Asiana Flights between ICN and SFO Banned.

Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, was ordered to halt its daily flights to San Francisco after the crash while landing at the city’s airport in July last year killed three passengers.

The airline won’t be allowed to fly to the city for 45 days from Seoul- Incheon airport, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said today. Investigations by the US National Transportation Safety Board found pilot error, inadequate training on automation system of the B777 aircraft led to the fatal accident.

Asiana strengthened pilot training, appointed a new chief executive officer and hired an official to oversee safety after Flight 214 struck a seawall short of the San Francisco airport on July 6 last year. The carrier violated US law by not promptly helping victims and family members immediately after the crash, which also injured 49 people, the Department of Transportation said in February.

“The government plans to implement additional measures to ensure proper pilot training at Asiana,” the ministry said.

The government reduced the penalty from the maximum of 90 days because of the crew’s efforts to evacuate passengers, the ministry said in the statement. Asiana has six months to comply with the ruling. The order will be finalized if the airline doesn’t object within the next 15 days.

Asiana will consider legal steps against the government’s decision, the Seoul-based airline said in an e-mailed statement after the government pronounced its verdict. The carrier’s shares gained 3.4% to 4,630 won as of 2.21pm in the city.

IATA’s support
Since the San Francisco crash, the South Korean government has stepped up regulations to improve airline safety standards, including steeper penalties for accidents involving casualties.

The International Air Transport Association had sent a letter to the South Korean transport ministry last month that the airline shouldn’t be sanctioned over the crash. A carrier already suffers significant financial loss from life and equipment, legal liability and damage to image, the group said.

The pilots on Flight 214 mismanaged their approach to the airport, failed to
notice the deteriorating speed and lights near the runway showing they were too low, and then didn’t abort the touchdown, which they were trained to do, according to the NTSB. The two pilots also didn’t communicate as they each made changes to the cockpit automation, the board found.

Source: Bloomberg News
Photo: Reuters

NTSB: Virgin SpaceShip Two Sole Survivor Was Thrown Away From the Craft.

Meanwhile Peter Siebold, the sole survivor of the SpaceShip Two accident is still recovering at the hospital from a surgery on his shoulder, he was able to declare to NTSB investigators that he was thrown away from the vehicle when it disintegrated, he added that at some point during his free fall he unbuckled from his seat and the parachute deployed automatically.

The NTSB has evidence that the craft deployed its shuttlecock-like wings just as it approached Mach .1, the system is not suposed to be unlocked until the craft reaches M 1.4, however copilot Mike Alsbury could be seen on an inflight video unlocking the wings before the vehicle reached Mach 1, apparently at the wrong moment. Two seconds later the vehicle exploded.

Not blaming completely to Alsbury, the NTSB says that the wings could have deployed because of aerodynamic forces, the agency continues its investigation on the forces that act on the vehicle during flight.

Still there will be several months of investigation ahead for the National Transportation Safety Board to decipher the causes of SpaceShipTwo’s fatal crash in the Mojave desert last Friday.

What the NTSB hasn’t been able to begin to answer, however, is the question of how pilot Peter Siebold was able to escape the explosion. How did he stay conscious without an oxygen mask or spacesuit in the freezing cold, dangerously airless upper atmosphere, or how did he survive what appears to be a 40,000 feet free fall before deploying his parachute at around 20,000 feet above the ground.

Capt. Ivan
Photo: Reuters

SpaceShip Two Pilot Survival – ….a Miracle.

Scattered parts of SpaceShip Two on the Mojave Desert

Scattered parts of SpaceShip Two on the Mojave Desert

“It’s a great miracle that he did survive and survive in relatively good shape”, Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said.

How SpaceShip Two pilot Peter Siebold survived the fall from extreme altitude a week ago while co-pilot Mike Alsbury died is not yet clear.

SpaceShipTwo did not have ejection seats, but there was an evacuation procedure.

Typically, the pilot would stay with the controls and the co-pilot would depressurise the cabin and then they would both unbuckle and bail out with parachutes, said Brian Binnie, a former test pilot for Scaled Composites, which designed and built the craft for Virgin.

It’s sounds simple, but not in an aircraft that is tearing apart violently, the biggest challenge is surviving a wind blast of 800 km/hr that could blow off eyelids, tear off limbs and snap vertebrae, says Dr John Ogle, an air force flight surgeon who has investigated plane ejections and crashes.

Ogle suspects Siebold probably stayed with some of the wreckage, such as his seat, which would have slowed his fall.

Siebold would have faced the triple threat of lack of oxygen, extreme cold and
intense air pressure as he fell at a rate of about 480km/h, he said.

As the doomed flight rocketed past the speed of sound about 13 kilometres high and then shattered seconds later, the chances of survival were slim.

Remarkably, as sections of the cockpit, fuselage, a wing and motor rained down over the Mojave Desert and pieces of the lightweight craft tiny enough to travel 56 kilometres were picked up by the winds, a single parachute was seen in the sky.

Bill Weaver has been telling a similar story for decades.

The former Lockheed test pilot was torn from the seat of an SR-71 Blackbird 24km above New Mexico on January 25, 1966. The plane was going more than triple the speed of sound.

As Weaver banked into a turn, a malfunction caused one engine to lose thrust. He lost control of the jet and knew he was in trouble as the plane began to pitch and break up.
He didn’t have time to be scared.

‘I knew we were going to just be along for the ride,’ he said.

Weaver tried to radio to the reconnaissance and navigations officer in the back seat that there was no way to safely bail out, so they should stick with the plane and eject when it got lower.

But the severe gravitational forces made his speech unintelligible and then he blacked out.
The whole event to that point took two to three seconds.

When Weaver regained consciousness, he first thought he was dreaming. With the face plate on his helmet iced over from temperatures as cold as minus 48C, he could only see a hazy white light and in a detached sense of euphoria, he thought he was dead.

He was relieved when he realised he was alive and plunging toward Earth.

‘I had no idea how I got out of the airplane,’ he said.

‘I had no idea how long I had been free falling. Had no idea how high I was or low I was.’
How Siebold got out of SpaceShipTwo is also unknown, according to National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Christopher Hart, who said the pilot hadn’t been interviewed because he’s recovering from injuries originally characterised as moderate to major.

Initial findings show the Virgin Galactic plane designed to take tourists for $A270,500 joy rides beyond the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, broke apart after the craft’s re-entry braking system prematurely activated during its rocket blast, Hart said.

Capt. Ivan

 

Thai VietJet Approaching Departure.

Thai VietJet Air (TVJA), the Thai parent company of Vietnam’s low-cost airline VietJet Air, is scheduled to take off next month.

The airline is owned by Thailand’s Kannithi Aviation (51%) and VietJet Air (49%) is expected to obtain its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Department within the following weeks.

TVJA conducted a successful proving flight, the last part of the assessment by authorities before issuing an AOC, on Oct 25 with a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and back.

Somphong Sooksanguan, president of Kannithi Aviation, said that TVJA’s launch is now imminent after a number of postponements this year. As a warm-up to regular flights, the airline will start a series of charter flights from the Thai capital to Vietnam and India on Nov 15.

Parent VietJet Air has already made available an Airbus 320-200 jet to support the launch of TVJA. The narrow-body jet, now parked at U-Tapao airport in Rayong, features a Thai flag below the cockpit’s side windows and the word Thailand below the VietJetAir logo on the tail. A second but brand-new Airbus is expected to be delivered soon after.

Pilot’s Recruitment here.
Flight Cabin Crew Recruitment here.

Capt. Ivan.

Eastern Airlines Re-launch: Now looking for Flight Attendants.

The relaunch of the once a legend Eastern Air Lines is approaching and is planned early next year, now is on the lookout for flight attendants.

The Miami-based airline will hold a recruiting session the weekend of Nov. 22. Those interested in applying must first fill out a form online, which can be found here.

Applicants must be at least 21; have a high school diploma or equivalent; be able to swim without assistance; speak, read and understand English and Spanish and have a valid passport or equivalent travel documents.

Eastern, which will initially operate as a charter airline, is awaiting certification by the Federal Aviation Administration. The airline said it plans to start operating in early 2015 with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Eastern Air Lines was one of the “Big Four” airlines (along with United, Delta and American that dominated the passenger airline business in the United States for nearly 50 years. It started flying officially as Eastern from 1930 (after its predecessor company was founded in 1927) and operated until 1991, when it ceased operations during the first Gulf War.

Capt. Ivan

FAA Issues a New Icing Certification Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration issued last Wesnesday a new rule amending the airworthiness standards aplicable to certain transport category aircraft certified for flight into known icing conditions.

The FAA adopted this rule to improve the safety standards of those transport category airplanes operating in areas where supercooled large droplets – SLD are present. The new rule requires to achieve certain flying characteristics and performance during an icing encounter, also expand the engine installation certification and some component certification regulations like, angle of attack, airspeed indication, etc.

See the new rule here

Propeller Blade Smashes Through a Window on a Jazz Q400 Emergency Landing.

Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-400, flight QK-8481.

Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-400, flight QK-8481.

A Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-400, flight QK-8481 from Calgary,AB to Grande Prairie,AB (Canada) with 71 passengers and 4 crew, was climbing out of Calgary when the crew stopped the climb at 4000 feet due to a blown tyre after departure from Calgary. The crew decided to divert to Edmonton and positioned for a landing on Edmonton’s runway 02, during touchdown the right hand main gear collapsed, the aircraft came to a stop off the right hand side of the runway resting on its nose gear, left main gear and the right hand wing tip, the right hand propeller contacted ground with all blades separating, at least one impacting the fuselage. Three passengers received minor injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

One of the passengers had a close call when a propeller blade came through the window next to her.

Luckily the propeller didn’t hit her, but the whole inside wall of the plane blew out so she had fibreglass and everything all embedded in her skin.

Spokeswoman Genevieve Corbin confirmed a portion of the right propeller blade was partially lodged into the fuselage of the aircraft.

Passenger Ron Prochner said he knew something was wrong when he heard an explosion on takeoff.
“There was a loud explosion and then we took off and it was like bump, bump, bump,” said Prochner, adding that people calmed down until the pilot started his approach into Edmonton International Airport.

As the plane descended to the runway passengers and crews braced for impact. When it touched down, he said the landing gear on one side of the plane collapsed.
As the plane skidded across the runway something started to smash into the fuselage, Prochner said.

Jazz Aviation LP said in a statement that four passengers on Flight 8481 were sent to hospital for treatment. Three were later released but one person remained in hospital Friday for observation.

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski said investigators would be interviewing the flight crew and air traffic controllers Friday.

“Our investigators are continuing to work on it and gather information, interview witnesses, examine the aircraft,” he said from Gatineau, Que.

Jazz said an extra flight was sent in late Thursday evening to take most of the passengers on to Grande Prairie, while those who remained in Edmonton overnight were expected to complete their trip Friday.

The airline said it’s “very grateful” there were no severe injuries and that it’s co-operating with the investigation.

 

Capt. Ivan
Photo: CP

Indian Pilots and the PPC

Indian airlines currently have almost 350 commercial pilots flying the skies with lapsed or invalid licences due to their failure to to renew their pilot’s proficiency check – PPC.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is now contemplating action against the heads of training department of these airlines, while asking the carriers to complete the required training of pilots in a time-bound manner.

“All Indian carriers — Jet, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir and IndiGo (in this order)—have some pilots who have not completed all checks required to keep their flying licences valid. While Jet and AI have 131 and over 100 such pilots, respectively, the three low cost have almost 100 cases. Now, we have written to AirAsia India and Air Costa to tell us if they too have any such pilots,” said a senior official, adding that in all there would be over 350 pilots with invalid licences.

DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar is learnt to be contemplating action against the training heads of airlines, just like he had ordered removal of Jet’s training chief last month after 131 pilots of that airline were found to be flying even after expiry of validity of their last pilot proficiency check (PPC). This test is required to be given every six months and Pilots are not supposed to fly without a valid PPC. The action will be decided when the data from all airlines comes in.

On its part, AI said that the issue arose after the DGCA last September made it mandatory for pilots to give the PPC every six months. This check was earlier also required to be given bi-annually but the first one in first eight months of the year and the second in last four. “This new six-monthly check would have required us to renew nearly 800 licences overnight, which was not possible. All licences valid before this CAR has been renewed uptil October 2014 as per the old rule by DGCA,” the AI statement said.

AI added that all the licences have been renewed till date. “At present, therefore, there are no pilots flying without a valid licence,” the airline statement said.

Source: The Times of India
Photo: Weekly Times of India

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