Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Kenyan Airways flight makes emergency landing in Sudan: witnesses

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Kenyan Airways plane with 56 passengers on board made an emergency landing in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, after an engine caught fire, witnesses said on Wednesday.

Nobody was hurt, but the incident on Tuesday night left passengers stranded in a country difficult for travel because credit cards do not work in Sudan due to U.S. trade sanctions. Banks change dollars only at a very unfavorable exchange rate compared with the dominant black market.

The Cairo-bound Boeing 737-700 took off in Khartoum after a regular stopover following a flight from Nairobi. But it had to return to the Sudanese capital after 20 minutes, three passengers on board flight KQ 320 told Reuters.

"An engine caught fire and the plane suddenly lost much altitude. The pilot made a sharp turn and returned to Khartoum," said Souhair Mohamed Hawala, an Egyptian passenger. "There was panic on board. People were crying or praying."

Other passengers showed what they said were pictures from the damaged wing and engine of the plane.

A Kenyan Airways official said the plane had returned with an unspecified "engine problem" and needed to be repaired in Sudan. "We don't know the cause yet," he said, adding passengers would be booked on the airline's next flight out of Sudan after 24 hours.



Israel to host hundreds of foreign fighter pilots in largest ever multinational exercise

Air forces will learn from each other and practice flying alongside each other, TV report says 

 Hundreds of foreign pilots are scheduled to arrive in Israel for the largest-ever multinational training session to be held in the country, Channel 2 TV reported on Tuesday evening. The air forces would share theoretical information with each other and pilots would practice flying wing-to-wing with each other.

The names of countries set to partake in the joint exercise were under wraps.

Israel has held multiple exercises with other armies, and, in recent years, the Israel Air Force flew alongside foreign pilots in training runs in Greece, Hungry, Cyprus and Italy.

Israel can offer a great training ground — including low-altitude flying and drop zones for live ammo — for pilots from all over the world, Lt.-Col. Assaf told the channel.

Speaking with a helmet on his head to cover his face, and without revealing his family name, Assaf — one of the planning officers — described the benefits foreign air forces derived when training in Israel. Israel’s knowledge of weapon systems owned by various Arab countries, and its years of experience, were of great value to its allies, the pilot said.

Story and reaction/comments:   http://www.timesofisrael.com

Homebuilt aircraft crashes into Honda Insight, hangar at Athens/Ben Epps Airport (KAHN), Athens, Georgia

No one was injured when a plane crashed into a car and hangar Monday at Athens-Ben Epps Airport. 

Athens-Clarke police said the collision happened when the owner lost control of the plane as he slowly taxied it near the damaged hangar.

James Box, 81, of Athens, recently installed a new engine in his home-built airplane, but the engine was too powerful for the brakes to hold it, according to police.

Unable to stop, the aircraft crashed into a car, and it’s propeller sheared off the vehicle’s roof, police said.

The Honda Insight was a total loss, according to its owner, Rocker Staton. The airplane sustained extensive damage, police said.

Box could not be reached Tuesday because he was visiting family out of state, according to neighbor and fellow pilot Rocker Staton, who witnessed the accident.

“It was the first start-up of that engine that (Box) had been working on for quite a few years,” Staton said. “It was just totally an accident. When the engine cranked, the plane rolled forward and my car was the first thing it came to.”

Blocks had been placed in front of the airplane’s wheels to keep it from moving while the propeller was spinning, but the plane hopped over them and Box was unable to stop it with the brakes, according to Staton.

“I just watched as it rolled slow and steady toward my car,” he said.

The airplane also struck the wall of a county-owned hangar, causing minor damages, police said.

Though police took a report to document the accident, there were no charges.

Authorities notified the Federal Aviation Administration, but Staton said that was a formality and he doubted there would be an investigation.

“It was just one of those unfortunate things,” he said.

Story and reaction/comments:   http://onlineathens.com



Ultralight aircraft makes emergency landing near the 6th hole at Viera East Golf Course - Florida

After the landing, the pilot called for assistance and several friends appeared to help recover the aircraft. 
 Photo courtesy Mark Coleman

An ultra-light aircraft made an emergency landing near the 6th hole at Viera East Golf Course near mid-day Tuesday, after the pilot experienced apparent engine trouble after takeoff from the Rockledge Airpark at Barnes and Murrell. 

“He said he usually comes out over the golf course. That way if there are any problems, he’s got some place to land,” said Mark Coleman, whose home is near the golf course. 

Coleman said the unidentified pilot was unharmed. 

“He just brought it in easily.” 

The pilot called for assistance and several friends appeared to help recover the aircraft.

They wheeled it out in the road and carted it back to the airport,” Coleman said. 




Something new: Learn to fly for the New Year - The Flight School at Weiser Air Park (KEYQ), Houston, Texas

A Cessna 152 is often considered the tricycle of airplanes with more beginners learning on it than any other plane. Nevertheless, flight instructor Aaron Stinson never fails to notice the look of stark terror and amazement on his students’ faces as they near the end of the runway when they have to make a choice: pull up or chicken out.

In the end, many students amaze themselves by taking off in a plane with no prior experience. After that, their fate is sealed. They’ve caught the “bug,” as pilots like to call it.

Stinson, the general manager and a flight instructor at The Flight School in Cypress, has taught flying for more than 10 years. During that time, Stinson has learned to adjust to his student’s needs. Some are too afraid or too young to fly. Some must put their education on hold until they have the money. 

However, more often than not, students end up coming back. On average, 60 percent of flight students become certified pilots at the Flight School, a stark contrast to the national average flight training drop-out rate of 80 percent.

Price is always a factor in someone’s ability to become a pilot, but the Flight School strives to make it affordable, offering some of the lowest rates in the area. An introduction flight can cost $99 but earning a pilot’s license can cost anywhere from $6,500 to $8,000 depending on how many flight hours are logged. While 40 hours is the minimum to earn a private pilot’s license, the national average is 78 hours and the flight school averages 55 hours, said Stinson.

“The majority of people who come in to fly have always wanted a pilot’s license,” said Stinson. “They think it’s the neatest thing in the world and they are at a point in their life where they can afford it and they have the time or a combination of both.”

According to the school’s owner Benjamin Paradis, students’ high completion rates stem from the schools personalized training. Paradis and the staff hold monthly meetings with the instructors to discuss how each student is doing, so more experienced instructors can offer training tips to help younger pilots through challenges.

Stinson believes the schools warmth adds to its appeal.

“We’re trying to make this as laid back as possible and have fun with it,” said Stinson. “The majority of flight schools are working to get people to become professional pilots. We can certainly do that. But the overwhelming majority of our students are businessmen, stay-at-home moms or lately we got a wonderful influx of stay-at-home dads.”

It was this personalized, quality instruction that helped the school earn the AOPA’s Flight Training Excellence Awards, said Stinson. According to AOPA only seven schools in the nation are selected for the honor out of 2,500 nominations. Some of the criterion includes completion rates, friendliness, curriculum and affordability.

One look inside the Flight School and its warm atmosphere becomes apparent. A brief scan reveals hundreds of photos of new pilots, a testament to the number of students who have passed a milestone in their flying.

“When someone solos for the first time by themselves, we take a picture or when they actually get their rating as a private or commercial pilot,” said Stinson.

Stinson has seen children as young as 10 and 12 sign up to fly even though children have to be 16 to solo and 17 to get their pilot’s license.

“Those kids want to be professional pilots but they’re too young right now,” he said. “They get hours as they go.”

In the end, Stinson believes one of the biggest obstacles keeping people from flying is fear. However, he believes they shouldn’t be.

“Flying is not unsafe,” he said. “Highway 290 is unsafe.”

The Flight School is located at Weiser Airpark on U.S. 290. For more information, visit http://theflightschooltexas.com.

Story and Photos:   http://www.yourhoustonnews.com




Opinion: Left behind by 'college for all'

Re "Technical school in peril," December 27

The Los Angeles Unified School District's threat to close its well-regarded aviation mechanic school at the Van Nuys Airport is the latest example of the district's "college only" mentality. While the original intentions of this "more rigorous" curriculum may have been laudable, the practical result is an increasing number of frustrated students in danger of dropping out.

As a counselor who works with the so-called at-risk population, I listen to the frustration and anger of many students who have repeatedly failed the same classes. When they start talking about their career goals and dreams of becoming a chef, working as an auto or aviation mechanic or starting their own business, their eyes light up. But this enthusiasm quickly fades when I show them their schedule for the next semester.

The college-prep curriculum is probably a good thing for most students. But it's not for everyone.

John Laue

Source:   http://www.latimes.com

Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International (KATL), Atlanta, Georgia: Airport leads nation in guns confiscated


ATLANTA — Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport once again leads the nation in the number of guns confiscated at security checkpoints.  

 The number reached 100 in 2012, and that concerns some travelers.

"You catch most of them, but there could be the one or two that get through. It's a danger. It represents a real danger. And yes, it does frighten me," Gladys McMillan told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

The Transportation Security Administration confirmed that 100 handguns were confiscated in 2012 at the airport.

Spokesman Jonathan Allen said that compares to 69 guns that agents found in 2011.

McMillian explained why she thought Atlanta led the nation.

"It may have something to do with the fact that you're one of the busiest or largest airports," she said.

Allen shared that viewpoint, citing the huge volumes of people that come through Atlanta.

Several notable people have been arrested after, police say, they tried to take their firearms through checkpoints.

The arrests include Chick-fil-A executive Sheryl Rexrode and Harold Duncan, a member of the rap group Travis Porter.

Several people arrested said they forgot their guns were in their bags.

"I can't imagine forgetting that I have a firearm on my person," traveler Rob Scott said.

He said he put his unloaded firearm in a locked box, took it to the TSA, and they checked it in and put it on the plane.

Scott wonders how people could be so careless.

"To have a firearm you got to be a responsible person, and not knowing where your firearm is, especially when you're going through a checkpoint ... " Scott said

The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport was next on the list, with 75 guns confiscated this year.

The TSA reports 1,500 firearms were found at all the nation's airports combined this year.

That's an increase from the 1,300 guns found last year, they said.

Story, video and photos:   http://www.ajc.com



Cessna Citation Jet 2 - SBSP - SBBR

 Published on December 30, 2012 

By Bruno Minervino, Brazil 

  Decolagem de Congonhas e pouso em Brasília, voando um Cessna CJ2. Aeronave agregada à Global Aviation.

Takeoff and landing at Congonhas in Brasilia, flying a Cessna CJ2. Added to Global Aviation aircraft.

World War II vet recalls landing at Omaha Beach, Battle of Bulge (With Video)

42025561 A.S.N.
It’s a designation that William H. Erick, even at 87 years old, will never forget.

The eight numbers and three letters represent the Army Serial Number on the dog tags he wore fighting his way across Europe.

“France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. If we were caught, the only thing we were permitted to say to the enemy was our name, rank and serial number,” said Erick, who is forever grateful he was spared the hardships of becoming a World War II prisoner of war.

And in the decades since then, even after suffering a major heart attack doctors said should have killed him last January, Erick remains full of life and quick to offer a laugh.

When asked what his rank was in the Army, he said, “Pfc., personal friend of the colonel.”

Though, he adds, there is really nothing funny about war.

“I’m glad I went through it, but I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it.”

At 18 and just graduated from Angola High School, now Lake Shore High School, he attempted to enlist in the Navy but was told he was color blind and disqualified.

“I wanted to go in the Navy because my dad was in the Navy in World War I,” Erick said. “The recruiters told me to sit tight. I would soon be drafted.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

As an Army infantry replacement, Erick officially entered the war in August 1944 when he landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, serving with the 30th Infantry, 119th Regiment, 1st Battalion, Headquarters Company, Communications Unit, Radio Section.

It’s a mouthful, but like his serial number, Erick has never forgotten it.

Nor has he forgotten certain images.

“It wakes you up when you go to the top of the hill at Normandy Beach, and you see acres and acres of white crosses. You know you’re in for something.”

He describes the battle at Saint-Lô in France as the “door” that would open the rest of Europe to Allied Forces.

“American planes dropped small smoke bombs to mark where the front lines were. The reason they did that was to carry out saturated bombings. That was to help with the breakthrough. There was only one problem: The smoke drifted over our lines and when the bombers from Britain came, they dropped some of their bomb loads short and killed many of our own people.”

Erick said he watched helplessly as “friendly fire” took a toll on his comrades.

But when the smoke finally cleared, the Americans had succeeded in pushing the Germans out of Saint-Lô.

“When we went through Saint-Lô, it was absolutely flat. I don’t think there were two bricks left together. That was our breakthrough. We opened a door for Gen. [George S.] Patton’s Third Army to go through.”

As Erick’s unit progressed through France, he said, “We took a lot of prisoners and bypassed a lot of Germans. There were as many Germans behind us as there were in front of us.”

At the Siegfried Line, a heavily fortified area held by the enemy, he said, “The only way you got the Germans out of their block houses, which were pretty near bomb-proof, was to bomb them with white phosphorus bombs. If a drop of it hit your skin, it would burn you awful.”

He believes they could have broken through the Siegfried Line if they had been properly equipped.

“Two things happened: We ran out of gas from the supply lines. They couldn’t get it to us fast enough. We moved too fast. If we had had enough gasoline, we could have walked through the Siegfried Line. We beat most of the Germans. But without gasoline, the Germans had time to build up the line.”

Erick’s memories are many, and he enjoys recalling some that have a trace of humor.

“In a hedgerow in France, one of our radio operators was walking behind the row and just the top of his antenna was showing. The Germans must have had their binoculars. An 88-millimeter gun of theirs let go. It hit the top of the antenna and radio and knocked the radio operator ass over tea cart, but he was never scratched. The shot tore the radio right off his back.”

The Germans, he added, were relentless with their 88-millimeters at different crossroads, but he was wounded only once.

“Much later in the war, I got nicked in the rear end,” he said. “I took a lot of heat for that. I got kidded for getting hit in the rear. I still have that piece of shrapnel. I put it in a tiny Dutch shoe, a souvenir from Holland. A Dutch girl gave me the shoe.”

He says he never filed the paperwork for a Purple Heart.

“I was too scared to see the medics when I was hit, because enemy fire was so intense,” he said, and afterward, he never got around to pursuing the medal.

Another amusing incident occurred when he and fellow troops sought a place to sleep.

“We climbed into a barn at night. There was hay in it, and we were going to get a good sleep in that hay. I wound up beside a pig pen with a big pig in it that was snorting the whole night, and I couldn’t sleep, but it kept me warm. The next day when we woke up, we found out we had company.

“There were Germans in the barn. They woke up about the same time we woke up. Everybody bailed out of both ends of the barn. There was no fighting that time. We were just getting the hell out of each others’ way.”

And while he was able to maintain a sense of humor throughout the war, he said, death was everywhere.

“At one terrible battle scene in France, I was asked to help carry the dead off the field. We carried both Americans and Germans. A French girl came along and spit on a German corpse and then put flowers on an American corpse. One of the most terrible sights I saw was the great big Belgian work horses killed from strafing and bombings. The horses would be laying everywhere, and after the bombing, civilians would come out with carving knives and take away great big chunks of horse meat. The people were starving.”

He also recalls the Battle of the Bulge and how cold it was. “That’s when we got the Presidential Unit Citation. We fought Hermann Goering’s SS Division and stopped them cold.”

When Erick finally made it back home at 20 years old, he said, he was more than glad to be in Angola.

“Oh, boy. It was the first time I ever saw my father cry,” he said. “I was home, and yet I could not vote or go into a bar and get a drink. You had to be 21.”

In time, he found work in the banking industry, working his way up from a teller to a loan officer and retiring after 31 years.

And though he now lives at the Pines of Machias and needs oxygen around the clock, he says he feels good and right at home. “They treat me well.”

Erick also does not have far to look when he wants to recall his days as a warrior.

“All my medals are in a picture frame on the wall beside my bed.”

William H. Erick, 87

Hometown: Angola

Residence: Arcade and now Machias

Branch: Army

Rank: Private first class

War zone: World War II, European theater

Years of service: Drafted September 1943 - December 1945

Most prominent honors: Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, European Theater Medal With four battle stars

Specialty: Infantry, radio operator

Story, photo, video, reaction/comments:  http://www.buffalonews.com

Austin L. Moore, retired American Alirlines pilot, dies.

Austin L. Moore, a retired American Airlines pilot, died Sunday in Greenfield Health Care Center, Lancaster. He was 88.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1942 graduate of Depew High School. At age 18, Mr. Moore began piloting airplanes as a member of the Buffalo Bombers. He flew out of the former Gardenville Air Park, now Buffalo Airfield, located on the north side of Clinton Street between Union and Transit roads.

He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and was recalled to duty during the Korean War, during which he flew weather reconnaissance flights.

He was hired to fly commercial planes for American Airlines in 1942. He retired in 1984 after more than 42 years of service with the airline.

Mr. Moore was a member of several pilots’ organizations, including Grey Eagles, American Airlines Vanguards; Tonawanda Creek Model Engineers; Finger Lakes Live Stream; and Aero Club of Buffalo. He also belonged to the East Aurora Driving Society and the New York State Morgan Horse Society.

He was an accomplished sailor and breeder of champion Morgan horses. He also was an engineer of model and live steam engines.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Jean M. McLeod; two sons, Thomas and Timothy; two daughters, Barbara Teplesky and Beverly Ryan; and a sister, Audrey.

Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. Saturday in Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 345 Main St., East Aurora.

Read more and photo:    http://www.buffalonews.com

SpiceJet rapped for being 'vindictive' towards ex-pilot

NEW DELHI: A court has pulled up low cost airline SpiceJet for being "vindictive" towards one of its former pilots who had filmed a co-pilot smoking in the cockpit that triggered a national debate.

Additional district judge Ajay Goel made the observation while deciding SpiceJet Limited's suit against its former pilot Siddharth Kasana seeking reimbursement of Rs 18.53 lakh as cost incurred by it in training him after he quit from the service of the airlines before the five-year lock-in period.

"It seems the plaintiff (SpiceJet) became vindictive towards the defendant (Kasana) because of the misconduct of another pilot which created national debate and outrage on the conduct of the pilot caught smoking while flying the aircraft which also resulted in diminishing their reputation whereby they were bent upon destroying the career of the defendant," he said.

The airline had alleged that Kasana left the job before the lock-in period and the check given by him as security at the time of his appointment in 2006 was dishonored.

Kasana on the other hand claimed that he was forced to resign as he had filmed his co-pilot smoking in the cockpit and sparked a debate over the issue. The court noted Kasana was willing to work with the firm but was forced to resign as his video of a co-pilot smoking in the cockpit had diminished its reputation.

In his reply to the averments made by SpiceJet, Kasana had filed a CD of a news telecast showing the video made by him of his senior co-pilot smoking on board the flight. After watching the video, the court said, "It is very strange that plaintiff (SpiceJet) never took any decision against pilot who was smoking in the cockpit and made defendant (Kasana) a scapegoat. It is a shame on the part of the airline that instead of taking prompt action against the errant pilot, they were more interested in saving their reputation and fame keeping the lives of passengers at stake. If the defendant had dared to use mobile, it was for the benefit of passengers and to expose the irrational behavior of the pilot on board," it said.

While deciding the matter against SpiceJet, the court also questioned as to "how did the pilot manage to have cigarettes and lighter in the cockpit by giving slip to the security personnel".

The court directed the DGCA, Civil Aviation Ministry to look into the matter and apprise it of action taken in the matter against Banerjee within a month.

Story and reaction/comments:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

SpiceJet:   http://www.spicejet.com

Aircraft firms look to breathe new life into former control tower

Light aircraft firms are looking to move into a former control tower on a now-disused Ryedale airfield.

Under proposals which have been drawn up for the building at Wombleton Airfield, near Pickering – which was a training base during the Second World War - the tower would be turned into offices for its owners, Swift Aircraft Ltd.

It would house design, sales and administration staff for its owners, Swift Aircraft Ltd, and other connected firms, as well as spare parts for Kirkbymoorside-based light-aircraft manufacturer Europa Aircraft. Swift bought the 70-year-old airfield, in Moorfields Lane, in July and has said it wants to preserve the site by investing in its runways and hangars as well as the control tower. 


In Pictures: Air National Guard Sr. Airman Maddie Carpenter

 Chris Stewart 
 Boxer and Air National Guard Sr. Airman Maddie Carpenter of the 178th Fighter Wing based in Springfield was named Ohio Airman of the Year in early December. 

Photo Gallery:  http://www.daytondailynews.com

Edinburgh bound easyJet plane makes emergency landing in London

An easyJet plane made an emergency landing after an oil leak forced its pilot to shut down an engine, the airline said today.

The Airbus A319 was carrying 151 passengers and crew from Geneva to Edinburgh on Monday when the pilot made the decision to shut down the engine.

The plane then landed at Luton Airport "as a precaution", the airline said.

A spokeswoman for the airline said today: "easyJet can confirm that flight EZY6908 flying from Geneva to Edinburgh diverted to London Luton Airport due to a technical issue.

"The captain took the decision to divert as a precaution only.

"The safety of its passengers and crew is easyJet's highest priority."

She added that the passengers were flown to Edinburgh on a different plane.



West Midlands Police helicopter helps arrest 500 people in 2012: Chopper called upon in more than 3,500 incidents

West Midlands Police helicopter

West Midlands Police’s “eye in the sky” helped arrest more than 500 people in 2012.

The force’s helicopter took off 1,362 times and was involved in 3,698 incidents.

Using a vast array of technology, the aircraft assisted police on the ground on a daily basis by helping them track suspects or searching for missing people.

Throughout the year it spent 1,175 hours in the sky and was responsible for finding 27 people who had been reported missing.

The helicopter also acts as casualty transport in life or death situations when the air ambulance cannot work at night.

And it does this on a part-time basis as it is only financed to fly for 1,400 hours a year, which equates to around just four hours a day.

The helicopter – which has the call sign Alpha Oscar 1 – even has its own Twitter account ( @WMP_Helicopter )   to update residents about its activities. 

Story and Photo:   http://www.birminghammail.co.uk

Asset bid at Burn Airfield, near Selby

A North Yorkshire gliding club has applied for its airfield home to be listed as a community asset.

Funding has recently been allocated to create a new travelers’ site on ten acres of land at Burn Airfield, near Selby.

But Burn Gliding Club – which has used the site for 29 years – has nominated it to be part of a register of “assets of community value”.

If the application succeeds and the airfield – whose freehold is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency – comes up for sale, interested parties would then have six months to prepare a bid to buy it.

The gliding club, which has 105 members, said its current lease could be terminated at any time with a year’s notice.

In its application to Selby District Council, the club said it also hosted leisure and social events for other organizations, generated about £60,000 a year for the local economy and provided a base for “air experience” trips for non-members.

It said it had invested in gliders and equipment and the “only threat” for the future was the “uncertainty” over its lease, which was holding back potential improvements to runways and facilities.

A decision on whether the airfield is listed on the Community Assets Register could be made early this month. 


Least Eco-Friendly U.S Airlines for 2012 Lets Fly Cheaper

Business class booking and travel experts Lets Fly Cheaper conduct their own study on America’s least eco-friendly airlines

Fremont, CA (PRWEB) December 31, 2012 
The United States airline industry consumes more fuel than any other country in the world. A lot can be based on the fact that America is the home of two of three of the world’s largest airlines. American and Delta consumed a little over 3 million gallons of fuel in 2011. Both are well on their ways to matching those numbers for 2012. Delta was considered the world’s largest airline in 2011. United, which is currently the world’s largest airline since merging with Continental has yet to report their totals for 2012 under the new United. However, the combined usage for 2011 between the two was near 1.6 million gallons.

As demand for fuel continues on a path to record numbers, the airlines have slowly been doing their part in order to save on fuel which ultimately saves on the airline’s cash flow. “One huge factor on fuel savings are more fuel efficient airplanes,” says Lets Fly Cheaper CEO, Ramon vanMeer. In addition to more efficient airplanes are new innovations in bio fuel discoveries. In November of 2011, then Continental Airlines became the first U.S carrier to fly a revenue flight using bio-fuel. The Boeing 737-800 burned fuel that was made from a genetically modified, oil producing algae. That same month, Alaska Airlines started a revenue flight that burned recycled cooking oil. More major carriers are expected to continue testing these new bio-fuels in the near future with the intent become less dependent on traditional jet fuel. 

Over the past few years, many of the airlines have started retiring their less fuel efficient aircraft by replacing them with newer, more fuel efficient models. Boeing and Airbus are currently working on updates for their most successful models, the Boeing 737 Max and the Airbus A320 Neo. The new updates will feature more streamlined, fuel efficient wing designs and engines. 

The experts at Lets Fly Cheaper conducted a study on some of the major carriers in the U.S and the efficiency of their current fleets. Of all the legacy carriers, American Airlines had the worst fuel efficiency record. The airline still currently flies 192 McDonnell Douglas, MD-80 series of aircraft. The aircraft burns nearly 1000 gallons of jet fuel per hour. American Airlines is in the process of actively replacing those airplanes with newer; much more fuel efficient Boeing 737-800 series, which burns less than 750 gallons an hour. Delta Airlines had the second worst fuel efficiency. The airline currently operates 119 MD-88s and 14 of the older DC-9 version, the airline acquired from Northwest Airlines during the 2008 merger. Delta is in the process of replacing the DC-9s with the newer Boeing 717 aircraft they recently purchased from Southwest Airlines. “The airlines realize they need to continue to update their fleets to generate profits. Especially if they want to keep selling cheap air fare,” says vanMeer. 

United Airlines had the best results of all the legacy carriers despite having a fairly old fleet. Prior to the merger with Continental, United hadn’t taken delivery of a new aircraft since the Boeing 777 in 1996. With the Continental merger, the airline gained a large, fuel efficient, Boeing 737-800 fleet in addition to United’s fuel efficient Airbus A319 fleet. The airline has also hashed out a deal with Solazyme, the bio-fuel company which produced the algae fuel for Continental, to purchase 20 million gallons of the algae fuel annually. Those deliveries will begin in 2014. 

The data for the 2011 fuel consumption was taken from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. 

Below is the complete list of the ten airlines studied based of off the least fuel efficient fleets. 

1. American Airlines
2. Delta Airlines
3. Allegiant Air
4. Southwest Airlines
5. US Airways
6. United Airlines
7. Alaska Airlines
8. Frontier
9. JetBlue
10. Virgin America 

Lets Fly Cheaper.com is a low fare specialist, focused on supplying cheap business class flights to international destinations worldwide. To book the lowest fare contact one of their travel agents at 1-800-240-0461 or go to http://www.letsflycheaper.com

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/12/prweb10282746.htm

Commerical jetliner's wingtip clips parked plane's tail: Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (KFLL), Florida

Two commercial aircraft sustained damage Monday night at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport when the wingtip of one clipped the tail section of the other, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

It happened just before 10 p.m. in a remote area of the airfield at 300 Terminal Drive, in Fort Lauderdale.

An investigation determined that the damage to the left wing of a Spirit Airlines Airbus A-320 occured as it clipped a parked US Airways Airbus A-320 while taxiing in earlier, Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.

The US Airways aircraft was parked in a remote area away from the gate, where aircraft are parked overnight, when it sustained a gash in the tail section, he said.

It appears the left wing of the Spirit Airlines plane clipped the tail section of the parked US Airways jet, Jachles said.

There was no fuel leak from either aircraft and no injuries were reported. The Broward County Aviation Department and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the collision and a full investigation was anticipated.

Airlines are in a holding pattern as Brussels mulls Ryanair pitch

Ryanair came out of the traps in June this year with a €694m offer to buy out Aer Lingus. It marked its third effort to buy its smaller rival, in which it already has a near 30pc stake.

But having had its first takeover attempt – launched in 2006 – blocked by the European Commission on competition grounds, Ryanair was always going to have to pull out all the stops if it wanted to get the green light from Brussels this time around.

That brought what Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary described as a "radical" set of remedies from the budget carrier to put before EU competition mandarins, including plans to ditch almost all the 24 valuable takeoff and landing slots currently controlled at London's Heathrow Airport by Aer Lingus.

IAG-owned British Airways has already told Ryanair that it would take 20 of the slots if the Aer Lingus takeover was approved.

But it's still a very big 'if'. In November, the EU's Competition Commission issued Ryanair with a so-called statement of objections, in which it told the airline that its proposed remedies had not yet passed muster.

It also hasn't yet been convinced that a merger between Ryanair and Aer Lingus would result in efficiency gains that would eventually result in lower prices for consumers.

The top concern will remain – how competition will be affected in what is a small, isolated market.

It's difficult to see the EU approving the merger notwithstanding the fact that the European aviation industry has seen a flurry of M&A activity and failures in the past year. Analysts are also unconvinced that Ryanair will pull a rabbit out of the hat this time around.

In tandem to this, Ryanair has been fighting in the courts to prevent the UK's Competition Commission from probing the airline's stake in Aer Lingus. The watchdog wants to determine whether Ryanair's stake has had undue influence on its smaller rival's strategy and damaged competition on services between the UK and Ireland.

The UK's Court of Appeal ruled in December that the Competition Commission does have the right to investigate. Ryanair has said it will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

Importantly, the Competition Commission – if it found that anticompetitive issues exist – could tell Ryanair to sell its Aer Lingus stake. That could result in further protracted legal action, however.

But things will probably come to a head well before that.

A final decision from the European Commission on Ryanair's latest Unions, Aer Lingus staff, business groups, politicians and a range of interested parties will row in to do everything they can to prevent the takeover takeover attempt is due on February 6.

Even if it approves it, Ryanair will still have to persuade shareholders – including the government, which controls the state's 25.1pc stake in Aer Lingus, that this is a good deal. It seems like an almost impossible sell.

Unions, Aer Lingus staff, business groups, politicians and a range of interested parties will row in to do everything they can to prevent the takeover even if the EU did give Ryanair the thumbs-up to proceed.

And if by some twist of fate Ryanair did succeed in acquiring Aer Lingus, it's probably safe to say it would be viewed by staff as an occupying force. One can only imagine that resistance to any proposed staffing or operational changes in Aer Lingus would be intense.

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad, which owns just under 3pc of Aer Lingus, is also waiting in the wings. Its chief executive, James Hogan, has made it clear that the airline would be interested in buying a bigger stake in the Irish airline. For Aer Lingus, Etihad would undoubtedly be a preferred partner.

Michael O'Leary has predictably said that Aer Lingus is doomed if Ryanair doesn't take it over.

He has also claimed that Ryanair has had approaches from financial institutions interested in acquiring its Aer Lingus stake if the EC doesn't allow a takeover to proceed. Mr O'Leary insists this will result in Aer Lingus being broken up.

It's true that in the longer term Aer Lingus will need a strategic partner. But those partners are now tougher to find in a European aviation landscape that is extremely challenging and has seen a number of players – including IAG's Iberia and SAS to name just two – struggle to realign themselves.

And heaven forbid, what if a Ryanair takeover did end up being the best thing that ever happened to Aer Lingus? It seems almost certain that we will never find out if that would have been the case

- John Mulligan

Story:    http://www.independent.ie

Lebanon Municipal (KLEB), New Hampshire: Airport Passes Annual 10,000 Passenger Mark

Lebanon — Yesterday, 21-year-old Jeff Moran boarded a plane in Boston, flew to Lebanon, sat around the municipal airport for a few hours, and flew back.

 Why? Because it cost him only $24.

“I just saw the $12 (one-way) flight deal and then decided, eh, just fly to Lebanon, just out and back, just for the heck of it,” Moran said as he sat near a window in the terminal, surfing the Internet on his laptop. “Didn’t really have anything else to do, so.”

Lebanon Municipal Airport’s sole commercial airline, Cape Air, announced last week it would offer $12 one-way flights to and from Boston and New York through the end of the year. The deal was meant to push the airport’s annual outbound passenger traffic past the 10,000 benchmark. Once it reaches that level, the airport qualifies for $1 million in federal subsidies that will go toward facility improvements such as airfield work, lighting, runway resurfacing and more — a significantly greater amount than the $150,000 it would have received had any fewer fliers flown out during 2012.

The airport needed just more than 40 outbound passengers when the deal was announced Christmas Eve, and it hit the target around lunchtime on Sunday, said Carl Roebuck, Cape Air’s lead gate agent in Lebanon.

“The most usual comment we got was, ‘I thought it was a computer error, I thought it was something wrong, I had to call to find out,’” Roebuck said. “‘I couldn’t believe how cheap the rates were; I couldn’t turn it down.’”

Moran’s background perhaps shed light on his three-and-a-half hour layover at Lebanon’s airport: A private pilot and self-described “relative airplane enthusiast,” he’s studying to become an air traffic controller at the Arizona campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and bought the tickets while home on winter break in Concord, Mass.

“I guess also part of the reason why I took it was, well, if it helps a small airport get more service then, eh, fine, I’ll help,” he said, referring to the $1 million subsidy.

He was not the only person who flew just to fly, Roebuck said. A pair of men boarded a plane out of Lebanon to Boston at 6:15 a.m. yesterday, and got on a return flight less than four hours later.

“Most people are going down for the day,” he said.

The 10,000 passengers in 2012 represents the most outbound passengers the airport has seen since 2001. Flights on Cape Air’s nine-passenger planes have been fully booked for four days, Roebuck said, with nine flights slated to depart Lebanon yesterday and 14 the day before — well above the typical six.

J.D. Larosiliere, who works at the Avis car rental facility at the Lebanon airport, took advantage of the deal to treat himself, his wife and their three sons to a day trip in New York on Friday. After departing Lebanon at 10 a.m., they had a full day in the Big Apple — visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art, spending time with Larosiliere’s father, and eating dinner at the Cheesecake Factory — and were back in the Upper Valley by quarter to 10 that night.

“We laughed about it — we chartered a plane,” said Larosiliere, whose five-person family took up more than half the seats on the flight.

The $12 deal did not extend into the new year, but passengers who wanted to spend New Year’s Eve in New York or Boston could still find cheaper-than-usual return flights this week, Roebuck said. For example, return flights from New York are around $70, as opposed to the usual $160 fare.

But some passengers, like Trevor Garvey, 22, and Montana Keddy, 19, hadn’t even gotten that far in their planning yesterday. The couple said they impulsively jumped on the deal when they heard about it on a broadcast ad.

They made plans to watch the ball drop in Times Square last night, but as far as getting home to Concord, N.H. — “we haven’t really figured that out yet,” Garvey said. “We figured we’re getting (to New York), and then on the way back, it’s kind of ...”

“Spontaneous,” Keddy offered.

Prior to hearing about the deal, they weren’t even aware that Lebanon had an airport. Trying to find the tiny terminal yesterday, they originally drove past it without noticing it was there.

Other passengers in Lebanon yesterday said their plans were in the works before Cape Air announced its deal, but the $12 tickets drew them to an airport they said they would not have used otherwise. Middlebury, Vt. resident Caleb Ingerson, who attends college in Florida, usually gets a connecting flight to Boston out of Burlington, and Bristol, N.H.’s Tim Arnold, a law student in Boston, typically takes the bus into the city or gets a ride from family.

They both made their first trips to the Lebanon Municipal Airport yesterday.

“It’s just easier for family, I guess, logistically, to drop us off and (my dad) can go do his thing for the rest of the day,” said Arnold, who was accompanied by his younger brother.

Would they have flown to Boston were it not for the $12 deal?

“Not a chance,” Tim Arnold said.

Story and Photos:   http://www.vnews.com



Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat, ZU-EFH: Accident occurred January 01, 2013 in Phalaborwa, Limpopo - South Africa

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has sent a team to investigate yesterday's plane crash that killed two people in Phalaborwa in Limpopo.   

Johan Horen and Herbert Hancker, two senior officials at Foskor and PMC mining companies, died when their light aircraft crashed during take-off.

CAA's spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu says the investigation could take a while before it can be concluded.

“The investigation takes a bit of a time to conclude. And we do suspect in such cases, normally, it takes more than 6 months to conclude.”

Gwebu says they will have to wait for the post-mortems, and also send parts from the aircraft for testing.

Police spokesperson, Ronel Otto, says the accident happened during take-off.

Police have released the names of the two men who died in a plane crash in Phalaborwa, in Limpopo earlier today.  They were Johan Horn and Herbert Hanker. The two were senior officials of the Foskor and PMC mining companies.

One of the first people to arrive at the scene, Jaco Gericke says there was nothing they could do.

“I was contacted by a petrol attendant, he saw the plane going down, so it’s very close to my house, on arrival we saw the plane wreckage on fire, we could see at least one person at that moment, so the fire department arrived, we doused the flames. Ja it was very horrific, could do nothing for them, it was sad it was sad,” says Gericke.

Meanwhile police spokesperson, Ronel Otto, says the accident happened during take-off.  

Otto says they are investigating:  

“According to the information we received, the plane crashed just after taking off from the Phalaborwa airfield. It burst into flames following the impact of the crash. Police have opened an inquest case but the civil aviation authority will investigate the cause of the crash.”

Two people died after the aircraft they were traveling in crashed and burst into flames in Phalaborwa on Tuesday, Limpopo police said.

"It departed from [the] Phalaborwa airfield. Just after it took off, it crashed, " police spokeswoman Lt-Col Ronel Otto said.

"It also burst into flames".

She said a man aged, 42, and another, aged 60, died in the early morning crash.

Civil aviation authorities would investigate the cause of the crash.

Abandoned suitcase creates bomb scare at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: A suitcase found abandoned near the exit gate of the domestic terminal of the NSCB Airport here today created a bomb scare, Airport sources said.

Passengers informed the security personnel about the red color suitcase lying abandoned near the exit gate at around 1.45 pm.

CISF personnel and personnel of the Airport police station immediately rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area and told the passengers to use the other exit gate, the sources said.

The bomb squad personnel reached the site and scanned the suitcase and then opened it and found that it was empty, sources said. 


Police helicopter announces cancellation of fireworks in Old Sacramento, California

Published on Dec 31, 2012

 A police helicopter circled over Old Sacramento announcing that the midnight fireworks show had been cancelled after a shooting left two people dead and three injured.