replaced, Gale said. This time, the center portion of the runway is being replaced with concrete, which should extend its life to about 30 years instead of 12, Gale said. During the $74 million reconstruction, all airport traffic will be diverted to the new south runway, which opened in 2014 and led to a surge of complaints from people under the flight paths in Dania Beach, Plantation and Fort Lauderdale. Neighbors expect it will get worse.“People here will be taking sleeping pills and wearing earmuffs and drinking more,” Dania Beach resident Gary Luedtke said.

The north runway work is expected to be done after the sound insulation program for neighboring homes most affected by the planes is completed, Gale said. But Luedtke, whose home has already been insulated, said it’s still disturbing every time a plane comes in for a landing. “You hear a noise like a jackhammer,” Luedtke said. “No matter what you’re doing, you stop and look up.” The runway work will be put out to bid later this year. Gale said the five-month shutdown is a conservative estimate and there will be incentives included if the contractor finishes the work early.

Nasa Flies Rpa Without

Chase Airplane

By Paul Bertorelli


In a test it says moves drones closer to being integrated into the National Airspace System, NASA on Tuesday flew its Ikhana remotely piloted aircraft without a chase plane for the first time. The flight took place at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.‘This is a huge milestone for our Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System project team,” said NASA’s Ed Waggoner, who directs the agency’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program. Integrating unmanned aircraft into the NAS has been an overarching goal of both the FAA and NASA, with detect-and-avoid capability for the drone a difficult technical challenge to overcome

The FAA granted NASA special permission to fly Tuesday’s test without a chase aircraft, allowing the remote pilot to rely on the latest detect-and avoid technology, enabling the ground-based pilot to see and avoid other aircraft during the flight. The Ikhana was equipped with an airborne radar developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., a Honeywell TCAS System, a detect-and-avoid Fusion Tracker and ADS-B.

Rolls Royce Dreamliner Saga Worsens = Bonus For Wet Lease Companies

By Aviation News , Jon Champs

It feels like the never ending story, but Rolls Royce have now admitted the fan blade issue, previously restricted to a Package C engine format has been found in the older Package B engines. These were fitted on 788’s from 2012, and affect 166 units that will also now require inspection and remedial action. The problem has been a deeply embarrassing one for Rolls Royce, and yet and the same time demonstrates the pressure engine manufacturers are under to finalise designs to meet production targets for airframe manufacturers.

Conversely, the situation has been a bonus for airlines like HiFly, and leasing companies with old 777’s and A330’s they kept in storage. 772’s once unloved and difficult to shift used, are in strong demand and A330’s almost impossibly hard to acquire. Add that to the demand for aircraft because of Pratt & Witney’s problems supplying Bombardier and Airbus, that has seen 100+ new airframes sat idle, and short term leasing has never had it so good.

The Roswell 'Boneyard': Where Airlines Send Old Planes To Be Scrapped By ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY

(Photo: Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY)

ROSWELL, N.M. — American Airlines Flight 9780 arrives from Dallas/Fort Worth and taxis past a line of other MD-80 passenger jets as the morning sun rises over the New Mexico desert on a chilly morning this past winter. But as the jet comes to a stop, there’s no boarding gate or jet bridge. In fact, there are no paying passengers aboard at all. The pilots leave the cockpit and head toward the rear of the plane. They drop the rear stairs from the 140-seat MD-80’s rear emergency exit, and the flight’s four occupants – two pilots, an American employee and a journalist – calmly descend the steps into the New Mexico sun.Lines of planes stretch for nearly as far as the eye can see. Many bear familiar logos. Most planes are intact – but not all of them. Reams of airplane parts lay strewn nearby across the desert floor. “They affectionately call this the boneyard,” says Martin Testorff, one of American’s aircraft storage managers based here.

The “boneyard” is the colloquial term given to aircraft storage facilities where out-of-use planes are sent to be sold, stored or scrapped. Most are in arid locations such as California or Arizona. The one here in New Mexico – officially the Roswell International Air Center – is the preferred facility for American. The Center’s sprawling grounds sit adjacent to Roswell’s tiny airport terminal, where American is the only carrier currently offering regular scheduled passenger flights – three per day to Dallas/Fort Worth and one to Phoenix. But it’s the flow of older, retiring jets that are the real lifeblood of the Roswell International Air Center. Planes can sit indefinitely in storage here, where the dry desert air helps keep the idle aircraft from corroding. Some find second lives, taken in by cargo carriers or by smaller airlines in the developing world. Others face a stark end – raided for parts or scrapped altogether. Whatever fate awaits, Testorff says, “We take good care of our airplanes out here.”


American isn’t the only carrier to retire its planes to Roswell, one of about a half-dozen such facilities in the United States. Several Boeing 777s from Asian discount carrier Scoot are visible during one recent visit. As is an old Thai Airways Airbus A300 and a Boeing 727 with a long-faded paint job. There are private aircraft, too, including a red 1962 Lockheed JetStar JT 12-5 that once flew Elvis, according to American’s staff at Roswell. But most of the planes currently on the ground here have come from American. And for good reason: The airline is phasing out its once-vast fleet of MD-80 and Boeing 757 jets, retiring those older models as part of an aggressive fleet-renewal plan. The retirement of the MD-80 – long the backbone of American’s domestic fleet – has been especially prolific. The carrier once had more than 370 “Super 80s,” as American refers to them, in its fleet. But they’re scheduled to be phased out by 2017, replaced by modern new Boeing and Airbus jets. The airline has been sending its MD-80s to the Roswell boneyard since 2003, with the rate increasing in the past two years to about one retirement a week.


The stored planes have become especially important for American for as long as the last MD-80s and 757s remain in its active fleet. Both planes have long been out of production, meaning parts can be difficult to track down if maintenance is needed. This makes their idled brethren in Roswell a crucial link to keeping the others flying. “We store them so we can use the material for the fleet, to keep the fleet flying,” says Paul Bahle, manager of aircraft disposition for American Airlines. While the MD-80 is the current headliner for American at Roswell, the airline retires other aircraft types here too, including 757s and a few 767s.


Leased planes are returned “and we sell as many as the owned assets as we can. But as you can see, we keep quite a lot of them out here,” Bahle says. Beyond the business side of the boneyard, there’s plenty of interest in the facility from aviation enthusiasts. “We get more requests for tours than probably Disneyland,” Testorff says, even though the facility is not open to the public. “They (people) always want to come see it and experience it for themselves,” adds Bahle. “To see an airline in kind of a different light. They just want to come out and see the planes in different states of disrepair.” Pat Walsh – the captain on Flight 9780 that brought yet another American MD-80 to "the Boneyard" – has been here previously. Even he’s eager for another look. “All the airlines that have come and gone over the years,” Walsh says, reminiscing about a previous visit. “Pan Am, TWA and Braniff brought back a lot of memories … those carriers I remember as a kid.” “And now there are American Airlines airplanes as we’re getting new airplanes and retiring our older ones,” he adds, bringing his visit full circle.

Spirt Airlines To Offer New US Virgin Islands Connection

From Orlando

By Breaking Travel News

On the heels of the launch of new service between Fort Lauderdale and St. Croix, Spirit Airlines has announced even more flights to the US Virgin Islands from the Sunshine State. The department of tourism announced that Spirit Airlines will inaugurate service between Orlando International Airport and Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas with three flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, beginning November 8th. The service augments existing daily flights between Fort Lauderdale and St. Thomas. “These new flights represent the fruit of the hard work of our administration to add new service and increase flights to our destination,” said US Virgin Islands governor Kenneth Mapp.

“New flights increase affordable opportunities for Virgin Islanders to travel to and from the Omainland, while helping our bread and butter tourism industry recover. international service from Orlando International Airport to 11 new destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as three more domestic routes rolling out through the fall. The announcement marks one of the largest expansions in the airline’s history and includes service to the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “We have been proud to serve Orlando for 25 years, and after more than doubling service last year, we are so proud to be expanding there yet again,” said Bob Fornaro, Spirit chief executive. “Orlando is now one of our largest markets, and we have no plans on stopping our growth. “The region is not only a wonderful, family-friendly destination, but it is well-positioned to now serve as a gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America.”

American Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Hail Storm Shatters Windshield, Crushes Nose
By Megan Stein

An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a bout of severe weather damaged the plane. Flight 1897 from San Antonio, Texas, to Phoenix, Arizona, hit a serious hail storm about 70 minutes after taking off, partially crushing the nose and the windshield of the Airbus A319. The pilot diverted to El Paso International Airport, and all 130 passengers and 5 crew members arrived safely, according to KTXS12.   Photos posted on social media show the dangerous level of damage. The nose of the aircraft has been partially crushed, while the front windows appear to be entirely shattered.

Here’s another look at the American Airlines plane that left SA Sunday evening headed to PHX, but had to make an emergency landing in ELP. Pilot reported poor forward visibility due to damage from hail. (Photo courtesy: Holly Rush)

KTXS12 reports that the pilot informed the tower over the radio that, “The hail has beat up our forward windshields pretty badly for American Airlines 1897. At this time, we don’t have a whole lot of forward visibility.” An anonymous woman onboard the flight described the incident as “five minutes of hell,” to ABC 15 Arizona, recalling “scary” turbulence, flying cell phones and beverages, and passengers sharing air sick bags. I keep looking back on it and kind of getting chills,” she told the outlet. “We had no idea how bad it was until we landed.” After arriving to El Paso, customers reportedly boarded another plane to Phoenix around 11:45 p.m., and American Airlines is now taking steps to review the plane.

“American Airlines flight 1897, from San Antonio to Phoenix, diverted to El Paso due to damage sustained by weather in flight,” the airline said in a statement to KENS5. “The aircraft, an Airbus A319 with 130 passengers and a crew of five, landed safely at 8:03 p.m. MT. The aircraft is currently being evaluated by our maintenance team. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this caused.”

American Apologizes After Shredded Suitcase Greets Flier At Baggage Claim

By Teresa Woodard, WFAA-TV, Dallas

An American Airlines passenger shared these images of her bag with WFAA TV of Dallas. (Photo: WFAA TV)

DALLAS — A picture-perfect weekend getaway came to a maddening halt for Kristen Horabin at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Sunday. “We waited and waited and waited and my bag never showed up,” Horabin said. “And then the woman behind the counter said, ‘Oh, maybe that’s your bag over there.’ I look over, and it’s my belongings heaped in a bin and half of them are destroyed and most of them are missing.” Horabin and her husband had just returned from a weekend getaway to Tampa. Her husband’s checked bags arrived. Every other passengers’ bags had arrived. Then what was left of Horabin's belongings appeared on another carousel. “The suitcase was shredded,” Horabin said. “Most of the clothes that were left were shredded, and what was left was covered in black grease and toothpaste. There was a lot of toothpaste – it must have exploded on whatever impact there was.”

It is not clear how her suitcase was destroyed. It was in two pieces, with rips and tears all over. It had been placed in a plastic bin. Some torn and stained clothes, a broken blow dryer, and two mismatched shoes were piled in the bin with the bag.

“I’d say about 50% of my belongings were gone,” she said. “It’s just stuff. Stuff can be replaced. It was really just more shocking the way it was handled,” she said. According to Horabin, she received no explanation about what happened and no empathy from American Airlines employees. “I guess what I find so appalling is that, after it happened, someone gathered up what was left of my bag and my belongings and put them in the bin and sent it on its way,” she said. “The bag just popped up on the carousel with my destroyed belongings, or half of my destroyed belongings, heaped on top.”

Horabin says she was instructed to file a claim, which she immediately did. Within 24 hours of the report, American Airlines apologized and told her they were sending her a $3,500 check for the damages as well as a $300 travel voucher. “We apologize for the damage that occurred to Ms. Horabin’s bag; we know how difficult it is to arrive at your final destination and a find a bag extremely damaged,” said American Airlines in a statement to WFAA. “In 2017, American transported more than 160 million checked bags. While it is extremely rare to receive a report of a broken and/or damaged bag such as this one, our team will always work with our customers directly to resolves these claims.”

Horabin said she hopes the airline would consider next time not just sending a heavily damaged bag through the carousel with no explanation. “Send someone up to say, you know, something happened to your personal effects and we’re sorry,” she said. “And I really honestly would have walked away and counted it as an unfortunate accident. I hope in the future that happens for other passengers.”

FAA Pushes Back On Boeing Exemption For 787 Safety Flaw

BY Stephen Trimble, Flight Global/Flight Dashboard

The US Federal Aviation Administration is pushing back on a request by Boeing for a temporary exemption from a safety regulation to allow the GE Aviation-powered version of the 787-10 to enter service on schedule in August. The GEnx-1B engine has a software bug that in one instance prompted the computer to shut down the engine during a step climb to a higher altitude in ice crystal icing conditions. GE is working to fix the software bug, but the GEnx-1B-powered version of the 787-10 cannot obtain an airworthiness certificate without an exemption until it is ready. On 4 March, Boeing applied to the FAA to approve an exemption that would keep the delivery of the first 787-10 with GE engines on schedule for later this summer.

For example, Boeing said on 4 March that GE’s fix for the shutdown problem is included in a broad software update called “B200”, and it’s not scheduled for delivery until December 2019. But GE has told FlightGlobal and the FAA that the B200 software update will be ready by the first quarter of 2019. “What justification does Boeing provide for delivering airplanes under an exemption until December 20, 2019?” the FAA asks in the latter. The FAA also notes that Boeing says that there will be no adverse impact on safety during the exemption period, due to the small chance that the automatic engine restart function won’t work as designed if the software bug causes an engine shutdown. “Please provide a description of the assumptions and probabilities incorporated in the system safety assessment that determined the risk to be less than extremely improbable,” the FAA says.

The FAA also wants Boeing to back-up its assertion in the application that delaying the overall B200 software update to roll out a fix for the shutdown problem sooner would cause more harm to the public than benefit. “Please provide a description of the … software changes planned for the version B200 software and how the public as a whole will be benefitted by these changes,” the FAA writes.

Boeing’s responses to the FAA are due by 30 June. The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN-powered version of the 787-10 entered service in March with Singapore Airlines.

U.S. Officials Warn Congress On Risks Of Drones, Seek New Powers

By David Shepardson, Technology News,

WASHINGTON REUTERS/Mike Blake - The Trump administration urged Congress on Wednesday to give it new powers to disable or destroy threatening drones, according to testimony viewed by Reuters. A sign at a downtown city park informs people the area is a no drone zone in San Diego, California. David Glawe, undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Hayley Chang, DHS’ deputy general counsel, told the Senate committee that oversees the department that it needs new authority. “Terrorist groups overseas use drones to conduct attacks on the battlefield and continue to plot to use them in terrorist attacks elsewhere. This is a very serious, looming threat that we are currently unprepared to confront,” the officials’ written testimony said.


A bipartisan group of senators including Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, a Republican, and the committee’s top Democrat, Claire McCaskill, last month introduced legislation to give DHS and the Justice Department authority to “to protect buildings and assets when there is an unacceptable security risk to public safety posed by an unmanned aircraft.” Johnson noted a bipartisan group of senators backs the legislation. “The federal government does not have the legal authorities it needs to protect the American public from these kinds of threats. The threats posed by malicious drones are too great to ignore,” Johnson said. Johnson said the number of drone flights over sensitive areas or suspicious activities has jumped from eight incidents in 2013 to an estimated 1,752 incidents in 2016, citing federal statistics.


The American Civil Liberties Union said in a letter to the committee that it opposes the bill, which “amounts to an enormous unchecked grant of authority to the government to forcefully remove drones form the sky in nebulous security circumstances.” FBI deputy assistant director Scott Brunner told the committee the agency is “concerned that criminals and terrorists will exploit (drones) in ways that pose a serious threat to the safety of the American people.” Threats could include surveillance, chemical, biological or radiological attacks or attacks “on large open air venues” like concerts and sporting events and attacks against government facilities, he said. The DHS testimony noted a number of recent incidents involving drones. In March, a Coast Guard helicopter in California was forced to take evasive action to avoid a drone. A drone recently landed on the deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion in San Diego harbor.


DHS said despite upgraded security efforts in U.S. capital area, “we are still experiencing (drone) incidents ... that require an appropriate response - even if they are nuisance or non-compliant operators who disregard the rules.” In 2017, a small civilian drone struck a U.S. Army helicopter near New York City damaging a rotor blade. Since 2017, federal officials have banned drones over U.S. military bases, national landmarks, nuclear sites and other sensitive areas. The Federal Aviation Administration said in January that more than 1 million drones have been registered. In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation picked 10 pilot projects allowing drone use at night, out of sight operations and over populated areas.

MH370 Searchers Give Up

By Mary Grady


Ocean Infinity, a technology company that specializes in collecting high-resolution seabed data, announced on Tuesday that it’s giving up its search for the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. Ocean Infinity searched and collected data from more than 43,000 square miles of ocean floor in about three months of work.

This was more than the original target, and almost equal to the previously searched area. “I would firstly like to extend the thoughts of everyone at Ocean Infinity to the families of those who have lost loved ones on MH370,” said Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s CEO. “Part of our motivation for renewing the search was to try to provide some answers to those affected. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we end our current search without having achieved that aim.” The search, however, is likely to continue in one form or another.

Plunkett said he hopes to offer the ship’s services again in the future to search for MH370 until the wreckage is found. “Whilst clearly the outcome so far is extremely disappointing, as a company, we are truly proud of what we have achieved,” he said, “both in terms of the quality of data we’ve produced and the speed with which we covered such a vast area.” The Malaysian flight vanished from radar in March 2014. Some aircraft pieces that are believed to part of the Boeing 777 have been found off the coast of Africa. All 227 passengers and 12 crew are presumed dead.

Boeing's Best-Selling 737 Jet Hits Historic Milestone:

10,000 Planes Produced

By Dominic Gates


Photo: The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airline jet in history. Photo: BOEING

The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airline jet in history.

Boeing celebrated production of its 10,000th single-aisle 737 on Tuesday, putting what is already the best-selling jet of all time on track to become the best-selling large transport plane in history. With the delivery of the 10,000th 737, Boeing broke the Guinness World Record title for the most produced commercial jet aircraft model. Boeing employees at the company's facility in Renton celebrate the 10,000th 737 to come off the production line.  Yet when the plane first flew more than 50 years ago, no one could have guessed its destiny. The pilot in command on that first flight, now 93, recalled hopping around the globe in 737s in the years after the plane's 1967 debut to goose flagging sales.

"At the time of its birth, we were struggling to attract airlines at all," said pilot Brien Wygle in a phone interview. "I don't think anybody could have foreseen the extreme success of the airplane in the long run." Bob Bogash, 73, who as an engineer helped build the first plane, flew in a later globe-spanning sales flight aboard the 1000th 737. He recalled a gruelling journey in 1984 from Seattle across North America, then over the North Atlantic via Iceland to various European capitals, crossing the Sahara to visit nine countries in Africa as far south as Zimbabwe, then flying over the South Atlantic to French Guiana and Venezuela, before returning home to Seattle via Puerto Rico and Memphis - 19 countries in 27 days, routinely waking at 5 a.m. and getting to bed around midnight.

"You never stayed in one place. You had nowhere to do your laundry. In half these places, you couldn't drink the water. You brushed your teeth with Chivas Regal," Bogash said. "But you can sell a lot of airplanes that way." Especially productive were the Stockholm and Amsterdam stops, where the Boeing team persuaded SAS and KLM, two airlines that flew Douglas Aircraft DC-9s, to flip to the 737. "Those were two big wins on that tour," Bogash said. "Each ended up with a few hundred planes." The 737's evolution over five decades shows a progression from a short, stubby puddle-jumper to a much-larger plane carrying twice as many passengers more than twice the distance.

The plane celebrated Tuesday was the latest 737 MAX 8. To mark the occasion, top 737 customer Southwest Airlines donated to the Boeing employee community fund a check for $US10,000 earmarked for disaster relief. Among several hundred employees present was David Knowlen, 74, who started at the company 52 years ago and was present at the 1967 rollout of the first 737 at Boeing Field. Today, he's on a special projects team that works to preserve Boeing's legacy in aviation history by working with museums and other institutions.

Knowlen recalled that at the rollout, a row of flight attendants from airlines that had ordered the new jet christened it by smashing a Champagne bottle over the wing. Over 50 years later, he said, the biggest change is in how the plane is built. His job back then was to check the alignment of parts going on the plane. Today, the assembly process is increasingly automated and the production rate has correspondingly accelerated. Boeing delivered the first 5000 planes between 1967 and 2006. The second 5000 have been delivered in just the last dozen years. In the early days, "Everything was done manually," Knowlen said. "The amazing thing is it went together so quickly and so smoothly, considering the fact that it was mostly a hand-built plane."

Southwest Airlines Apologises To Woman Who Claims Employee Made Her 'Prove'
Biracial Son Was Hers
ByThe Independent US AP  


'I felt that in this situation it was my responsibility to say: Hey, this isn't ok' Lindsay Gottlieb was travelling with her fiance, Patrick Martin, the boy's father, who is black Southwest Airlines has apologised to a woman, who claimed a member of staff stopped her from boarding because they did not believe her one-year-old biracial son was hers. Lindsay Gottlieb claimed in a series of tweets that before a flight from Denver to Oakland, a desk agent asked her to "prove" that her son was hers "despite having his passport".  “She said because we have different last name," the woman's basketball coach from the University of California, Berkeley wrote. "My guess is because he has a different skin colour."

Ms Gottlieb was travelling with her fiancé, Patrick Martin, the boy’s father, who is black.  Airlines are not required to match the last name of a child and guardian for domestic flights. “We have reached out to Ms Gottlieb directly to address her concerns and will utilise the situation as a coaching opportunity for our Employee,” Southwest said in a statement. We apologise if our interaction made this family uncomfortable — that is never our intention.”  Ms Gottlieb said the encounter was hurtful, but that she appreciated Southwest’s apology.  “I felt that in this situation it was my responsibility to say ‘Hey, this isn’t ok,”’ Ms Gottlieb said.  “I hope the coverage this has received can serve as a learning opportunity and that all families — regardless of how ‘traditional’ they may or may not look — are treated with dignity and respect.”  Ms Gottlieb, Mr Martin and their child were eventually allowed to board. Associated Press

Delta to resume US-India flights in 2019 By Ch-aviation

Photo: Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-400 © Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has announced it will resume nonstop flights between the United States and India, next year. The US carrier's last such service to India - Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson-Mumbai Int'l - operated in 2009. In a statement, Delta said the move follows the recent agreements between the US and the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to address the issue of alleged government subsidies provided to Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the route had been made possible by US President Donald Trump taking "real action" in enforcing the US's Open Skies trade deals. "The framework created by the agreement allows Delta to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidized Middle Eastern airlines," he said. "This move will mark a return to India for Delta, which was forced to exit the market after subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable." Delta did not specify the route itself, stating only that it would serve Mumbai. As such, full schedule details will be announced later this year pending government approvals. As part of the launch, Delta intends to expand its existing codeshare relationship with partner Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l) to provide seamless connections to other destinations within India, subject to government approvals.

Republic Airways Opens Flight Academy To Combat Pilot Shortage

By Kate O'Connor


Republic Airways announced today that it is launching a pilot training academy to help address the shortage of qualified commercial pilots in the U.S. The Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy, which will be located at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) in Indianapolis, Indiana, is designed to be a direct-to-hire path for students. Graduates of the program are, according to Republic, guaranteed a First Officer position with the airline. “When our industry began facing a significant pilot shortage—a shortage that is expected to worsen in the coming years—we knew we had to do something,” said Republic Airways Holdings CEO Byran Bedford

“Although we had begun taking several steps to bolster our supply of pilots, we knew we needed to do something more. Something big. Something to create a pipeline of graduates. Something to help train the next generation of aviators.” Republic told AVweb that the goal is for the LIFT Academy to be “one of the largest aviation training schools in the U.S. with the potential to train 300-400 students each year.” Academy enrollment begins on May 31, with additional enrollment periods scheduled to open monthly. Republic says it will accept 12 students for its first class in September, with class sizes growing to about 30 as LIFT takes delivery of more aircraft. After program candidates fill out the online application, LIFT will conduct a short phone/Skype interview followed by an in-person interview and aptitude testing before class selections are made.

The company says that the total tuition for the program will be approximately $65,000. The LIFT curriculum includes flight, simulator, online and classroom training. The school fleet will be made up of DA40 single-engine and DA42 twin-engine aircraft coupled with Diamond Flight Simulator Training Devices. In addition, Republic has announced a new partnership with Vincennes University (VU). Beginning in 2019, VU flight students will complete their flight training at LIFT Academy and be able to opt in to the Republic Airline career pathway program. On the other side, LIFT Academy students will have the option to pursue an online associate’s degree from VU.

Pilot Shortage: Emirates Parking

18 Percent Of Fleet

By Russ Niles, AVWeb

Although the pilot shortage has mainly manifested in regional flight cancellations in the U.S., the largest Persian Gulf carrier, Emirates, is reportedly ready to park 18 percent of its fleet. Airline Geeks says Emirates will also reduce pilot staffing on long-haul flights and that its deployment of pilots might be part of the reason it’s having trouble attracting them. The website says the airline will idle 36 Boeing 777s and 10 A380s by July and it’s cut the frequency of flights to some destinations and eliminated flights to others.

The site reports Emirates pilots are well paid but Chinese airlines are offering signing bonuses of up to $300,000 and allowing pilots to commute to work from anywhere in the world. Working conditions at Emirates are also part of the problem. Emirates pilots work 90 hours a month and the crew rest requirements of its aviation regulators in the United Arab Emirates are more lax than in most countries.That means the airline will be able to start staffing 12-hour and longer flights with three pilots instead of four. Plans are to operate three-pilot crews to Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Sydney, Sao Paulo, New York and Melbourne starting July 1. Pilots also reportedly don’t like the work schedule. Most flights leave between midnight and 4 a.m., meaning their circadian rhythms are frequently out of whack.


      ERAU Student Killed In Cessna

                   140 Crash

             By Kate O'connor  


Embry-Riddle-Daytona student,

Nandish Patel, 22, was killed in the crash of a Cessna 140 at Spruce Creek Fly-In private airport (7FL6) in Port Orange, Florida, on Tuesday evening. Also on board the aircraft was Chase Zinn, 23, a May 2017 Riddle graduate and flight instructor at the school. Zinn was transported to the hospital and remains in critical condition. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Spruce Creek.


According to the NTSB, it banked left after departure and went down in some trees at the end of the runway after climbing no more than 200 feet above the ground. Zinn has been identified as the pilot of the aircraft. No early indicators of possible causes of the accident have been discussed. At this time, the NTSB doesn’t believe the flight was for the purpose of training. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says the aircraft, a 1946 Cessna 140, was owned by Zinn’s family. The NTSB is on scene to investigate the accident. The is the second fatal crash involving an Embry-Riddle student in the last two months after an inflight breakup killed a student and examiner in early April.

Next Generation Tiltrotor

Hits Cruise    

By Russ Niles


Bell’s V-280 Valor Tiltrotor aircraft hit its full cruise configuration for the first time May 11 and is expected to be flying farther and faster through the rest of the summer. The aircraft achieved 190 knots with its rotors fully forward and has a design cruise speed of 290 knots. The aircraft is being developed by Bell and Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift Program.


It’s about half the size of the V-22 Osprey and a fundamentally different Tiltrotor design. The Valor’s rotors and driveshafts tilt while the engines remain stationary. The whole assembly tilts in the Osprey. The Valor first flew last December and it’s not clear when it will enter service. It’s about the size of a Blackhawk helicopter and will carry up to 12 troops or a 9,000 pound slung load. “The V-280 Valor is quickly and consistently demonstrating the maturity of its technology and the overmatch capabilities it will bring to the warfighter,” said Keith Flail, VP of advanced Tiltrotor systems at Bell. “This first cruise mode flight is another exciting step in our efforts to deliver revolutionary capability for warfighters at a sustainable cost and years ahead of current schedule projections.”

     No Help For EU Pilot Shortage

              By Jason Baker


As in the U.S., a looming pilot shortage in Europe is on the horizon, but little is being done to fix it, according to a research paper published by AeroProfessional, an international aviation recruiting and placement firm. Europe will need to recruit and train about 95,000 pilots during the next 16 years to keep up with demand, according to Boeing's outlook. But AeroProfessional says pilots prefer to work outside of Europe and demand from Asia, Africa and the Middle East is siphoning off pilots.


Retention and barriers to recruiting a new generation of pilots mixed with high training costs, low pay and less-than-stellar working conditions among budget airlines are top concerns. Meanwhile, legacy and flag carriers feel lower pressure in filling pilot seats due to favorable salary and benefit packages offered to new recruits. Pilots having to pay for their type ratings or being drawn into pay-for-training schemes see little motivation to choose the career, says AeroProfessional.  While business aviation might be an attractive option for lower-time pilots to gain experience, geographical restrictions and quality of life issues mixed with the need to obtain type ratings prove prohibitive to most, according to AeroProfessional. The paper further highlights similarities to the U.S. market, illustrating a need for more strategic recruitment planning, in addition to lowering the cost of training and implementation of innovative cadet programs.

"In 2015, 80 percent of stakeholders attending the EASA safety conference agreed that there aren’t enough skilled pilots to meet future demand," the paper says. With the total number of commercial pilot licenses issued in Europe reduced by 31 percent between 2011 and 2015, the dwindling continues. About 4000 fixed-wing CPLs and multi-engine certificates were issued in the EU during 2015, with the UK issuing the highest proportion at 1072. Despite this, 48 percent of UK certificates and 20 percent of all EU licenses were issued to non-residents with no plans to stay in Europe to work. The deficits show effect as 91 percent of applicants trained and licensed in 2015 had been gobbled up by a hungry market in 2016.

With demand growing at a rate current training capacity can’t satisfy, coupled with the added pressure of European pilots leaving for other markets, the outlook for the pilot shortage in the EU is far from bright. Stopping the outflow of both disgruntled pilots and unwilling retirees with skills and experience would be an effective quick fix for addressing the skills crisis, according to AeroProfessional. Getting the mandatory retirement age raised to mitigate demand would require regulatory changes. The paper concludes with the suggestion to the industry that profitability and demand are both such that investing in pilot training doesn’t just make economic sense, it’s crucial for the survival of airlines in a competitive market.


Company In Cuba Plane Crash Had Received Safety Complaints
By Michael Weissenstein And Bert Wilkinson | Associated Press

HAVANA –  The Mexican charter company whose 39-year-old plane crashed in Havana had been the subject of two serious complaints about its crews' performance over the last decade, according to authorities in Guyana and a retired pilot for Cuba's national airline. Mexico's government said late Saturday that its National Civil Aviation Authority will carry out an operational audit of Damojh airlines by EasySky to see if its "current operating conditions continue meeting regulations" and to help collect information for the investigation into Friday's crash in Cuba that left 110 dead.

The plane that crashed, a Boeing 737, was barred from Guyanese airspace last year after authorities discovered that its crew had been allowing dangerous overloading of luggage on flights to Cuba, Guyanese Civil Aviation Director Capt. Egbert Field told The Associated Press on Saturday. The plane and crew were being rented from Mexico City-based Damojh by EasySky, a Honduras-based low-cost airline. Cuba's national carrier, Cubana de Aviacion, was also renting the plane and crew in a similar arrangement known as a "wet lease" before the aircraft veered on takeoff to the eastern Cuban city of Holguin and crashed into a field just after noon Friday, according to Mexican aviation authorities. A Damojh employee in Mexico City declined to comment, saying the company would be communicating only through written statements. Mexican authorities said Damojh had permits needed to lease its aircraft and had passed a November 2017 verification of its maintenance program. They announced a new audit late Saturday. Cuban Transportation Minister Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez told reporters Saturday afternoon that Cubana had been renting the plane for less than a month under an arrangement in which the Mexican company was entirely responsible for maintenance of the aircraft. Armando Daniel Lopez, president of Cuba's Institute of Civil Aviation, told the AP that Cuban authorities had not received any complaints about the plane in that month. He declined to comment further.

Yzquierdo said it was routine for Cuba to rent planes under a variety of arrangements because of what he described as the country's inability to purchase its own aircraft due to the U.S. trade embargo on the island. Cuba has been able to buy planes produced in other countries, including France and Ukraine, but has pulled many from service due to maintenance problems and other issues. "It's normal for us to rent planes," he said. "Why? Because it's convenient and because of the problem of the blockade that we have. Sometimes we can't buy the planes that we need, and we need to rent them."

He said that with Damojh, "the formula here is that they take care of the maintenance of the aircraft. That's their responsibility."

He said Cuba didn't have pilots certified to fly the Boeing, so it had hired the Mexican crew with the expectation that they were fully trained and certified by the proper authorities. Yzquierdo also said the jet's "black box" voice recorder had been recovered and that Cuban officials had granted a U.S. request for investigators from Boeing to travel to the island. Eyewitness and private salon owner Rocio Martinez said she heard a strange noise and looked up to see the plane with a turbine on fire. "It had an engine on fire, in flames, it was falling toward the ground," Martinez said, adding that the plane veered into the field where it crashed, avoiding potential fatalities in a nearby residential area.

Field told AP that the Boeing 737 with tail number XA-UHZ had been flying four routes a week between Georgetown, Guyana, and Havana starting in October 2016. Cubans do not need visas to travel to Guyana, and the route was popular with Cubans working as "mules" to bring suitcases crammed with goods back home to the island, where virtually all consumer products are scarce and more expensive than in most other countries. After Easy Sky canceled a series of flights in spring 2017, leaving hundreds of Cubans stranded at Guyana's main airport, authorities began inspecting the plane and discovered that crews were loading excessive amounts of baggage, leading to concerns the aircraft could be dangerously overburdened and unbalanced. In one instance, Guyanese authorities discovered suitcases stored in the plane's toilet. "This is the same plane and tail number," Guyanese Infrastructure Minister David Patterson said. He and other Guyanese authorities said they did not immediately know if the crew suspended last May was the same one that died in Friday's crash. Damojh operates three Boeing 737s, two 737-300s and the 737-201 that crashed Friday, according to Mexican officials. Ovidio Martinez Lopez, a pilot for Cubana for over 40 years until he retired six years ago, wrote in a post on Facebook that a plane rented from the Mexican company by Cubana briefly dropped off radar while over the city of Santa Clara in 2010 or 2011, triggering an immediate response by Cuban aviation security officials.

As a result, Cuban officials suspended a captain and co-pilot for "serious technical knowledge issues," and Cuba's Aviation Security authority issued a formal recommendation that Cubana stop renting planes and crews from Damojh, Martinez wrote. "They are many flight attendants and security personnel who refused to fly with this airline," Martinez wrote. "On this occasion, the recommendation was overlooked and they rented from them again." Contacted by AP in Havana, Martinez confirmed his Facebook account but declined to comment further. Mexican officials said the Boeing 737-201 was built in 1979. Mexican aviation authorities said a team of experts would fly to Cuba on Saturday to take part in the investigation.

Delta To Plan New Routes To
India And The Middle East

                   by Jon Champs

Following the extraordinary non-event of an agreement with the UAE over Emirates and Etihad, which gave nobody anything they didn't already have, but allowed the necessary face-saving for everyone involved, Delta has said it's eager to get to India and return to the Middle East. Quite what has been stopping them doing so is a total mystery. There have been no blocks in place, it's been entirely up to them. They were flying to Dubai as late as 2015 and only withdrew because they claimed, of 'too much competition".

Quite what they think has changed is hard to fathom. It's very typical of American Airlines to blame others for their failings - and Delta have plenty of those as I and others found out on our flight to Detroit from Amsterdam yesterday. I never waste time in Economy, but some of the group did out of choice. You can see their review here tomorrow.

               Air Italy receives first

                 Boeing 737 MAX

                 By Travel News

Air Italy has unveiled its first Boeing 737 MAX and its striking new livery at the Boeing Everett Delivery Centre in Seattle, in front of a crowd of VIP dignitaries and guests, including prince Rahim Aga Khan, alongside international media.The aircraft, the first of approximately 50 new aircraft to be added to the Air Italy fleet by 2022, is the first of 20 brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that will join the airline over the next three years. Qatar Airways previously strengthened its commitment to Italy in 2017 with the acquisition of 49 per cent of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, while the previous sole shareholder Alisarda kept 51 per cent.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, commented: “I am delighted to be at the Boeing Everett Delivery Centre today in Seattle to mark yet another landmark event, the delivery of Air Italy’s first new Boeing 737 Max aircraft in striking new livery, first presented in Milan in February this year. “To see the aircraft here for the first time, it truly brings to life the next exciting chapter for Italy’s future carrier of choice, providing the people of Italy with the sophisticated travel experience that they deserve.” The new Boeing 737 Max aircraft features modern and spacious cabins, superior operating economics and a greater fuel efficiency. The aircraft will also feature business class cabins and will replace Air Italy’s existing Boeing 737NGs.

Chairman of Alisarda, Marco Rigotti, said: “This first Boeing B737 Max will offer our customers a journey in true Italian style. “While seated in this comfortable and stylish aircraft, flying from Milan onwards to our domestic network of popular destinations such as Taormina in Sicily, the Emerald Coast in Sardinia, Rome, Sorrento and Capri or the pristine landscape in Calabria, we want our passengers to sense the beauty of Italy and warm welcome they will receive upon landing.” Air Italy will also receive five Airbus A330-200 aircraft this year from the Qatar Airways’ fleet, prior to these being further replaced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

FAA approves Boeing 777x’s

Folding Wing-tips Design

News In Flight

May 19, 2018

Federal Aviation Administration on Friday granted approval for Boeing’s new foldable wingtips design incorporated in its latest 777 jets. The foldable wing-tips design incorporated into Boeing 777-8 and 777-9 models, would allow the aircraft wing-tips folded during ground operations and fit into the standard-sized airport parking space.

The wing-tips folding features 235 feet wingspan to be reduced to 212 feet upon touchdown. The wing-tips folds once the aircraft touches down and a set of locking mechanisms will make it impossible for them to retract while the aircraft is airborne.

As part of approval requirements, FAA required Boeing to have several warning systems that ensures the pilots will not attempt a takeoff with wing-tips folded and have the tips are locked in the correct position.FAA also required Boeing to ensure that wing-tips will not rotate once the aircraft is airborne. The FAA approval came four and a half years after the plane was announced and the 777x is scheduled for its first flight in first quarter of 2019 and anticipated to enter commercial service in December 2019.

United Announces East Coast Expansion From Newark, Washington-Dulles

 by Zvonimir Tol

MIAMI — United shared on Monday its schedule expansion at its East Coast hubs located in New York/Newark (EWR) and Washington-Dulles (IAD). These adjustments will increase connectivity throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean from the carrier’s leading route system at both hubs. “We approached these schedule adjustments with our customers in mind, knowing that we wanted to create a schedule that offers customers beginning their travel in the New York City area convenient flights to many of the business and leisure destinations they frequent the most,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s Vice President of Domestic Network.

United will maximize its hub strengths by launching new destinations, more frequencies and larger two-cabin aircraft starting in October 2018.The carrier intends to offer extra nonstop flights to popular destinations for New York customers while reallocating connecting passenger flights on short-haul routes to its hub at Washington-Dulles. Thus will transition service between New York/Newark and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Ithaca, New York, and Scranton, Pennsylvania to Washington-Dulles. Gupta added later that “since more of our customers begin their travel from New York/Newark than any other United hub city, we’ve created a more customer friendly schedule that removed connection times and provided convenient nonstop service to multiple U.S. destinations.”

Boeing To Acquire KLX

For $4.25 Billion

By Emon Reiser, SF Bus. Journal

The world's largest aerospace company has agreed to purchase Wellington-based KLX Inc. in a $4.25 billion deal announced early Tuesday. Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) plans to buy the local company at about half a billion dollars above KLX's reported market value with the goal of expanding its aircraft services business. The all-cash transaction comprises $63 per share of KLX (Nasdaq: KLXI) and the assumption of $1 billion in debt. It's expected to close by the third quarter of 2018 and is subject to regulatory approvals. KLX would merge with Boeing subsidiary Aviall, and the new KLX Aerospace Solutions headquarters at 3760 W. 18th St. in Miami is "expected to continue to remain the principal operating location," the companies said.

Prior to the announcement, the 500,000-square-foot facility at Countyline Corporate Park was slated to have 700 employees by the end of the year. Boeing's buyout includes KLX Aerospace Solutions, while KLX Inc.'s Energy Services Group is expected to be divested in order for the deal to close."The combination of Aviall and KLX Aerospace facilitates the broadest scope of parts and products to support all customer fleet types for the commercial, military and defense and business and general aviation markets," said Amin Khoury, KLX chairman and chief executive officer. "This business combination will enable us to deliver industry-leading value-added service solutions for our customers, and outstanding growth opportunities for our suppliers."

KLX has 2,000 employees in 65 locations across the world and markets and distributes military, commercial and business jet products for more than 2,400 manufacturers. KLX's revenue was $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2017. Chicago-based Boeing; a mammoth manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems; has 140,000 employees across the world. The company expects to save about $70 million annually through 2021 by purchasing KLX. The deal will be financed primarily with cash on hand and supplemented with debt.

"This acquisition is the next step in our services growth strategy, with a clear opportunity to profitably grow our business and better serve our customers in a $2.6 trillion, 10-year services market," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services. "By combining the talent and product offerings of Aviall and KLX Inc., we will provide a one-stop-shop that will benefit our supply chain and our various customers in a meaningful way." The tri-county region's aviation and aerospace industry represents 46,000 workers and an economic impact of over $41 billion. The acquisition of KLX, Southeast Florida's No. 22 largest public company, is the second multibillion-dollar agreement involving a local company announced this week.KLX's stock was $78.23 per share before the open of the Tuesday market.

Heathrow To Host Largest Electric Vehicle Fleet In UK

By Breaking Travel News

Heathrow, Jaguar and travel services company WeKnowGroup have signed a landmark deal that will see a fleet of up to 200 fully-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles available to passengers for travel to and from the airport. The service, to roll-out in summer 2018, will create the largest chauffeur-driven fleet of electric vehicles in the UK and support Heathrow’s commitment to improving air quality around the airport. The deal announced today brings together two iconic British brands and a British small/medium sized company to lead the way in EV adoption, improving air quality and supporting the UK economy.

Initially the fleet will be made up of 50 I-PACEs available from summer 2018 with the option to add a further 150 cars in the next 12 months. This fleet will support up to 1,000 electric vehicle journeys to and from Heathrow each day – saving over eight tonnes of oxides of nitrogen emissions each year.To support the service, WeKnowGroup will be installing a dedicated charging hub at Heathrow, which will be the largest in the UK. Designed and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, the all-electric I-PACE is at the forefront of the zero emissions revolution, carrying a state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery and capable of a range of 298 miles. New research released by economic consultants CEBR today has revealed the extent of forecasted EV take-up in London over the next decade and its predicted positive impact on air quality, given the impact road vehicles have on NOx emissions.

Following a number of announcements by car manufacturers, government and the mayor of London, the CEBR analysis shows that by 2030 up to 58 per cent of vehicles on London’s roads will be electric. The introduction of the T-Charge for more polluting vehicles in October 2017, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and falling purchasing costs for an electric vehicle are some of the main causes driving forward this forecasted shift, which will could result in the average concentration of oxides of nitrogen across the city reducing by as much as eight per cent. Emma Gilthorpe, executive director at Heathrow, said: “We are thrilled to be working with two British companies on this landmark initiative to support more sustainable transportation choices for our passengers.

“We will not compromise on our commitments to the environment and our local community and we remain focussed on addressing the impact road vehicles have on air quality on the roads around the airport. “These I-PACEs are the latest in a long line of initiatives we are taking to ensure that we do not force a choice between the economy and the environment – and that we can deliver benefits for both.” Heathrow already has one of the largest corporate electric vehicle fleets in the UK, and the highest density of charging infrastructure in Europe, and is taking further action to promote the take-up of EVs in and around the airport.

This includes a year-on-year increase in more electric vehicle charging points through a £5 million investment, the trial of electric buses for airside passengers and plans for an ultra-low emission zone airside. Heathrow has also signed up to EV100 a global initiative bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

Proposed Bill Targets Technician Shortage

By Kate O'connor



Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to create a program to bring more people into the aviation maintenance workforce. If it passes a House vote, the Aviation Workforce Development Pilot Program Bill, H.R. 5701, would provide grants of up to $500,000 for activities that support aviation maintenance workforce development. Twenty aviation organizations including AOPA, GAMA and NATA have voiced their support for the bill in a letter to House leaders.

As for why the bill is needed, the groups point to a Boeing analysis that “suggests that 118,000 new technicians will be needed in North America over the next two decades” and a forecast from consulting firm Oliver Wyman that says “demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022.”

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Representatives Sam Graves, R, Mo., Daniel Lipinski, D, Ill., Markwayne Mullin, R, Ok., and Brenda Lawrence, D, Mich. “All of aviation from general aviation to large commercial operations will be affected if more people do not enter this vital field,” said Graves. “This legislation provides a viable path forward to address the skills gap and ensure the United States remains a world leader in the aviation industry.” Last March, Senator James Inhofe, R, Ok., introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

American, Allegiant Airlines In Spotlight As

FAA Oversight Reviewed

By AirWise

A US Transportation Department review of the FAA’s oversight of airline maintenance will now concentrate on just Allegiant Air and American Airlines as inspectors “refocus” the audit. The Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched a review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of US air carrier maintenance in June last year, but said it will now adjust the scope of the review and refocus on Allegiant and American. During its initial audit work, the OIG found that in the case of the two airlines, the FAA had “moved its oversight strategy from emphasising enforcement actions to working with carriers to address the root causes for noncompliance of safety regulations.” 

The relationships and information-sharing practices between airlines and their FAA oversight offices vary significantly, it said. The review’s objectives will now be to assess the FAA’s processes for investigating allegations of improper maintenance practices at the two airlines, including its independent reviews and complaints procedure to see whether inspectors found similar discrepancies. It will also determine whether the FAA ensures that the two airlines implement effective corrective actions to address maintenance problems. American Airlines said it was shocked to learn of the review and said it would work with the Inspector General. Allegiant said it welcomed the review.

United Flight Attendant Displays Erratic In-Flight Behavior

By Megan Cerullo  NY DAILY NEWS

A flight attendant on a United Airlines/Trans State regional flight in May 2018 was reportedly acting "out of control" and confronted a passenger. (Erika Cooper Gorman via Twitter) A United Airlines flight attendant was reportedly suspended after she exhibited erratic behavior on a flight from Denver to Williston, N.D. Passenger Erika Gorman tweeted about the incident, saying the flight attendant was so out of control that she went to the cockpit to report her behavior to the plane's pilot. Gorman alleges that the flight attendant was drunk."Drunk and disorderly—belligerent flight attendant. Boarding announcements were 'if your seatbelt isn't tight, you f^*%ed up," Gorman said in a tweet to the airline.

Gorman, a passenger on Trans States Flight 4689, took pictures of the disheveled-looking flight attendant and shared them on social media.The images show the flight attendant confronting another passenger. Police met the plane when it landed in North Dakota, according to CBS News.

United said in a statement to the Daily News it was "aware of a concerning incident involving a flight attendant. As a gesture of goodwill, we have compensated all customers aboard the flight and we apologize for any inconvenience or distress this may have caused." "The safety of our customers and crew aboard all United and Trans States flights is a top priority," United said in the statement. Trans States Airlines said the flight attendant is being "held out of service," according to CBS.


FAA Re authorization Bill

Passes House Vote

By Kate O'Connor


The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the FAA Re-authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4), which will grant funding for the FAA until 2023. The legislation was introduced by chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. and passed with a vote of 393-13. Although the original House bill did not include provisions for removing ATC from FAA control, a last-minute amendment added by Shuster on Tuesday called for making the organization that manages ATC part of the Transportation Department and forming a 13-member advisory board. The change met with significant industry resistance and the controversial section was removed from the amendment before the bill went to a vote. Nearly 100 amendments were made to the bill before the final vote. The list includes one that directs the FAA to evaluate NextGen air traffic control technology and report the findings to Congress.

Also included was an amendment requiring medical exams for commercial hot air balloon pilots, stemming from the 2016 crash of a hot air balloon that killed 16 people in Texas.

NATA, GAMA, and other aviation organizations have already issued statements praising the passage of H.R. 4. “This bill provides key provisions and language that improves safety, streamlines regulatory burdens, strengthens job creation, encourages competitiveness and innovation, and stimulates exports,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. It is being reported that the hope is to have the legislation to the Senate in May or June and long-term reauthorization in place by August.

TSB Recommends Flight Recorders for Some Commercial and Private Aircraft By Rob Mark

Canadian safety agency leaps ahead of U.S. regulators with flight recorder recommendation.

Photo: This L3 flight data recorder weighs less than five pounds.

Kathy Fox, Chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said, "We don't like having to say 'We don't know' when asked what caused an accident and why." To minimize those kinds of responses to the families of victims of aircraft accidents, the media and the rest of the industry, the TSB is recommending the mandatory installation of lightweight flight recorders on all Canadian commercial and private business operators not currently required to carry them. As is the relationship between the NTSB and the FAA here in the U.S., the TSB can only make recommendations to Transport Canada. In the U.S., the FAA requires flight data recorders aboard multi-engine turbine powered aircraft operating under an air carrier certificate with 10 or more seats, or if operated with two required pilots, any multi-engine turbine aircraft with seats for six or more passengers.

Precipitating the TSB’s action last week, was the October 13, 2016 crash of a Cessna Citation 500 on a night instrument flight between Kelowna Airport in British Columbia and Calgary’s Springbank Airport in Alberta. The aircraft was being flown by a single pilot with three passengers aboard. Shortly after departure, the aircraft departed controlled flight, entered a steep descending right turn and struck the ground killing everyone on board. Impact forces and a post-impact fire destroyed the aircraft. No emergency radio call was heard prior to the accident. The TSB said the lack of a flight recorder made determining the cause of the accident impossible. The TSB did say the most plausible scenario was that the pilot, who was likely dealing with the high workload associated with single-pilot operations, experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the aircraft. The pilot also did not have the recent night flying experience required by Transport Canada for carrying passengers at night.

Air Canada Operates A Biofuel Flight From Edmonton To San Francisco

By World Airline News

Air Canada Airbus A320-214 C-FGKH (msn 1975) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940090.

Air Canada announced its Edmonton–San Francisco flight on May 2 will operate with biofuel onboard a 146-seat Airbus A320-200 aircraft. The larger aircraft was scheduled for this flight to accommodate the trade mission delegation led by the Government of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and Edmonton-area businesses to California.  “Air Canada is proud to partner today with the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) to operate today’s flight with biofuel. Air Canada continues to support and advocate for the development of biofuel in Canada to become commercially viable; a big step towards creating more sustainable aviation in Canada and internationally.

This is our eighth biofuel-operated flight since 2012. The result of today’s biofuel use reduces this flight’s carbon emissions by over 10 tonnes, which represents a 20% reduction in net carbon emissions for this flight,” said Teresa Ehman, Director, Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. “Since 1990, Air Canada has improved its fuel efficiency by 43 per cent. We have also committed to meet ambitious targets set by the International Air Transport Association, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. These efforts and other green initiatives to increase efficiency and reduce waste were recognized by Air Transport World which earlier this year named Air Canada the Eco-Airline of the Year for 2018.”

“This biofuel demonstration flight reflects our combined commitment to bring forward low carbon, renewable fuels into the aviation and airport sectors,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO of EdmontonInternational Airport. “Air Canada’s leadership in the renewable resource sector strongly aligns with EIA’s commitment to regional economic development and sustainability, while reducing the long-term carbon impact of airport operations.” “Dozens of Alberta businesses and organizations are joining us on today’s San Francisco flight, to help showcase our province’s potential abroad and create new jobs and opportunities at home,” said the Honourable Deron Bilous,

Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade. “Using biofuel is an important reminder that, by working with partners like Air Canada and EIA, Alberta will continue to be the energy and environmental leader North America needs for the 21st century.” “This commitment and use of cleaner energy shows corporate leadership which is integral to all of us working together to address climate change,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “I hope it encourages other companies to follow suit so we can continue to accelerate leadership on energy transition and climate change.” Air Canada’s Edmonton–San Francisco daily, nonstop flights launched yesterday, May 1.

DOT Moves To Monetize Drones

By Mary Grady


It’s a small step, but the Transportation Department on Monday took what could be the first move toward allowing the widespread commercial use of drones to transport cargo, and eventually, passengers as well. The DOT—the parent of the FAA—published a “notification of procedures” on Monday stating that it will provide “certificate or exemption authority” to companies proposing to operate drones to engage in air transportation, including the delivery of goods for compensation.

The FAA also verified to AVweb that the statement applies to the transport of passengers in “autonomous or semi-autonomous flying taxis” as well as cargo. The FAA also told AVweb the agency’s goal is to encourage industry to move forward and develop their ideas without being encumbered by the slow pace of FAA rulemaking, while emphasizing that “both the FAA and industry will not compromise on safety.”

The FAA will retain “safety authority” over all operations, the DOT said in its notification. “Companies proposing to operate UAS to engage in air transportation, including the delivery of goods for compensation, must first obtain certificate or exemption authority from the Department prior to engaging in the air transportation,” the DOT said. “The Department intends to use its existing regulatory procedures for processing UAS operators’ requests for economic authority.” Amazon and Google already are developing drones with the aim to deliver products directly to customers, and multiple companies, including Boeing and Airbus, are working on concepts for passenger drones.

Pilots Report Close Encounters With UFO Over Arizona:
 'Something Just Passed Over Us' By MORGAN WINSOR, March 29, 2018 By
Good Morning America 

Two pilots on different aircraft reported having close encounters with a mysterious object flying high above Arizona last month, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The sightings occurred within minutes of each other on the afternoon of Feb. 24, some 40,000 feet above southern Arizona near the New Mexico border. ABC News obtained the audio recording of the conversation between the pilots and the Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center, released by the FAA. The news comes amid a series of reports of military pilots coming into contact with what they believed to be UFOs and the disclosure of a secret, but now-defunct Pentagon program to track such incidents. The pilot of a Learjet 36 belonging to Phoenix Air, with the tail number N71PG, reported the initial sighting. He asks the controller: "Was anybody above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?

"Negative," the controller responds.

"OK. Something did," the Learjet pilot says.

"It's a UFO," another pilot chimes in.

"Yeah," the Learjet pilot laughs.


A few minutes later, the controller radios to American Airlines Flight 1095, an Airbus A321. He asks the pilot, "Let me know if you see anything pass over you here in the next 15 miles." The pilot seems puzzled and responds, "If anything passes over us?"

"Affirmative. We had an aircraft in front of you at 37 [thousand feet] that reported something pass over him and we didn't have any [radar] targets, so just let me know if you see anything pass over you," the controller says.

"All right," the pilot says. The Learjet pilot joins the conversation, saying, "I don't know what it was, it wasn't an airplane but it was -- the path was going in the opposite direction."


About a minute later, the American Airlines Flight 1095 pilot radios back to the controller to report a bizarre sighting in Arizona's airspace. "Yeah, something just passed over us, like a -- I don't know what it was. But it was at least two, three thousand feet above us. Yeah, it passed right over the top of us," the pilot says. "OK, American 1095, thank you," the controller responds.

The controller later asks, "American 1095, can you tell if it was in motion or just hovering?" "Couldn't make it out whether it was a balloon or whatnot. But it was just really beaming light or could have had a big reflection and was several thousand feet above us going opposite direction," the pilot says.

"Roger," the controller responds.

The American Airlines pilot later radios to the controller again, asking if the unidentified object was a "Google balloon." "Doubtful," another pilot chimes in. The voice of another pilot adds, "UFO."

The controller was unable to verify that any other aircraft was in the area at the time of the reported sightings, according to a spokesperson for the FAA.

"We have a close working relationship with a number of other agencies and safely handle military aircraft and civilian aircraft of all types in that area every day, including high-altitude weather balloons," the spokesperson told ABC News in an email Wednesday.

Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Marco Chouinard, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told ABC News in an email Wednesday that NORAD assets were not involved in the Feb. 24 incident. Phoenix Air Group Vice President Bob Tracey told ABC News he recently spoke with the captain of the Learjet after reading about the Feb. 24 sightings in a local newspaper. The captain said he was flying at about 37,000 feet when the unidentified object flew several thousand feet over his aircraft at a speed that appeared similar to what a commercial airline would travel. The captain said he often sees balloons or airships at these flight levels, but a beam of light shining off the object was so bright that he couldn't decipher whether that's what it was, according to Tracey. "He said the only thing that was different about this was that it was just so bright," Tracey said in a phone interview Wednesday. "The glare was so intense, they couldn't make it out." Tracey said the captain described the sighting as "rather uneventful," but he notified air traffic control because he was concerned the object could hit other aircraft.

"He said when he landed, he didn't give it much thought," Tracey added.

A spokesperson for X, the innovation lab of Google parent company Alphabet, confirmed to ABC News in an email Thursday that the object seen in Arizona's airspace on Feb. 24 was not one of its "Project Loon" balloons. American Airlines referred ABC News’ request for comment to the FAA. ABC News' Anthony McMahon, Rex Sakamoto and Daniel Steinberger contributed to this report.

Note: A sign off route U.S. 285, north of Roswell, New Mexico, points west to the alleged 1947 crash site of a flying saucer on the Corn Ranch, June 20 1997.

American Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing At RDU, ABC WTVD


An American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at RDU Thursday morning. Flight 3356 from Dallas to RDU landed at the airport just before 1 A.M. Officials with the airline said an indicator light went off during the flight. The spokesperson also said Flight Attendants onboard smelled an odor, which caused the 10 passengers and three crew members to evacuate through the main door on the runway. No emergency slide was used. Passengers were then taken to their terminal by bus.

ABC11 spoke with several passengers who said they never saw any signs of smoke; however, their claim they were told they landed because of a sensor malfunction. No injuries have been reported; maintenance is evaluating the plane.

Hi-Tech Solutions Help Airlines Lose Fewer Bags By Airwise News

Airlines are misplacing fewer passenger bags, with the rate dropping by 70.5 percent over the past 10 years, SITA’s 2018 baggage report showed. In a decade where passenger growth pushed the number of people flying to over 4 billion in 2017, global airlines mishandled 5.57 bags per thousand passengers. That was the lowest rate of mishandled bags ever recorded. Information technology company SITA said mishandled bags represent a minority of the 4.6 billion bags carried each year, but cost the industry an estimated USD$2.3 billion in 2017. Passenger numbers have risen by 64 percent since 2007, but the mishandling rate per thousand passengers has dropped by 70.5 percent, it said.

The total number of mishandled bags in 2017 was 22.7 million, a 4.1 percent increase on the previous year, but as SITA pointed out it was still lower than the overall passenger traffic growth rate of 7.6 percent. Regions that saw the lowest rates of mishandled bags were Asia Pacific and the United States. Asia Pacific airlines registered an average mishandling rate of just 1.92 bags per thousand passengers, well below the global average but 6 percent higher than the previous year. In the US, the Department of Transportation reported that the rate of mishandled bags fell to a record low of 2.4 per thousand domestic passengers.

“In 2017, despite the significant operational challenges of coping with three major hurricanes, a power outage in Atlanta, multiple Federal Aviation Administration ground delay programmes in New York and elsewhere, and some airline outages, airlines continued to improve upon previous years’ progress in handling checked baggage,” Airlines for America VP John Heimlich said. SITA noted the technical advances in the industry, with real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop becoming increasingly available. Baggage tracking will become more reliable with the introduction and improvement of scanning technologies, it reported.

One such innovation is RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, where luggage tags contain electronically-stored information in the label which can be easily scanned at each stage of the journey from check-in to baggage claim belts. The technology will also allow passengers to track their own bags using apps, although not all airlines are expected to provide that facility. The definition of a mishandled bag is a report of a delayed, damaged or pilfered bag which is recorded by either an airline or its handling company on behalf of the passenger and that is handled as a claim.

American Airlines Tops The World’s Most Valuable Airlines List in 2018 (+Full Ranking) April 26 13:44 2018 by Enrique Perrella and James Field

LONDON — Brand Finance, a valuation and strategy consultancy company, has released its 50 most valuable airline brands of the world report, coming up with some startling results.American Airlines, for the second consecutive year, has come on top of the list with a whopping $9.1 billion brand value. Delta Air Lines came in second, with an $8.7 billion value, followed by United Airlines. But even though the top three US carriers are leading the list, not all is good news for the US airline industry. American Airlines retains its number-one position but has faced a 7% decrease in value in the last 12 months.Likewise, Delta also shows a 6% decrease, whereas United only dropped a couple points.

 “In the airline market, customers are making decisions about brands on a very narrow range of factors: price, routing, and schedules,” said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance. “Despite big viral news stories which gained media attention globally affecting several brands, in the airline business, it is reliability on delivering core services that customers find the key to taking purchasing decisions.” In American Airlines’ case, the decrease is directly tied to the level of unhappiness that is being portrayed over social media by its customers, similar to what happened with the 2017 United Airlines scandal when Dr. Dao was dragged off a flight and numerous passengers posted the unhappy event via social media feeds and thus rapidly becoming viral.

Moreover, the rapidity of social media posts provides a response rate that, decades ago, didn’t exist. Today, passengers feel entitled to providing immediate feedback when things don’t go as expected, directly affecting a brand’s value. Besides social media unhappiness, Brand Finance claims that larger macroeconomic challenges in a post-consolidation phase have also contributed to the valuation losses. Southwest Airlines also produced a 12% decrease in value.

US Carriers Within The Top 50

In the United States, the good news is that its top three carriers are leading the world’s list in value, with American, Delta, and United reigning on top of the world. In the fifth spot, worldwide, Southwest marks a $5.2 billion worth. Up next, is Alaska Airlines in the 20th position, followed by JetBlue in the 23rd and Spirit Airlines in the 41st.

Is it Time for Another Airline Merger?

by Benét J. Wilson


MIAMI — As American Airlines and US Airways move ahead with a merger announced on February 13, 2013, AirwaysNews is looking at the future of airline mergers, asking industry observers what may be ahead. When the merger was first announced, then-US Airways CEO Doug Parker said it would be “the last major piece needed to fully rationalize the industry.” Harlan Platt, a finance professor at the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, says there won’t be any further airline mergers. “I’d say that the chance for another airline merger is extraordinarily slim, because I feel the Department of Justice and the FTC made a mistake allowing mergers including Delta-Northwest and United-Continental,” he said. The only one that should have happened was Delta and Northwest, said Platt. “At the time, Northwest was not viable and had terrible labor relations,” he said.

But the United-Continental and American-US Airways mergers have changed the airline industry, said Platt. “It has done from an industry that was moderately competitive and making some money to one that is making much more money, but running as an oligarchy or even a monopoly in some markets,” he said. “Airlines have reduced their fleet sizes, cut capacity and are charging more for incidentals outside of the basic fare.” “I feel that in the future, there’s more of a likelihood that a new carrier will enter the market rather than consolidation,” said Platt, citing JetBlue as an example. Reid Appleby, recently named vice president at Alexandria, Va.-based consultancy Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, LLC, worked at American Airlines for 28 years in a variety of management roles, including network planning, route forecasting and air service development.

“I suspect what Parker was actually referring to in his merger statement was a reference to the six remaining legacy carriers,” he said. “When Delta-Northwest and United-Continental merged, the last natural pairing was American-US Airways. So it makes sense in rounding out the legacy airlines.” But it does leave open the question of what happens to the next tier of airlines flying jets, like JetBlue, Virgin America, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines, said Appleby. “In that realm, there’s still a possibility of a combination or two. I don’t think any are imminent, but there has been speculation that there could be a merger in the ultra low-cost carrier realm, the domain of Spirit and Frontier,” he said. Stephen Carbone worked at FedEx during the time it merged with Flying Tigers, worked at the NTSB as an aircraft accident investigator and is the author of “JetBlast.” He feels that the dust still needs to settle with the mergers that have already happened before more happen.

“One thing that happens during a merger is that it takes a long time for the process to work. Tedious is the word to describe it,” said Carbone. “There are a lot of planets that need to align, like union contracts, fleets and routes, before you get everything working.” So with that, Carbone doesn’t see another merger for at least a decade. “It’s not just the airlines that need to align, but it’s also the industry. We’re seeing hostility over the Open Skies agreement with Gulf carriers versus the big three U.S. airlines,” he said. “Airlines need to know where they’re standing to compete against global carriers, and there has to be more realignment globally before anything happens domestically.”

One Killed After Engine Fragment Damages Fuselage Of

Southwest Jet Flight 1380

by Shamar Walters and Elizabeth Chuck , MSNBC


Southwest Flt 1240.jpg"There was an explosion of the engine," one passenger said. "A shard of the engine hit the window."

A person on board a Southwest Airlines plane was killed Tuesday after the plane's left engine failed, damaging the fuselage and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia, officials said. Officials did not immediately detail what happened on board, but passengers described a terrifying experience that started when a piece of a jet engine apparently flew into a window, shattering the window and depressurizing the plane. Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed the fatality but did not give the person's gender or say if the person was a passenger or a crew member.

Earlier, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said one person was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, and seven others were treated by paramedics for minor injuries. Sumwalt said he did not know if the person killed was the one taken to the hospital. Southwest Flight 1380 was flying from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Dallas Love Field when it was diverted to Philadelphia International Airport around 11:20 a.m. ET.

Matt Tranchin told NBC News that about 20 minutes after takeoff, he heard something that sounded like an explosion. "There was an explosion of the engine. A shard of the engine hit the window," said Tranchin, 34, of Dallas. "The plane dropped immediately. Our oxygen masks dropped immediately." Tranchin said he was sitting in Seat 17E — three rows behind the window that was struck by the engine debris. The passenger next to the broken window was hit by glass and "covered in blood," he said. After the window blew out, flight crew prepared for an emergency descent, Tranchin said. “As we landed, they kept repeating 'Brace for landing! Brace for landing!' ” he said. While the plane sped toward the runway, Tranchin sent frantic goodbye messages to his family. "It was one of those things when you don’t want to terrify your family, but if you do go down, you don’t want to not say goodbye." "It was one of those things when you don’t want to terrify your family, but if you do go down, you don’t want to not say goodbye." “My wife in her third trimester," he said. "We’re expecting our first child. It was one of those things when you don’t want to terrify your family, but if you do go down, you don’t want to not say goodbye." The shattered window near the engine. Matt Tranchin

Southwest said there were 143 passengers and five crew members aboard the Boeing 737. "We are in the process of gathering more information," Southwest said in a statement following the incident. "Safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we are working diligently to support our customers and crews at this time." Images of the plane showed an engine appearing exposed and shredded. "This appears to be what aviation officials call an uncontained engine failure," NBC News aviation specialist Jay Blackman said. "Engines are designed, when they fail, to fail inside the engine cowling. But in this case it looks like it pierced the cowling, and not only the cowling, but it pierced part of the fuselage.” Philadelphia airport officials said the flight was diverted due to an "operational event" but did not give any more information.

The FAA issued a temporary ground stop for all other flights at the Philadelphia airport and told passengers to expect delays. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into what happened, the FAA added. Sumwalt said the flight data recorders will be brought to Washington to be examined. A damaged engine on a Southwest Airlines plane after an emergency landing Tuesday. Amanda Bourman / via Instagram

Passengers on the Philadelphia tarmac could be seen exiting the damaged plane through a mobile stairway before being bused to a terminal.

Tranchin said that once the flight landed, everyone burst into applause.

"There was a lot of hugging," he said. "I personally hugged the pilot. I think just relief, relief that we get to live for another day."

Southwest Offers Apology, Compensation to Passengers

  • Southwest Airlines sent a letter of apology and is offering compensation to passengers who were on the flight that made an emergency landing in Pennsylvania.
  • Southwest CEO Gary Kelly sent a letter to one passenger including a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher.
  • An engine on the Southwest jet exploded, killing one passenger on board.

Southwest Airlines has sent a letter of apology and is offering compensation to passengers who were on a flight earlier this week that made an emergency landing following an engine explosion. ABC News reports that it obtained a letter to one passenger signed by Southwest CEO Gary Kelly that included a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher. See more on Newsletter Jan-June 2018

 The company confirmed that it sent the "communication and gesture" to passengers, although it would not disclose the wording or compensation amounts.

An engine on a Southwest jet exploded over Pennsylvania on Tuesday, and debris hit the plane. Jennifer Riordan, a 43-year-old bank executive from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was sucked partway out of the jet when a window shattered. She died later from her injuries.

Southwest offers compensation to passengers after engine explosion   Listen to Audio of  PHL Control /Center and SW Female Pilot.

We usually post jokes, but this is serious and had to be shared. What an incredible demonstration of real air traffic control. Audio has been condensed but includes all publicly available ATC transmissions to/from SWA1380 from the time they declared an emergency to the time they stopped on the ground. Audio quality of these feeds varies dramatically just due to distance to transmitters, A/D converters, interference, receivers, bandwidth, bitrate, compression, digital artifacts, dither, all that fun stuff, etc.Click on Hyperlink for entire story.

Southwest 1380 (engine failure 4/17/2018) ENTIRE EVENT: actual multi-sector ATC audio

ATC Memes Published on Apr 17, 2018

FAA Will Issue AD For CFM Engines

By Kate O'Connor

 In the wake of the uncontained engine failure that killed a passenger on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 earlier this week, the FAA has announced that it will issue an AD requiring inspections of certain CFM56-7B engines. This statement comes after NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said during a media briefing that a preliminary inspection of the engine on the Southwest Boeing 737-700 revealed that a fan blade had broken off at the hub and around the midpoint of the blade. Sumwalt also said that it appeared from a visual inspection that metal fatigue was the cause of the blade separation. See more on Newsletter Jan-June 2018

Allegiant Air: The Budget Airline Flying Under The Radar

 By Steve Kroft 2018 

Steve Kroft investigates Allegiant Air, a discount carrier known more for its ultra-low fares than its high record of in-flight breakdowns. Allegiant Air is a small, ultra-low-cost carrier based in Las Vegas, that happens to be one of the country's most profitable airlines. But, according to federal aviation records and interviews with pilots, mechanics and industry experts, it may also be the most dangerous. The airline flew 12 million passengers last year on its 99 planes to 120 destinations from California to Florida. But it's had persistent problems since at least the summer of 2015 when it experienced a rash of mid-air breakdowns, including five on a single day.


It was not a fluke. Public documents show an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure loss, emergency descents, and unscheduled landings. Yet for the most part, allegiant's difficulties have managed to stay under the radar of the flying public.


CBS News

It's entirely possible that you have never heard of Allegiant or flown on one of its planes. But if you shop for the cheapest ticket, live near cities like Pittsburgh or Cincinnati that are underserved by major airlines or you rely on regional airports, then you probably recognize the company's colors and logo. Allegiant has some of the lowest fares, the least frills, and the oldest fleet in the business. Right now, nearly 30% of its planes are antiquated, gas-guzzling McDonnell-Douglas MD-80s, almost all of them purchased second-hand from foreign airlines. It also has more than its share of angry, traumatized passengers willing to share their experiences.Click Hyperlink for Entire Article

Southwest Safety FAA Findings! Safety Culture to Blame?

By Karlene Pettit, 

Could this Event Have Been Avoided?


The only way to create change is to stand up and tell the truth, despite the repercussions. However, sometimes individuals stay silent because they have families to feed and mortgages to pay and their careers are threatened. Thus, we needed a little government reform to help. Safety Management Systems (SMS) is an FAA mandate to improve safety. However, SMS demands a positive Safety Culture. Yet, without a Reporting and Just Culture, Safety Culture declines.

See more of Karlene's article Click to go to her website:

The World's Busiest Airport Revealed

By CNN News

 It's not just you: Airports really are getting busier. Close to 104 million passengers passed though the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l. Airport in 2017, making it the world's busiest passenger airport for another year. That's according to preliminary 2017 data released Monday by Airports Council International. Globally, there were significant increases in passenger numbers, cargo, international freight and total aircraft movements. With flight routes this busy, it's surprising we can see the sky at all.

Major connecting hub

Atlanta can thank its location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America for its continued dominance. The city is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population of more than 300 million people. However, that could change by next year. Atlanta was the only airport in the top 20 to see a decrease in passenger traffic last year, with a small drop of 0.26%. Beijing Capital International has long nipped at the heels of the Hartsfield-Jackson and has held the top spot for two decades. This year, the Chinese capital's airport came in second place again with 94.4 million passengers (a 1.5% increase). The overall news is also good for the world's airports. Worldwide passenger traffic increased 6.6% in 2017, while international passenger numbers were up 8.4%.  Worldwide cargo traffic, including mail, rose 7.9%. The world's largest air cargo hub remains Hong Kong, China. The US city of Memphis, Tennessee, took the second spot, followed by Shanghai, China.  ACI's preliminary figures and percentages from the annual report are based on data from more than 1,200 airports worldwide.

Delhi's rapid growth

The international airport to watch is Delhi, according to ACI.The 22nd busiest passenger airport in 2016, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport jumped into 16th position in 2017. Total passenger traffic grew by 14.1%. "India is poised to be one of the largest aviation markets in the world in the years to come," ACI claims in its report, noting that Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Madras all saw growth of between 10% and 27%.  The second busiest US airport on the list is Los Angeles International Airport, which saw a 4.49% increase in traffic last year. LAX was still knocked from fourth place to fifth place on the global list by Tokyo International Haneda Airport, with its impressive 6.46% growth. Total international freight was up 9.9% on 2016, while total aircraft movements was up 2.4%. "The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world's airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term," Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, says. "Connecting people, business and places still remains paramount to the aviation sector despite the recent threats of a step backwards in market liberalization in some major economies."

The world's busiest airports 2017

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int"l Airport (Georgia) -- 104 million passengers

2. Beijing Capital International Airport (China) -- 96 million

3. Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) -- 88 million

4. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (Japan) -- 85 million

5 Los Angeles International Airport (California) -- 84.6 million

6. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (Illinois) -- 80 million

7. London Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom) -- 78 million

8. Hong Kong International Airport (China) -- 73 million

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China) -- 70 million

10. Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France) -- 69 million

11. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands) -- 68.5 million

12. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas) -- 67 million

13. Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport (China) -- 66 million

14. Frankfurt Am Main Airport (Germany) -- 64.5 million

15. Atatürk International Airport (Turkey) -- 64 million

16. Indira Gandhi International Airport (India) -- 63.5 million

17. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia) -- 63 million

18. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore) -- 62.22 million

19. Incheon International Airport (South Korea) -- 62.16 million

20 Denver International Airport (Colorado) -- 61 million

What's wrong with this list?  No New York Airport

ERAU Crash Investigation Focused On Wing Spar

By Joy Finnegan


The NTSB and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University officials are working together to determine what caused the PA-28R-201’s wing to fall off in mid-flight last week. The resulting accident killed two: Zach Capra, an ERAU student, and an FAA designated examiner, John S. Azma, conducting a checkride. Flight training resumed on Thursday for all aircraft at ERAU except the PA-28s. They remain grounded until inspections are completed. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that witnesses, including air traffic controllers, said the aircraft’s wing “departed the aircraft,” causing it to spin out of control and then slam into a cow field about a half mile from Daytona Beach International Airport.

NTSB Investigator Aaron McCarter said during a news conference Thursday they are focusing their initial efforts on that fact. They are looking at maintenance and engineering records. The maintenance records for the Piper Arrow have already been provided by the school. The investigation into the crash will include metallurgists examining the plane’s wreckage, but a wing detaching inflight is rare, the investigator said. There are at least two Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIB), CE-11-13 and CE-11-12R1, saying the aircraft has the potential for corrosion on the wing front spar at the fuselage attach fitting. One warns of the potential for corrosion on the wing rear spar at the fuselage attach fitting. The SAIBs mention the increased risk associated with high moisture and salt water.

Capra was on a checkride for his commercial certificate and set to graduate on May 7. The ongoing investigation may take between 18 months to two years as is typical for the agency. See the Daytona Beach News Journal article here.

Los Angeles International Airport New train system

 By Airports   Illustrations via LAWA

Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve a 30-year $4.9B contract with LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the automated people mover (APM) train system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The approval – announced on April 11 – marks the largest contract ever awarded in the City’s history. The item was heard at Los Angeles City Council’s Trade, Travel and Tourism (TTT) committee meeting on April 10, where it was also unanimously approved.“Making LAX the most passenger-friendly airport in the world means giving travellers what they need and have been asking for — reliable, convenient transportation to and from the terminals,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This historic investment will ensure that LAX is seamlessly connected with communities across the region.”


The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) approved the contract at its April 5 meeting. Prior to that, BOAC selected LINXS as the recommended developer at the February 15 meeting and entered into an early works agreement, which allowed LINXS to begin pre-construction activities such as hiring, soil “We are pleased to have received unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council, the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee and the Board of Airport Commission for this contract that will propel LAX to be amongst the world’s best airports.    The LINXS team contract brings more than we required, and through this partnership, this project will transform the airport and will also transform lives in our local community,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of LAWA. LINXS is comprised of Fluor, Balfour Beatty, ACS Infrastructure Development, Dragados USA, HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions, Flatiron, HDR and HNTB. Bombardier Transportation will provide the APM Operating System, including all vehicles.


“The new Automated People Mover will transform the LAX experience for travellers by removing the frustration of the tangled traffic inside the horseshoe,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, Chair of the LA City Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee. “Coupled with the new consolidated rent-a-car facility and the LAX/Crenshaw line, in a few short years going to LAX will become stress less for generations to come.”testing, engineering and furthering design of the APM. Convenience, reliability and easy accessibility are key elements of the user experience and are integral requirements for the APM. Trains will arrive every two minutes, have wide doors for easy access with luggage, large windows for viewing, plenty of hand holds and seats. Station platforms are open air and have escalators, lifts and moving walkways for quick, convenient access to the terminals.

Architectural features include a viewing platform of the iconic Theme Building, an Experience LA centre with an 800 sq./ft. LED programmable screen and an LED light band that accents the 2.25 mile guideway. LAWA anticipates that the APM will offer a maximum ridership capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour and up to 87.7 million passengers per year. The system will be operational in 2023. The APM will be built using a public-private partnership contracting model. LINXS will be designing and constructing the system and will also be responsible for operating and maintaining the train and stations for a 30-year period

Flying Cars?

One Day, They Could Be Landing At This Downtown Highrise

By Rob Wile, Miami Herald

Jetson family, take note: One Miami developer is now preparing for flying cars. Dan Kodsi, CEO of Royal Palms Companies and developer of the Paramount Miami World Center complex downtown, says he is retrofitting the Paramount’s roof for a future that includes airborne personal transportation. “It’s not a question of if, but when,” Kodsi said.

The roof of the 60-story condo is being encased entirely in glass. Upon completion, it will serve as an observation deck for residents. When the flying-car future arrives, the rooftop will be outfitted with a landing pad, and the observation deck will become a sky lobby for coming and going commuters on the wing. The building is slated to open next spring. See more on the video.

Two Killed In ERAU Plane Crash
By Kate O'Connor

An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student pilot and FAA examiner were killed Wednesday morning when the when the Piper PA-28 they were flying crashed shortly after takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport. The aircraft impacted in a pasture and some witnesses said they saw the aircraft's wing separate from the fuselage before the crash. The wing was reportedly located 150-200 yards away from the primary wreckage site. No distress call was received prior to the crash.

This is the first fatal accident involving an ERAU plane at either Embry-Riddle campus since the 2004 midair collision involving two ERAU-Prescott faculty members practicing an aerobatics routine. The last fatal accident involving an ERAU training flight occurred in 1999. “We are cooperating fully with the investigation of this tragic accident,” ERAU VP of marketing and communications Anne Botteri said in a statement to The Daytona Beach News‐Journal. “We will be releasing further information as soon as it’s available.” The victims have been identified as ERAU student and U.S. Navy
veteran Zachary Capra and FAA pilot examiner John S. Azma. The FAA and NTSB will be on-site to investigate.
Thai Airways Bans Overweight Passengers From Business Class By Simon Calder

Slim down or sit down at the back of the plane: that is the message from Thai Airways International. The Thai airline has banned passengers with waists bigger than 56 inches from the business class cabin of its Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” fleet. The airline, known as THAI, has fitted the safety belts in its premium cabin with airbags. The idea is to meet strict requirements on passenger survivability: basically, preventing the traveller’s head impacting the back of the seat in front in the event of sudden deceleration. The airbag manufacturer, AmSafe of Phoenix, Arizona, says the device provides “compliance for difficult to certify seat placements”. The firm describes the airbag as: “A self-contained, modular restraint system specifically designed to improve occupant protection from serious head-impact injury during a survivable aircraft crash, and enhance the occupant’s ability to egress the aircraft.” But passengers with a waist size above 56 inches cannot fit within the maximum travel of the belt.

Normally larger passengers are issued with a safety belt extender. But the airbags must be centred over the traveller’s waist to be safe and effective. The maker says: “The airbag deploys up and away from the seated passenger … providing protection to the head, neck and torso.” An extender would reduce the protection. The same restriction excludes a parent travelling with an infant on their lap in business class, branded by THAI as Royal Silk class. The Thai airline markets the premium product thus: “THAI invites you on a journey as smooth as silk in our elegant business class cabins that are inspired by the rich culture and heritage of Thailand. “Whatever your needs, we assure you that you will be perfectly equipped to either ease off and relax or catch up on the world of business.” Other airlines encourage larger passengers to travel in business class rather than economy, in order to be more comfortable.

THAI also warns passengers of the perils of lying on the floor on aircraft. The airline tells travellers: “Despite a clean and tidy floor, tiny dust particles in the carpet may cause allergic symptoms, and even affect the respiratory system. “Moreover, the onboard oxygen may not be circulated fully and sufficiently down on the floor, causing difficult to breathe, and, upon getting up, the passenger may feel lightheaded and dizzy. “Most importantly, when lying on the cabin floor contact with the metal parts of the seat and floor can cause severe injury, especially during turbulence.”

Embraer E190-E2 Granted Certification by FAA,


by Aviation Tribune

In a ceremony held at the Company’s facilities in São José dos Campos, Embraer received Type Certificate for the E190-E2, the first member of the E-Jets E2 family of commercial aircraft, from the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil – ANAC), the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). It is the first time that an aircraft program with the level of complexity of the E2 receives a type certificate from three major worldwide certification authorities simultaneously. It took just 56 months from program launch until the E190-E2 was certified. The E190-E2 features new ultra-high bypass ratio engines and a completely new wing and landing gear. Compared to the first-generation E190, 75% of the aircraft systems are new.

“Having had the pleasure of launching the E-Jets E2 family back in 2013, it is very emotional for me to see the E190-E2 reach Type Certificate today, on schedule and on budget. Our development teams have once again excelled in their creativity, dedication and competence! Not only all development targets were met, but several important ones like fuel burn, performance, noise and maintenance costs came in better than originally specified,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer President & CEO. “I want to congratulate all the teams involved in the program, everyone at Embraer played a part in this tremendous achievement, bringing to the market the best and most efficient single-aisle aircraft in the world. The E190-E2, alongside with the Legacy 450, Legacy 500 and, soon, the KC-390, positions Embraer as one of the top aerospace companies in the world.”

The flight test program comprised four prototype aircraft which were subjected to rigorous testing. The E190-E2 test fleet completed over 2,000 flight hours. Some 45,000 hours of tests were conducted in laboratories with rigs for aircraft avionics, flight controls, and electrical, hydraulic, and environmental systems. “Today’s certification of the E190-E2 marks a pivotal milestone in the program. It’s reasonable to now anticipate an acceleration of commercial discussions with operators around the globe” said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Today, many of the campaigns involving the E190-E2 and its bigger sibling the E195-E2 are with new operators for Embraer – and that’s very encouraging as we continue our trajectory towards 100 E-Jets operators around the world.”Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, is the first airline in the world to receive the brand-new E190-E2 and will put the aircraft in revenue service in April. The airline has a contract for up to 15 E2 family jets consisting of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 family aircraft.

Embraer recently announced some final flight test results confirming the E2 as the most efficient single-aisle aircraft on the market. In fuel consumption, the E190-E2 proved to be 1.3% better than originally expected, a 17.3% improvement compared to the current- generation E190. The E190-E2 also becomes the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class, with the lowest levels of external noise and emissions. Flight test results also confirmed the E190-E2 to be better than its original specification in takeoff performance. The aircraft’s range from airports with hot-and-high conditions, such as Denver and Mexico City, increases by 600 nm compared to current-generation aircraft. Its range from airports with short runways, such as London City, also increases by more than 1,000 nm allowing the aircraft to reach destinations like Moscow and cities in the north of Africa.

The E190-E2 will also have the longest maintenance intervals among single-aisle aircraft with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit for typical utilization. This means an additional 15 days of aircraft utilization over ten years compared to current generation E-Jets. Another key gain is with pilot transition training time. Pilots of current-generation E-Jets will need only 2.5 days of training and no full flight simulator to be qualified to fly an E2. Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,400 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft by operating across a range of business applications.

FBI Seeks Mechanic Linked To Valujet Crash That Killed

110 In 1996
By Amy Lieu | Fox News

The FBI’s Miami Field Office is trying to locate an airline mechanic who may be linked to a 1996 airline crash that killed 110 people. It is offering a $10,000 reward in a "Wanted" poster calling for information about a man identified as Mauro Ociel Valenzuela-Reyes.The mechanic was criminally charged in the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 after he allegedly mishandled and packaged oxygen generators placed in the plane’s cargo space, the Miami Herald reported.

The generators didn’t have safety caps and ignited in the cargo area, according to the FBI.  At the time, Valenzuela-Reyes worked for the now defunct SabreTech, the airline’s maintenance contractor. But he never faced charges and fled, FBI Miami Special Agent Jacqueline Fruge said in a news release obtained by the Herald.  “We’ve tried over the years to find him,” Fruge said. “It bothers me. I’ve lived and breathed it for many, many years.” “We’ve tried over the years to find him. It bothers me. I’ve lived and breathed it for many, many years.”- FBI Miami Special Agent Jacqueline Fruge. 

On May 11, 1996, Flight 592 took off from Miami International Airport. Shortly after, the pilot reported a fire in the cargo area, and the aircraft plunged into the Everglades, west of Miami. A 1996 Miami Herald archive story said the plane “slammed nose-first into the muck and disappeared under the earth.” An FBI “Wanted” poster released this week includes a photo of Valenzuela-Reyes in 1996 and progessive aging images of how he may look today. The reward is for information on his whereabouts, in hopes of leading to “a tip to bring him to justice,” Fox Miami reported. He faces additional federal charges for fleeing and failure to appear at his trial. According to the FBI, Valenzuela-Reyes has connections to Atlanta, where his ex-wife and kids have lived, and Santiago, Chile, where he has relatives, the report said. 

Authorities believe he may be living under a false identity, Fox Miami reported.

Fruge has been the primary agent on the case since it began and has worked with the families of the victims over the years. She said they “want closure,” the Herald reported.Two other SabreTech employees were also reportedly charged in the criminal case, but were acquitted. The ValuJet name is no longer in the skies, as the company merged with another airline a year after the disaster, the 1996 archival Herald report said. 

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Airshow Pilot OK After Crash In Aerobatic MXS-RH

By Mary Grady

 Airshow pilot Rob Holland was able to walk away after a forced landing that destroyed his custom MXS-RH aerobatic show plane last week. Holland said in a Facebook post last Wednesday he had taken off from the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas, about 4:30 p.m. on March 25, heading for Shreveport, Louisiana. He was about 15 minutes into the flight, at 11,500 feet, when the airplane “had a catastrophic engine failure” and lost all power, he wrote. The canopy was immediately covered with oil and he had "zero forward visibility.” Given the terrain, he determined an off-airport landing was not a good option, and high winds at the surface ruled out a parachute. Depending on his EFIS system, he was able to find a nearby runway, and aimed for it.

There was a low scattered-to-broken cloud layer around the vicinity of my landing site, which obstructed my view of the runway,” Holland wrote. “I glided through an opening in the clouds.” The runway, at an abandoned airfield, was only about 30 feet wide and 1,650 feet long, Holland wrote He touched down at a normal landing speed of about 90 knots, but with a 20-knot tailwind. About 200 feet down the runway, the landing gear hit a large piece of stray debris — part of a roof blown there by Hurricane Harvey, Holland wrote. The left main landing gear was torn completely off the plane. The plane skidded on its belly down the runway, coming to rest about 30 feet off the right side of the runway. “The plane remained upright and straight the entire time,” Holland wrote. Holland was unhurt, but the airplane is damaged beyond repair, he said. He is already working with MX Aircraft to build a new airplane, he said.

Germania Flight Set To Take Off Collided With An EL Al Plane

By Airlive Contributors

Two planes collided on the ground during pushback at Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion airport. A Germania flight #GMI 4915 set to take off for Berlin-TXL, collided Wednesday morning at Ben-Gurion Airport with an El Al plane flight #LY 385 to Rome just minutes later. The German Boeing 737-700 (registration D-ABLB) suffered severe damage to its vertical stabilizer, which was almost completely cleaved off with the Israeli Boeing 767-300 (registration 4X-EAK) horizontal stabilizer.

Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, said “the incident is under investigation and further details will be given later.” The chief accident investigator at the Transportation Ministry launched an investigation into the incident. The person responsible for the incident is apparently the driver of the tow truck that took the German company’s plane from the terminal towards the route. There were no casualties and all passengers were safely taken back to the terminal.  Click here to go to Video hyperlink.

Air New Zealand and United Airlines Announce New Nonstop Service Between Chicago and Auckland

MIAMI — Air New Zealand will launch new nonstop service between Auckland and Chicago as part of United Airlines’ joint venture, starting on November 30, 2018. New Zealand flag carrier will operate the route three times a week on a year-round service with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. “We expect the addition of Chicago to our network to be an attractive option for Americans keen to explore New Zealand and Kiwis wanting to visit Chicago or head on to other North American destinations,” says Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon. Additionally, United announced an extension of its seasonal service between San Francisco and Auckland to year-round, beginning April 2019.

Luxon also added “this new route is also good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around $70 million annually to our economy, and we know that more than 50% of spending by U.S. visitors is done outside of the main centers. We’ll be working alongside our colleagues at United Airlines to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions.” San Francisco-Auckland route is expected to be operated year-round on a three-time a week service. According to United, the flight arriving in Auckland will offer passengers more than 20 connections across the region. United also added that the route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER between November and March and a Boeing 777-200ER between April to October.

On Board the Inaugural Auckland-Houston Flight with Air New Zealand

MIAMI— New routes mean inaugural flight parties and Air New Zealand stepped up to the plate this week with the launch of service from its hub at Auckland to Houston, Texas. The new route is the longest in the company’s network and offers an opportunity for the carrier to show off what its CEO calls its “fired up, highly engaged” staff and “great Kiwi food and wine” in transporting passengers to and fro. Airways News was hosted in the carrier’s Premium Economy cabin on the Boeing 777-200ER for the trip, offering the opportunity to put the service and cabin through the paces. The entire Air New Zealand operation is keen on the new route; during domestic flights earlier in the week adverts for the Houston service were spotted in the rotation on the overhead IFE systems. Similarly, the airport was adorned with posters celebrating the new service. Travelers on the inaugural were treated to a special reception in the lounge (assuming they had access via premium cabin or elite status) with passed canapés and beverages, plus the opportunity to mingle with company executives, many of whom were also on the flight. This selection was arguably a downgrade from the impressive spread of food and drinks available, but it was offered without needing to walk around. Naturally, I chose to try both options for research.

There were no big speeches nor over-the-top events at the boarding gate though there were signs celebrating Texas culture and mini pecan pies given out to passengers prior to boarding. Once on the aircraft it was clear that this would be a special flight. The “Kia Ora Y’all” theme for the trip was on the headrests and travelers in Premium Economy and Business received a special amenity kit to commemorate the event. Shortly after the plane lifted off the runway at Auckland the party quickly resumed. Passengers were once again up mingling and enjoying the experience. Drink service was something of a challenge with everyone in the aisles but the crew made it work. One interesting quirk on the catering cart: Havana Club Especial was the rum of choice for the flight in to Texas. Needless to say, I do not expect that it will be the same option for the return segment. Also, it is delicious with an apple tart.

Following the meal I settled in for a movie and some sleep.

The IFE system is based on the Panasonic eX2 platform but Air New Zealand “customized the hell out of it” as it was incorporated into the fleet. The menus and operation are smooth and responsive, both from the handset control or the touch screen. The moving map (still my favorite channel) allows touch screen based pan and pinch-to-zoom with spectacular levels of detail. It is one of the best eX2 implementations I’ve had the opportunity to fly with. The newer Premium Economy product on the 772 presents a downgrade from the 777-300ER in that the cabin layout goes from 2-2-2 to 2-4-2 meaning some passengers will be stuck in a middle seat. The loss of seat width and switch from the more plush arm chair-style layout has its drawbacks but also some positives. Legroom is significantly improved on the newer version as is recline.

Ground Worker Injured At London Gatwick Airport After His Foot Was Struck Under Airbus A319’s Wheel By Airlive Contributors

According to reports, an Airbus A319 has struck a ground crew member at Gatwick airport during pushback.  Passengers were stuck onboard the Russia-bound aircraft for more than two hours as emergency services attended the scene. The Ros si ya (Rossiya)  aircraft to St Petersburg was suddenly halted moments before take-off and kept on the tarmac. Twitter user Flora Lu claimed the plane ran over the foot of a ground crew member. She added that the cabin crew told passengers that a person was trapped under the wheel. A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport told the Sun: “We can confirm that an incident took place on the airfield at 1710 where a Dnata employee was unfortunately injured and the emergency services were required to attend.”

The Dnata employee was taken to hospital by air ambulance and an investigation has been opened into the incident. Töm Chapman_TCXHD @HeresTommy  said: No idea what is going on but I’m speaking broken English. I have been told that a member of the ground team has been injured here as we planned to take off to Russia from Gatwick?! @BBCNews @SkyNewsBreak @itvnews @LondonNewsUK #gatwick.

China Airline Dumps 30 Tons Of Fuel While On Air To Save Passenger’s Life

By Katrina Hallare Inquirer.Net/Asia News Network

60-year-old unidentified woman complained of breathing difficulties while on board the plane from Shanghai, China, en route to New York Friday night.One pilot for the China Eastern Airlines decided to dump 30 tons of fuel in mid-air to enable the plane to  land safely to save a passenger’s life. In a report by CGTN , it could be seen that she was being tended to by airline crew aboard the flight. She was then transferred from economy class to business class to let the crew perform first aid on her, Chinese media through The Straits Times reported. In a further bid to save her life, the pilot, Gu Jian, decided to discharge fuel so it could land at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska.

A 60-year-old unidentified woman complained of breathing difficulties while on board the plane from Shanghai, China, en route to New York Friday night. In a report by CGTN, it could be seen that she was being tended to by airline crew aboard the flight. She was then transferred from economy class to business class to let the crew perform first aid on her, Chinese media through The Straits Times reported. In a further bid to save her life, the pilot, Gu Jian, decided to discharge fuel so it could land at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska. “The airplane’s weight was 282 tons, far more than the maximum landing weight,” Jian explained to CGTN. “When the sick passenger needed medical attention for safety reasons, the plane had to descend and dump gasoline at the same time.” After the procedure was done, the woman was rushed to a local hospital.

One passenger, identified as Ivy, praised Jian’s actions for the emergency landing, as saving lives should be a priority, the report said. The plane then refueled, took off and safely landed in New York after a six-hour delay. Meanwhile, the woman has been discharged and she and her daughter went on with their trip the next morning.  

Russian Runway Paved in Gold By Joy Finnegan cargo door of an Antonov An-12, a Soviet-era cargo plane, loaded with nine metric tons of gold broke open as the aircraft took off from Yakutsk in East Siberia. The aircraft’s door apparently gave way and broke off due to the weight shifting in the cargo hold. Gold alloy bars were then strewn across the runway and on the airport property. The aircraft then went on to land successfully at an airport several kilometers away. They were en route from a mine in Kupol to Krasnoyarsk and made a refueling stop in Yakutsk. It was carrying a cargo of gold-silver alloy bars belonging to the Chukot Mining and Geological Company, according to the Russian news agency, TASS.

All 172 bars of the gold/silver alloy were recovered, according to Russian authorities. However, a warning was issued stating that anyone finding a gold bar and failing to report it would be prosecuted, a New York Times story about the incident said. The gold alloy was reported to be worth $156 million. No one was injured in the incident.

WASP Florence “Shutsy” Reynolds Dies By Joy Finnegan


Florence “Shutsy” Reynolds of Connellsville, Penn., passed away Thursday, March 15, 2018, at home. She was 95. She took a Civilian Pilot Training Program at her local airport in Connellsville and completed it, receiving her pilot’s certificate at the end. According to the “Fly Girls the Series” blog, “Reynolds was required to sign a document promising that she would join the aviation military service in case of war. ‘That was a big joke at the airport that day … But I signed it. By damn I joined later on.’” At 19 she read about the WASP program but learned she was too young to join. The minimum age was 21. But, determined to join, she wrote Jackie Cochran, the founder and director of the program, every week.


 Eventually the age requirement was lowered and she was accepted in the program. She reported for training in December of 1943. “The training was exactly like the men’s. And our living environment was also military … I fell in love with it, I loved military life. I thought it was great,” she is quoted as saying the blog.

Her duties included flight testing planes, ferrying aircraft from repair stops and transporting people and materials for the war effort. Reynolds recalled fondly her time flying the WASPs as “the closest thing to God. I’ve always felt that way. There’s nothing like it, especially when you’re on a solo flight.”

You can see a video of Florence on the U. S. Air Force Academy's Facebook page.

MIAMI — United Airlines Announced That It Has Changed Its Pet Policy Starting Next Month By Airways Magazine

The proposal is specifically aimed to changing the rules regarding pet carriers, following the death of Kokito, a French bulldog traveling from Houston to New York in flight 1284. Throughout the entire week, the Chicago-based carrier has faced serious criticism after a flight attendant commanded Catalina Robledo, owner of the 10-month-old dog, to place it in the overhead bin. The Chicago-based carrier shared in a statement: “We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier. However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin.” “To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets.”

However, Kokito’s family contradicted the employee’s claims, alleging that she knowingly placed the dog in the bin. Eleven-year-old Sophia Ceballos—the daughter of the dog’s owner— told ABC News on behalf of her mother who doesn’t speak fluently English: “The flight attendant came, and she was like, ‘You have to put him up there because it’s going to block the path’. And we were like, ‘It’s a dog! It’s a dog!’ And she said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you still have to put it up there.’” “In the end, she says she didn’t know it was a dog, but she actually touched the bag and felt him there. She’s basically lying to us now.” “He was a member of our family. He was like my brother to me.” In addition, fellow passengers pointed “there was some back-and-forth before the flight attendant convinced her to move the pet to the bin above,” and that the dog barked during the flight.

After landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), the family opened the overhead bin and broke into tears after discovering its beloved pet was dead. United spokesperson, Maggie Schmerin, told PEOPLE, “As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support.” Furthermore, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., demanded an explanation for the number of animals who have died in United Airlines in a letter he sent to the carrier’s President, Scott Kirby. According to the Department of Transportation, 18 animals, mostly dogs, died on United Airlines aircraft during 2017, more than