Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brit Air says asking pilots if they want to work in Indonesia

PARIS: Regional French airline Brit Air, under pressure to reduce its workforce, is asking pilots if they want to work temporarily in Indonesia, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"We are consulting pilots to see if they are interested before possibly looking into missions with Garuda," the Indonesian flag carrier, the spokeswoman said. "We are still at the project stage."

Garuda, which is to take delivery of 100-seat CRJ1000 regional aircraft built by the Canadian company Bombardier, needs pilots trained to fly them and has spoken with carriers that might be able to help.

Brit Air, which is owned by the Air France-KLM group, is one such airline.

The parent group has launched a deep restructuring program and seeks to eliminate 5,000 positions, including 450 pilots jobs, without firing anyone if possible.

Indonesia is comprised of thousands of inhabited islands and its economy is growing, making for a marked increase in air travel.

But the country is also rated category 2 on the International Aviation Safety Assessments Program established by the US Federal Aviation Administration, which means it does not meet standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Qantas Grounds 2 Pilots Who Quarreled in Cockpit

QANTAS has stood down two pilots who argued in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 on the tarmac at Dallas's international airport. 

A captain and second officer on a 747-400 disagreed over the take-off calculations they should be punching into the passenger jet's computer, Fairfax Media reports.

Qantas is investigating the dispute and has grounded the pilots.

The incident occurred on Tuesday night (US time) last week as a major thunderstorm rolled across Dallas, disrupting services at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

As the pilots were close to exceeding their 20-hour duty limits due to delays caused by the weather, Qantas's flight operations managers kept the jumbo on the ground overnight.

The managers, informed later about the dispute, stood down the pilots.

The airline deployed replacement pilots to fly QF8 back to Sydney via Brisbane the next day.

The plane had been due in Brisbane at 5am on Thursday but touched down 18 hours later.

A Qantas spokesman confirmed to Fairfax that a captain and second officer had been withheld from service while an investigation was under way, but blamed the weather for the flight delay.

"Qantas flight QF8 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Brisbane on 14 August was delayed overnight as a result of severe thunderstorms in the Dallas area," he said.

The incident comes just weeks after a Qantas pilot was suspended pending an investigation after she failed an alcohol test.

The pilot was removed from a passenger flight due to travel from Sydney to Brisbane just minutes before take-off over concerns she had been drinking.

Qantas has a strong reputation for safety, with the Australian flag-carrier never experiencing a fatal crash in the jet age.


Emily Miller: Flying with a gun

The Washington Times
Emily Miller

I took my gun on a airplane for the first time, and it was much easier than getting it across town in Washington, D.C. The most difficult part of the process on Sunday was figuring out how to legally transport my firearm from my home in the District to Reagan National Airport in Virginia. The rest was -- surprisingly -- a breeze.

I was traveling to St. Louis for a self-defense course for female journalists who cover firearm-related issues at the Winchester Co. In planning the trip, the company rep, Michael, recommended I bring my own Sig Sauer P229 so that I could learn on my own pistol. He sent me United Airlines firearms guidelines, which looked pretty simple: the unloaded gun had to be in a locked, in a hard case and checked in the luggage.

Still, I was nervous about flying with it. My gun doesn’t get out much since it’s against the law in D.C. to take my gun anywhere other than another state. Another rep, Shannon, said I should bring it in a locked box to ensure that it didn’t disappear with airport security. She also suggested that I call Ronald Reagan National Airport for any local laws, like the one in New York that requires a police officer escort the bag.

Having dealt with the absurdly restrictive and often irrational gun laws in Washington, I was prepared for anything. I called the airport customer service number and told the lady on the other end of the line my question. She gasped. When she got a hold of herself after hearing the word “gun,” she said that it couldn’t be loaded. I said that I was aware of that. She reiterated the same guidelines given by the airlines. Reagan Airport is conveniently a stone’s throw across the Potomac River in Virginia, which must keep the gun laws in check.

Simon Hackett: Pilatus PC-12, VH-TCP ... Internode Boss Brags About His New Toys After iiNet Sale

By Simon Hackett
 Online blog

Learning to fly a PC-12:    

"I’m a pilot.  I really love flying."

"I started out in gliders in the mid 1980′s, and I’ve been flying them ever since. There are many stories in there, but this isn’t about them.

I bought a Cirrus SR22 GTS Turbo in 2009, and had a ball gaining a PPL(A) and flying that aircraft too. But this isn’t about that aircraft either.

Rather, its about an aircraft that has been pretty much #1 on my bucket list of ‘planes I would love to own one day’, for many years now."

 Internode Boss Brags About His New Toys After iiNet Sale

After banking the proceeds of iiNet's $105 million cash-and-shares takeover of his Internode ISP operation, Adelaide high-flier (in all senses of the term) Simon Hackett has bought himself a new Swiss toy.

He has acquired a brand-new $3 million Pilatus PC-12 turbo-prop aircraft to go with his electric-powered Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport and his Stemme powered glider, and tomorrow begins flying the Pilatus back to Adelaide in an 11-day mission.

He's installed another toy in the cockpit: a $499 Datatoy video camera that uses technology to eliminate the twirling prop from its scenic HD recording of the trip.

The natty Pilatus PC-12s are a common sight in outback Australia: the Royal Flying Doctor Service has 31 of them, and the WA and NT cops also have several. But they're outfitted in rather more spartan furnishings than Hackett's six-seater executive model with its plush leather and mahogany trim.

The PC-12 can be flown by a single pilot, cruises at 500km/h and – being pressurized – has a ceiling of 30,000ft. It can take off in 450 metres and land in 228: handy in outback SA.

While it has a range of up to 4100km, Hackett is planning a leisurely trip home from Stans, Switzerland, with stopovers in Crete; Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt); Muscat (Oman); Agra; Chiang Rai; Ho Chi Minh City; Bali; and Broome.

"This will be the first time I've ever been to any of these places. What a way to get there!" says the Internode chief in his online blog.


Jetblue Airbus A320-200, N658JB, Flight B6-677

DENVER -- Prosecutors say the man arrested when a JetBlue plane was diverted to Denver on Sunday night groped a woman, told a flight attendant to get away from him and was seen taking a number of unidentified pills.

Marcus Covington was arrested on suspicion of interference with a flight crew when the plane landed at Denver International Airport Monday morning, said John Walsh, U.S. attorney for the district of Colorado.

Covington was intoxicated and making some of his fellow passengers nervous because he was walking up to their seats and saying things to them that did not make sense, Walsh said.

At one point, passengers seated next to Covington asked to be reseated.

When Covington was waiting to use a lavatory, he groped a 27-year-old pregnant women, Walsh said.

The woman pushed him away then stood behind a flight attendant. The flight attendant asked Covington to stay seated because he was making other passengers uncomfortable, Walsh said. Covington allegedly told the flight attendant to get away from him, prosecutors said.

"As a result of his assaultive and intimidating behavior, an FBI special agent, who was traveling on the flight as a passenger, was asked by flight crew to assist in dealing with Covington," Walsh said.

That's when the plane's captain decided to divert the New York to Los Angeles flight to DIA.

While seated, the agent noticed Covington taking a number of unidentifiable pills, prosecutors said.

A passenger used a cellphone to record video of Covington being taken off the plane in handcuffs.

While Denver Police Department officers were attempting to get Covington to sit in a chair, he kicked at and spit on them while threatening to kill them, prosecutors said.

Film producer Cassian Elwes was onboard the plane and was seated next to Covington. After he landed, Elwes tweeted a dramatic account of what happened.

Calling the arrested man, Hoodie, Elwes tweeted:

"Hoodie wants to get up. He walks to the back and stands in the galley for 10 mins just staring at the metal wall."

"[Hoodie] starts ripping up a magazine and licking the paper... Then he starts sticking the magazine pieces to the mini TV in front of him."

"Hoodie tries to get up but air marshal blocks him. More f*** yous. Hoodie throws his vodka at him but it lands on the couple in front of him."

If convicted Covington could face up to 20 years in prison for interfering with a flight crew.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.thedenverchannel.com

1time McDonnell Douglas MD-83, ZS-OPZ: Aircraft hit by difficulties again

A 1time aircraft forced to do an emergency landing earlier this month after an engine failed, experienced engine difficulties again on Monday, the airline said. 

The difficulties were encountered as flight T6 647 from Cape Town started its descent into Durban.

“During cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, cockpit indicators revealed that the left-hand engine had experienced technical problems,” it said in a statement.

Airline spokeswoman Refilwe Masemola later said the aircraft was the same one that had to make an emergency landing at Durban's King Shaka International Airport on August 5 after its left-engine failed.

“This is the same aircraft, but this time it is a different engine. Everything was checked out. This was an unforeseen problem,” she said.

The aircraft was able to safely operate on its other engine and no one was injured.

The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) could not be reached for comment.

Last time, the plane was going to Cape Town, when it had to turn back minutes after take off.

The runway at the airport was closed for the emergency landing.

At the time, SACAA spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu said debris had fallen out of the left engine. 

Story and comments:  http://www.iol.co.za


Civil Aviation Authority to examine 1time plane

The Civil Aviation Authority is carrying out a "special investigation" on a 1time aircraft that has experienced technical problems twice this month.

Flight T6-647 from Cape Town to Durban experienced problems with one engine, but was able to land safely at King Shaka International using the other one yesterday.

The airline says the plane is the same one that had to make an emergency landing at the same airport earlier this month.

1time says it replaced the engine and ran all the necessary checks before the plane was allowed back in the air.

The Authority's Phindiwe Gwebu, meanwhile, says a special team is handling the probe.

"They will be looking specifically into this aircraft, and after they are done with their investigation they'll then make a call on whether they need to ground the aircraft itself or whether the problem can be fixed and the aircraft released for flight again. That call will only be made after the investigation is completed."

Story:  http://www.ecr.co.za

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) founders form new airline for 'missionary' routes

The former president of South East Asian Airlines (Seair), Avelino Zapanta, will head Seair International (Seair I), a new company created to serve missionary routes.

“Mr. Zapanta will head Seair I. He will be the president of Seair I. We believe he could continue to head an airline such as Seair I since he had been with Seair Inc. before,” Greek-American Nikos Gitsis, one of the founders of Seair Inc., said in an interview.

Gitsis and Iren Dornier sold a combined 40-percent stake in Seair Inc. to Singapore’s budget carrier Tiger Airways for $2.5 million.

“We started a new airline called Seair International which is owned by me, Dornier, Tomas Lopez and  Geraldine Olivares. We will reposition the airline to serve missionary developmental routes and one of the things we want to do is to relaunch the Batanes flight because we removed that from Seair Inc.,” said Gitsis.

Seair I will take over the leisure routes of Seair Inc. which has now been transformed as a budget carrier. It will fly to destinations where bigger commercial planes could not land using its existing fleet of three Dornier 328s and one LET 410UVP-Es.

Gitsis said Seair I will purchase two more LET 410s next year to be able to serve more flights going to Batanes and Palawan.

“We plan to expand the fleet and position the aircraft to service missionary destinations like inter-Palawan, including Puerto Princesa-El Nido, Busuanga, Puerto Princesa-Taytay, Puerto Princesa-Cuyo, among others.  We will keep Batanes and also focus on Palawan,” added Gitsis.

Seair I is waiting for the issuance of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) before the relaunch targeted in the last quarter of this year.

“We already secured a CPCN [certificate of public convenience and necessity] from the CAB [Civil Aeronautics Board] and we are just waiting for the CAAP to issue our AOC. We will start operating Seair I by October or November this year. We have pilots and staff good and ready to go. Mr. Zapanta will come back,” said Gitsis.

Zapanta, a former president of Philippine Airlines, was replaced by Patrick Tan as Seair Inc.’s president.

Earlier, Tan said Seair Inc. will add more flights out of Davao and even include international destinations such as Davao to Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The budget airline currently operates a fleet composed of three Airbus A320s and two A319s.

Tan said two more Airbus airplanes will be purchased this year through a lease a payment. “We are looking at acquiring two aircraft every year and the target is to have 10 within three years or less.”

Seair Inc. now flies to Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Batanes, and Kalibo, while its international routes are to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kota Kinabalu, and flying out of Clark. It has been expanding its network domestically and internationally.  “We are looking at flying to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and some points in China among others,” he said.

Source:   http://businessmirror.com.ph