Wolfe Air Reel – Video

Wolfe Air Reel from 3DF on Vimeo.

These shots were filmed in close formation with the Vectorvision camera system installed in the highly modified Wolfe Air LearJet 25. Cameras used are the Red Epic and Arriflex Alexa.
Wolfe Air Project Coordinator: Beth Miles
Wolfe Air Pilots: Ace Beall, Kevin LaRosa, Kevin LaRosa Jr, Jeff Senior
Camera: Doug Holgate, Roger Tonry, Scott Smith
Edited by: Zak Marx / 3DF
Colorist: Arnold Ramm / 3DF

Boeing delivers First 787 Dreamliner to Aeromexico

Boeing 787 AeromexicoBoeing, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and Aeromexico celebrated the first delivery of a 787 Dreamliner for use by the Mexico City-based carrier today.
The airplane, delivered from Boeing’s Everett, Wash., delivery center on Thursday, took off for Mexico City today.
“The arrival of Aeromexico’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner represents a milestone for the Mexican aviation history.” Andres Conesa, chief executive officer of Aeromexico said, “Our customers will surely benefit from the world-class service that distinguishes Aeromexico, which we now bring on board the most modern aircraft ever built.”
The airplane is the first of nine 787-8 airplanes that Aeromexico will operate, including five on lease from ILFC. The airline will operate a total of 19 Dreamliners, including 10 787-9 models ordered last year.
“This 787 Dreamliner delivery to Aeromexico is another milestone in our four decade-long, strategic relationship with the airline and ILFC”, said ILFC Chief Executive Officer Henri Courpron. “ILFC obviously shares Aeromexico’s views that the 787 will deliver significant operational benefits and customer value.”
Aeromexico’s 787 Dreamliners will be configured with 32 Clase Premier lie-flat seats and 211 seats in economy class.
“This is a great day for Mexico, Aeromexico, and for Boeing,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president Sales, Latin America, Africa and Caribbean for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The Dreamliner will provide Aeromexico with unrivaled operational advantages, large improvements in fuel efficiency and much lower costs. In addition, it is an airplane that provides significantly better environmental performance. For Aeromexico’s passengers, the Dreamliner delivers a new standard in comfort and elegance – a new flying experience.”
Aeromexico is the second customer to take delivery of an airplane leased through ILFC. “This delivery is the 702nd airplane we have delivered to ILFC for its customers,” said Bill Collins, vice president, Sales, Leasing and Asset Management, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is a testimony to the partnership between Boeing and ILFC in supplying the best airplanes to airlines around the world.”
The 787 Dreamliner is composed of durable composites and features numerous system, engine and aerodynamic advancements providing airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency using 20 percent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes. Passengers also enjoy improvements on the 787 such as an interior environment that is more comfortable and offers numerous passenger-pleasing elements including bigger windows.
To date, the 787 has accrued 930 orders from 57 customers worldwide.

Source:  Boeing Media Room

Photo:  Flickr.com

Pilot Crashes during First Solo Flight – Video

On August 10, 2013, about 0927 central daylight time, a Brian Douglas BA-100 airplane, N27BD, conducted a forced landing near Killeen, Texas. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which departed without a flight plan. The local flight originated from Skylark Field Airport (KILE) near Killeen, Texas, about 0925 local time.

According to the pilot’s statement and an on-board video, the engine experienced a partial loss of power after takeoff. While executing a crosswind turn, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot maneuvered to execute a forced landing into trees.

Ryanair pilot sacked over role in documentary

Airline says it will not allow employees to defame its safety record on national TV

Capt. John GossRyanair has sacked one of its longest serving pilots for revealing safety concerns in a Channel 4 documentary this week.

The airline said in a statement that Captain John Goss, who has been with Ryanair for 27 years, had been dismissed for “gross misconduct” with immediate effect and was being sued for defamation.

In a statement issued late last night, the airline said: “Ryanair’s safety has been independently confirmed as being ‘on a par with the safest airlines in Europe’.

“It is delivered on a daily basis by over 9,000 outstanding aviation professionals whose commitment to safety is absolute.

“We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television just three weeks after he confirmed in writing to Ryanair that he had no concerns with safety and no reason to make any confidential safety report to either the IAA or Ryanair.

“We look forward to correcting Mr Goss’s defamatory claims in court in due course, but will not be commenting further on this issue which is now the subject of legal proceedings.”

Capt Goss was the only Ryanair pilot to be identified on the documentary.

The programme featured a survey of more than 1,000 Ryanair pilots, most of whom expressed misgivings about safety at the airline. It found 94 per cent wanted regulators to conduct an inquiry into the impact of employment practices on safety, while two-thirds were not comfortable raising issues through an internal reporting system.

Ryanair has dismissed the survey as a “fabrication” and the pilots group as a front for pilots from rival airlines.

Capt Goss expressed concern, not only about Ryanair’s safety culture, but also about the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

He told the programme: “My personal belief is that the majority of Ryanair pilots do not have confidence in the safety agencies and that is a pretty critical issue.”

He was due to retire in October.

French minister for transport Frédéric Cuvillier expressed concerns about the contents of the documentary.

Mr Cuvillier said he was concerned if Ryanair pilots felt inhibited in raising concern with the airlines about safety issues.

He explains: “Such practices, if confirmed, would be of concern and would reveal a violation of the rules.”

He did, however, acknowledge that Ryanair is controlled by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and the levels of aviation safety are “among the highest in the world”.

Source:  Irish Times

First Public Demonstrations: Terrafugia Transition Flying Car, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, WI 2013

AirVenture 2013 saw a dream come true for the Terrafugia team: the Transition street legal airplane flew and drove before the airshow crowds for its first public demonstrations. With footage from the Transition’s on-board cameras and from the ground courtesy of EAA, fly — and drive — along with Chief Test Pilot Phil Meteer for this historic experience.

Learn more about Terrafugia and see how you can join us in creating the future at www.DrivenToFly.com.

NTSB: UPS Pilots received rate of descent warnings before impact

A flight recorder revealed that pilots of a UPS cargo jet that crashed short of a runway at Birmingham’s airport received warnings about their rate of descent seconds before impact, investigators said Friday.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told reporters during a briefing that a recorder captured the first of two audible warnings in the cockpit 16 seconds before the sound of an impact, either with trees or the ground.

The warnings indicated the A300 cargo plane was descending at a rate outside normal parameters given its altitude, Sumwalt said, but investigators haven’t made any determination on the actual cause of the crash into an Alabama hillside.

“We haven’t ruled anything in, haven’t ruled anything out,” he said.

The aircraft went down less than a mile from the end of Runway 18 at Birmingham’s airport before dawn Wednesday. UPS has identified the victims of the crash as Capt. Cerea Beal, Jr., 58, of Matthews, N.C., and First Officer Shanda Fanning, 37, of Lynchburg, Tenn.

Landing on the runway can be tricky for pilots, an expert said, particularly those flying big jets like the twin-engine UPS cargo carrier. Sumwalt said the plane was being flown by the captain — who had 8,600 hours of flight experience, including 3,200 hours in an A300 — but investigators don’t know whether Beal or Fanning had ever before landed on Runway 18.

“We’re going to do our best to find out,” he said.

Sumwalt said investigators will analyze the airplane’s weight to determine whether it should have attempted a landing on the runway, the shorter of two runways at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport.

With a large hill and trees at one end, the runway lacks the electronics for a full instrument landing. That forces pilots to make key judgments about altitude while aiming a descending aircraft at a runway that’s 5,000 feet shorter than the airport’s main runway, which was closed for maintenance work at the time of the crash.

Some pilots simply avoid landing on Runway 18 when possible, said veteran commercial pilot Ross Aimer.

“When I heard they were using Runway 18 it caught my attention because of that hill,” said Aimer. “It’s sad, but it didn’t surprise me.”

Aimer, a retired United Airlines captain, is now chief executive of Aero Consulting Experts, a firm based in Los Angeles.

The NTSB previously said a preliminary investigation didn’t reveal any evidence of engine failure before the plane struck trees about one mile away from the end of the runway. It crashed into the bottom of a hill less than a quarter mile after hitting the trees.

The A300, which weighs about 172,700 pounds when empty, was at the end of a 45-minute flight from Louisville, Ky., to Birmingham when it went down. A flight summary from flightaware.com, which tracks airplanes, shows the aircraft made a descent in steps, which Aimer said is a “dive and drive” method common on runways with the same navigational guidance as Runway 18.

Sumwalt said the aircraft went down during its first landing attempt. Sumwalt said investigators have not found any problems with the runway’s lights or navigation system, which typically provides pilots with information about their lateral position but not about their altitude, unlike those on runways where pilots can land using only instruments.

National Weather Service records from the morning of the crash show the plane would have descended through overcast conditions to only a few clouds at 1,100 feet. Within seconds after the plane hit a tree and at least one turbine sucked in wood, the twin-engine plane crashed.

It hit the base of that large hill mentioned by Aimer, who said he had landed on Runway 18 about a half-dozen times, including on some flights as a cargo pilot.

Located near the southern tip of the Appalachian foothills, Birmingham’s airport is nestled in a low spot between Red Mountain to the south and hills that lie at the northern end of Runway 18, which is 7,000 feet long. The main runway is 12,000 feet long and runs east and west, meaning pilots don’t have to negotiate the rough terrain.

The NTSB said the longer runway was closed for maintenance work on its lights early Wednesday, leaving the shorter runway as the only path to the ground. Runway 18 is an approved runway with a valid approach, Aimer said.

“It is definitely legal, but it I had a choice I’d use another runway first,” he said.

A key task for investigators will be determining why the UPS jet was low enough to hit trees. The impact sheared off pieces of the aircraft and sent them crashing onto two homes along with large pieces of limbs.

Keenen Brown, 17, said he witnessed the crash while getting ready for work before dawn. Brown, who lives with relatives across the street from the crash site, said it was unusual to see such a large aircraft attempting to land on the runway.

“I saw the sky turn orange and I looked up and I saw it in the air on fire,” Brown said. “I watched it hit the ground and dirt flew up. This whole area just shook.”

Aimer said the flames could have been shooting from the plane after it struck the trees.

Member Robert Sumwalt briefs media on UPS flight 1354 crash in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sources:  NTSB, Fox

Iron Maiden’s – Bruce Dickinson and his Aviation Projects

The lead singer with rock band Iron Maiden – and aviation fanatic – was at the Paris Air Show to unveil expansion plans for an aircraft maintenance business he started last year.

Last year, he set up Cardiff Aviation, a joint venture with business partner Mario Fulgoni, a pilot and airline executive.

They took over a fully-equipped former RAF maintenance facility at St Athan, just outside Cardiff. The site can park 20 narrow-body airlines, and the hangar is big enough to house a Boeing 767-300, just smaller than a jumbo jet. There is also a 6,000ft runway.

With an initial investment of £5m from a mix of government and private sources announced on Monday, the pair want to make it a centre for repairing and maintaining civil aircraft.

There are also plans to open a pilot training facility, and Dickinson is in advanced talks about setting up an airline leasing-cum-charter operation. It will be what is called an ACMI airline – providing aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance.Iron Maiden - Bruce Dickinson

He says: “Asia and the Middle East is going to be where the huge growth in aviation will be. But the smart way to start an airline is not to spend huge sums of money up front, but to come to companies like us.

“Our ambition [at Cardiff Aviation] is to create a sort of one-stop shop,” he says. “A lot of maintenance facilities are closing, especially in Europe because of high labour costs and inefficiency. We have not inherited that.”

Dickinson said his business is close to securing a deal to become the sole provider of maintenance to an aircraft leasing company, and he was in Paris to discuss possible contracts with airlines.

He says: “It’s early days, but our business plan is perfectly achievable. We are already in profit and have no big debts. I think that’s pretty good.”

The business employs about 80 people, though clearly if the expansion plans come to fruition that number will rise considerably, probably by many hundreds, he hopes.

There are complex certification procedures to pass, both for the maintenance operation and to start an airline. It will take time, he says, but things are progressing well.

Given the Iron Maiden fame, it’s easy to assume that Dickinson’s role in the venture is to open doors with prospective clients. “It helps,” his business partner Fulgoni admits.

But it is clear that Dickinson loves being both an entrepreneur and involved in building something that could mean investment and jobs. Music, he said, is now a “part-time job” that brings in the money, he joked.

Dickinson went to his first air show aged five, and got his fascination with aircraft from his dad, an engineer, and uncle, who worked for the RAF. “Don’t ask me to put up a shelf, but I love engineering.”

And that was his cue to go off on a passionate five-minute rant about the failings of the educational system, and engineering itself.

“Teachers need to be more inspirational. But it’s also up to engineering to make itself more interesting.

“Engineering stimulates the mind. Kids get bored easily. They have got to get out and get their hands dirty: make things, dismantle things, fix things. When the schools can offer that, you’ll have an engineer for life,” he says.

He got his pilot’s licence in 1991, gaining more qualifications and experience so that he could fly bigger planes on longer journeys. He began flying Iron Maiden on tour, and then got a job with the now-defunct British World Airlines.

Later he became a pilot for Icelandic-owned charter airline Astraeus. That collapsed in 2011. “I was in the air when it happened, flying a group of pilgrims returning from Jeddah to Manchester,” he recalls.

He does not do much piloting these days. Some of the shine has been taken off the job, because most modern aircraft are flown by computers these days, not pilots.

“You just need a pilot in the cockpit in case something goes wrong,” he says.

“It’s still a huge thrill to take off and land. But when you are in a plane, you are in the hands of the engineers. That’s where it’s at these days.”

Via:  BBC News

Photos:  BBC


Boeing Delivers First Next-Generation 737-800 to Iraqi Airways

Iraqi Airways Boeing 737-800Boeing delivered a Next-Generation 737-800 to Iraqi Airways, the first of 30 that the airline ordered in 2008, marking a milestone in its relationship with the airline.

“The Next-Generation 737-800 will play a key role in helping us modernize our fleet and integrate into the regional and international commercial aviation system,” said H.E. Hadi Al Ameri, Iraq’s Minister of Transportation. “Boeing has played a pivotal role in our growth plan and the Next-Generation 737 has earned an excellent reputation for reliability and operational efficiency.”

With this delivery, Iraqi Airways currently has 39 Boeing airplanes on order, including 29 Next-Generation 737-800s and 10 787 Dreamliners.

“This is a historic milestone in our relationship with Iraqi Airways and a testament to the value that the Next-Generation 737-800 will bring to the airline’s fleet,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president for Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia. “Boeing is proud of the confidence that Iraqi Airways has in its products and we look forward to further strengthening this relationship to fulfill the airline’s future commercial aviation needs.”

The Next-Generation 737 family has won orders for more than 6,500 airplanes, while the 737 family has surpassed 11,000 orders to date. Boeing has delivered more than 7,600 737s – including more than 4,500 Next-Generation 737s – and currently has more than 3,400 unfilled orders for 737s (through July 2013).

Source:  Boeing Media Room

Photo:  Boeing

Airbus releases an statement on UPS Flight 1354 accident

Airbus regrets to confirm that an A300-600F operated by UPS was involved in an accident shortly after 9-50 utc, at Birmingham- Alabama today 14-08-2013. The aircraft was operating a scheduled service, Flight 1354, from Louisville, KY to Birmingham AL

The aircraft involved in the accident, registered under the number N155UP was MSN 841, delivered to UPS from the production line in 2003. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 11000 flight hours in some 6800 flights. It was powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. At this time no further factual information is available.

In line with the ICAO Annex 13 international convention, Airbus will provide full technical assistance to the French BEA as well as to the authorities who will be responsible for the accident investigation. A team of specialists from Airbus is being dispatched to Alabama.

The A300-600F is a freighter twin-engine widebody. The first A300-600F freighter entered service in 1983. By the end of June 2013, 104 A300-600F were in service.

Airbus will make further factual information available as soon as the details have been confirmed. However, the investigation remains the entire responsibility of the relevant authorities and it would be inappropriate for Airbus to enter into any form of speculation into the cause of the accident.

The concerns and sympathy of the Airbus employees go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident of Flight 1354.

Source:  Airbus –  Press Release

UPS Airbus 300-600 Crashes at Birmigham – AL

A United Parcel Service – UPS, Airbus A300-600, from Louisville,KY to Birmingham,AL (USA) with 2 crew, was on approach to Birmingham’s runway 18 at 04:51L (09:51Z) but touched down near the intersection Airport Road/Tarrant Huffman Road about 1nm short of the runway in open terrain and burst into flames leaving a trail of debris of about half a mile. Both pilots died on the accident.

The FAA confirmed a UPS cargo aircraft crashed at Birmingham Airport and confirmed death of the two crew members.

Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport reported a UPS Cargo Airbus A300 went down just outside the airport perimeter fence, the Mayor of Birmingham said, that both crew perished in the crash.

The NTSB have dispatched a go-team to Birmingham,AL.


UPS Airbus 300-600 Accident (5)UPS_birminghamA300Fcrash_NTSB

UPS Airbus 300-600 Accident (1)UPS Airbus 300-600 Accident (2)UPS Airbus 300-600 Accident (3)

Source: The Aviation Herald
Photos: AP/Hal Yeager – K.A. Turner – Graphics: AVH/Google Earth –

City of Birmingham/April Odom

  •   GDL 39