Qantas A380 Returns to LAX After a Water Leak Floods Aisles

Qantas A380, flight QF94 bound to Melbourne – Australia, returned to Los Angeles this morning at 2:40 am after a water pipe started leaking heavily on the passenger cabin One Twitter report from a passenger described the leak as a “river of water running down the aisles”.

671499-fac585fa-01d7-11e4-9138-9da47e60188f

The flight returned to Los Angeles about an hour after departure. The flightcrew informed ATC about the heavy water leak they were experiencing on board the aircraft. The cabin crew did everything they could to help the passengers, including moving those to unaffected areas and providing spare blankets so they could stay dry.

Qantas announced early today about the event:
“We’re providing customers with hotel accommodation while the issue is being fixed by our engineers in Los Angeles. We apologize to customers for the inconvenience. There was no safety of flight concerns with the water leak; however the Captain decided to return to LA in the interests of passenger comfort. We are liaising with Airbus to understand what caused this fault.”

679016-e8caf608-01d9-11e4-9138-9da47e60188f

Capt. Ivan

Photos:  Twitter

History of Aviation in Australia

Australia is rich in aviation history, known for being the leading pioneers before World War 2, learning and creating history changing aircraft for many years. Below are some of the milestones of Australia’s aviation history.

Lawrence Hargrave, 1850 – 1915

Lawrence Hargrave was a pioneering inventor, engineer, explorer and astronomer. He lived in Stanwell Park due to the perfect conditions provided by the location for his flying machines. The park is still being used today as a paragliding and hang gliding locale.

Among Hargrave’s inventions, the rotary engine was one of his three significant works. He was the first to incorporate it in aircrafts, which helped power early models. Another one of his inventions was aerofoil. Its unique shape helped provide lift in aircrafts. Hargrave’s box kite was his third important invention. This was able to increase the lift to drag ration for the glider’s designs during this era.

Australian Flying Corps and its evolution

In 1912, the Australian Flying Corps (AFP) was established as a branch of the Australian Army and were responsible for aircraft operations during the First World War. When the AFP was first established, they started with four aircrafts, seven warrant officers, seven sergeants and 32 mechanics. There was no training conducted during its first two years until War erupted in 1914.
The Australian Flying Corps held their training at the Central Flying School in Point Cook. However, a majority of the training needed to be done overseas in England. Training in the UK took about three hours of dual instruction. This was followed by 20 hours of solo flying. The first Australian aircrew were taught by Henry Petre and Eric Harrison within the batch’s home country.
The corps became part of the British Royal Flying Corps and took part in the France and Middle East aerial combat during the war. They disbanded in 1919 when they came home to Australia in order to create the Australian Air Corps. They re-established themselves as the “Royal Australian Air Force” in 1921.

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) is responsible for answering health emergencies in remote parts of Australia. They are an organisation providing health care to people without access to common medical facilities. The RFDS was initially based on the Aerial Medical Service by Reverend John Flynn as a one year experiment. He believed a medical facility built in bush communities was insufficient to help people who live in more rural communities.
The Flying Doctors was a success in its first year and was known as the first air ambulance in the world. Today, the RFDS is still providing medical services to people in remote areas of Australia. In addition to aircrafts, they also use 4WD cars and other land vehicles.

The above are just a few of the more significant impacts of Australians on the aircraft industry, with aviation research and innovations still continuing today.

Author By-line:
Joseph Kahlil was named after Kahlil Gibran – a world-renowned poet and author of “The Prophet.” Following his footsteps, he harnesses his creative juices through poetry, prose, and occasional musings about the “human condition.” As an observer, Kahlil loves to write about technology, the arts and aviation. He occasionally writes for Aviation Australia.

 

 

 

Cirrus Smooth Emergency Landing with CAPS – Australia – Video

Videographer Doug Turner had the chance to capture the moment when a Cirrus with a failed engine descended smoothly after activate the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System – CAPS.

The incident happened last Saturday in Lawson – Blue Mountains, NSW Australia, at about 14:05 hrs. The Cirrus pilot and three people were on board when the aircraft had an engine failure. Unsuccessfully he tried to restart the engine, then he decided to pull the red handle that activates the CAPS, an emergency chute specially designed for these events.

The airplane descended smoothly and although sustained some damage, all four people on board managed to escape without injury.

Another good proof of the great utility of this emergency system.

Doug Turner

Doug Turner

Doug Turner

Capt. Ivan

Photos & Video:  Doug Turner

 

Ocean Floor Search for MH370 Interrupted Again

The search for a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 deep in the Indian Ocean was again cut short on Wednesday when technical problems forced a U.S. Navy underwater drone to surface without finding anything, officials said.

While a massive air and sea search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is continuing almost 2,000 km (1,200 miles) off the coast of Perth, hopes have been pinned on the Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle finding the first concrete sign of the plane in more than six weeks of hunting.

A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft prepares to fly out from Perth International Airport, to participate in the continuing search in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.Malaysian authorities have still not ruled out mechanical problems as causing the Boeing 777’s disappearance, but say evidence suggests it was deliberately diverted from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.An aircraft’s black box records data from the cockpit and conversations among flight crew and may provide answers about what happened to the missing plane.

A unspecified technical problem meant the Bluefin resurfaced early on Wednesday and analysis of the sonar data downloaded showed no significant detections, the Australian agency leading the search said.

It has subsequently been relaunched to continue its search.

The drone was forced to end its first deployment early on Monday after it exceeded its 4.5 km (14,750 feet) depth limit in the remote stretch of ocean where search authorities believe the jetliner crashed after its disappearance on March 8 with 239 people on board.

The introduction of the Bluefin marks a methodical, slower paced new phase of the search, now in its 40th day and described by the search coordinator, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, as the most expensive in aviation history.

U.S. Naval personnel have said the drone could take up to two months to scour a 600 sq km area where the plane is believed to have sunk.

The deep sea area now being searched, the Zenith Plateau, has never been mapped in detail because it is not in any country’s economic zone.

However the sea floor is likely covered in “foraminiferal ooze”, a sludge formed by microscopic marine organisms, which would show up any large metallic object clearly, James Cook University marine geologist Robin Beaman told Reuters.

“A sidescan is very good at detecting the difference in the acoustic return of a hard object versus a soft, muddy sea floor,” he said. “This is quite a good environment for looking for wreck debris, albeit deep.”

An air and sea search for floating debris continued on Wednesday, but Houston has indicated that will soon end.

Up to 11 military aircraft, three civil aircraft and 11 ships would help in Wednesday’s search, covering a total area of about 55,151 square km in rainy conditions.

Authorities have targeted the remote stretch of ocean based on four acoustic signals they believe are from the plane’s black box recorders.

Source:  Reuters

Photo:  Reuters

 

Behind MH370 Black Boxes Signal

Searchers looking for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 have detected signals consistent with transmissions from black boxes.

In what is described as a  “promising lead” some airplanes and ships looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner on the Indian Ocean moved on Monday toward waters where a Chinese vessel have picked up “ping” signals  during the weekend, raising hopes of finding the airliner’s black box recorders.

“The towed pinger locator  deployed from the Australian vessel Ocean Shield has detected signals consistent with those of black-boxes” – Said Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who is leading the joint search and rescue operation.  He called the development “very encouraging” but said it may it may take days to confirm if the signals come from the flight recorders on flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8 and which is believed to have crashed on the Indian Ocean.

The sounds were detected on two occasions over a period totalling more than two and a half hours.

“Clearly this is a most promising lead, and probably in the search so far, it’s the probably the best information that we have had,’’ Air Chief Marshal Houston told reporters.

“Once the position of the noise was determined, an underwater autonomous vehicle could be sent in to investigate’.

“It could take some days before the information is available to establish whether these detections can be confirmed as being from MH370. In very deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast.’’

The development came as a sea and air fleet scoured the vast Indian Ocean for further underwater signals in the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines flight before its black box batteries run out.

It also comes after the earlier detection of three separate signals, which at the weekend raised hopes of solving the mystery of the missing Boeing 777.

The Ocean Shield had since picked up signals on two separate occasions in the northern part of the search zone, Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

The first signal held for two hours and 20 minutes before contact was lost.

Two distinct “pinger’’ returns, consistent with the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, were then audible for 13 minutes, he said.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said the depth in the area was approximately 4500 meters and he cautioned that it was too early to say the transmissions were coming from the black boxes on the missing passenger jet.

“I would want more confirmation before we say this is it,’’ he said. “Without wreckage, we can’t say it’s definitely here. We’ve got to go down and have a look and hopefully we’ll find it somewhere in the area that we narrowed to.’’

Up to nine military planes, three civil planes and 14 ships were taking part in today’s operation, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said.

Over the weekend, the Chinese vessel Haixun 01 twice picked up an underwater signal on a frequency used for the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders — once for 90 seconds on Saturday and another more fleeting “ping’’ on Friday a short distance away.

A third “ping’’ was also being scrutinised, 300 nautical miles away, by the Australian vessel Ocean Shield.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed overnight that the HMS Echo, equipped to detect a black box, had arrived in the area where the Chinese had reported a ping.

The search area was expected to be approximately 234,000 square kilometres today, the JACC said in a statement, predicting good weather throughout the day.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard vanished on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.

No debris has yet been found despite extensive aerial and sea searches, prompting authorities to switch to undersea acoustic surveillance in hopes of finding the aircraft.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said yesterday the Chinese finding was more promising.

“I think the fact that we’ve had two detections, two acoustic events in that location, provides some promise which requires a full investigation,’’ he said.

The hunt for the jet was refocused on the southern end of the search zone yesterday after corrected satellite data showed it was more likely the plane entered the water there.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said the Haixun 01 was already operating in that more southerly zone.

Some analysts greeted the acoustic detections with optimism, saying a 37.5kHz signal can only be transmitted by an emergency beacon. But others were sceptical and said it was vital to find supporting evidence.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said Haixun 01 was in waters about 4.5 kilometres deep, meaning “any recovery operation is going to be incredibly challenging and very demanding and will take a long period of time’’ if the plane is found there.

He said time was critical.

“This is day 30 of the search and the advertised time for the life of the batteries in the beacon is 30 days,’’ he said.

“Sometimes they last for several days beyond that — say eight to 10 days beyond that but we’re running out of time in terms of the battery life of the emergency locator beacons.’’

Air Chief Marshal Houston insisted that China was “sharing everything that’s relevant to this search’’ with the lead authority, and sidestepped questions over the Haixun 01’s location far from the other lead vessels in the search.

Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor of Flightglobal, based in Singapore, said he was sceptical that the Chinese ship had picked up a pulse.

“There have been a lot of false leads in this story and we need to be extremely cautious with any information that comes,’’ he told AFP.

Ravi Madavaram, an aviation analyst with Frost & Sullivan in Kuala Lumpur, said most beacons used in the industry had the same frequency and the ping could “likely’’ be from flight MH370.

“But the Chinese have not said exactly where the ‘ping’ is originating and where they detected it,’’ he said.

Malaysian authorities believe satellite readings indicate MH370 crashed in the Indian Ocean after veering dramatically off course for reasons that remain unknown.

A criminal probe has focused on hijacking, sabotage or psychological problems among passengers or crew, but there is no evidence yet to support any of the theories.

Source:  The Australian

Photo:  Reuters

 

 

Australia Resumes Search for Missing MH370

An international search force resumed the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the remote southern Indian Ocean on Friday as authorities pored over satellite data to try and confirm a potential debris field.

RAAF pilot, Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams from 10 Squadron, steers his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370The Australian-led mission said it was sending five aircraft back to a storm-lashed area some 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth. The search began on Thursday after analysis of satellite images identified two large objects floating in the ocean there that may have come from the Boeing 777 which went missing 13 days ago with 239 people aboard.

Investigators have said the sighting in one of the most isolated parts of the globe was a credible lead but nothing beyond that.

“It’s about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guineau, where he is on a visit.

“We owe it to the families of those people (on board) to do no less.”

The investigators suspect Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing shortly after midnight on March 8, was deliberately diverted thousands of miles from its scheduled path. They say they are focusing on hijacking or sabotage but have not ruled out technical problems.

The search for the plane also continues in other regions, including a wide arc sweeping northward from Laos to Kazakhstan.

A source close to the investigation said it might take “several days” to establish whether the objects spotted by satellite in the Indian Ocean came from the missing airliner.

A former senior crash investigator said there had been false leads in many investigations, especially in waters containing stray containers or dumped and lost cargo.

Three Australian P3 Orions would be joined by a high-tech U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft and a civilian Gulfstream jet to search the 23,000 square km (8,900 sq mile) zone on Friday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. A Norwegian merchant ship that had been diverted to the area on Thursday was still searching there and another vessel would arrive later on Friday.

Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

China’s icebreaker for Antarctic research, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, will set off from Perth to search the area, Chinese state news agency Xinhua cited maritime authorities as saying.

About two-thirds of the missing plane’s passengers were Chinese nationals.

Australia’s deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said authorities continued to examine satellite footage to pinpoint the location of the suspected debris, which included a piece estimated from the satellite imagery to be 24 meters (79 feet) long.

“Clearly, there’s a lot of resources being put into that particular area. It’s broadly consistent with the flight plans that were talked about ever since the satellites and their work has been added to the information bank,” Truss told ABC radio.

“That work will continue, trying to get more pictures, stronger resolution so that we can be more confident about where the items are, how far they have moved and therefore what efforts should be put into the search effort.”

DIRE WEATHER

Strong winds, cloud and rain had made searching on Thursday difficult, said Kevin Short, an air vice marshal in New Zealand’s Defence Forces, which sent a P-3K2 Orion to search the area.

“The crew never found any object of significance,” he told Radio New Zealand. “Visibility wasn’t very good, which makes it harder to search the surface of the water,” he said.

Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370A nearby desolate group of French-administered sub-Antarctic islands including St. Paul and Amsterdam and Kerguelen had been asked to look for debris, but none had been spotted, said Sebastien Mourot, chief of staff for the French prefect of La Reunion.

There have been many false leads and no confirmed wreckage found from Flight MH370 since it vanished off Malaysia’s east coast, less than an hour after taking off.

There has also been criticism of the search operation and investigation, as more than two dozen countries scramble to overcome logistical and diplomatic hurdles to solve the mystery.

Investigators piecing together patchy data from military radar and satellites believe that, minutes after its identifying transponder was switched off as it crossed the Gulf of Thailand, the plane turned sharply west, re-crossing the Malay Peninsula and following an established route towards India.

What happened next is unclear, but faint electronic “pings” picked up by one commercial satellite suggest the aircraft flew on for at least six hours.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation said that information gleaned from the pings had been passed to investigators within a few days, but it took Malaysia more than a week to narrow the search area to two large arcs – one reaching south to near where the potential debris was spotted, and a second crossing to the north into China and central Asia.

A diagram showing the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean is seen during a briefing at AMSA in Canberra

The four-day delay in identifying satellite images that may show debris was due to the vast amount of data that needed to be analyzed by various agencies, Australian authorities and the U.S. company that collected the images said.

The satellite images, provided by U.S. company DigitalGlobe, were taken on March 16, meaning that the possible debris could by now have drifted far from the original site.

The relatively large size of the objects would suggest that if they do come from the missing aircraft, it was largely intact when it went into the water.

Still, finding any debris, let alone the “black boxes” that could shed light on what happened, remains incredibly challenging in the remote, deep-sea region known as the Roaring 40s for its huge seas and frequent storm-force winds.

 

Source:  Reuters

Photos:  Reuters

And this time….The Dreamliner, almost landed at the wrong airport.

The incident occurred last Jan 14th, with an Air India Boeing 787-800 performing flight AI-301 from Sydney to Melbourne – Australia.  The Dreamliner was descending towards Melbourne when the crew requested a VOR approach to runway 34 but was cleared for a visual approach to runway 34. The aircraft aligned with Melbourne’s Essendon Airport’s runway 35 (1,500 meters/4930 feet length) and descended towards that runway when the air traffic controller interevened instructing the crew to turn left and subsequently telling the crew their runway was in their 2 o’clock position, they were still cleared for the visual approach runway 34. The aircraft turned towards the correct runway, climbed slightly from about 1300 to 1500 feet and landed safely on Melbourne’s runway 34 (length 3660 meters / 12.000 feet).

Following the Air India, air traffic control repeatedly asked approaches whether they were able to see the aerodrome beacon.

The ATSB did not open an investigation stating the system worked as it was supposed to do.

air_india_b788_vt-anm_melbourne_140114_mapymml_lizzi7_u_v_star

Source:  The Aviation Heraldymml_lizzi7_u_v_star

  •   GDL 39