Video by Dick Rochfort of RWR Pilot Training, ATP, CFII, Master Instructor

Friday, August 22, 2014

Unruly Air India flyer tied to seat from Australia to Delhi

NEW DELHI: It could have been a replay of Uruguay forward Luis Suarez chomping down on a hapless defender. Or a rerun of the famous scene from 'The Wolf of Wall Street' in which Leonardo DiCaprio went berserk on a plane. An Indian passenger on Air India's Melbourne-Delhi flight on Wednesday reportedly got so unruly after a few drinks that he allegedly tore the clothes of two flight pursers and tried to beat up and bite some fellow passengers.

Finally, the pilot sent a message to the airline command center in Delhi that he wanted to divert the plane to Singapore to offload the passenger. But since the long diversion would have meant a delay of several hours for other passengers on board, the airline instead took a bold decision.

It asked the crew on board to firmly tie down the unruly passenger to his seat using ropes, wires and whatever material was on board so that he could not harm other passengers or jeopardize safety of the aircraft. The crew did just that and much like DiCaprio in the film, the passenger flew to Delhi firmly tied to his seat with a few strong flyers keeping a watchful eye on him. He was handed over to security agencies on arrival in Delhi.

"Once we confirmed that the passenger can be securely tied to his seat, the aircraft was asked to fly directly to Delhi. One person's unruly act would have meant a delay by several hours for the other passengers," said an official.

This latest act of unruly passenger behavior could strengthen some Indian airlines' long-standing demand to have plastic handcuffs on board.

"Unruly flyers are a safety menace to both fellow flyers and the aircraft itself. Indian carriers have witnessed scores of such acts either by inebriated passengers or other perfectly fine people who suddenly acted strange. While strict action is taken once such people are handed over to security agencies on ground, the critical issue is keeping them in check when the plane is in air," said a senior pilot.

Looking for stuff to tie down such passengers is not an easy task as most aircraft do not carry any such stuff. Luckily for other flyers, AI's Australia-Delhi flight had some ropes and wires on board that could keep the flyer firmly in his seat.

"Crew of Indian airlines on international flights has to be firm in serving drinks to passengers and ensure that no one gets more than a certain number of drinks. Foreign airlines are very strict. Try asking for a third or fourth drink on any western airline and the crew will firmly warn that you will be reported on arrival if you ask for more. Our hospitality, however, makes our crew more lenient which they should not be," said a pilot.

- Source:

Vietnam private carrier to offer Ha Long Bay seaplane tours in September

August 21, 2014 

A privately-owned carrier is slated to offer services between Hanoi and the northern city of Ha Long in September using seaplanes, allowing passengers to have an aerial view over Vietnam’s iconic Ha Long Bay.

Hai Au Aviation expects to inaugurate the service on September 9, CEO Luong Hoai Nam said Thursday, after receiving two 12-seat Cessna Grand Caravan seaplanes shipped from the U.S.

The Vietnamese carrier ordered three such seaplanes to serve the Ha Long Bay tourism route this year, at a total cost of US$10 million, Nam said.

“In September, we will fly passengers on sightseeing tours to the coves and islands in Ha Long Bay,” the CEO said, adding his seaplanes are available for charter flights as well.

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular travel destination located in the northern province of Quang Ninh, a 153-km and 2.5-hour drive from the capital city of Hanoi.

Service between Hanoi and Ha Long, Quang Ninh’s capital city, costs more than VND5 million ($235) per ticket.

An aerial tour above Ha Long Bay costs more than VND5 million for 25 minutes, and more than VND7 million ($329) for a 40-minute trip.

A 50 percent discount is applied for the aerial tour from its inauguration to the end of November, according to the carrier.

- Source:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A race for exams and pilot's license

Marlborough Boys’ College student Johnny Andrews is trying to complete NCEA level 3, as well as his private pilot’s license before the end of the year.

A Marlborough teenager is facing a race against time as he tries to get his pilot's license and complete NCEA level 3 before the year is out.

If two qualifications wasn't enough to be working towards, Marlborough Boys' College student Johnny Andrews, 17, also has two after-school jobs added to the mix.

He has been working towards his private pilot's license for the past two years, and has 10 hours' flying time and six exams left to complete before the qualification is in his hands.

His goal of becoming a pilot before leaving college was looking more unlikely as he focused on passing his final year, but Andrews was confident he could get there before the year was over.

"I should be finished [school] about November, so during the Christmas period I should be able to get most of my exams done . . . the goal is still to get it done."

Despite adding to the pressure for Andrews, the college has also been a driving force behind his pursuit, allowing him to spend time at Omaka Aerodrome through their Gateway program.

The program helps students get work-experience in the industry of their choice while in school.

"Instead of going into a job I go and study at Omaka . . . school helps me out by paying for my exams because it's through the course, so that's the big incentive," Andrews said.

One of his employers, New World, had also helped him by organizing $2000 through Foodstuffs to go towards his flying career.

Andrews first went flying in a helicopter at the age of 14, and followed that with a trial flight in a light aircraft, which lead into regular flying as a way to "get out of the house".

"It's something I have always wanted and just a career that I have sort of aimed for."

The ultimate goal for Andrews was to get his commercial pilot's license, which required a minimum of 150 hours' flying time, and a further nine exams on top of his six exams to gain a private license.

After that he hoped to get into the air force, but failing that would continue flying to get his hours up until he could land a job as a pilot with an airline.