Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spent a few hours at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) this afternoon. Below are a few photos from our visit..............enjoy!
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 (39043/2711) N512AS sports the Boeing "Dreamliner" livery and is captured on short final to Rwy 24R.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 (36631/2689) N929WN sports the special "Free Bags Fly Here" markings.

Volaris A319-133 (2771) XA-VOA "Adriana" wears the special "Krispi Kreme" logo.

Air Tahiti Nui A340-313X (385) F-OJGF "Mangareva" arrives from Paris on a gorgeous afternoon in SoCal.

Lufthansa A340-642 (987) D-AIHY on short final to Rwy 24R.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

McChord AFB C-17A returns to LGB

McChord AFB C-17A (P-87) 01-0187 returned home to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) today and parked at the Boeing Mod center under the LGB Tower.

Japan Airlines to reduce aircraft fleet and routes

Japan Airlines said it will retire two-fifths of its aircraft, abandon one in eight overseas flights and end a quarter of its home routes in a bid to return to profit.

To compete against cheaper regional rivals, JAL also said it would look at creating a low-cost carrier. The state-backed turnaround body leading the restructuring said re-listing the airline would be possible by 2013.

JAL's turnaround pledge, submitted to the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday, includes a halt to 10 international flights following earlier closures aimed at stemming losses. It will also stop plying 39 domestic routes.

JAL forecast the latest contraction in money-losing services would help it to achieve an operating profit margin of 9.2 percent by March 2013.

"JAL's flop has caused a lot of trouble to shareholders and financial institutions," said Chairman and Chief Executive Kazuo Inamori at a news conference in Tokyo.

"Today is a new start for us," said Inamori, the 77-year old founder of electronics maker Kyocera, who was asked by the government to run JAL for three years after it filed for bankruptcy.


Under the turnaround plan, JAL will receive an injection of JPY¥350 billion (USD$4.14 billion) from the government and a JPY¥521 billion debt waiver from banks including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial. JAL said it had JPY¥959 billion of liabilities at the end of March.

Brought down by years of high costs, the former state carrier still faces an uncertain future as it takes on other carriers in a burgeoning and increasingly competitive regional air market.

JAL's new start may also be without the architect of its revival. Speaking at the unveiling of its business plan, Inamori said he wanted to step down as CEO in February 2012, a year earlier than he had agreed to when he took the job in January.

Aviation analysts applauded Inamori's fleet changes, which amount to the elimination of 103 aircraft.

JAL will offload all its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A300-600 jets it owns by March next year, and will stop operating all its McDonnell Douglas-built MD81 and MD90 aircraft by a later date. When complete, JAL will use four models rather than the seven it flies now.

"This is a massive shutdown in a very short amount of time, and generally only happens when airlines are shut down, not when they restructure," said Shashank Nigam, head of Singapore-based airline industry consultant SimpliFlying.

"We are likely to see a very much smaller and more regional Japan Airlines come out of this," he said.


Monday, August 30, 2010

747-8F delivery schedule slips

Boeing 747-8KZF/SCD (36137/1422) N50217 departs Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI) on test flight. (Photo by Joe G. Walker)

Boeing removed VP and GM-747 Program Mo Yahyavi from his post as speculation mounted that the 747-8 freighter's first delivery will be delayed again.

VP and GM-Airplane Programs Pat Shanahan told employees in an internal communication cited by the Seattle Times that he will take over direct supervision of shepherding the 747-8F and 747-8 Intercontinental to EIS while Yahyavi takes on "a special assignment." The first 747-8F is destined for launch customer Cargolux, with delivery scheduled for the fourth quarter.

Boeing has already twice delayed the program owing largely to overtaxed engineering; the first freighter was originally supposed to be delivered during the 2009 fourth quarter. The 747-8F achieved first flight in February. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh has hinted that delivery of the 747-8F may slip into next year owing to a series of nagging problems affecting the flight test program. Yahyavi took charge of the program in February.

Boeing additionally appointed Elizabeth Lund to the role of deputy program manager for the 747-8. She will report directly to Shanahan. The manufacturer last week confirmed that first delivery of the 787 won't occur until the 2011 first quarter.


IATA reports record profits for Airlines Worldwide

IATA said yesterday that 47 major airlines worldwide reported a cumulative $3.9 billion net profit for the second quarter, reversed from a $900 million net loss in the prior-year period.

North American airlines earned $1.74 billion in the quarter to lead the world's regions, turned around from a $514 million deficit in the three months ended June 30, 2009, the organization said in its latest "Airlines Financial Monitor." Asia/Pacific carriers followed with a $1.16 billion second-quarter profit, rebounding from a $322 million loss last year. European carriers posted a $1.02 billion profit for the period, but IATA noted that figure was boosted by $1.27 million in asset sales gains primarily by Air France KLM related to the sale of holdings in Amadeus.

Without the Amadeus stake sale, "there would have been further losses" in Europe, IATA said. Europe's airlines lost $548 million in last year's second quarter. Latin American airlines reported a $36 million net loss for the 2010 second quarter, reversed from a $509 million profit in the prior-year period.

IATA noted jet fuel markets have been "unusually tranquil" over the past 12 months, with a "flat trend" of $76/barrel oil prices and $87/barrel jet fuel prices largely remaining steady. "Forward curves and most forecasts suggest relatively little change [in fuel prices] in the next year, but the long-term trend remains upward," the organization said.

It pointed out capacity is starting to return to both passenger and airfreight markets. "Lots of new aircraft have been ordered at recent air shows and aircraft are being taken out of storage," it said. "There is a threat of excess capacity. However, published schedules suggest capacity growth will remain in line with demand."

While load factors remain high, IATA asserted that "adjusted for seasonality it becomes clear that passenger load factors peaked in February. Since then, capacity grew by a slightly faster pace than demand." But it noted, "Threats of excess capacity appear less evident in the freight sector than in the passenger business."

The organization said passenger fares have not rebounded in line with volume, which has returned to pre-recession levels. Economy fares on average are 5% below early 2008 peaks while premium fares "remain some 20% below pre-recession highs," it noted, adding that "stabilizing load factors…are slowing the recent rise in fares."

(ATWOnline News)

Transportation Committee Chairman blasts UA/CO merger approval

Calling the US Dept. of Justice's clearance of the proposed United Airlines-Continental Airlines merger "regrettable," House of Representatives Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) said "it may be time for Congress to rethink its vote in 1978" to deregulate the US airline industry. DOJ said late Friday the transfer of CO slots and other assets at Newark International to Southwest Airlines "resolves the department's principal competition concerns" related to the merger. Oberstar in May wrote a letter to DOJ to "strongly urge" it to reject the merger on antitrust grounds.

Oberstar said in a statement that DOJ "had little choice" but to approve the UA/CO combination owing to the "very narrow set of criteria" current US law allows it to use to make judgments on airline mergers. He said there is a "need to give broader authority over such mergers to the Department of Transportation, allowing DOT to consider such factors as the impact a merger will have on service to communities and customers, as well as the effect the merger could have on the industry as a whole."

He added that government examination of airline mergers should include "consideration of whether a merger will inevitably trigger others, ultimately reducing the industry to a few large carriers, each of which is unwilling to compete seriously in markets dominated by one of the others." Following the Delta Air Lines/Northwest Airlines and UA/CO mergers, Oberstar said, "Can a US Airways-American Airlines merger be far behind? This consolidation of the mainline companies into three or four mega-carriers is not what I voted for in 1978…Airline consolidation brings consumers and communities fewer choices and less competition, usually leading to increased fares and reduced levels of service. That runs directly counter to the promise of deregulation."

(ATWOnline News)
Captured at London-Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) in early August, Pakistan Air Force G450 (c/n 4090) J-756, ex-N490GA basks in the summer sun.
(Photo by Richard Vandervord)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's not a DAC "Heavy" but it's a gorgeous "Heavy" to be sure!

Worldways Canada Lockheed L-1011-385-1-14 (c/n 193L-1079) C-GIFE taxies at Glasgow-Prestwick (PIK/EGPK) on August 8, 1987.
(Photo by Al Foley)

New Egyptian carrier Nile Air is currently operating A320-232 (c/n 3219) SU-BQC for Libyan Airlines. The aircraft is captured arriving at London-Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) recently.

Air France A380-861 (c/n 043) F-HPJC is seen arriving at London-Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) on a lovely afternoon. Air France is using the A380 between Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) (CDG/LFPG) for crew familiarization flights until August 30.

(Photos by A.J. Best)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

G550 (c/n 5011) N811GA ex-VP-BGN, N991GA, (N522QS-NTU) is captured rolling for takeoff on Rwy 30 at Long Beach (LGB/KLGB) Friday August 27.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Monsoons over SoCal Deserts

This past week, we had the monsoon's kick-up in the deserts of SoCal and they do make for some mighty impressive views from the Los Angeles area. The above photo was taken from Long Beach Airport looking southeast towards Lake Elsinore and Palm Springs. These storms effect air traffic as well for flights bound to Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) and Phoenix (PHX/KPHX) creating some very long ATC flow programs or just outright ground stops.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

"Captin! There be DC-8's in Scotland!"

Air Canada Cargo Express DC-8-63(F) (46113/521) C-FTIU - 10/01/1987.

Nationair DC-8-61 (45943/359) C-GMXB - June 1989.

Both photos taken by Al Foley at Glasgow-Prestwick Airport (PIK/EGPK) and used with his kind permission.

CO/UA merger approved by Justice Department

Continental and United airlines won Justice Department approval of their proposed merger on Friday, after agreeing to lease landing and takeoff rights at Newark Liberty International Airport to discounter Southwest Airlines.

Justice said late Friday that it has closed its antitrust review of the United-Continental merger because it is satisfied with the carriers' deal to reduce their combined market dominance and increase competition at Newark. Continental currently operates a hub there and has the largest market share in the greater New York air travel market, the USA's largest. In addition to Newark, New York is served by LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports. Together United and Continental currently offer 442 daily flights at Newark.

United's and Continental's respective shareholders are scheduled to vote on the merger on Sept. 17. Assuming they approve — and there's no significant effort among shareholders to reject the deal — the carriers now expect to close the merger deal on Oct. 1.

In addition to paving the way for the United-Continental merger to be completed, the deal to lease Newark landing and takeoff rights, called slots, would give Southwest the greater access to the huge New York market that it has been seeking, mostly without success for 14 months. Southwest used to eschew the New York market because its notoriously congested airports presented challenges for its operating style, which typically calls for planes to remain on the ground between flights for only about 30 minutes.

But in recent years Southwest has sought to incrrease its involvement in high demand markets where revenue opportunities are greater. Last year it launched service at LaGuardia. However, Southwest's ability to grow in the New York market has been limited by its inability to obtain slots, which are time-specific rights to land and take off. It currently offers only 8 daily flights at LaGuardia, making it one of Southwest's least heavily served destinations.

New York's airports are among only a handful of U.S. airports where carriers need to possess slot rights to operate. Slots are used to limit the number of flights that operate at airports from runway, terminal and airspace capacity is outstripped by consumer demand to fly to and from those airports.

Continental CEO Jeff Smisek, who has been named to run the the new United, as the merged carrier would be called, said the lease of Newark slots to Southwest is "a fair solution that would allow Continental and United to create an airline that will provide customers with an unparalleled global network and top quality products and services, while enhancing domestic competition at Newark."

Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president of strategy and planning, said that instead of buying new planes to serve Newark, the carrier will reduce service on unprofitable or less profitable routes or times, and then use the airplace freed up by those changes to serve Newark. After growing at a double-digit pace through the rapid expansion of its fleet in the 1990s and first half of the 2000s, Southwest in the last three years has slowed its growth by using new planes only as replacements for old planes.

"We've seen tremendous demand for Southwest Airlines in the New York City/Newark area in the past year," Jordan said. "Adding Newark provides an excellent complement to our LaGuardia and Long Island service, giving customers one more option for travel to and from the greater New York City/New Jersey area. This service also will provide a needed injection of low fares and competition into the New York/Newark market."

(Dan Reed - USA Today)

Mexicana to Cease all Operations

Nuevo Grupo Aeronáutico, S.A. de C.V. ("Grupo Mexicana") announced this morning that as a result of the group’s delicate financial situation when it changed owners a week ago, compounded by failure to reach agreements that would allow for the capitalization of its three airlines, Mexicana Airlines, MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink flights will suspend operations until further notice as of midday (12:00 p.m.) on Saturday, August 28, 2010.

Among the factors that have contributed to this announcement are:

Grupo Mexicana’s fragile financial situation, which has deteriorated further over the last four weeks due to the previous management’s decision to suspend ticket sales, forcing the company to continue operating in the interests of passengers without receiving any revenue.

No substantial agreements were reached to give companies in the Group long-term viability.

Lack of effectiveness in the insolvency (Concurso Mercantil) process intended to protect additional financial resources available to the company so it could to continue operating.

Given the uncertainty of the situation, certain suppliers have begun demanding advanced payment of services that are essential to the airlines’ operations.
Today’s decision is a painful one for the 8,000-strong Grupo Mexicana family, but we will continue seeking out ways of securing the company’s long-term financial viability, so our passengers can once again enjoy the quality services they are accustomed to. We hope to be back in the air soon and would like to thank everyone involved in this process for their support and understanding.

All Mexicana, MexicanaLink and MexicanaClick flights will be suspended until further notice as of midday on Saturday, August 28, 2010. All flights programmed to depart after this hour will be canceled.

(Press Release - Grupo Mexicana)

First 787 delivery delayed again due to engine problems

Boeing has pushed back delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner by several weeks due to a delay in the availability of a Rolls-Royce engine which is needed for the final phases of flight testing.

The US planemaker now expects to deliver the carbon-composite plane, already delayed by more than two years, to launch customer Japan's All Nippon Airways by the middle of the first quarter of 2011.

Boeing previously said the first delivery would be made a few weeks into 2011.

The delay comes after a Rolls' Trent 1000 engine blew up earlier this month at a test site in Derby, central England, forcing the company to temporarily close the facility.

"The delivery date revision follows an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall," Boeing said. "Flight testing across the test fleet continues as planned."

Boeing added it was working with the British engine maker to ensure engines were made available as soon as possible but that the delay would not affect its financial outlook.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said it was "working closely with Boeing to expedite delivery in support of their program schedule."


Boeing had initially aimed to deliver the first 787 to All Nippon Airways by the end of 2010, but last month pushed the delivery date back to a few weeks into 2011, citing technical issues.

ANA called the delay "regrettable" and said it was keen to know when Boeing would be able to deliver its second 787.

ANA has ordered 55 of Boeing's latest jet, eight of which the planemaker has promised to deliver by April 2011.

Deliveries of the long-range passenger jet to ANA have been delayed by more than two years due to production problems.

The Japanese carrier said it did not include revenue from the 787 in its business plan this year so there would be no change to its profit outlook for the year ending March 31.

The 787 promises greater fuel efficiency and its lightweight materials and innovative design have captured the imagination of the industry.

Yet flight testing has been going more slowly than expected after the twin-engined passenger plane made an inaugural flight last December.

A spokesman for Australia's Qantas Airways said it was too early to say what impact the delay would have on it.

Qantas in July brought forward its 787 delivery schedule, saying it would receive the first of 50 of the aircraft it has on order in mid-2012.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Southwest Airlines to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR/KEWR)

Southwest Airlines and Continental Airlines confirmed today that they entered into a lease providing Southwest Airlines access to 36 Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) slots which are currently held by Continental.

The lease deal, contingent upon the closing of the Continental and United airlines' merger by Nov. 30, 2010, and certain governmental approvals, would give Southwest Airlines the right to operate up to 18 daily roundtrip flights at Newark, New Jersey, with some flights beginning in March 2011 and a full schedule in place by June 2011. The slots are spread throughout the day and would allow Southwest the ability to integrate Newark service conveniently into its extensive national route network.

"We are excited by the opportunity to initiate service from Newark, New Jersey, and we plan to enable that service starting next March through continued flight schedule optimization using our existing fleet," said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President of Strategy and Planning. "We've seen tremendous demand for Southwest Airlines in the New York City/Newark area in the past year. Customers are clamoring for our unique brand of hospitality, great value, low fares, extensive flight network, and our terrific Employees who deliver outstanding Customer Service. Adding Newark provides an excellent complement to our LaGuardia and Long Island service, giving Customers one more option for travel to and from the greater New York City/New Jersey area. This service also will provide a needed injection of low fares and competition into the New York/Newark market."

Southwest is working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Continental and United Airlines to finalize arrangements for commencing its Newark service in March 2011, including the approval of the acquisition of the necessary airport gates and facilities. Details on what cities Southwest will serve from Newark and on what dates that service will begin have not yet been determined.

"The divestiture of slots at Newark by the combined Continental/United will ensure competition is enhanced, and we appreciate the Department of Justice's role in finding a fair solution," Jordan said.

(Southwest Airlines)

Another Great Oshkosh AirVenture 2010 Video

A good friend forwarded this great Oshkosh AirVenture 2010 video to me, I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do, and.........thanks Fred.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

jetBlue flight blows tires as it arrives in Sacramento, California

This afternoon at 12:45pm, jetBlue flt. 262 blew it's four main gear tires as it landed in Sacramento (SMF/KSMF). The flight departed Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) at 11:56am with 88 passengers and 5 crew members, 15 of those passengers suffering minor injuries due to the hard landing. The flight attendants deployed the emergency slides and the passengers were evacuated onto the runway and into the care of airport fire crews.
The aircraft involved was A320-232 (c/n 2231) N590JB "Liberty Blue" which is seen above arriving at Long Beach Airport on March 18, 2009.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

UPS 767-34AF/ER (37861/992) N341UP is captured arriving at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on Wednesday August 25. The aircraft is the newest edition to the UPS 767F fleet having been delivered on July 15, 2010.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

SAS to lease it's MD-90-30 fleet to U.S. carrier

Scandinavian carrier SAS said on Thursday it had signed a deal to lease its entire fleet of MD-90-30 aircraft to an unidentified U.S. airline.

SAS, half-owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, said in a statement the eight aircraft would be delivered in a period from the third quarter of this year to the end of the second quarter of 2011.

"The MD-90-30 has, in terms of number of aircraft, been a niche aircraft in the SAS Group fleet and this transaction fits very well in to the SAS initiative to simplify and standardize its fleet and thereby reduce the number of aircraft types used in its total fleet," it said.

A number of the aircraft have been in service with Scandinavian airline Blue1 but the carrier is currently updating it's fleet with the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 (Boeing 717-200) and returning it's MD-90-30 fleet to SAS.

The MD-90-30 was manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (DAC/MDC) in Long Beach, California.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New G550 (c/n 5279) N579GA rotates from Rwy 30 this afternoon as it departs on a pre-delivery test flight. The aircraft is destined for a Spanish owner as evident by the Spanish flag on the tail.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Horizon Air will end branded flying

Alaska Air Group has made the decision to eliminate subsidiary Horizon Air's independent, or branded flying, in favor of moving to a 100% capacity purchase agreement with its major affiliate Alaska Airlines. The information was contained in an internal employee communication from new Horizon Air President Glenn Johnson to the airline's employees. Johnson raised the possibility of the action in AAG's second-quarter conference call with analysts, at which time he also raised questions about the future of the Horizon Air brand.

According to the memo, Horizon will switch to an all-CPA business model beginning Jan. 1, 2011, thereby "gaining a stable and predictable revenue source insulated from marketplace risks."

Johnson told employees, "It's been clear for a while that Horizon's business model no longer worked, as is evident from the financial results." Horizon Air had a pre-tax loss of $1.2 million in the second quarter ended June 30 and $7.4 million for the six months. Currently, around 45% of Horizon's capacity is operated under a CPA with AK with the remainder flown under its own brand.

Johnson also said "the possibility of changing Horizon's external brand…is being considered, but no decision has been made."

Additionally, Horizon will outsource Q400 heavy maintenance to Empire Aerospace. The carrier had been trying to reach a cost-saving agreement with its mechanics, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to keep the work in-house, Johnson said during the quarterly conference call.

(Perry Flint - ATWOnline News)

Nigeria receives FAA approval for direct flights to U.S.

Nigerian airlines have gained the right to fly their own planes to the United States after an improvement in the West African nation's aviation safety standards, Nigerian and US officials said.

Airline security in Africa's most populous country had come under heightened scrutiny last December following a failed Christmas Day bombing attempt on a US airliner blamed on a Nigerian passenger with explosives concealed in his underwear.

But Nigeria is now one of just six African nations to have gained the "Category 1" status from the US Federal Aviation Administration, allowing domestic carriers to apply to operate direct flights to the United States with their own aircraft.

Currently, Nigerian carriers must "wet lease" aircraft and crew from another airline with Category 1 status for US-bound flights, which is prohibitively expensive. Arik Air is the only Nigerian carrier certified and able to afford US services.

"This achievement is an important milestone for Nigeria and US-Nigeria bilateral relations," US Ambassador Robin Sanders said at a news conference, adding the move was the culmination of years of work between the two nations.

A Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been charged with trying to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam with almost 300 people on board. He transferred to that flight from a KLM flight from Lagos.

Nigeria recently passed an International Civil Aviation Organization audit after acquiring full-body scanners, explosive-detecting equipment and creating separate bays at international airports for screening of US-bound passengers.

Nigerian Aviation Minister Fidelia Njeze said the work had only just begun with the new rating.

"Some countries that attained Category 1 status have lost it when they allowed their standards to drop... The next 12-18 months are very critical to stabilize the system under the watchful eye of the world aviation community," she said.

Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco and South Africa are the other African nations with a Category 1 rating, meaning they are deemed to have the necessary regulations in place to oversee carriers in accordance with minimum international standards.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Siller Brothers Inc. Sikorsky S61V-1 (c/n 61271) N45917 "The Pres" was a very nice visitor to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) Thursday August 19.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

The Real Gulfstreams of Orange County

G-III (c/n 319) N200SK operated by SK Travel LLC rests in the afternoon sun at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA).

Netjets Inc. G450 (c/n 4146) N468QS taxies for an early morning departure.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Continental Airlines 737-824 (37096/2515) N76516 sports this special "eco skies" livery complete with green winglets. The aircraft is captured at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) rolling for takeoff on Rwy 19R on a gorgeous SoCal morning.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Turkish Airlines has applied this special livery to 737-8F2 (35745/2748) TC-JHF commemorating the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championships.
(Photos by Gordon Stretch)
Turkish carrier Sun Express has painted 737-8HX (29649/2515) TC-SUZ in this special livery called "Impressions of Istanbul."
(Photo by James Mepsted)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

AirTran 717 makes emergency landing in Dayton, Ohio

An AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD (55033/5099) N972AT made a precautionary landing at the Dayton International Airport (DAY/KDAY) on Thursday morning after the pilots received a warning about electrical problems with the left engine. The plane landed without incident about 9:10 a.m., according to Christopher White, AirTran’s director of public relations.
The flight originated in Indianapolis (IND/KIND) and was bound for Baltimore (BWI/KBWI) before it was diverted to Dayton , according to Linda Hughes, public relations manager for the airport. The plane was carrying 48 passengers and five crew members, White said.

The plane’s pilots issued an Alert 2, which is issued when there is a problem with an aircraft and that aircraft needs to come in for a landing. One of the engine’s cowlings — cover for engine — came off during the flight. “It’s very similar to the hood of your car. A cowling does not affect the performance of the engine,” White said. White also pointed out that certified planes can operate on one engine.
The aircraft was delivered to the carrier on 02/27/2002.

**An intersting side note, I flew on this aircraft on February 9, 2002 from the Douglas flight ramp a couple weeks prior to it's delivery during an event called "Kids Flight." We flew to Palm Springs (PSP/KPSP) and picked-up some kids sponsered by the "Make-A-Wish" Foundation for a special flight over the Grand Canyon at 10,000 feet, then over Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) and back to Palm Springs. It was a great trip and the kids just loved it.**

Friday, August 20, 2010

American Airlines faces hefty fine

The US government is close to proposing a substantial fine against American Airlines for alleged maintenance and inspection violations that led to the grounding of hundreds of planes and the cancellation of thousands of flights in 2008.

A source familiar with the matter said the decision by safety regulators was expected soon and the fine would likely be significant.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration fine could reach USD$25 million.

The FAA said it would not comment on a pending enforcement investigation.

American said it was unaware of any possible fine.

"This is something that happened more than two years ago, and we haven't received any notification by the FAA about any pending action, nor do we believe any action is warranted," an American Airlines spokesman said in a statement.

Aviation industry and safety insiders have long expected the FAA to slap American with a penalty that would at least rival the record USD$10 million fine proposed against Southwest Airlines for alleged inspection shortcomings on certain Boeing 737s in 2006 and 2007. As part of a settlement, Southwest agreed to pay USD$7.5 million.

Airlines usually pay less than the government initially proposes.

The case against American stemmed from stepped up safety inspections of the carrier by the FAA, which at the time was under pressure from Congress to tighten oversight of the industry.

FAA inspectors said they found problems with wheel well wiring in MD-80 series planes, prompting the company to ground 300 of the workhorse jets and cancel flights affecting 300,000 passengers over several days in the spring of 2008.

American said it addressed the FAA's concerns before putting planes back into service.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Captured this beautiful G-IVSP (c/n 1318) N15Y, ex-N1624 today at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA). The aircraft is operated by G4SP LLC of Irvine, California.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Latest C-17A takes to the skies

C-17A (P-201) 08-8201 returns to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on Thursday afternoon August 12 following her second flight. She performed her maiden flight on Wednesday August 11.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some more DAC's from Oshkosh AirVenture 2010

American Airlines DC-3-178 (c/n 1920) NC17334 "Flagship Detroit" looks just gorgeous basking in the morning sun at Oshkosh.

Era Classic Airlines DC-3C (c/n 34378) N1944H "Spirit of Alaska" rolls for take-off on Rwy 18.

Flabob Express (Wings of Time) C-47A Skytrain (c/n 9531) N103NA.

Ohio University DC-3C-1830-94 (c/n 13896) N7AP.
(All Photos by Michael Carter)

Delta 757 returns to LAX following bird strike

A Delta Air Lines 757 returned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) after ingesting a bird in its right engine during takeoff Wednesday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Delta Flight 1806 had just departed from Rwy 25R around 1:30 p.m., when the incident occurred stated FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

The plane, carrying 186 passengers bound for Detroit, returned safely LAX touching down just after 2 p.m., Gregor said.

No injuries were reported. The FAA and Delta's maintenance crew planned to inspect the plane.

Alaska Airlines to relocate to Terminal 6 at LAX

Long-awaited work on domestic facilities at Los Angeles International Airport will finally begin this year as Alaska Airlines prepares to move into Terminal 6, officials said Monday.

With preliminary costs of $200 million, the terminal renovation calls for additional airline gates, more security lanes, and a new baggage screening system, said Ed White, vice president of corporate real estate for Alaska Airlines.

When completed, Terminal 6 would be able to accommodate Alaska Airlines' domestic and international flights, White told the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

The project, set for completion in early 2012, will be funded by Alaska Airlines, LAX and the Transportation Security Administration, airport officials said.

"It's a tired terminal," White said. "It not only needs to be opened up, but also needs to be spruced up in the entire customer area."

Renderings show the terminal bathed in ice blue lights and walls accented with wood paneling. The terminal's ticketing lobby and baggage claim areas also will be roomier.

Alaska Airlines has shown interest in moving into Terminal 6 for about three years, but a "convoluted set of leases" with other airlines housed inside the building kept that from happening, said Steve Martin, chief operating officer for LAX.

A series of deals in recent months have cleared the path, allowing Alaska Airlines to move in, Martin said.

In a separate matter, airport officials are preparing for the next round of bids for dining and retail contracts at LAX, even though the current set of proposals remains mired in controversy.
Officials hope to issue a call for bids by December for companies interested in operating shops and eateries inside Terminals 1, 2, 3, 6 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Consideration of all bids won't happen until sometime in 2011, even though the airport's current set of concession contracts expires at the end of this year.

The delay could hamper completion of the ongoing Bradley terminal expansion project, which requires that new concession operators participate in the building's design and construction process.

While the "paramount objective" is finding concessionaires for the Bradley terminal, the bids will not be split from Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 6, said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of LAX.

The move comes as the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office reviews the airport's bidding process for five proposed dining contracts spread across Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8.

Airport officials had hoped those contracts would be approved by the start of summer, but one of the losing bidders has alleged a conflict of interest in the selection process. The proposed deals could be tossed aside if the City Attorney's Office finds any wrongdoing.

"While we've tried to be patient on the award of contracts for Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8, I think we need to move on," Lindsey told the airport commission.

(Art Marroquin - The Daily Breeze)

Emirates to add second LAX flight

Emirates will commence a second non-stop Dubai - Los Angeles flight on October 31st.

Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, stated: "Emirates has experienced very strong demand across all of its US gateways this year, including very healthy premium and business traffic. We are delighted to meet this increased demand with the start of second daily service to Los Angeles.


Continental/United merged livery introduced

(Photo courtesy UnitedContinentalMerger.com)

United Airlines and Continental Airlines yesterday unveiled their post-merger livery, which features the "United" name in block capital letters on the fuselage but utilizes CO's logo and colors including its blue-gold-white globe image on the tail.

"Both airlines have earned strong brand recognition in one of the world’s most visible and highly competitive businesses," the companies said in a statement. "The new visual identity builds upon the significant value of each airline’s current brand, while advancing the combined airline’s future brand image."

UA and CO expect to complete the merger transaction by year's end (ATW Daily News, May 3). CO Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Smisek will be CEO of the combined airline.

(ATWOnline News)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Indian Air Force to purchase 6 additional C-17A's

The Indian Air Force has announced plans to purchase six more Boeing C-17s, bringing to 16 the total number being sought by the nation.

The deal was welcome news in Long Beach, where nearly 4,000 are employed building, engineering, marketing and selling the massive cargo jet.

Boeing builds about one jet per month at the site, so the additional purchases could keep production humming well past the scheduled 2013 closure date.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Long Beach, said the deal "will go a long way to keep jobs here and keep the Boeing line open.

Rohrabacher recently met with India's National Security Advisor, Shiv Shankar Menon, to discuss the C-17 during a trip to the region.

"To say this is an opening for new opportunities for cooperation between the U.S. and India is an understatement," Rohrabacher said in a statement. "India faces the same security challenges from radical Islam and China as we do. They need the C-17 and so does the United States."

Because it involves U.S. military hardware, the deal requires approval by the federal government, which could come by year's end.

The Pentagon is already analyzing the earlier request for 10 planes.

Saudi Arabia, Oman and several other nations are also considering C-17 purchases, giving an international boost to a program being targeted by the Pentagon for cuts.

President Barack Obama, backed by Defense Sec. Robert Gates, has vowed to veto any
defense bill that includes spending for the C-17.

Last year, Congress defied the order and included 10 C-17 purchases in the defense bill at a cost of $2.5 billion, but lawmakers have so far declined to include funds for the jet in this year's budget.

The U.S. Air Force operates 200 C-17 s across the globe, primarily to deliver troops, supplies, vehicles and other equipment in war zones across the globe.

The $250-million jet has also been used extensively to deliver thousands of tons of aid in the wake of natural disasters, including the January earthquake in Haiti, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

(Kristopher Hanson - Long Beach Press Telegram)

Lockheed Sale

This was sent to me by APF staffer Darryl Bustamante and though you might find it funny as I did.........enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Gathering of DAC's

API Staffer Steve Griffin turned me on to this awesome video that was posted on "youtube" a must see for any DC-3 fan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

jetBlue Flight Attendant see's Red

A JetBlue flight attendant upset after an altercation with a passenger bolted from the plane by deploying and sliding down the inflatable emergency chute on Monday, police said.

The flight attendant, Steven Slater, was arrested at his home in the New York City borough of Queens after fleeing from John F. Kennedy International Airport, He will likely be charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, a spokesman for the Port Authority police said.

Slater, who had quarreled with a passenger fiddling with his luggage after landing but before the plane came to a complete stop, swore over the public address before opening a door, inflating the chute and sliding down, police said.

The New York Daily News reported that he took over the intercom and called the passenger a 12-letter epithet beginning with m and then told everyone, "I've been in the business 28 years. I've had it. That's it."

The JetBlue Embraer 190 had just arrived at JFK from Pittsburgh.

(Reporting by Zachary Goelman and Michelle Nichols)

Turkish Airlines has some heavy issues!

Turkish Airlines has grounded 28 flight attendants for being overweight and given them six months to slim down or face reassignment, a local newspaper said.

The employees, 13 of whom are women, are on unpaid leave until they lose weight, Haber Turk daily said, citing a statement from state-run Turkish Airlines. All of them previously had been warned to shape up, it added.

"Weight and height are important factors at all airlines. These criteria are important both in terms of appearance and the ability to move about," the statement said.

Izzet Levi, head of a cabin attendants' association who was among those grounded, told Haber Turk he must drop 10 kilos (22 pounds) to reach 96 kilos if he is to return to his post.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Alaska Airlines 737-400 engine injests Bald Eagle at Sitka

An eagle was sucked into an engine of an Alaska Airlines jet as the aircraft was taking off from a small southeast Alaska town Sunday, causing the flight to be aborted.

Seattle-bound Flight 68 was approaching takeoff speed when the eagle was ingested into the left engine shortly after 10 a.m. in Sitka. None of the 134 passengers or five crew members was hurt.

"We were roaring down the runway and about the time they'd be picking the nose up, we hear a big kaboom," said passenger Bill Shake of Portland, Ore. "It sounded like a flat tire."

Shake — traveling home after an annual fishing trip — said another in his large group saw two bursts of flames coming from the engine. Any shaking of the aircraft seemed to come from the sudden braking on the runway, said Shake, 68, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official.

"I've flown lots and lots of miles and I've never had anything like this happen," he said. "I've had bad weather and all those kinds of things, but not a bird strike."

The bird collision automatically shut off the plane's engine, airline spokesman Paul McElroy said.

McElroy said the jet braked to a stop about 3,000 feet from the end of the 6,500-foot runway, which ends at the water's edge. The plane then taxied back to the terminal with its single working engine.

The airline sent a replacement plane from Anchorage to continue the flight. It departed from Sitka about 4 p.m Sunday. Meanwhile, aircraft mechanics were inspecting the sidelined Boeing 737-400 for damage.

McElroy said he didn't know how often such bird strikes occurred.

"It's certainly not unheard of but it is unusual," he said.

Shake praised the pilot and co-pilot for doing "a tremendous job" safely stopping the plane. He said passengers applauded when the pilot stepped out of the cockpit and told them they were turning back because of the eagle strike.

(Rachel D'Oro - JuneauEmpire.com)

DAC's at Oshkosh - EAA AirVenture 2010

I spent a couple days at the EAA AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh and I am just now getting around to editing photos from this awesome trip. Over the next couple weeks I will share some of the many photos that I took while there, I hope you do enjoy them...........Cheers Michael

Douglas DC-2-118B (c/n 1368) N1934D / NC13711 basks in the morning sun.

DC-3A (c/n 7313) N943DJ operated by JM Air LLC rolls for take-off as it departs Oshkosh and AirVenture 2010.

DC-3 -314A (c/n 2239) N28AA "Candler Field Express" operated by Alexander Consulting Services Inc. rests in the morning sun.

The "Candler Field Express" taxies for departure.

(All Photos by Michael Carter)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Southwest Airlines sets all-time company record as it reports July earnings

Southwest Airlines last month set an all-time record for load factors, as it filled 84.9 percent of its seats with paying passengers, the airline said Friday.

The Dallas-based carrier said its traffic increased 3.4 percent from July 2009, while capacity was up only 1.4 percent.

The load factor beats the previous record of 83.2 percent, set in July 2009. Its third best month was June 2007, with 82.1 percent.

Even with the record, Southwest’s loads trailed that of other big carriers. With United Airlines Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. still to release July results, the large carriers filled 87.5 percent of their seats last month, up 0.5 points from a year earlier.

Airlines this year are enjoying the double benefit of an improving economy and their own decisions to shrink or limit growth. As a result, load factors have been high, and total revenues and average fares are up noticeably from last year.

Southwest saw revenues leap 21.1 percent in the second quarter compared to the 2009 period, even though its traffic climbed only 2.7 percent.

(The Dallas Morning News)

Future and not so future Air Travel Innovations

Some interesting air travel inovations to watch for in the future, though wifi is now in use on a number of airlines which include Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines.

Airplanes that use less fuel.

You may not drive a car and you may recycle, but if you take to the skies more than three times per year, you have a considerable carbon footprint. Scientists have developed an accessible eco-friendly jetliner that uses 70% less fuel than standard jets. We’ve all seen great ideas like this get shot down by bureaucratic decisions before, but because these jets are made by the same manufacturers using the same parts of conventional planes, it may be a change we seen sooner than you think. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/nplus3-0517

Airplanes that detect ash.

Following 2010’s European ash debacle, airliners are looking for ways to keep passengers safe while flying over ash-prone areas. Economy airline company, EasyJet PLC is getting ready to implement infrared technology on the fin of commercial airplanes to detect ash up to 100 kilometers away. This technology is already in use by some airlines for detecting thunderstorms, but must be upgraded to detect ash in the atmosphere. EasyJet PLC doesn’t have the kinks worked out for getting this on all of their commercial planes, but they are spending approximately 1.52 billion dollars to make it work. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/06/04/ash-radar.html

Free wifi access on planes.

This one is something that’s been in the works for a few years now. Airlines don’t want to offer free wifi access to passengers. After all, we’re already paying for checking our luggage and no longer get snacks, so why would we expect anything else for free? Companies like Route 44 are teaming with airlines and major companies to give us wifi with ads while on a plane. This gives advertisers a chance to reach out to desirable customers and gives customers a chance to play, work or shop while traveling. Virgin Airlines offered free wifi service for a limited time, but now has joined other airlines in charging about $5 an hour to access the Internet while in transit.

Cell phones on planes.

Believe it or not, the U.S. is among the last places to offer cell phone service on a plane. This is because the FCC prevents it and has legislation pending to permanently ban in-flight cell phone calls. While the cell phone may seem like a helpful tool on a plane, it may also be cumbersome for those around you to listen to your chit-chat whether it’s work-related or not. Still, when there’s money to be made, you can expect this “perk” (that you’ll likely have to pay for) to be available on U.S. planes in the next couple of years.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Alaska Airlines announces new Bellingham, WA - Honolulu, HA service

**I know this was announced a couple days ago, but I am just getting caught up following a week in Oshkosh**

Alaska Airlines will inaugurate nonstop service between Bellingham, Wash., and Honolulu, Hawaii, starting Jan. 7, 2011. The daily flights will provide a convenient alternative airport for travelers in Northwestern Washington and Lower Mainland, British Columbia.

"Alaska Airlines is proud to call the Pacific Northwest home. So we're delighted to offer Bellingham its first-ever nonstop scheduled service to Hawaii," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "Our new Honolulu flights will allow travelers from north of Seattle and the Lower Mainland to take advantage of our low fares, award-winning service and Mileage Plan earning opportunities via an easy-to-access, nearby airport."

Alaska Airlines currently flies between Bellingham and Las Vegas while its sister carrier, Horizon Air, offers Bellingham-Seattle service.

Schedule is as follows;

Bellingham-Honolulu (Daily)
Depart: 5:20 p.m.
Arrive: 9:40 p.m.

Honolulu-Bellingham (Daily)
Depart: 10:25 p.m.
Arrive: 6:05 a.m.

(Alaska Airlines)

China Cargo now operates Boeing 777-200F to LAX

China Cargo 777-F6N (37711/846) B-2076 climbs from Rwy 25L as it departs from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX). (Photo by Michael Breckshot)

On July 28, China Cargo Airlines launched 4 new weekly flights between Shanghai-Pu Dong International Airport (PVG/ZSPD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX).

Boeing to move B-1 and C-130 programs from Long Beach to Oklahoma City

Boeing has announced that about 800 jobs will leave Long Beach beginning in 2011, as the aerospace giant will move both the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and B-1 Program to Oklahoma City.

About 550 of those 800 positions will be moved to Oklahoma City. The rest will be "reduced," according to a Boeing press release. Company managers are now deciding which employees will be offered relocation.

"Making a decision like this is never easy, but as we reviewed our anticipated operating costs for the next several years, it became clear that Boeing needs to take major actions on these programs in order to remain affordable for our customers," said Mark Bass, Vice President and General Manager of the Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades (MMU) division of the Global Services & Support unit.

"We remain committed to maintaining the excellent record of performance that our employees deliver for our U.S. Air Force B-1 and C-130 AMP customers during this transition."

Both programs perform highly specialized work exclusively on the C-130 and B-1 Bomber aircraft. The C-130 AMP program reduces operating costs, targets obsolescence and thereby allows for future growth and development. The other program modernizes the B-1 Lancer bomber aircraft to enhance its munitions capability.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Southwest Airlines spends the day at EAA AirVenture 2010

Southwest Airlines 737-7H4 (36662/3296) N948WN rotates from Rwy 18 at Oshkosh (OSH/KOSH) after spreading the "LUV" to all the aviation enthusiasts at the annual EAA event. **Note the special "Free Bags Fly Here" markings just fwd of the wing.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Alpha Star A320 visits Long Beach

Alpha Star A320-214ACJ (3164) HZ-A2, ex-HZ-AJ2 was spotted parked on the AirFlight ramp Monday afternoon. The aircraft arrived sometime on Sunday 08/01 according to sources at the airport.