Archive for July, 2007

Jim LeRoy dies after Airshow Crash (Video)

Famous American aerobatics pilot - Jim LeRoy - died after a crash at the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Saturday.

LeRoy died while en route to Miami Valley Hospital in a Black Hawk helicopter, according to Dayton’s Director of Aviation Iftikhar Ahmad. Mark Carpenter, fire chief at Dayton International Airport, said the pilot died before he arrived at Miami Valley Hospital.

According to Carpenter, LeRoy’s plane was performing a stunt when he hit the ground and slid about 300 yards and burst into flames. Fire trucks were at the accident within one minute and the fire was quickly extinguished, Carpenter said. But, based on the timestamp from the digital camera of a Dayon Daily News photographer, it took two-and a-half minutes.

“We cut Mr. LeRoy out of the aircraft,” Carpenter said. The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m.

Eye witnesses said: “It came down and didn’t have enough room. The ground came up,” - “I heard it crunch, hard. Some pieces came off.” - “It slid a long way, it skidded,” - “There was a fire. The fire trucks put it out … he must have been burned pretty bad.”

The air show was canceled for the rest of Saturday. The air show will continue as scheduled on Sunday, said Michael Emoff, chairman of the board of trustees of the United States Air & Trade Show.

Tickets and wristbands from Saturday’s air show will be honored on Sunday.

Black smoke and flames could be seen by the crowd across the field from the crash site at Dayton International Airport. LeRoy was in a Bulldog Pitts plane that was part of an aerobatics show called Code Name Mary’s Lamb. The crash was during LeRoy’s second performance on Saturday.

There were two stunt planes flying, doing loops and flying upside down. One plane swooped toward the ground and crashed.

The crowd fell silent. The announcer asked the crowd to turn in any video that may have recorded the crash to make it available for an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

LeRoy, a former US Marine Corps Scout/Sniper, held a B.S. degree in Aeronautical/Aerospace engineering as well as an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license.

LeRoy was one of only eleven pilots ever to be awarded both the Art Sholl Showmanship Award (2002) and the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship (2003). He was also one of only a handful of full time air show pilots in the world who actually made his living by performing for air show audiences.

Initially flying solo performances, he gained a reputation with his highly energetic aerobatic displays. In 2003, LeRoy joined a daring and successful airshow troupe, the X-team, that referred to themselves as the Masters of Disaster. Their performance generally consisted of three pilots flying a simultaneous, chaotic, interweaving aerobatic display through clouds of smoke generated by circling jet powered trucks below. After two seasons of successful airshows, an accident occured on July 10, 2005 during a routine performance when Jimmy Franklin and Bobby Younkin collided in mid-air. Jim LeRoy was not involved in the collision and landed safely.

LeRoy also held the following pilot ratings: single-engine, multi-engine, airplane instructor, helicopter, helicopter instructor, instrument instructor and aerobatic competency evaluator.

Diagram how this crash happened:
http://www.daytondailynews.com/m/content/oh/media/news/local/airshowcrash.html
Pictures of the crash:
http://www.daytondailynews.com/p/content/gen/sharedoh/photos_galleries/ne…
Video of the crash:

Source: http://www.daytondailynews.com/

Video - 2 News Helicopters Collide in Phoenix

Pictures: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6920156.stm

The 2 involved choppers are NI23TV and N215TV

Two news helicopters covering a police chase on live television collided and crashed to the ground Friday, killing all four people on board in a plunge that viewers saw as a jumble of spinning, broken images.

Both helicopters went down in a park in central Phoenix and caught fire. No one on the ground was hurt.

TV viewers did not actually witness the accident because cameras aboard both aircraft were pointed at the ground. But they saw images from one of the helicopters break up and begin to spin before the station abruptly switched to the studio.

Television station KNXV reported that it owned one of the choppers. The other was from KTVK. A pilot and photographer aboard each chopper were killed.

KNXV reporter Craig Smith, who was among the dead, was reporting live as police chased a man driving a construction truck who had fled a traffic stop and was driving erratically, hitting several cars and driving on the sidewalk at times.

Police had blown the truck’s tires, and the man eventually parked it, then carjacked another vehicle nearby.

As police closed in, Smith said, “Oh geez!”

After the picture broke up, the station switched to the studio and then briefly showed regular programming, a soap opera, before announcing that the helicopter had crashed.

The two choppers came down on the grass lawn in front of a boarded-up church at the park. Firefighters swarmed to the area as thick black smoke rose from the scene.

Mary Lewis said she was stuck in traffic with her four grandsons and was watching the helicopters. She turned to talk to the children, then saw a fireball in the air when she looked up again.

“I looked up and I see this ‘boom,’ and I see one of the helicopters coming down, and I said ‘Oh my God,’” Lewis said. She said she went to the crash site to help, but there was nothing she could do.

“It’s nothing there,” Lewis said. “Just burned-up stuff.”

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the FAA is reviewing air traffic control tapes to see if pilots were talking to controllers at that time.

“Typically air traffic controllers clear helicopters into an area where they can cover a chase like this,” Gregor said. “Once they are in the area, the pilots themselves are responsible for keeping themselves separated from other aircraft.”

Killed on board the KTVK chopper were pilot Scott Bowerbank and photographer Jim Cox. Smith and photographer Rick Krolak were aboard the KNXV-TV aircraft, the stations reported.

Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association in Washington, said the association does not track fatalities among helicopter news pilots, but she could not recall another example of two news choppers colliding while covering a story.

“The news directors at the stations are members of our association, and our heart really goes out to them in a situation like this,” she said. “These pilots, they are very professional. They combine the skills of pilots and skills as journalists. It’s something that’s very, very sad.”

The suspect in the police pursuit eventually jumped from the truck and was barricaded in a home, authorities said. A SWAT team was preparing to go in to arrest the suspect.

SIA Airline of the Year - Skytrax Awards 2007

skytrax awardsSkytrax today announced its famous World Airline Awards and World Airport Awards of the Year 2007.

Once again Singapore Airlines has been named as the winner of the Airline of the Year 2007 title. Congratulations! After already 2004, this is the second time Singapore Airlines won this title.
On rank 2 is placed Thai Airways (up from 4th in 2006), 3rd Cathay Pacific (2003 & 2005 winner, also 3rd in 2006), Qatar Airways in 4th (a new entrant to the Top 5 group, 6th in 2006), and Qantas is ranked in 5th position (2nd in 2006).

Furthermore following awards have been assigned.
Best Cabin Staff - Malaysia Airlines
Best Inflight Entertainment - Emirates
Best First Class - Qatar Airways
Best Business Class - Singapore Airlines
Best Economy Class - Korean Air
Best First Class Catering - Gulf Air
Best Business Class Catering - Austrian
Best Economy Class Catering - Etihad Airways
Best First Class Lounge - Thai Airways
Best Business Class Lounge - Virgin Atlantic
Best Airline Alliance - Star Alliance
Best Transatlantic Airline - British Airways
Best Transpacific Airline - Qantas
Best Low-Cost Airline - Jetstar Airways (Europe: Air Berlin Asia: Air Asia Africa: Kulula Australia/Pacific: Jetstar Airways Middle East: Air Arabia North America: jetBlue South America: Gol)

View all results in detail at http://www.worldairlineawards.com/main/aoy-2007-release.htm

I’m a little bit disappointed that my favorite airline Cathay Pacific is again only ranked 3rd :(
If you like, post your top airlines in the comments!

The title for Worlds Best Airport 2007 was given again to Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport

Full results:

1 Hong Kong Int’l Airport
2 Seoul Incheon Airport
2 Singapore Changi Airport
4 Munich Airport
5 Kuala Lumpur Int’l Airport
6 Zurich Airport
7 Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
8 Vancouver Int’l Airport
9 Kansai Int’l Airport
10 Madrid Barajas Airport

Boeing Flies Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft

The innovative Boeing Blended Wing Body (BWB) research aircraft - designated the X-48B - flew for the first time last week at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The 21-foot wingspan, 500-pound unmanned test vehicle took off for the first time at 8:42 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on July 20 and climbed to an altitude of 7,500 feet before landing 31 minutes later.
“We’ve successfully passed another milestone in our work to explore and validate the structural, aerodynamic and operational efficiencies of the BWB concept,” said Bob Liebeck, BWB program manager for Boeing Phantom Works, the company’s advanced R&D unit. “We already have begun to compare actual flight-test data with the data generated earlier by our computer models and in the wind tunnel.”

Boeing X-48B Prototype

The X-48B flight test vehicle was developed by Boeing Phantom Works in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to gather detailed information about the stability and flight-control characteristics of the BWB design, especially during takeoffs and landings. Up to 25 flights are planned to gather data in these low-speed flight regimes. Following completion of low-speed flight testing, the X-48B likely will be used to test the BWB’s low-noise characteristics, as well as BWB handling characteristics at transonic speeds.
Two X-48B research vehicles have been built. The vehicle that flew on July 20 is Ship 2, which also was used for ground and taxi testing. Ship 1, a duplicate of Ship 2, completed extensive wind tunnel testing in 2006 at the Old Dominion University NASA Langley Full-Scale Tunnel in Virginia. Ship 1 will be available for use as a backup during the flight test program.
Three turbojet engines enable the composite-skinned research vehicle to fly up to 10,000 feet and 120 knots in its low-speed configuration. Modifications would need to be made to the vehicle to enable it to fly at higher speeds. The unmanned aircraft is remotely piloted from a ground control station in which the pilot uses conventional aircraft controls and instrumentation while looking at a monitor fed by a forward-looking camera on the aircraft.

Boeing X-48B Prototype

The Boeing BWB design resembles a flying wing, but differs in that the wing blends smoothly into a wide, flat, tailless fuselage. This fuselage blending helps to get additional lift with less drag compared to a circular fuselage. This translates to reduced fuel use at cruise conditions. And because the engines mount high on the back of the aircraft, there is less noise inside and on the ground when it is in flight.
“While Boeing constantly explores and applies innovative technologies to enhance its current and next-generation products, the X-48B is a good example of how Boeing also looks much farther into the future at revolutionary concepts that promise even greater breakthroughs in flight,” said Bob Krieger, Boeing chief technology officer and president of Phantom Works.
While a commercial passenger application for the BWB concept is not in Boeing’s current 20-year market outlook, the Advanced Systems organization of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems’ (IDS) is closely monitoring the research based on the BWB’s potential as a flexible, long-range, high-capacity military aircraft.
“The BWB concept holds tremendous promise for the future of military aviation as a multi-purpose military platform in 15 to 20 years,” said Darryl Davis, Boeing IDS Advanced Systems vice president and general manager of Advanced Precision Engagement and Mobility Systems. “Its unique design attributes will result in less fuel burn and a greatly reduced noise footprint, which are important capabilities to offer our Air Force and mobility customers.”
NASA’s participation in the project is focused on fundamental, edge-of-the-envelope flight dynamics and structural concepts of the BWB. Along with hosting the X-48B flight test and research activities, NASA Dryden provided engineering and technical support - expertise garnered from years of operating cutting-edge unmanned air vehicles.
The two X-48B research vehicles were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Boeing requirements.

Boeing Starts Flight Tests for Canada’s First C-17

The first of 4 Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs for the Canadian Defense Forces took flight for the first time Monday, a major milestone leading to the aircraft’s delivery on Aug. 8. With a takeoff weight of 460,000 pounds, (208,650 kg), the advanced airlifter lifted off from Long Beach, Calif., at 3:36 p.m. Pacific time, and flew for three hours and 45 minutes.
Led by Boeing production pilot Joel Brown, the seven-person crew put the C-17 through a series of functional checks, flying west over the Pacific Ocean, before returning to the facility where Boeing assembles and tests C-17s prior to delivery.
“For a first flight, we thought it performed exceptionally well,” said Brown. “But our expectations are always high that the C-17 will perform well.”
“We’re looking forward to providing this world-class capability to our new customer, on time and on budget,” said Dave Bowman, vice president and C-17 program manager. “The C-17 program continues to deliver on its commitment to execute flawlessly and deliver C-17s on time with the quality and reliability that has made the C-17 the best airlifter the world has ever seen.”

Canada’s first Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

First A380 flight to be sold for charity on eBay

siaa380ebay.jpg Singapore Airlines – the first airline in the world to fly the new Airbus A380 – is preparing for the first commercial flight of the new double-decker jumbo jet, from Singapore to Sydney and return. It will take place in the month of October 2007.

And in an unprecedented move, all proceeds from the sale of tickets on the first flight will be donated to charities.

In response to requests from people all over the world to be passengers on the first flight, Singapore Airlines will auction the seats on global online marketplace, eBay.

Bids will be invited for seats on this history-making flight, and winning bidders will know that every dollar they pay will go to worthwhile charities. All customers will receive a personalised ceremonial certificate confirming they were part of the first-ever commercial A380 flight.

Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Chew Choon Seng, said the Airline wants to acknowledge the widespread interest in the entry into commercial service of this all-new airplane, and to use the opportunity to benefit worthwhile charities.

“The first commercial A380 flight will be a moment in aviation history. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, on an aircraft that will mark a new chapter in air travel.

“And while we will celebrate the event, we also wish to remember the people who are less fortunate and can be assisted by the charities to which all the proceeds will go,” Mr Chew said.

Singapore Airlines has secured support from three important partners for this charity event.

One of the Airline’s strategic fuel suppliers, and a key partner, ExxonMobil Aviation, will donate the fuel for the flights.

“We are pleased to support this event as a strategic partner of Singapore Airlines. This charity event is in line with our long-standing effort to make a positive impact on the communities in which we operate,” said Mr Kwa Chong Seng, Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.

eBay – the world’s leading online marketplace will subsidise the fees and charges from this auction, and PayPal, a global leader in online payment solutions, will rebate a portion of its fees and charges to help support the charities.

“eBay is uniquely positioned as a global online marketplace to provide boundless opportunity for fund-raising and social responsibility programs and we are delighted to support Singapore Airlines in this very unique charity auction,” said Sam McDonagh, Director for eBay Southeast Asia.

The actual date of the flight will be fixed soon, after final notification from Airbus about the delivery date this coming October.

The proceeds of the auction will be split evenly between the following exceptionally worthwhile organisations:

  • One-third to Singapore’s Community Chest
  • One-third split between the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, both in Sydney
  • One-third to Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders.

Singapore Airlines and eBay plan for the auction to be conducted some weeks prior to the flight. Those interested in pre-registering for notification on auction details – which will include the date of the flight and the charities to benefit from proceeds – may do so by visiting singaporeair.com/a380.

Video - Mid-Air Collision with Glider Tow Line

The German pilot in his Rans S6 Ultralight plane was flying in formation with friends across France. A French towplane crossed his flight path a few moments after he released a glider. Its 60meter long glider tow line gets caught into the propeller of the UL plane and forced the pilot to pull his safety parachute. - In Germany it’s required for every UL plane to have an emergency parachute. - Nobody was injured.

First commercial A380 ready for last Check-up

siaa380thumb.jpgToday, the first commercial Airbus A380 (F-WWSA MSN 003 - will be 9V-SKA), fully painted in Singapore Airlines colors, left Hamburg (Germany) back to Toulouse (France).

In Hamburg the plane was painted and the whole cabin furnishing was done including seat arrangement and interior. The A380 is virtually ready now for delivery. In Toulouse the coming weeks last system check-ups will be made before its delivery to Singapore Airlines, maybe already in September or even August. ;)

Update - Photos of landing in Toulouse

Click here for more pictures …

First Airbus A380 to be delivered in August or September?

Challenges.fr is reporting Singapore Airlines may receive their first Airbus A380 already in September or even in August!

Louis Welsh, chairman of Airbus and co-president of the executive committee of EADS just explained in June at Le Bourget, the A380 is in good way to be delivered to Singapore Airlines in early October.

The installation of a new common software and installation of wiring electric the last weeks raised hope for a delivery at this date or even earlier.

The delivery to Singapore Airlines could take place in September, certain internal sources evoking even August.

Source: http://www.challenges.fr/20070717.CHA7806/exclusif_airbus_preta_livrer_la380des_septembre.html

TAM Airlines Airbus A320 crashed at Sao Paulo

Only 10 month after a GOL 737 crashed in a midair collision, again an airliner crashed in Brazil.
Tuesday night a TAM Airlines Airbus A320 crashed and burst into flames at Brazil’s busiest airport, Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport, killing at least 200 people.

The plane, Flight JJ3054, coming from Porto Alegre to Sao Paulo, skidded off runway 35L on landing during heavy rain, shot across a busy highway and crashed into several buildings including a gas station. Nobody of the 176 people on board survived, at least 15 were killed on the ground.
Sao Paulo’s airport is notorious for having short, slippery runways. The runway was recently resurfaced, but the cutting of grooves to channel rainwater off the pavement had not been completed.

Pictures: http://www.estadao.com.br/interatividade/Multimidia/ShowFotos.action
Story at CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/07/18/brazil.plane.crash/index.html

Facts
Date: 17 JUL 2007
Time: 18:45
Type: Airbus A320-233
Operator: TAM Linhas Aéreas
Registration: PR-MBK
C/n / msn: 789

First flight: 1998-02-13 00:00:00
Total airframe hrs: 20000.0
Cycles: 9300.0
Engines: 2 IAE V2527-A5
Crew: Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers: Fatalities: 170 / Occupants: 170
Total: Fatalities: 176 / Occupants: 176
Ground casualties: Fatalities: 15
Airplane damage: Written off
Location: São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, SP (CGH)
Phase: Landing
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Porto Alegre-Salgado Filho International Airport, RS (POA/SBPA), Brazil
Destination airport: São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, SP (CGH/SBSP), Brazil
Flightnumber: 3054
TAM Flight 3054 was a regular flight from Porto Alegre (POA) to São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH). The Airbus A.320 departed Porto Alegre at 17:16. It was raining as the flight approached São Paulo. Initial press reports indicate that the pilot executed a go around after attempting to land on runway 35L. A fire department spokesman said that the airplane cleared the perimeter fence and a busy highway. Failing to gain enough height, it collided with a concrete building, bursting into flames.
Runway: Runway 35L is a 6365 x 147 feet (1940 x 45 meters) asphalt runway. TORA ,ASDA, TODA are all 1940 m, LDA 1880m.
Weather around the time of the accident (21:45Z) was reported as: SBSP 172100Z 34008KT 6000 -RA BKN009 OVC070 16/14 Q1018= SBSP 172200Z 35008KT 7000 -RA BKN008 OVC070 15/14 Q1018=
16th loss of a Airbus A320
The worst accident involving a Airbus A320
The worst accident in Brazil

TAM Airlines Safety Record
Founded: 1961
The airline suffered 13 hull-loss accidents.
Last accidents:
17-JUL-2007 - Airbus A.320 - PR-MBK - Fatalities: 176+ 15 - São Paulo-Congonhas
08-AUG-2006 - Fokker 100 - PT-MQN - Fatalities: 0 - São Paulo-Congonhas
30-AUG-2002 - Fokker 100 - PT-MRL - Fatalities: 0 - São Paulo-Viracopos
30-AUG-2002 - Fokker 100 - PT-MQH - Fatalities: 0 - Birigui, SP
15-SEP-2001 - Fokker 100 - PT-MRN - Fatalities: 1 - near Belo Horizonte

Airbus A320 Safety Record
First flight: 1987
Production total: 1527+
Hull-loss Accidents: 10 with a total of 440 fatalities (not including current accident)
Other occurrences (hull-loss): 4 with a total of 0 fatalities
Criminal occurences (hull-loss, excl. hijackings): 1 with a total of 0 fatalities
Hijackings: 4 with a total of 1 fatalities

Airport Profile São Paulo-Congonhas
ICAO/IATA designators: SBSP / CGH
Latitude: 23° 37′ 36.09″ S / 046° 39′ 19.35″ W
Elevation: 2631 ft/ 802 m
Runway: 17R/35L (6365 x 147 feet, asphalt, ILS)
Runway: 17L/35R (4708 x 147 feet, asphalt, no ILS)

- UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE -

An airport security camera video of the landing of flight 3054 has emerged on YouTube!

Accident sequence
TAM Flight 3054 was a regular flight from Porto Alegre (POA) to São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH). The Airbus A320 departed Porto Alegre at 17:16. It was raining as the flight approached São Paulo. Initial video images from the airport suggest that the airplane landed fast on runway 35L. It failed to stop and went off the runway. Since the runway is at a higher elevation than the surrounding street and residential area, the A320 probably became airborne, cleared the perimeter fence and a busy highway and collided with a concrete building, bursting into flames.
According to TAM one of the thrust reversers had been deactivated before departure.

Fatalities
TAM confirmed that one off-duty first officer had boarded the flight at the last moment.
This brought the number of occupants to six crew members, 160 passengers+2 small children and nineteen TAM employees.
All 187 passengers and crew were killed. The number of people killed on the ground has not been established yet.

TAM A320
Normal seating arrangement for TAM A320’s is 168 passenger seats.
The maximum certified number of seats by the U.S. FAA is 179
The landing weight was reported to have been 67.200kgs, which is below the certified maximum landing weight (not taking the actual conditions at Congonhas into consideration).

Statistics by aviation-safety.net

*UPDATE*
TAM Crash - Investigation blames Government and Airline Officials




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