Emirates is planning 20-hour ultra long-haul flights.

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark is in talks with Boeing to develop aircraft that will allow it to fly ultra long-haul flights of up to 20 hours.

Emirates is aiming to double its global route network to nearly 270 destinations.

The state-owned carrier currently operates 200 wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft and has orders for an additional 194 aircraft, worth more than $71bn.

To achieve his goal of nearly 270 locations, the report said Clark was in talks with US manufacturer Boeing on a new model of the 777, the 777X, which would allow it to fly ultra long 20-hour flights.

In an interview with New Zealand Herald, Clark said Sydney to Rome was on the horizon if the US manufacturer could develop an aircraft that was comfortable enough for passengers to sustain such a single journey.

Source:  Arabian Business

ATSB – Releases Final Report into Qantas A380 Engine Failure

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau released the final report of its investigation into the uncontained engine failure involving a Qantas Airbus A380 over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010. 

The accident occurred shortly after the aircraft took off from Singapore. At about 7,000 ft above Batam Island, one of the aircraft’s Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines failed, sending debris into the aircraft’s left wing and fuselage, and onto Batam Island. There was significant damage to the aircraft’s electrical, hydraulic and other systems. The crew managed the multitude of system failures before safely returning and landing the aircraft.

The ATSB found that the engine failure was the result of a fatigue crack in an oil feed pipe. The crack allowed the release of oil that resulted in an internal oil fire. The oil fire led to one of the engine’s turbine discs separating from the drive shaft. The disc then over-accelerated and broke apart, bursting through the engine casing and releasing other high energy debris.

The ATSB also found that the oil pipe, together with a number of similar pipes in other engines, had been made with a thin wall section and did not comply with the design specifications. The thin wall substantially increased the likelihood of fatigue cracking.

The ATSB, Rolls-Royce, aviation regulators, and operators of Trent 900-powered A380s took a range of steps to ensure that engines with incorrectly manufactured oil feed stub pipes were removed from service or managed to enable the aircraft to continue to operate safely.

Rolls-Royce also introduced software that would automatically shut down a Trent 900 engine before its turbine disc over speeds, in the unlikely event of a similar occurrence. As well, Rolls-Royce had improved their quality management system and management of non-conforming parts.

Read the ATSB investigation report AO-2010-089

MP3 audio of media conference 27 June 2013

Source:  ATSB – Media release


The Departure Briefing

The old saying goes, “never fly an airplane to a place where your mind has not been at least ten minutes before”.  Said in other words – planning is key in aviation.

I still remember to Richard Bach on his book “a Gift of Wings” looking for a spot to land on every takeoff in case his sole engine quits.

Incorrect planning or lack of planning at all has been the cause of many aviation accidents that could have been avoided with a proper briefing establishing a course of actions in case the unexpected happens.

Either if you are a recreational pilot or a professional pilot flying a single engine airplane or a complex aircraft, flying single pilot, or multicrew, you must have clear course of actions for all phases of flight.

Sometimes, flight planning starts before leaving from home, reviewing the weather forecasts, TAF’s, METAR’S, PIREP’s, etc., assuming that all this has been done.  Let’s review start here with our departure briefing.

The Departure Briefing – “every takeoff is optional but every landing is mandatory”

Every time we are flying close to the ground, either for takeoff or landing, we have little time to cope with the unexpected.  Any emergency during these phases of flight requires our firm and prompt response and when time is scarce, previous planning can be the difference between a successful operation and a disaster.

Once preflight is complete, our takeoff figures have been calculated, ATIS has been copied, departure clearance has been obtained, it comes the time of The Departure / Takeoff Briefing.

If you fly single pilot, doing a departure briefing to yourself can seem odd, but set a course of actions in an emergency is critical.  In case we have an SID, after reviewing it, note which way is the first turn after takeoff, obstacles in the area, weather hazards, nav-aids availability at the airport, etc.  In a multiengine airplane, when we have to deal with an emergency situation we must carry on checklists before proceeding back to land, this means we must have the situation under control and for a certain period of time be in a precise location meanwhile we prepare for our return to the airfield. If not assigned by ATC a holding pattern fix can be the best place, instead of flying around the airport without knowing exactly where we are, this is especially critical at night or in mountainous terrain. Plan carefully, focus on flying the airplane, be situational aware all the time and don’t rush.

Many times I hear my fellow colleagues make a plan only in case of an engine failure, but having two engines or more turning, one of the most rushing situations we can experience in an airplane is:  Smoke.  Smoke can create a situation that can go beyond our control in a matter of minutes, in this case an urgent return back to land is essential.

Departure briefings vary according to Operator’s SOP’s – Standard Operating Procedures.  If you don’t have a standard one here goes an example of what point a DP should cover:

·      In case of a multi-crew, state who’s PF (Pilot Flying – is the one that must carry on the Departure Briefing)

·         Takeoff weight.

·         Takeoff speeds.

·         Rated takeoff power / thrust.

·         SID (if required)

·         Weather avoidance – if applicable

·         NAV / Radios – Frequencies selection and FMS or FMC setting.

·         Intended departure runway.

·         OEI (One Engine Inoperative) Departure procedure – if applicable.

·         Outbound radial or departure track.

·         Acceleration altitude and final altitude.

·       Holding point, return for landing and departure alternates (in case of a takeoff below landing minimums).

·         Initial turn direction and altitude.


·         And any other item considered of critical importance to be briefed prior to takeoff.


Most important of all, once your briefing has been done and once in the air, follow your briefing, a cardinal rule for a good CRM.


“Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst”


Author:  Capt. Ivan

First British Airways B787 arrives home at Heathrow – Pictures

LONDON, UK:  Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, greets the first British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner at London Heathrow on 27 June 2013 (Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

LONDON, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) and British Airways announced the delivery today of the UK carrier’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The British Airways 787 departed Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on Wednesday, June 26, arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport today at 12:10 pm local time. The airplane was welcomed to its Heathrow home by Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of International Airlines Group (IAG), the company that owns British Airways.

“The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I’m sure British Airways’ customers will love it,” said Walsh. “The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.”

British Airways has announced that the airline will operate the 787 from Heathrow to Toronto from Sept. 1 and Heathrow to Newark from Oct. 1.

Star of stage and screen, Kim Cattrall, who was born in England, grew up in Canada and lives in the US, today began the countdown for customers to book flights on British Airways’ first Boeing 787, which arrived at its new Heathrow home today.

Flights are now on sale and to celebrate the airline is launching with a fare of £787 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) to both cities. Customers can also upgrade to Club World for an additional £787 return (total of £1,574 return per person).

The British Airways 787 Dreamliner carries 214 passengers and is configured with 35 seats in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 154 seats in the World Traveller cabin.

British Airways operates more than 140 Boeing airplanes within its fleet including 52 777s, as well as the world’s largest fleet of 747s with 52.

This is the first of 24 787s British Airways has on order. In addition, IAG recently announced that it will convert 18 787 options to firm orders for British Airways, subject to shareholder agreement. Twelve of these will be 787-10s, meaning British Airways will operate the entire 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10.

Flights are now on sale and to celebrate the airline is launching with a fare of £787 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) to both cities. Customers can also upgrade to Club World for an additional £787 return (total of £1,574 return per person).

K65936 BA787-1


– Boeing media room

– British Airways news

– Photo Credits – Global Aviation Resource

Fedex retires its last Boeing 727 of its fleet

Fedex has officially retired the Boeing 727 of its fleet of freighters.


The old reliable 727 been among Fedex fleet for more than 30 years.  The company began retiring them in 2007 when started a modernization program of his fleet introducing Boeing 757.  This year, Fedex is planning to take delivery of Boeing 767’s  to replace the old MD-10 freighters.


 “The 727 was a mainstay aircraft and one of the most dependable we ever had in our fleet,” said Chip Groner, a 35-year FedEx pilot. “More importantly, it was the plane that really put FedEx on the map as an overnight express carrier. The 727, for many pilots, will always be the airplane that really brought the airline industry into the jet age.”

Fedex B727 – Final Flyby at Indy


Author: Capt. Ivan

Airbus A350 First Flight, First Air Show. Bad news for Boeing?

Airbus’s new twin, the A350 XWB, flew over the Paris Air Show on Friday 21 June on only its third test flight. It follows the type’s maiden flight on 14 June.

The A350 XWB is an all-new mid-size long range product line featuring three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.

The new Airbus competes with the Boeing 777 and the new, troubled 787 Dreamliner and has already notched up orders, including 69 at the show itself worth $21.4 billion at list price from Air France-KLM , Singapore Airlines , United Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.

John Leahy, Airbus’s Chief Operating Officer, Customers commented at the show that, “Our A350 XWB has been out-selling the 787 by better than 2- to-1 over the last five years.”

Boeing has been in this fight longer and so has notched up an impressive 930 orders with 57 deliveries to date compared with Airbus’s 678 orders.

After Boeing’s battle with delays and battery problems on the 787, Airbus’s dramatic test flight at Le Bourget is a physical manifestation of Leahy’s confidence in the aircraft. But as Boeing has learned, the road from first flight to certification and customer deliveries is not always straight, smooth or fast.


Source:  Matthew Stibbe – Forbes

Real airlines with weird names

IT might be touch and go flying in a Bra and we all know TAP. But you will be surprised by the airline we think has the weirdest name of all.

News.com.au has pulled together a list of the weirdest airline names ever. These airlines are real. Many of them have gone bust. Maybe they should have thought a little bit more about their branding. 


Here’s our best of the worst. 


Sign in to My Wizz and you can book Wizz Air...

Sign in to My Wizz and you can book Wizz Air…

The weirdest airline name we could find was WizzAir. On the online booking website you can choose “My Wizz”. WizzAir is actually still operating – and doing well. The low cost airline has the largest aircraft fleet of all the Hungarian airlines. 


Taiwan’s U-Land airlines was the first low-cost airline company in Asia. Sadly it is no longer. Maybe it should have been called U-fly. 


BRA airlines has nothing to do with women’s lingerie. It actually stands for Brasil Rodo Aéreo. It too has gone bust but did once offer domestic and international scheduled services, as well as charter flights. It was the third largest airline in Brazil with 4.19 per cent of the domestic Brazilian in August 2006.


Like Bra, TAP in Portugal should not be taken at face value. It has nothing to do with a water tap. It actually stands for  Transportes Aéreos Portugueses. TAP’s route network comprises 80 destinations in 36 countries worldwide.


Ransome Airlines. Yes that’s right. This was a US regional airline with headquarters near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Enough said. 


Touch and Go airlines was a Russian charter airline operating Tu-154s and Tu-134. They are now defunct but we are reliably informed they did once fly to European resorts such as Cyprus and Greece. But we guess business was a bit touch and go. 


Bonanza airlines is an oldie but a goodie. Bonanza was an international and domestic regional airline that operated from 1945 to 1968, with routes in the Western United States and Mexico. Funnily enough its headquarters were in Las Vegas. Maybe that explains the name. 


Iran air. OK so it’s not that weird. But planes don’t run. They fly. 


Do you know any other weird airline names?  Tell us more below. 

Source:  News.com.au

FAA moving toward easing electronic device use

Ipad usage in the cockpit of an Airbus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Relief may be on the way for airline passengers who can’t bear to be separated even briefly from their personal electronic devices. The government is moving toward allowing gate-to-gate use of music players, tablets, laptops, smartphones and other gadgets, although it may take a few months.

Restrictions on cellphone calls and Internet use and transmission are not expected to be changed.

An industry-labor advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing restrictions on using electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. But the agency said in a statement Friday the deadline has been extended to September because committee members asked for extra time to finish assessing whether it’s safe to lift restrictions.

“The FAA recognizes consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft; that is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions,” the statement said.

The agency is under public and political pressure to ease the restrictions as more people bring their devices with them when they fly in order to read e-books, listen to music, watch videos, and get work done.

Technically, the FAA doesn’t bar use of electronic devices when aircraft are below 10,000 feet. But under FAA rules, airlines that want to let passengers use the devices are faced with a practical impossibility — they would have to show that they’ve tested every type and make of device passengers would use to ensure there is no electromagnetic interference with aircraft radios and electrical and electronic systems.

As a result, U.S. airlines simply bar all electric device use below 10,000 feet. Airline accidents are most likely to occur during takeoffs, landings and taxiing.

Using cellphones to make calls on planes is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. There is concern that making calls from fast-flying planes might strain cellular systems, interfering with service on the ground. There is also the potential annoyance factor — whether passengers will be unhappy if they have to listen to other passengers yakking on the phone.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a draft report by the advisory committee indicates its 28 members have reached a consensus that at least some of the current restrictions should be eased.

A member of the committee told The Associated Press that while the draft report is an attempt to reach consensus, no formal agreement has yet been reached. The member was not authorized to discuss the committee’s private deliberations and requested anonymity.

There are also still safety concerns, the member said. The electrical interference generated by today’s devices is much lower than those of a decade ago, but many more passengers today are carrying electronics.

Any plan to allow gate-to-gate electronic use would also come with certification processes for new and existing aircraft to ensure that they are built or modified to mitigate those risks. Steps to be taken could include ensuring that all navigational antennas are angled away from the plane’s doors and windows. Planes that are already certified for Wi-Fi would probably be more easily certified.

Although the restrictions have been broadly criticized as unnecessary, committee members saw value in them.

One of the considerations being weighed is whether some heavier devices like laptops should continue to be restricted because they might become dangerous projectiles, hurting other passengers during a crash, the committee member said. There is less concern about tablets and other lighter devices.

Source:  San Francisco Chronicle

Lion Air looks to accelerate international expansion, starting with Thailand

Lion Air has embarked on the first phase of an aggressive international strategy which is starting to see the fast-growing airline group diversify away from its roots in the Indonesian domestic market. The Mar-2013 launch of an affiliate in Malaysia, Malindo Air, is expected to be followed by joint ventures in other Asian markets, starting with Thailand. A low cost, but hybrid operator, Lion over time will also look to grow its now tiny international network from its home market of Indonesia.

Internationalization with a focus on Southeast Asia is the right strategy for Lion as it cannot continue to rely almost entirely on the Indonesian domestic market. Indonesia has emerged as one of the world’s largest and fastest growing emerging markets. But with nearly 600 aircraft on order Lion needs to hedge its bets and not limit its growth to Indonesia, particularly given the threat that growing infrastructure constraints could lead to slower growth over the medium to long-term.

Lion, however, faces huge challenges as it starts to dip its paw in other markets. Establishing a strong brand and distribution network outside Indonesia will be Lion’s biggest challenge. Competition in any new market Lion enters will be fierce as it will not have the first low cost mover advantage it had in Indonesia. Pan-Asian low cost airline groups like AirAsia, Jetstar and, to a lesser extent, Tiger, already occupy the high ground.

Thailand already has two strong well-established LCCs in Thai AirAsia and Thai Airways affiliate Nok Air. Both are expanding rapidly, using proceeds from initial public offerings. Both also have strong local brands and distribution networks – something Lion has in Indonesia but could struggle to replicate in Thailand.

There is also a third, much smaller LCC in Thailand in the one-off Orient Thai. The unusual carrier, operating a mixture of 747s, 767s, 737s and MD-80s, made a push in the LCC sector several years ago with One-Two-Go, which ultimately failed, suggesting the difficulty in trying to establish a third major LCC player in the Thai market.

Orient Thai closed the One-Two-Go operation in 2008 and has since continued to have an LCC operation domestically under the Orient Thai brand while operating under more of a leisure/charter carrier model on international routes. But over the last couple of years Orient Thai has steadily cut back its domestic operation, using 737s in single class configuration; the reason: intense competition.

The Orient Thai domestic network currently consists of only two routes and four daily flights. The carrier has cut domestic capacity by a further 56% over the last year and now has just a 2% share of the domestic market, according to CAPA and Innovata data.

Nok domestic capacity is up about 45% compared to Jun-2012 levels, accounting for a 26% share of Thailand’s domestic market. Thai AirAsia, which has grown capacity by 26% year over year, currently has a 27% share of seat capacity.

Read full story and analysis at: CAPA – Centre of Aviation

Stunt plane crash at Ohio air show kills wing walker, pilot

A biplane carrying a wing-walker – an aerial daredevil who traverses the length of an aircraft during flight – crashed into a field and burst into a ball of flames during an air show in Ohio, killing the stunt performer and the pilot, organizers of the event said.

Jane Wicker and her veteran pilot, Charles Schwenker, were killed after their biplane slammed into the ground just before 1 p.m. Saturday at the 39th Vectren Air Show at Dayton International Airport, according to NBC news affiliate WDTN in Dayton.

Disturbing video footage obtained by WDTN shows the vintage biplane turn upside-down as Wicker positions herself on the wing. The announcer narrates Wicker’s acrobatics as the plane soars above a grassy field.

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