Air NZ Captain Locks Himself in the Cockpit

Two Air New Zealand pilots hav been suspended after a mid-air drama developed when the Captain locked the First Officer out of the cockpit.

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The incident occurred on a B777-200, flight NZ176 from Perth to Auckland on May 21, the aircraft was carrying 303 passengers plus crew.

The captain locked himself inside of the cockpit and did not respond to requests to open the locked door during a period of two minutes, alarming crew.

Apparently an argument developed between the pilots because of a departure delay originated when the First Officer was called for a random drug and alcohol test.

“This departure delay frustrated the captain who prides himself on operational efficiency,” Air New Zealand’s manager of operational integrity and safety, Errol Burtenshaw, told AFP in a statement Sunday.

This incident has sparked calls for a third crew member to be added to flight decks so no one is ever alone in the cockpit.

Air NZ spokeswoman Marie Hosking said the first officer and crew became concerned after the captain did not respond to three requests over two minutes from a cabin crew member to open the cockpit door.

The first officer eventually used an alternative method to access the cockpit. For security reasons, the airline would not say how.

“Naturally, cabin crew operating the flight were concerned about the inability to contact the captain and became quite anxious,” said the national carrier’s operational integrity and safety manager Errol Burtenshaw.

They were offered the support of the company’s employee assistance programme after the flight.

Both pilots were stood down — the captain for two weeks and the first officer for a week, and given counselling and additional training.

“Both pilots have learned a valuable lesson around the need to communicate better with peers.”

He said the captain did not respond or open the door because he was approaching a navigational waypoint and in his cockpit monitor saw a cabin crew member rather than the first officer ringing.

The airline provided a report on the incident to the Civil Aviation Authority. Spokesman Mike Richards said it was satisfied with Air NZ’s actions.

Aviation commentator Peter Clark said the incident showed it was time all airlines put a third crew member in the cockpit. “After [the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight] MH370 there’s definitely questions being asked about whether there should be more than two people on the flight deck.”

Clark said there was no excuse for the Air NZ captain to not immediately respond to calls, given the MH370 mystery and the fate of other flights, including an Ethiopian Airlines flight hijacked by its asylum-seeking co-pilot this year.

“You can push a button and say ‘I’m busy’ … two minutes is an eternity when people reflect on MH370. The transponder can be turned off, the flight co-ordinates changed, the plane depressurised.

“It shouldn’t have happened.”

Source: The New Zealand Herald

Photos: Air NZ

 

 

Amazing Livery! – Boeing Rolls Out of Paint Shop First B787-9 for Air NZ

Today rolled out of the paint hangar the first 787-9 Dreamliner to be delivered to launch customer Air New Zealand, revealing the carrier’s new-look livery.

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The airplane, painted in a distinctive black color scheme, features the iconic official New Zealand Fern Mark.
“It’s great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft. This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instill a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific,” said Capt. David Morgan, Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer.

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This 787-9 is the first airplane to feature the distinctive black version of Air New Zealand’s new-look livery design, with the white version having been gradually rolled out across the airline’s domestic fleet in recent months.

While the majority of Air New Zealand’s fleet will eventually feature the white version, a limited number will feature the signature black version. “With the unveiling of this beautiful airplane and our continued progress in flight test, this is an exciting time for the entire 787-9 team,” said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We look forward to delivering the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand.”

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Air New Zealand plans to have the airplane begin service on its Auckland-Perth route later this year. Air New Zealand has 10 787-9s on order.

The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 m) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.

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The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

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Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 405 787-9s, accounting for approximately 39 percent of all 787 orders.

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Source:  Boeing Media Room

Photos:  Boeing Co.

Boeing Brings the 787-9 to Kiwi Soil.

Boeing picked the ideal location for the 787-9 Dreamliner to make its international debut in the flight-test program. The newest member of the Dreamliner family flew nonstop from Seattle to Auckland – the longest 787-9 flight to date — to pay a visit to launch customer Air New Zealand.

“Boeing is proud to bring the 787-9 to Auckland to show Air New Zealand what the team has achieved,” said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With more than 150 flights and since testing began in September, the test fleet continues to perform very well, and we look forward to delivering the first 787-9 in mid-2014 as promised.”

With the 787 set to become a staple of Air New Zealand’s long-haul fleet, this visit was an opportunity for the airline’s technical and flight crews to get hands-on time with the 787-9. Air New Zealand employees explored the airplane side by side with their Boeing partners — a unique opportunity not just to see their airplane, but to view a 787-9 configured for testing, unlike anything they would see in service.

“Having one of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s touch down on Kiwi soil for the first time is hugely exciting,” said Christopher Luxon, chief executive officer, Air New Zealand. “It’s a real reminder that we will soon welcome the first of these more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft into our fleet.”

The airplane, ZB002, is the second of three 787-9s dedicated to the test program, which began last September. As the only 787-9 test airplane to be fitted with elements of the passenger interior, in addition to test racks and instrumentation, Boeing uses ZB002 to test the environmental control system and other aspects of airplane performance. After the test program is complete, the airplane will be reconfigured for delivery to Air New Zealand.

The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 6 meters (20 feet) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 555 kilometers (300 nmi) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.

Boeing is on track to deliver the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 402 787-9s, representing 39 percent of all 787 orders.

By Adam Tischler, Tim Bader, and Julie O’Donnell

Boeing Media Room

Air New Zealand will fly Scientists to the Antarctic

Air New Zealand Boeing 767-300ERAir New Zealand’s will fly scientists and their support crews to the white continent. For the moment tourists will not be allowed on the chartered flights.

Countries actually flying scientists to Antarctica do it by flights run by government, military agencies, or by specialized companies.

Air New Zealand plans to use one of its regular passenger jets for the Antarctic flights, a Boeing 767-300.

Airline spokeswoman Marie Hosking told AP the plane does not need any modifications and that the Antarctic ice runway has the characteristics of a regular runway that’s covered in dry snow, which would the airline’s pilots could expect to encounter at an airport like Tokyo.

The planes will depart from Christchurch in New Zealand and will land on the Pegasus runway on the Ross Ice Shelf.

The 2,090 nautical miles trip will take roughly five hours and can carry 200 scientists and support staff on each trip. The plane will not require refuelling for the return leg.

The flights have been chartered by Antarctica New Zealand, the agency that runs the country’s Antarctic program. Flights would also carry American scientists as the US works collaboratively with the South Pacific nation in Antarctica. Ice Field

The airline has planned a trial flight to take place on October 5 and if successful it will operate two more charter flights during the Antarctic summer season.

But tourism to the coldest continent on Earth will not be a part of the flights, as Stephen Parker, a spokesman for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, said the country tries to limit Antarctic tourism and minimize its impact on the environment.

This is consistent with Antarctica’s status as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science,” he said.

Capt. Ivan & Agencies

 

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