Friday, March 16, 2012

Superjet liner in emergency landing

The crew of a Superjet-100 airliner of the Russian company Aeroflot has aborted a flight to Astrakhan and returned the plane to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after discovering problems with their plane’s landing gear.

The touchdown was flawless, all 65 passengers and 4 crew on the flight are safe and well. The homing operation involved hours of circling to burn off the fuel.

Bonanza F33A C–GSCZ: Transportation Safety Board of Canada releases report into the November 2010 crash near Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A10O0240) into the 18 November 2010 loss of control and collision with terrain of a Beechcraft Bonanza F33A, operated by the Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology near the Toronto/Buttonville municipal airport. 

The aircraft left the Buttonville airport on a flight to Kingston, Ontario, with an instructor and two students on board. Weather en route began to deteriorate and the flight headed back. On radar, it was observed to be westbound in level flight before it turned north and began to climb. The aircraft then turned abruptly to the left and descended. It was located in a ploughed field approximately 10 miles east of the Buttonville airport. It was destroyed on impact. The three occupants did not survive. 

The report is available on the TSB website at

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Nigeria: Abuja Airport Manager Berates Airlines Over Delays

Few days after the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority has promised to introduce penalty measures against airline flight delays and cancellations, the manager of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja Chris Bature has lamented the arbitrary ways domestic airlines delay flights at the airport..

Bature said that the delay of passengers by airlines as a result of cancellations and non-adherence to schedule has led to congestion of the terminals of the airport, adding that this over stretches the facilities at the halls.

According to him, the facilities at the airport were installed based on certain number of passengers which have been exceeded, adding that the burden was becoming too high for the facilities to accommodate.

"The congestion of the terminals due to delay by airlines has put a lot of burden on the passengers because the facilities was built with number of people in mind and once you begin to over load the structure with more than necessary number of people, the cooling system will become ineffective and seating will not be enough".

The airport regional general manager explained that sometimes a flight scheduled for 10:00 am would take off by 5: 00 pm or 6: 00 pm making passengers to pass through unnecessary stress, pains and discomfort at the airport.

On the pace of work at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Bature said work was on going at impressive pace, remarking that the airport was going through a total rehabilitation with a new structure being put up.

He explained that the old domestic terminal under construction would be used for pilgrimages and also for general aviation, adding that it will not be used by domestic operations.

He said that domestic passengers would be using the module D facilities presently being used by Arik and Air Nigeria which has a lot of check in counters.

He said there was plan to commence work on the facilities so that in the next two years, the place would be ready and would consolidate domestic operations there, stressing that all necessary requirements for an airport would be fixed.

European Pilot Academy invests in flight simulator

Falcon Alliance Group, which runs the European Pilot Academy at Malta International Airport, has invested in a €324,000 simulator, which is set to significantly facilitate pilot training. The cost was partly covered by the European Regional Development Fund.

Small Business Minister Jason Azzopardi presided over the official opening of the simulator yesterday, saying that the European Pilot Academy was set up almost 19 years ago and employs 38 people.

Referring to the company as a success story, Dr Azzopardi said: “The people who run this company have demonstrated a strong sense of entrepreneurship, and they have been creating job opportunities by means of their continuous investment. Companies such as this are the unsung heroes of the economy.”

The company plans to employ more people in the coming months.

Falcon Alliance Group chairman Captain Ray Zarb explained that people come to train at the academy from a number of countries in Europe and beyond. About 130 people received training at the academy last year.

It is the only flight training organisation licensed by the Civil Aviation Directorate, and the training provided includes that required for the Airline Transport Pilot Licence.

The academy’s fleet includes both single and multi-engine aircraft, Tecnam P92-JS, Tecnam P2002-JF, Piper Warrior ll and Piper Seneca llBRNAV, and the pilot training portfolio ranges from AirCadets to Advance AirCadet and ab-initio student pilot through JAA-Airline Transport Pilot Licence.

By means of the new simulator, FNPT 2, the European Pilot Academy can offer training to professional commercial pilots before they start working for airlines. One of the advantages of the simulator is that training will be cheaper and can be carried out any time, and irrespective of the weather conditions. Among other things, pilots can simulate an engine failure and practise the methods used to control the aircraft with just one engine.

Falcon Alliance Group chief executive officer Sarah Zarb said that since the creation of an aircraft register, the academy has started receiving requests to carry out maintenance on general aviation aircraft.


Boeing 787 Dreamliner kicks off global tour in Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY — There is a lot to know about Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, like the fact it gets 20 percent better fuel economy, in part, because the carbon fiber structure has 1.2 million fewer fasteners than aluminum-skinned airliners.

The composite structure is flexible and durable enough the wingtips can flex upwards until they touch each other — though you wouldn't want to be on board in weather conditions that would make that happen.

But here's what you really want to know about the Dreamie: There is more room under the seats for your feet; the windows are a lot bigger for a better view and have electronic darkening; the ceilings are higher so the cabin feels less like being inside a tube; the cabin air is a lot moister so your eyes don't dry up and fall out while counting the seconds until the beverage cart rolls by to soothe your dehydration — and the overhead luggage bins are 50 percent larger.

Boeing is doing a global show-and-tell with its newest aircraft, and the plane whispered into the Salt Lake City International Airport on Thursday after a similar event in Long Beach. That's another thing: the engine design makes its two engines quieter, which may be of as much interest to people living under the airport approach as the passengers on board.

VIPs and the media got the nickel tour of the new aircraft Thursday, followed by the 700 workers at Boeing's Utah operations, where structure for the 787's flight deck and its vertical stabilizer are built.

Saved for Thursday's event was the announcement the Boeing fabrication plant on the east side of the airport will also be building some of the 787's horizontal stabilizers soon — about four a month once the Salt Lake facility fully ramps up, according to Craig Trewet, Boeing's Salt Lake City director.

New work also means more jobs, with the current workforce in Salt Lake City of 520 expected to grow to 660 by the end of the year. Boeing also has a plant in Ogden and contract suppliers in the state that support the supply chain for the new Dreamliner. Parts are then shipped to two final assembly plants. The primary assembly location outside Seattle puts jets together in a building large enough that Disneyland could fit inside.

Boeing unveiled the 787 on July 8, 2007, but numerous program delays pushed the projected May 2008 in-service date to this past September.

"It's not been the smoothest of roads, but we're proud of what we have done," said Ross R. Bogue, vice president and general manager of Boeing Fabrication.

Individual airlines hold their future route and equipment plans close to the vest, so it's hard to say which airlines might be flying 787s in and out of Salt Lake City, or when, said 787 communications manager Lori Gunter.

Only five 787s are in service so far, all with ANA Airlines in Japan. Boeing has orders for about 870 Dreamies at this point, which will take until 2019 to build and deliver, Gunter said. Full scale, Boeing expects to build and deliver about 10 Dreamliners a month.

The Boeing staff showing off the Dreamliner on Thursday made comparisons between the 787 and its other equipment, with the boost in fuel economy compared to the 767; and to Airbus, its only global competitor for large, commercial aircraft.

A "happier, more refreshed customer" was a top priority in the development of the Dreamliner, Bogue said.

Humidity is dropped to near zero in metal-framed aircraft to reduce corrosion, resulting in dry eyes and dehydration for the people aboard. The 787's largely carbon-fiber construction allows cabin moisture of a much more comfortable 15 percent. Air filtration, in addition to reducing particulates, is also designed to remove undesirable gaseous odors, like lingering food smells and smells from other passengers.

The particular seating experience for passengers depends on the airline. Boeing offers a number of different seating configurations, like fully-reclining seats in first class, that are among the options that drive the base price of the plane from $185 million to a top end of $218 million.

Room for feet is improved by moving electronics for passenger entertainment systems from under each seat to below the floor deck. The higher ceilings and bigger windows helps passengers "reconnect with the magic of the flying experience," Bogue said.

For the pilots, the cockpit features heads-up displays more common in military fighters and a sleeping loft above and behind the cockpit to accommodate crew rest required on longer flights.

Boeing's 700-series passenger jets date back to the launch of the 707 in 1958. Military versions of the 707 can still be seen on the east side of the Salt Lake City International Airport as part of the National Guard's refueling tanker fleet. says it's a myth to label any future Boeing projects as the 797, but sooner or later the aircraft giant will run out of 700s.

What will the naming convention be after that?

"Nobody knows," Gunter shrugged.

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