Archive for October, 2007

FAA Report - 10/31/2007


Date & Time: 10/29/2007 02:20
Location: Sacramento, CA
Aircraft Type: Airbus A319-131 Registration: N837UA
Airline: United Airlines Flight: 375
Phase: Other
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: 0
Description: While approaching the gate, struck the jetway with its number 1 engine

Boeing Delivers 150th Next-Generation 737-800

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, took delivery on October 26 of its 150th Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation.
The European carrier operates a fleet of 737-800s around Europe and northwest Africa. From its inception, Ryanair has relied on the 737 - first the 737 Classic and now the Next-Generation 737 - to help it meet strenuous efficiency, environmental, cost and reliability targets that are critical to the success of its business model. Ryanair has replaced all of its older 737 Classics with the newer Next-Generation 737 and has achieved a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer since 1998. An additional 121 737s remain to be delivered to Ryanair. The last 737 Classic was phased out in January 2006. Ryanair operates the second largest 737 fleet in the world, after Southwest Airlines in the United States.

Poll - SAS Q400 long-term replacement

Let’s do a little poll!
Which aircraft type, do you think, SAS will use as long-term replacement for their recently dropped Dash 8 Q400?
Bombardier CRJ 700/900/1000, Saab 2000, ATR 72, Embraer ERJ 145, Embraer 170/175, Avro RJ 70/85, Fokker 70, Antonov An-148, Sukhoi Superjet 100 or some other type?
If you vote for “Other” please leave a comment to specify your choice!

SAS removes Dash 8 Q400 from service permanently

Following the recent period of events involving aircraft of the Dash 8 Q400 type, SAS’s management, following an unscheduled meeting of the Board of Directors held today, has decided to immediately discontinue the use of this type of aircraft.

“Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft. Accordingly, with the Board of Directors’ approval, I have decided to immediately remove Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from service,” says Mats Jansson, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAS.

In January 2000, SAS was the first customer to use the Dash 8 Q400 in its traffic operations. The aircraft have accounted for approximately 5 percent of the Group’s passengers. The aim is to replace traffic based on the Q400 by reallocating current aircraft in the SAS Group’s fleet and by means of leasing.

“The Dash 8 Q400 has given rise to repeated quality-related problems and we can now conclude that the aircraft does not match our passengers’ requirements concerning punctuality and regularity. SAS’s flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand,” says John Dueholm, Deputy CEO of SAS.

Due to the decision, SAS’s traffic services will be affected by flight cancellations in the period immediately ahead. The customers concerned will be given an opportunity to either rebook or have their tickets refunded. For detailed information about traffic services, reference is made to www.sas.dk

The aircraft operates on Danish and Swedish domestic as well as on European routes. In addition, it is operated by Widerøe in Norway.

In total 27 aircraft of SAS Group fleet of 303 aircraft are affected, accounting for approx 5% of total aircraft seat capacity.

SAS Group will do everything possible to mitigate the negative consequences for the passengers. Short and medium term SAS will take the following actions to handle the replacement of the Q400 fleet (with estimated time frame)

1. Review of network and reallocation of aircraft capacity within the SAS group (0-3 months)
2. External wet lease capacity (0-1 month)
3. External dry lease capacity (3-6 months)

In parallel, work has already been initiated how to replace the aircraft type long term. SAS expect to start to implement a long-term solution by second half of 2008.

SAS Group is in dialog with Bombardier regarding possible solutions regarding the current situation for the Q400 fleet including compensation.

Statement by Bombardier
Bombardier is disappointed with the SAS decision to permanently discontinue flight operations with the Bombardier Q400 aircraft given that the landing incident is still under investigation by Danish authorities.

While SAS chose to ground its Q400 turboprop fleet following the incident on October 27, 2007, Bombardier’s assessment of this situation, in consultation with Transport Canada, did not identify a systemic landing gear issue. Based on this we advised all Q400 aircraft operators that they should continue with normal Q400 aircraft flight operations. Further, Bombardier and the landing gear manufacturer, Goodrich, have completed a full review of the Q400 turboprop landing gear system and results have confirmed its safe design and operational integrity.

Bombardier stands behind the Q400 aircraft. Since entering revenue service in February 2000, the Q400 turboprop has proven itself to be a safe and reliable aircraft with over 150 Q400 aircraft in operation among 22 operators around the world. To date, the fleet of Q400 aircraft has logged over one million flying hours and 1.2 million take-off and landing cycles.

It will be interesting to see which aircraft type will be used as replacement.

Dash 8 - Q400 Gear Collapse at Copenhagen (Pictures)

UPDATE: Preliminary Investigation Report on SAS Dash 8-Q400 LN-RDI Accident in Copenhagen

It’s unbelievable! AGAIN a landing gear collapse occured on a Dash 8 - Q400 during landing. Again the right main landing gear collapsed and again it happened to an SAS plane in Copenhagen (Denmark)! SAS now again grounded its entire fleet of Dash 8-400.

SAS Dash 8 - Q400 Gear Collapse at Copenhagen
SAS Dash 8 - Q400 Gear Collapse at Copenhagen
Credit: jp.dk

It will be interesting to see how the other operators and the manufacturer Bombardier will respond.

Official SAS Press Release:
Scandinavian Airlines regrets to confirm that one of its aircraft, a Dash 8- 400 with registration number LN-RDI and flight number SK 2867 from Bergen to Copenhagen was involved in an accident at Copenhagen airport, at 16.55 hrs local time today.

We can confirm that there were 38 passengers and 2 infants and 4 crew members onboard. No one was injured.

SAS is doing everything possible to assist all passengers. Practically all passengers are continuing on connecting flights to their final destinations.
The SAS Group has decided to ground the entire fleet of Dash 8-400 aircraft until further notice.
Passengers booked on cancelled flights until October 29 can either rebook or be refunded.

Photo: http://politiken.dk/indland/article407463.ece
Video: http://jp.dk/webtv/webtv_indland/?movieId=14298&Id=1145841

UPDATE - Bombardier Press Release
Bombardier Q400 Scandinavian Flight Sk2867 Incident

Toronto, October 27, 2007

Bombardier confirms that a Bombardier Q400 aircraft S/N 4024 registration number LN-RDI operating as flight SK2867 from Bergen to Copenhagen, was involved in an incident at Copenhagen Airport at 16:55 local time on October 27, 2007. There were no reported injuries to the 40 passengers and 4 crew members on board.

According to preliminary information, the incident involved the main right hand landing gear, which failed to fully extend for landing. There appears to be no relationship between this incident and previous SAS Q400 main landing gear incidents. While SAS has decided to ground their Q400 fleet until further notice, Bombardier has advised all Q400 operators via an All Operator Message (AOM) of this incident but is not recommending changes to their normal on-going Q400 flight operations.

Bombardier is cooperating fully with SAS and the investigating aviation authorities and has dispatched a product safety and technical team to the site to fully support and assist in the investigation. Until such time as the authorities release any information or findings, Bombardier cannot comment further or speculate on the potential cause of this incident.

ILFC concludes revision of its original 16 A350 order to 20 A350 XWBs

a350icon.jpgInternational Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and Airbus have concluded a revision of ILFC’s original 16 A350 order to 20 A350 XWBs. The revised agreement by the world’s largest commercial leasing company by fleet value, and a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc, is for both the -800 and the -900 version. ILFC has the flexibility to also select the -1000 version upon request. This transaction brings total orders for the A350 XWB to 196 from 9 customers.

“Airbus is now offering an outstanding product which satisfies the market and our requirements,” says ILFC Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy.

“ILFC’s order confirms that the A350 XWB is a very attractive asset for a leading lessor. It is yet another strong endorsement by the financial community for our all new product,” Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said. “The all-new A350 XWB will bring unrivalled operating performance and economics, whilst passengers will enjoy more comfort in a highly advanced and more spacious cabin. Being extremely fuel efficient and quiet, it will also set new standards in terms of environmental friendliness.”

With now over 600 Airbus aircraft ordered, ILFC is Airbus’ largest single customer worldwide. The leasing company was a launch customer for Airbus’ A319, A321, A330-200, A330-300, A340-600 and A380, all market leaders in their categories, and has ordered virtually every type of Airbus aircraft.

The A350 XWB (Xtra-Wide-Body) will enter service in 2013. Building on A380 technologies and going beyond, it is designed to increase productivity and offer unparalleled levels of passenger comfort in its class while further reducing fuel burn and emissions, and being even quieter. The A350 XWB will offer the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile costs of any aircraft in that category. Addressing environmental concerns and cost-effectiveness, the A350 XWB will be one of the most fuel-efficient and “green” aircraft ever.

Powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 XWB will be available in three basic passenger versions with up to 8,300 nm/ 15,400 km in range, the A350-800 which can fly 270 passengers in a spacious three-class configuration, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 which is designed for 350 passengers.

A380 - First Commercial Flight (Pictures & Videos)

Today (last night even, depends on your time zone) the Airbus A380 successfully did its first commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney. The returning flight from Sydney to Sigapore will be tomorrow on 26th October, departing at 16:00 and arriving at 22:15. These two flights are special charity-flights that raised over $1.3 Mio. The normal scheduled services will commence daily from 28th October.

Pictures - Each picture guides to a separate Flickr Gallery

a380 sydney a380 a380


Videos

Take off from Singapore from inside the cabin:

Landing in Sydney from inside the cabin:

Notice how quite and smooth it is!

Landing including ATC radio:

CNN - Takeoff and In-Flight Interview
CNN - Landing at Sydney
http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2007/10/25/quest.airbus.a380.experience.cnn (Really funny guy :) )
CNN - Before takeoff

I wish I were on this flight too :( but once again the fun things in life are a privilege only to the wealthy and influential ones :(

Varig with new identity

Brazilian carrier Varig (owned by Gol since March 2007) recently changed its brand identity to a new modern look. Apart from the newly designed website, airport banners and advertising, the livery has also been changed.

Take a look at this comparison of the new and old livery.

New

Old

As you can see, the traditional look is nearly completely gone. They even changed the font of the logotype!

If you ask me, the tail and winglets look pretty nice but the empty white fuselage (with the small logotype) and the empty white engines, looks quite cheap. Some color at the underbelly (like Delta) and the engines would be a nice improvement.

Link: http://www.varig.com.br/

Garuda Indonesia flight GA200 crash - Final investigation report released

The final NTSC investigation report of Garuda Indonesia flight GA200 has been released. The Boeing 737-497 (PK-GZC) crashed on 07 March 2007 during landing at Yogyakarta (Indonesia), killing 20 passengers and 1 flight attendant.

The report holds the pilot and copilot responsible for this accident and blames the Yogyakarta Airport rescue and fire fighting services for the lack of proper equipment, delays and an ineffective emergency plan.
The pilot is accused for doing an unstabilized approach, with too high altitude resulting in a steep flight path angle, at too high airspeed, ignoring several GPWS warnings and warnings made by the copilot and not doing a go-around.
The copilot is accused for not following company procedures and not taking control of the aircraft from the pilot when he noticed that the pilot in command repeatedly ignored all alerts and warnings.

Following the most important, related quotes from the final investigation report. For the full report please visit the link below.

The PIC intended to make an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 09 at Yogyakarta
and briefed the copilot accordingly. Yogya Approach cleared the aircraft for a visual approach, with a
requirement to proceed to long final and report runway in sight. Although the crew acknowledged the
visual approach clearance, they continued with the ILS approach, but did not inform the controller. The
descent and approach were conducted in visual meteorological conditions.

At 23:55:33, when the aircraft was 10.1 miles from the runway, it was 1,427 feet above the initial fix of
2,500 feet published in the approach chart
, and the airspeed was 283 knots. The pilot in command
descended the aircraft steeply in an attempt to reach the runway, but in doing so, the airspeed increased
excessively
. As the aircraft was being flown at speeds that were in excess of the wing flaps operation
speed
, the copilot elected not to extend the flaps as instructed by the PIC. During the approach, the
Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alerts and warnings sounded 15 times and the copilot
called for the PIC to go around
.
The PIC continued the approach with flaps 5 degrees, and the aircraft attained the glideslope near the
runway 09 threshold
. Flaps 5 degrees is not a landing flap setting. The aircraft crossed the threshold, 89 feet above the runway, at an airspeed of 232 knots, 98 knots faster than the required landing speed for
flaps 40 degrees
. The wind was north easterly at 9 knots. The groundspeed was 235 knots. The aircraft
touched down at an airspeed of 221 knots, 87 knots faster than landing speed for 40 degrees flap.
Shortly after touching down, the copilot called, with high intonation, for the PIC to go around.
The aircraft overran the departure end of runway 09, to the right of the centerline at 110 knots. The
aircraft crossed a road, and impacted an embankment before stopping in a rice paddy field 252 meters
from the threshold of runway 27 (departure end of runway 09). The aircraft was fired by the impact
forces and an intense, fuel-fed, post-impact fire. There were 119 survivors. One flight attendant and 20
passengers were fatally injured. One flight attendant and 11 passengers were seriously injured.

The aircraft was flown at an excessive airspeed and steep flight path angle during the approach and
landing, resulting in an unstabilized approach
. The PIC did not follow company procedures that
required him to fly a stabilized approach, and he did not abort the landing and go around when the
approach was not stabilized. His attention was fixated or channelized on landing the aircraft on the
runway and he either did not hear, or disregarded the GPWS alerts and warnings and calls from the
copilot to go around
.

The copilot did not follow company procedures and take control of the aircraft from the PIC when he
saw that the pilot in command repeatedly ignored the GPWS alerts and warnings
. The Garuda
Simulator Pilot – Proficiency Check records showed no evidence of training or proficiency checks in
the vital actions and responses to be taken in the event of GPWS or EGPWS alerts and warnings, such
as ‘TOO LOW TERRAIN’ and ‘WHOOP, WHOOP, PULL UP’.
The Garuda Basic Operation Manual instructed a copilot to take control of the aircraft from the PIC,
and execute a go around, when an unsafe condition exists
.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s flying operations surveillance of Garuda was not effective
in identifying these and other safety deficiencies.

The Yogyakarta Airport’s rescue and fire fighting services vehicles were unable to reach the accident
site
and some did not have appropriate fire suppressant. The delay in extinguishing the fire, and the
lack of appropriate fire suppressant agents, may have significantly reduced survivability. The airport
emergency plan and its implementation were less than effective.

(…)

On 2 April 2007, Garuda issued a notice to its pilots reinforcing its mandatory policy relating to a pilot
monitoring to take control of an aircraft and execute a go around in instances of unstabilized approach,
when the pilot flying does not make an appropriate response. The notice assures pilots that the
company will not take disciplinary measures for a go around executed under any unsafe or unstabilized
approach.

Link: Final investigation report

Recent Incidents in US

Date & Time: 10/21/2007 01:07
Location: Fargo, ND
Aircraft Type: Airbus A320 Registration: N/A
Airline: Northwest Airlines Flight: 1432
Phase: Landing
Damage: Unknown
Injuries & Fatalities: 0
Description: On landing, the nose gear caught fire and slid to a stop on the runway

Date & Time: 10/18/2007 17:10
Location: Dickinson, ND
Aircraft Type: Bell 206B Registration: N/A
Phase: Maneuver
Damage: Destroyed
Injuries & Fatalities: 1 pilot seriously injured
Description: Encountered crosswind and crashed. Weather was 31015KT 7SM -RA OVC029


Date & Time: 10/16/2007 14:35
Location: Boston, MA
Aircraft Type: McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Registration: N926DL
Airline: Delta Air Lines Flight: 669
Phase: Unknown
Damage: None
Injuries & Fatalities: 1 Crew seriously injured
Description: A Flight Attendant sustained a serious injury to the hand, 20 miles from Boston - Plane returned and landed without incident

Date & Time: 10/15/2007 00:18
Location: Saint Cloud, MN
Aircraft Type: Bell 407 Registration: N407LL
Phase: Landing
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: 0
Description: Landed hard


Date & Time: 10/15/2007 23:43
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-7H4 Registration: N405WN
Airline: Southwest Airlines
Phase: Standing
Damage: Minor
Injuries & Fatalities: 0
Description: Was struck by a baggage cart, while parked at the gate

Correctness NOT guaranteed and completeness NOT aimed!