Posts with the tag ‘air traffic control’


WestJet Denies Close Call Caught on Camera at St. Maarten

March 9, 2017

Air travelers to St. Maarten expect a thrilling view approaching Princess Juliana International Airport. But thrills turned terrifying for passengers and observers of WestJet Flight 2652 from Toronto on Tuesday. When the Boeing 737 descended through the clouds it went well below the minimum descent altitude. The scene of the jet skimming the surface of Maho Bay was captured by aviation photographer Christine Garner,  shooting from the roof of a nearby building. She said she thought the plane was going to crash. “When this plane came out of the cloud, I was so shocked,” she said. “The surprising thing was he was lower than me. Normally they pass… Read More…


Note to Allegiant: Emergency Landings Are Not the Problem

January 28, 2016

Recently a friend asked me what airlines were the safest to fly. I get asked that question all the time. I find the question challenging in part because of the chasm between risk and perceived risk. For example, most air travelers will admit to some anxiety about the safety of their flight, but few worry much about the taxi in which they are speeding to the airport. Travelers are also treated to end-of-the-year news reports about the world’s most dangerous airlines based on fatalities. That’s a false relationship as I’ve reported before. Sometimes, however, it is obvious what airlines to avoid. I was reminded of that today when I read… Read More…


High but Not So Mighty American Dreamliner Damage Photos

August 2, 2015

Updated Thursday August 6th with news from inspection in Dallas >Radome damage Glass half full: This American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, returned to Beijing safely after flying into a hail storm at 26 thousand feet (ish) after takeoff on July 27. All 209 passengers and a crew of 13 were able to continue on the way to Dallas albeit on a different airplane and with a delay. Glass half empty: Travelers had the beejeebies scared out of them during the encounter. Passenger Dallas Rueschoff told a reporter, “We were going sideways, up and down…we dropped a good few hundred feet at least.”  Or as a 787… Read More…


Delta 747 Replacement Not Ready for Prime Time

July 6, 2015

>N671US in Shannon days ago. Photo courtesy Kevin Corry This just in: The Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 N664US which was heavily damaged by hail on a flight to Seoul Korea last month will return to the United States late this week but it appears her flying days are over. This Queen of the Sky, I am told, is headed for Marana Aerospace Solutions, a enormous boneyard for retired airliners north of Tucson, Arizona. For more on this story, read on. This post has been updated with more information about the process of taking an airliner out of desert storage. First its Arizona retirement was… Read More…


Pilot Punches Holes in Post on 747 Hail Damage

July 4, 2015

>N671US in Shannon Photo courtesy Kevin Corry The Boeing 747 taken out of the desert in Arizona to replace the Delta jumbo jet pelted by hail over China, has itself gone out of service, at least temporarily after an emergency landing in Ireland on Friday. Flightaware.com shows N671US back on the ground in Shannon after departing Amsterdam for New York.  The St. Paul Business Journal reported a smoke alarm triggered the emergency landing. There were 376 passengers on board. “Wow, just wow,” was the response I received from a Delta 747 pilot who has been watching the events unfold. He then turned his attention to… Read More…


Can This Airliner be Saved?

July 1, 2015

>Photo by Brian Walker Armchair airline pilots may be asking why the crew of Delta Air Lines Flight 159 from Detroit to Seoul opted to fly through a hail storm on June 16th, rather than insist on an altitude deviation from air traffic control in China. The decision to maintain flight at 36,000 feet resulted in some dramatic looking damage to various parts of Delta’s Boeing 747 registration N664US and some shaken passengers – none of whom was injured. The answer seems to be that the crew was more concerned about possibly of flying into another aircraft having been told by Chinese controllers of traffic…. Read More…


Why Listening to Germanwings CVR is Not So Simple

March 25, 2015

CVR as recovered from Germanwings flight BEA photo Investigators looking to discover why Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 flew into a mountain in the French Alps yesterday were handed one very good clue when the cockpit voice recorder was located and brought to the headquarters of the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses. At a news conference in Paris today, Remi Jouty explained “We just succeeded in getting an audio file which contains usable sounds and voices. We have not yet fully understood and worked on it to say ‘It starts at this point and ends at this point’ and ‘We hear this person saying that etcetera.’… Read More…


MH 17 Probe Divides At the Point of “Who Done It?”

March 20, 2015

Wreckage of 9M-MRD Dutch Safety Board photo  The conclusion that Malaysia Flight 17 was likely downed by a missile that penetrated the cockpit as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014 has a certain, no-shit-Sherlock quality to it. After all, there was plenty of evidence within hours of the plane’s breaking apart in flight and landing in pieces over an eight mile area in Eastern Ukraine that the plane was felled by a missile.  In a preliminary report released nearly six months ago, the Dutch Safety Board investigators released photos and a debris field plot that indicated the cockpit and forward… Read More…


MH 370 Report on Night of Errors Raises Questions About Competence

March 9, 2015

The story making headlines on the anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 is the news that the battery for the locator beacon in the plane’s flight data recorder was not changed on schedule as it should have been. This raises the possibility that one of the plane’s two black boxes may not have been emitting an audible signal for searchers to have picked up. Failing to replace a dying battery and the consequences of such a lapse is a scenario everyone can relate to, which is why this particular revelation is big news, even though it is exceedingly unlikely that the towed pinger locator was ever within a… Read More…


Indonesia’s Troubled Aviation Safety Past

December 29, 2014

At the Adam Air crash scene. US Navy photo If the wreckage of missing Asia Air Flight 8501 is found at the bottom of the sea, as Indonesia’s search and rescue chief, Bambang Soelistyo suggests, let’s hope that the nation of islands does more than it has in the past to thoroughly investigate the disaster. In a statement to reporters on Monday, Soelistyo admitted Indonesia does not have the equipment to search underwater for the Airbus A-320.  This does not sound good, in light of how the Indonesians frittered following the New Year’s Day crash of Adam Air Flight 574 in 2007.  A Boeing 737… Read More…


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