Tuesday, November 30, 2010

John Wayne Orange County Airport October statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport decreased in October 2010 as compared to October 2009. In October 2010, the Airport served 732,106 passengers, a decrease of 4.8% when compared to the October 2009 passenger traffic count of 769,373.

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 4.9%, while Commuter aircraft operations decreased 63.9% when compared to the levels recorded in October 2009.

Total aircraft operations decreased in October 2010 as compared to the same month in 2009. In October 2010, there were 16,753 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), a decrease of 12.9% when compared to 19,227 total aircraft operations in October 2009.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 57.4% of the total aircraft operations during October 2010, decreased 14.3% when compared to October 2009.

(JWA Press Release)

Aeromexico may buy rather than lease 10 737s

AeroMexico, the only major Mexican airline left flying, is weighing whether to buy 10 planes from Boeing instead of leasing them as it expects consumer demand for air travel to increase in the near term, the company's CEO said on Tuesday.

Chief executive Andres Conesa said that AeroMexico, benefiting from the demise of rival Mexicana, would consider buying new carriers over a period of three years starting in 2012.

AeroMexico had delayed receipt of 10 Boeing 737s as the domestic airline industry struggled with the effects of recession and the aftermath of the 2009 flu outbreak that scared tourists away from beaches and colonial towns across the country.

Boeing's 737s are among the newest additions to its short-to-medium range commercial fleet.

Conesa has forecast that AeroMexico could transport at least 13 million passengers next year, compared with close to 12 million expected for 2010.

AeroMexico became the only large Mexican airline in the skies after competitor Mexicana ceased operations in August under heavy debt and labour conflicts. Its affiliated carriers, Link and Click, also stopped flying.

While Mexicana could be revived by a relatively unknown boutique investment firm, no cash has been committed by the potential suitor.

Mexicana controlled many routes into the United States. But restrictions imposed on Mexico by US aviation authorities due to safety lapses mean domestic airlines are not able to take over those routes for now.

Conesa said AeroMexico, a member of the SkyTeam alliance, was evaluating new flights to Canada, Caracas, Panama, Madrid and Barcelona as the outlook for the industry improved.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Another new G550 arrives in Long Beach

New Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5306) N836GA arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) Friday November 19, 2010 from Savannah-Hilton Head International (SAV/KSAV) and parked at the Gulfstream Service Center. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Lufthansa to commence passenger biofuel flights next year

Lufthansa is launching the world’s first scheduled commercial passenger flights using biofuel in the first half of 2011, with an IAE-V2500-powered Airbus A321.

In April 2011, LH will begin a six-month trial with an A321 on scheduled commercial flights on the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Hamburg route. Pending certification, one of the aircraft’s engines will use a 50-50 mix of biofuel and traditional kerosene. The primary purpose of the project is to conduct a long-term trial to study the effect of biofuel on engine maintenance and engine life.

The daily flights are part of the ‘burnFair’ project to study the long-term impact of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Airbus’ role is to provide technical assistance and to monitor the fuel properties. The biofuel will be supplied by Finland-based Neste Oil, a fuel refining and marketing company that has cooperated with Lufthansa for many years, LH said. Certification of its biofuel is expected in March 2011.

LH Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said that during the six months trial, LH will save around 1,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions. "Lufthansa will be the world’s first airline to utilize bio-fuel in flight operations within the framework of a long-term trial. This is a further consistent step in a proven sustainability strategy, which Lufthansa has for many years successfully pursued and implemented," he said. The project will cost LH an estimated €6.6 million ($8.74 million).

(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

Qantas A380s return to the skies

Qantas returned two of its six Airbus A380s to service on the Sydney to London route after some engine changes. The airline is limiting take-off thrust to 70,000 lb. instead of the 72,000 lb. for which the engine is certified.

The return to service of VH-OQF and VH-OQE comes a week ahead of the release of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s preliminary report on the uncontained failure of the No. 2 Rolls-Royce Trent 972 engine on Nov. 4 after take-off from Singapore.

Last week, EASA issued a new Emergency Airworthiness Directive on the Trent 900 series engine, which supersedes the Nov. 11 AD that retains the inspection of the air buffer cavity but also focuses on "the oil service tubes within the high pressure and intermediary pressure structure."
Qantas will not return the A380s to transpacific flights for the time being, as take-offs from Los Angeles sometimes require maximum thrust. The airline is due to receive three more A380s before Dec. 31 and all are fitted with upgraded engines.

(Geoffrey Thomas - ATWOnline News)

LAN agrees to purchase Aries Colombia

LAN Airlines said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase 98.94% of Colombia's Aires for $12 million in cash and the assumption of $100 million in net liabilities including $18 million of bank debt. In October LAN announced that it would be taking over Colombia's second largest domestic airline, which has a 22% market share.

"This transaction will provide the opportunity for an affiliate of LAN to participate in the Colombian passenger market, one of the largest markets in South America, thus allowing for LAN and its affiliates to continue strengthening their regional presence," LAN said in a statement issued late last week.

Santiago, Chile-based LAN already operates affiliates in Argentina, Ecuador and Peru and plans to merge with Brazil's TAM under a single holding company next year. It also launched a Colombian cargo affiliate, LANCO, last year. President and COO Ignacio Cueto said LAN will be "elevating even further [Aires's] safety, quality and service standards" and predicted passengers would "benefit from the changes that will gradually be incorporated to the Aires operations."

LAN said that in "the medium term," Aires "will evaluate the expansion of international passenger operations and the advantages of any synergies it may obtain from…LANCO." It added that the LAN/Aires integration process "may involve certain operational changes such as itinerary modifications and efficiency improvements" but "will not interfere with the continuity of current operations of Aires."

(Aaron Karp - Air Transport World / ATWOnline News)

China Eastern may cancel 787 order

China Eastern Airlines is considering canceling its order for 15 Boeing 787s owing to the aircraft program's continuous delays, according to a CEA insider. "Most probably we [will] cancel," the source told ATW. "We are negotiating with Boeing about choosing [a] replacement aircraft type…now."

The cancellation would be another blow for the troubled Dreamliner program, on which flight testing was indefinitely suspended following a Nov. 9 inflight fire that began as either a short circuit or an electrical arc on the P100 electrical panel, according to Boeing. The manufacturer is widely expected to delay first delivery to ANA, currently slated for the 2011 first quarter, by another six to nine months.

On Nov. 24, Boeing said it was developing "minor design changes" to power distribution panels on the 787 and updates to the systems software that manages and protects power distribution on the airplane. It added that a revised 787 program schedule "is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks."

Bernstein Research has moved its projection for the first delivery of the 787 back six months to August 2011 and forecasts that Boeing will only deliver eight aircraft in 2011 instead of the 29 it had planned. Bernstein believes that Boeing will deliver 61 787s in 2012, 78 in 2013 and 107 in 2014.

CEA placed its Dreamliner order in 2005. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Shanghai Airlines, also has nine 787s on order; it is unclear whether CEA will cancel SAL's 787 orders if it decides to axe its own.

CEA is planning an aggressive expansion of international services starting next year, and had planned to facilitate the growth in part through the addition of the 15 Dreamliners. It ordered 16 Airbus A330s at the end of last year to ensure it could expandeven if the 787s arrived later than expected. The A330s are expected to be delivered from 2011-2014. CEA General Manager Ma Xulun told ATW the carrier will operate the aircraft on routes to Europe.

(Katie Cantle - Air Transport World / ATWOnline News)

Hawaiian Airlines to add six more A330 aircraft

Hawaiian Airlines has placed a firm order for an additional six Airbus A330-200s. The long-range, widebody twinjets will join Hawaiian's fleet of three A330s and an existing backlog of seven A330-200s and six A350 XWBs.

The carrier became an Airbus operator for the first time earlier this year.

Hawaiian's A330-200s seat 294 passengers in a two-class configuration. The six additional aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.

"These additional widebody A330s will give us more flexibility to pursue domestic and international expansion opportunities, replace our existing Boeing 767 fleet and improve our ability to compete profitably in the coming years," says Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines CEO.
(ATI News)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lynden Air Cargo at LAX

Delta Airlines hired Lynden Air Cargo to transport a Boeing 767 engine to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on November 27. Lockheed L-100-30 (L-382G) (c/n 382-4676) N406LC is captured at 14:49 parked on the Delta Airlines maintenace ramp on a lovely Saturday afternoon.
(Photo by Michael Breckshot)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

jetBlue "New York Jets" A320 visits Long Beach

A320-232 (c/n 3622) N746JB "I Love New YorK" taxies towards a Rwy 30 departure.

Rolling for take-off on Rwy 30 bound for San Francisco International Airport (SFO/KSFO) as JBU1440 at 16:01 PST.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving hope everyone has a great day and don't stuff yourself just the Turkey.

Michael Carter
Aero Pacific Flightlines

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pilots plan strike vote at Evergreen International Airlines

Crew members at Evergreen International Airlines Inc., the global air-cargo company based in McMinnville, plan to vote whether to strike after negotiating for six years without a contract.

Pilots and flight engineers are scheduled to start voting Dec. 1 on whether to approve a strike if negotiations fail, said Tawnya Burket, a spokeswoman for the Air Line Pilots Association, International. A strike would be a first at Evergreen, a subsidiary of privately held Evergreen International Aviation Inc. "Pilots are nearing their limit of frustration and dissatisfaction with management, even as they continue to provide exemplary professional service," said a statement released Wednesday by the union. A company representative declined to comment.

Evergreen flies Boeing 747 freighters around the world from hubs at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and California's Travis Air Force Base. Other Evergreen subsidiaries run farms, vineyards and a museum, organize airport logistics and maintain, repair, buy and sell aircraft.

Evergreen Airlines employs about 76 captains and equal numbers of first officers and flight engineers, according to the union. Union leaders declined to disclose salaries.

After losing a contract to a competitor, Evergreen was scheduled in September to finish flying wings and fuselages for Boeing's forthcoming 787 Dreamliner jetliner to final assembly in Everett, Wash. Evergreen used specially modified 747s called Dreamlifters for the high-profile job. Boeing chose New York-based Atlas Air Inc. to take over the job.

Evergreen crew members turned down a tentative pact in August that would have largely renewed a collective bargaining agreement in place since 1999, the union said.

The strike ballot will open Dec. 1 and close Jan. 7. An affirmative vote would authorize declaration of a strike once the pilot group gets permission to do so from the National Mediation Board.

"We certainly want a contract, not a strike," said William Fink, a flight engineer who chairs Evergreen's branch of the pilots union.

(Richard Read - The Oregonian/Business News)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Qantas will return two A380s to the skies this week

Qantas will resume flying Airbus A380 superjumbos this week on a limited basis, giving Airbus and engine maker Rolls-Royce a confidence boost after an engine failure crippled a jet with 466 people aboard this month.

Europe's aviation safety authority EASA also chipped in with some positive news, lightening its compulsory inspection regime for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine, after one such engine partially disintegrated on a Sydney-bound Qantas flight on November 4, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Singapore.

Qantas will put two of its six A380s in the air from Saturday but the others will take "some time" to return, pending engine fixes, and the A380 will stay off routes to Los Angeles, among the its most lucrative, the airline said on Tuesday.

"Out of abundance of caution we've taken 16 engines that we regard as having a bigger likelihood of having a problem on them and as a consequence those engines will be modified...," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told a news conference.

"This is a worldwide fleet issue so it's not just engines Qantas has, it's engines that other operators also have and this is an issue that will have to be resolved for all of the other operators," he added.

Still, the Qantas move to put the A380 back in the sky and the EU's new directive are welcome news for Airbus whose much-delayed EUR€12 billion (USD$16.3 billion) A380 program has struggled to attract airlines in some key markets, including the United States and Japan.

Rolls-Royce concluded the incident was caused by an oil fire but that the issue was confined to a specific component. It has since been pushing to find a fix and replace faulty engines with new turbines.

That conclusion prompted the EU to implement inspection measures, which analysts said were so time consuming they could take planes out of rotation every ten days or so, costing airlines revenue.

However, citing progress in the analysis, the EU will no longer require airlines to conduct extensive ground idle runs and turbine blades checks inside the engines -- a time consuming check.

Qantas replaced two engines on the first aircraft that will return to service, but declined to detail other engine changes, saying these had not been finalized.

The first A380 will be reassigned from the Los Angeles route and will enter service on the Sydney-London route on Saturday.

Singapore Airlines, the biggest operator of Rolls-Royce powered Airbus A380s, has already replaced engines on three aircraft and said it remained in compliance with air safety directives.


Qantas declined to discuss the earnings impact of the A380 disruption but analysts said it would be modest but noticeable.

"Together with the likelihood of ongoing disruptions through mid-December, we have estimated incremental costs of around AUD$20 million (USD$19.8 million)... along with an around 1 percent decline on mainline international capacity for the first half of 2011," Macquarie said in a note.

Brokerage CLSA cut its fiscal 2011 earnings estimate for Qantas, given the airline was running with smaller capacity and therefore missing out on last-minute bookings, which were usually higher-margin fares.

"While the airline is squeezing everyone onto flights that have existing bookings, Qantas is missing the higher yields from selling last-minute seats for rack-rate fares," it said.

Qantas is also keeping the A380 off the high-margin Los Angeles routes -- which require use of maximum certified engine thrust -- as a precaution. These are the longest routes served by an A380 and require the plane to be fully laden with fuel, which in turn requires higher thrust for take off.

Joyce said Qantas was not yet discussing compensation issues with Rolls-Royce.

"Our priority is to get all of the aircraft back in the air... and when the time is appropriate, we will have the dialogue with Rolls-Royce."

On top of the two aircraft returning to service, Qantas will take delivery of two new Airbus A380s before year-end, giving it four superjumbos for the busy Christmas and southern hemisphere summer holiday season.

Joyce last week estimated Rolls-Royce might have to replace 40 engines globally, or about half the engines currently in service on the A380.


Monday, November 22, 2010

In-flight 787 fire reportedly caused by a misplaced tool

The fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner test flight two weeks ago resulted from a short circuit caused by a tool mistakenly left in an electrical equipment cabinet on the plane, according to French newspaper La Tribune.

In an article on Monday, the paper said that while the misplaced tool was the cause of the fire, engineers are trying to find a way to prevent it from happening again. La Tribune attributed the information to "industry sources."

A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment on the accuracy of the report, saying the investigation is ongoing.

"The investigation is not complete. Anything indicating cause or next steps is just speculation at this point," she said.

The French report said contractor Hamilton Sundstrand, a unit of United Technologies that provides electrical components, was likely one of several manufacturers involved.

Hamilton Sundstrand said it was "offering full support of the investigation and assisting Boeing."

Boeing halted test flights on the long-delayed 787 following the November 9 fire, which caused an emergency landing of the plane in Laredo, Texas.

The company has not said whether the fire would affect its plans to make first delivery of the light-weight, carbon-composite plane to the first customer in the first quarter of 2011.

The delivery is already nearly three years behind schedule. Some aviation experts believe there could be another delay of a few months to a few years.

"We think it is probably a positive if the source of the fire can be traced to an errant tool, rather than a system design issue," said Robert Stallard, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a research note.


USAF delays decision on new Tanker

The US Air Force delayed the award of a long-awaited tanker plane contract until early next year and disclosed a document mixup that could fundamentally change the potential USD$50 billion rematch.

It said it had earlier this month inadvertently sent rival bidders Boeing and EADS a limited amount of identical information about each other's offer.

The contract award was to have been made by December 20, after two bungled efforts to replace Boeing KC-135 tankers, which are on average 50 years old. The Air Force has called the refueling plane its highest acquisition priority for nearly a decade.

The selection was being postponed because certain aspects of the competition were taking longer than originally expected, Colonel Les Kodlick, the Air Force director of public affairs said.

He said the delay was unrelated to the "clerical error" that improperly disclosed the confidential information.

But the mistake could open the way to purchasing aircraft from both bidders as a way to avoid a protest by the loser. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has opposed a split buy, partly because of the added expense of using two aircraft types.

EADS, headquartered in Paris and Munich, is battling for an important beachhead in the United States, the world's most lucrative arms market.

The tanker aircraft are used to refuel fighters and other planes in flight, a key to projecting US power worldwide.

Chicago-based Boeing has argued that its tanker is an "all-American" choice compared with the rival Airbus A330 offered by EADS, Airbus's corporate parent.


Kodlick said both companies immediately recognized the clerical error and contacted the Air Force.

"The Air Force has analyzed the information that was inadvertently disclosed and has taken steps to ensure that both competitors have had equal access to the same information," he said.

The effort to pick a winner will continue, Kodlick added. "Currently, we expect the award to occur early next year," he said. He declined to be drawn on which month was now the target date.

Boeing and EADS declined to comment.

Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group aerospace consultancy in Fairfax, Virginia said the data mixup removes any doubt that there would be formal protests by whichever company loses.

"It may have been an honest mistake, but partisans on both sides have used whatever means are at their disposal to claim that they were at a disadvantage," he said.

"Even if this didn't happen, it would still be very difficult to successfully and conclusively award a contract to one side," Aboulafia said. "More than ever, it looks like a dual source buy may be the only way forward."

Scott Hamilton, managing director of Leeham, an aerospace consultancy in Issaquah, Washington, said: "This could force yet a fourth round to remove any question of possible impropriety."

The current competition is in many ways a rerun of 2008, when the Air Force awarded a 179-plane deal to EADS' North American unit teamed with Northrop Grumman, only to have it overturned on appeal from Boeing.

The US Government Accountability Office found the Air Force had made enough mistakes in judging the rival bids to have changed the outcome, a finding that led to the rematch.

An initial effort to lease and then buy 100 modified Boeing 767 tankers collapsed in 2004 amid a scandal that sent the Air Force's former second-ranking arms buyer and Boeing's ex-chief financial officer to prison for corruption.

Former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne suggested this week buying tankers from both teams to rigorously test them and maintain competitive pressure "to bring their very best product to test."


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Small Beechcraft 19A crashes near Orange County Airport

Three people are dead after a single-engine plane crashed Sunday evening in Upper Newport Bay. Newport Beach Fire Division Chief Paul Matheis said the pilot of the 1968 Beechcraft Muskateer 19A (c/n MB-388) N6064N reported having trouble to the tower at John Wayne Airport, potentially due to low fuel. The plane crash landed upside down in shallow water off of Back Bay Drive, north of San Joaquin Hills Road.
A single engine plane rests in the shallow waters of Upper Newport Bay near Back Bay Dr. in Newport Beach after crashing Sunday evening. Authorities report that three people died in the crash. Newport Beach Fire Division Chief Paul Matheis said the pilot of the 1968 Beech 19A reported having trouble to the tower at John Wayne Airport, potentially due to low fuel.

A firefighter at a nearby fire station witnessed the plane's distress around 5:45 p.m., and police and fire officials responded.

The plane is registered to a Palos Verdes Estates resident, but Orange County Coroner Division has not released any names pending identification. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane was flying from an unknown location in Mexico to Torrance.

FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are en route to the crash site to find a probable cause for the accident.

The above map shows the site of the crash.

Operations at John Wayne Orange County Airport were halted for aprroximately 15-20 minutes following the crash.

(Claudia Koerner - The Orange County Register)

Delta Pilot gets locked in cockpit at LAX

A Delta Air Lines aircraft was delayed for several hours at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) because a pilot was locked inside the cockpit and couldn't get out.

According to passengers aboard DAL124 destined for Atlanta (ATL/KATL), the flight was scheduled to leave at 09:00PST, but was delayed nearly 4 hours as mechanics worked on the cockpit door.

The Boeing 767-332 cockpit door was finally repaired and the flight departed at 12:43PST, arriving in Atlanta at 19:36EST.

DAL124 was originally scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at 4:20EST, then continue on to Brussels Airport (BRU/EBBR) but departed a bit late for Europe.

Horizon Air introduces the University of Montana "Grizzlies" Q400

Horizon Air has introduced another college themed plane, De Havilland Canada DHC-8-401Q Dash 8 (c/n 4032) N402QX, which sports The University of Montana "Grizzlies" livery. The aircraft is captured at SEA-TAC Airport (SEA/KSEA) in Seattle, Washington.
(Photo by Joe G. Walker)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Allegiant Announces new Long Beach - Las Vegas Service

Allegiant Airlines, Long Beach Airport's newest tenant, is ditching its Stockton service in favor of Las Vegas.

The new route begins Dec. 16, with the Stockton-Long Beach route ending Dec. 12. Anyone with existing reservations will be offered a full refund, said Allegiant spokeswoman Sabrina LoPiccolo. Allegiant said it's ending the Stockton route due to weak demand. The low-cost carrier became Long Beach's sixth airline in July, when it began routes to four cities with a fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80s.

To celebrate the new route, Allegiant is offering 150 free round-trip tickets during a scavenger hunt at 5p.m. today.

The hunt is open to the public and begins at Legends Sports Bar and Grill, 5236 E. Second St. in Long Beach.
(Photos by Stuart Borden)

Allegiant signed a deal with Long Beach in late 2009 for service to Washington, Colorado Springs, Idaho Falls and Stockton, though representatives say schedules are flexible, depending on demand.

Flights to Las Vegas will depart Long Beach at 8:45 a.m. Mondays, 8:10 p.m. Thursdays, and 7:40 p.m. Fridays and Sundays.

The start-up's presence in Long Beach is expected to push the airport's total annual passenger volumes well above 3 million.

(Kristopher Hanson - Long Beach Press Telegram)

UK / Las Vegas News

Virgin Atlantic will commence new service from Manchester International (Ringway) (MAN/EGCC) to Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) beggining April 3, 2011. Additionally British Airways will be switching from the 777-236/ER to the 747-436 on it Las Vegas flights.

Hello receives first Airbus

Hello of Switzerland has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320-214 (c/n 936) HB-JIZ, ex Philippine Airlines RP-C3229, as the carrier is replaces its MD-90-30 fleet with the type. The carriers first Airbus is captured at Zurich-Kloten (ZRH/LSZH) on November 13.
(Photo by Adrian Arzenheimer)

Photo of the Day / G-1159 (G-III) N550PP

This gorgeous Gulfstream G-1159A (G-III) (c/n 345) N550PP was captured recently in the U.K at Biggin Hill (BQH/EGKB).
(Photo by Terry Wade)

A380 visits Chinese Airbus Factory

Chinese Airbus workers mobbed an A380 superjumbo at the plane maker's north China factory on Friday, ignoring the visiting aircraft's recent publicity woes to revel in China's growth in aviation.

Over 300 staff in "Airbus Tianjin" overalls thronged round the world's largest airliner, parked close to where they are assembling smaller Airbus jets for the Chinese market.

"It is big and powerful," said maintenance worker Ma Yan Ming as he gazed up at the double-decker aircraft.

China is yearning for both those attributes as it spreads its wings in global aviation, challenging Airbus and Boeing for a slice of the plane market worth USD$1.7 trillion over 20 years.

China secured 100 inaugural orders this week for a future 150-seat passenger plane, the COMAC 919, intended as its first viable project to build large commercial passenger jets.

The 500-seat A380 landed in Tianjin to pump up A320 assembly workers after appearing at the Zhuhai Airshow.

By assembling some 10 percent of its A320 planes outside Europe for the first time, Airbus aims to boost sales in China which is expected to double its airline fleet in five years.

The first locally assembled A320 rolled out of the Tianjin hangars in mid-2009.

The China visit was not affected by the grounding of some Rolls-Royce powered A380s following this month's Qantas emergency because the demonstration plane has different engines.


Orange County bound Delta Air Lines flight diverts to Dallas

On Thursday November 18, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800 had to make an emergency landing in Dallas after its windshield cracked in-flight, the airline said on Friday.

The 737-800 was en route to Santa Ana (SNA/KSNA), having departed from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL/KATL) at 11:24 EST with 115 passengers and six crew members aboard operating as DAL1795. The aircraft landed at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW/KDFW) at 12:20 CST without incident with no report of injuries.

Ethiopian Airlines commemces 777 service

Ethiopian Airlines put its first Boeing 777-260/LR (40770/900) ET-ANN into service yesterday when ETH501 departed Washington Dulles (IAD/KIAD) at 01:05 EST bound for Bole Internatioanl Airport (ADD/HAAB) in Addis Ababa.

The jet is the first of five ordered by Ethiopian Airlines, which says it plans to use the 777s on its Washington-Addis Ababa route as well as "on other new long-haul, nonstop routes, such as Beijing." The carrier plans to celebrate its launch of the 777 at Dulles tonight prior to the jet's departure.

Boeing Milestone

Ethiopian's first 777 is the 900th of the type delivered by Boeing, according to The News Tribune of Tacoma. The paper describes the 777 as "the world's most popular twin-engine, long-range jetliner," adding "the 777 delivered to Ethiopian -200/LR version of the twin-aisle aircraft. The 777-200LR is the world's longest range airliner. The -200/LR is capable of flying more than 10,800 miles nonstop."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Boeing's "777 program delivered its 900th aircraft faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in history," according to Boeing. The manufacturer has netted a total of 1,165 777 orders from 61 customers."

(Ben Mutzabaugh - US Today in the Sky)

AirTran pilots agree to new 5 year deal

Pilots at US budget carrier AirTran Airways have overwhelmingly backed a five-year deal on pay and conditions.

The new collective bargaining arrangement at the Orlando-based carrier was voted on by 93 percent of eligible pilots with 86.9 percent voting to accept the deal.

The agreement takes effect from December 1 and increased pay and improved benefits subject to enhancements in productivity.

Bob Fornaro, AirTran's chief executive said: "This is good news for our pilots, our customers and our airline. We have now finalized an agreement that rewards our pilots for their hard work and professionalism while still allowing our airline to maintain its high-quality, low-cost structure and affordable service."

This follows the agreement in September for AirTran to be bought by Southwest Airlines in a deal worth USD$1.4 billion in cash and stock.


TSA relaxes screening rules for pilots

US airline pilots will be allowed to bypass new heightened security screening at US airports, the Transportation Security Administration said on Friday, relenting after a lawsuit and outcry that pilots already undergo rigorous background checks.
Pilots have complained bitterly they should not have to go through new full-body scanners or be subjected to thorough patdowns when they already go through extensive security checks and control the plane.

"Allowing these uniformed pilots, whose identity has been verified, to go through expedited screening at the checkpoint just makes for smart security and an efficient use of our resources," TSA Administrator John Pistole said in a statement.

The TSA has been under fire since introducing more rigorous screening procedures last month.

The extra security, which comes just before a busy travel season over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, followed two plots against the US aviation system in the past year.

A Nigerian man tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear aboard a US flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last Christmas. Last month, two packages stuffed with explosives made it aboard two US cargo flights overseas.

The Yemen-based group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for both plots.

Complaints have flooded in that the new measures are too invasive and violate constitutional and privacy rights.

While Pistole has acknowledged the procedures are more invasive, he and administration officials have said they are necessary to prevent someone from smuggling a bomb or weapon aboard a plane.

Responding to the outcry, the TSA has agreed its screeners will no longer conduct patdowns of children aged 12 or younger.


Pilots will be able to skip the new screening checks if they are employed by a US carrier, are on airline business and in uniform. They will have to show their airline identification and a second form of identification, which will be checked against crew databases, the TSA said.

They could still be subject to random screening, the TSA said. The new rules do not apply to flight attendants.

"Establishing a secure system to positively identify and verify the employment status of uniformed pilots is a common sense, risk-based approach that allows TSA to dedicate more resources to unknown threats," Paul Onorato, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations, said in a statement.

Earlier this week, two veteran pilots filed a lawsuit against the TSA and Department of Homeland Security arguing the patdowns and full-body scans violated protections against unwarranted searches afford by the US Constitution.

"This new patdown is significantly more invasive and intrusive than the former patdown in that, among other things, the officer literally places his hands inside the traveler's pants," the lawsuit said.


A poll released by CBS News earlier this week found 81 percent of respondents believed airports should use the full body scanners.

But some opposed to the new screening have urged fliers to protest body scans on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, in hopes of jamming security lines with people requiring patdowns, which would wreak havoc with the system.

The TSA has defended the full-body scanners as safe despite concerns about radiation and the agency has said privacy safeguards have been instituted to ensure the images cannot be captured or sent.

Passengers now face law enforcement-style patdowns if they refuse the body scanner, or an anomaly is found on the scan or if someone sets off the traditional metal detectors where those machines are used. There are nearly 400 scanners in 68 airports.

Two senior Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Pistole urging that the TSA use patdowns as a secondary check only if an alarm has sounded.

"The new patdown procedures are overly intrusive especially if a legitimate reason for the more probing search has not been established," said Representatives John Mica and Thomas Petri, senior members of the House Transportation Committee.


Qantas A380 fleet could be grounded into December

*** While the Qantas A380 fleet is grounded it should be noted that half the carriers A380 fleet is parked at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX)...........Michael***

Qantas Airways likely faces several more weeks before its fleet of six Airbus A380s can return to service, a source with direct knowledge said on Friday, threatening to squeeze its capacity as it heads into the busy Christmas and summer travel season.

The delay also indicates Rolls-Royce will need more time than Qantas expected to resolve the engine issue, which led to a November 4 oil fire and explosion on a Qantas jet with 466 people on board shortly after it departed Singapore for Sydney.

Qantas immediately grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s pending an investigation, but has no deadline on the process after several initial indicative deadlines by the airline passed.

"It's a very complex process and it's still in the early stages," said the source.

"I expect Rolls-Royce and Qantas are still several weeks away from putting together an action plan and its documentation," said the source, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to discuss the issue.

Rolls-Royce and Qantas shares have suffered since the accident, both losing more than 7 percent since November 3.

Rolls-Royce, which has said little publicly about the investigation, last week announced that the failure was confined to a specific component in the turbine area and it would replace the relevant module according to an agreed program.

A Qantas spokeswoman said the airline had no schedule to put the A380 back in service and it remained engaged with Rolls-Royce to resolve the issue.

Analysts said the earnings impact on Qantas -- which lost about 4-5 percent of its seat capacity with the A380 grounding -- has been muted so far with a cost of around AUD$1 million per day.

Disruption to flights caused by volcanic ash over Europe earlier this year cost AUD$46 million through lost revenue and extra costs, Qantas has said.

Still, analysts said costs will escalate quickly if Qantas cannot get the A380s back in the air for the busy southern hemisphere summer travel period which starts next month.

Australia's aviation safety authority ATSB also declined to discuss the investigation.

"The ATSB welcomes pro-active safety initiatives in response to the occurrence, but any decision on engine replacement is one for respective airline operators, manufacturers and airworthiness authorities," it said in a statement.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority will have to make a final approval before Qantas is able to resume flying the A380.

On Thursday, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the world's fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft may need to replace around 40 Rolls-Royce engines or about half of the total in service, to ensure safety.


Southwest Airlines flight attendants approve addition of Boeing 737-800 to fleet

Southwest Airlines flight attendants have approved changes to their agreement that will pave the way for larger-capacity Boeing 737 aircraft to be added, the carrier said on Thursday.

Southwest, which is seeking to acquire low-cost rival AirTran to expand in US East Coast markets, said the decision to introduce the 737-800 into its fleet was still not final.

The Dallas-based low-fare airline said it was still waiting for a ratification vote from the full membership of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) on the issue and added it was evaluating network and configuration options.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556 said nearly 85 percent of Southwest flight attendants approved modifications to their collective bargaining agreement that will allow Southwest to introduce the new jet.

In a statement, the TWU said the new pact includes the potential for pay increases tied to Southwest's financial performance and a one-year contract extension.

The Boeing 737-800 seats 189 passengers in a one-class configuration. Southwest currently operates smaller-capacity models of the Boeing 737. Use of the bigger aircraft would allow the carrier to transport more passengers in gate-restricted and higher-growth markets.


Delta Air Lines ramp and cargo employees reject union representation

Baggage handlers at Delta Air Lines have rejected representation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the carrier said on Thursday.

The voting result for ramp and cargo workers marked the second major victory for Delta in union-organizing drives this month. A majority of flight attendants opted not to unionize in balloting that ended on November 3.

The National Mediation Board, which conducted the elections, said 5,569 fleet service workers at Delta voted for no representation, while 5,024 voted for representation by a union, including 4,909 votes for the machinists union. There were 10,593 valid votes counted of the 13,104 eligible voters, the federal agency reported.

Votes among three big worker groups were set at Delta to determine whether thousands at the carrier would be represented by unions following the 2008 acquisition of Northwest Airlines.

Delta's customer service agents, a group that numbers about 16,000, are currently voting to decide whether the machinists union will represent them. The results of a union election for stock clerks, a group of about 700 workers, is due to be announced next week.

In a statement, the machinists union said it was investigating charges of "widespread illegal election interference" by Delta. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA also alleged Delta managers interfered in the vote that was held for the carrier's 20,000 flight attendants.

Delta said in a statement on Thursday it believes the machinists union has no basis for filing interference claims, but added it would not be able to start aligning pay, benefits and work rules for all ramp and cargo workers until a final resolution.

"Whether voting under old rules or an entirely new voting process, Delta people have decided to preserve the Delta culture," the carrier said in a statement.

Delta, the world's second-biggest airline behind United Continental, was largely non-union before it purchased Northwest Airlines and incorporated thousands of union workers. The carrier's pilots have long been represented by the Air Line Pilots Association.

A landmark change in federal law in 2010 that allows outcomes to be based solely on votes cast was believed to enhance the odds for unions to prevail in organizing elections at US airlines.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

ATL-98 Carvair in South Africa

This was forwarded to me by a close friend and what an awesome video it is, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do............Cheers Michael

Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX/KPHX) Part 3 Boeing 737NG

As with the Boeing 737 "Classic" Southwest Airlines is the largest operator of the Boeing 737NG "Next Generation" with it's large fleet of 737-700's with 737-800's soon to be added. Several other carriers operate the 737NG into Phoenix a few examples are shown below.

American Airlines 737-823 (29567/3004) N804NN departs from Rwy 8 bound for Dallas.

Continental Airlines 737-824 (28802/374) N14237 achieves a positive climb rate as the gear comes up.

AirTran Airways 737-7BD (34479/1874) N283AT climbs from Rwy 8. The AirTran 737NG fleet will become a part of the Southwest Airlines fleet in the near future.

Alaska Airlines operates both the -700 and -800 at Phoenix. In the above photo, 737-890 (35692/2859) N525AS climbs into the gorgeous blue skies of Arizona.
Westjet also operates -700 and -800 aircraft into Phoenix and captured departing Rwy 8 is 737-8CT (34152/1714) C-GJWS as it climbs from Rwy 8 following a long takeoff roll.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX/KPHX) Part 2 Boeing 737-300

Southwest Airlines is by far the largest operator of the Boeing 737-300 "classic" at Phoenix but US Airways does still have several of the type in service.
Southwest Airlines 737-3H4 (27929/2744) N609SW "California One" was delivered to the carrier on August 4, 1995.

Southwest Airlines has been retro fitting the "classic" 737-300 fleet with the Avitation Partners blended winglet package. In the above photo 737-3H4 (25250/2103) N355SW is captured climbing from Rwy 8 sporting the winglet package.

US Airways 737-3G7 (23766/1417) N154AW was delivered new to America West Airlines on July 24, 1987.

US Airways 737-3G7 (23778/1455) is captured taxiing towards a Rwy 8 departure on a lovely afternoon. The aircraft was delivered new to America West Airlines on October 15, 1987.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX/KPHX) Part 1 Boeing 757-200

Took a trip to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX/KPHX) this week to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and shoot some airliner photos............enjoy!

Continental Airlines 757-224 (27300/650) N13110 climbs from Rwy 8.

"Positive climb, gear up!" as Delta Airlines 757-232 (29728/845) N626DL departs Phoenix on a gorgeous day.

This ex-ATA aircraft (N527AT) now operated by U.S. Airways as N204UW (30886/945) departs Phoenix on a lovely afternoon.

US Airways 757-2B7 (27244/607) N936UW climbs from Rwy 8 during east traffic operations.

US Airways 757-2G7 (24233/244) N908AW used to sport the Arizona Cardinals livery with America West Airlines.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Preferred C-17A Base Announced

Air Force officials announced their preferred basing decision for eight C-17 Globemaster IIIs Nov. 16.

The preferred base, approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force, is Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y. Along with the C-17 basing action, 12 C-5 Galaxies assigned to Stewart ANGB will be retired.

"The Air Force has completed its initial analysis of a full range of alternatives and determined that basing the C-17 at Stewart is the preferred alternative," said Kathleen Ferguson, the Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations. "This is not a final basing decision; it is the alternative we believe will fulfill our mission responsibilities while considering economic, environmental, and technical factors."

Once the environmental impact analysis process is complete, a final decision will be made.

(USAF News)

A380 engine replacement could go as high as 40 engines

About 40 Rolls-Royce engines used in the world's fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft may need to be replaced after one such engine partly disintegrated mid-flight this month, Australia's Qantas said.

That would represent about half of the Rolls-Royce engines currently in service on A380 aircraft, the world's largest passenger plane.

"We've been talking to Airbus and Rolls-Royce and we understand that the number (of engines to be replaced) is around 40," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said on Thursday.

A source familiar with the process said that Singapore Airlines, which operates 11 of the A380s, could be forced to change around two dozen, Qantas may have to swap around a dozen while Lufthansa, which operates the newest A380s, will have to change just one or two.

Emirates, the biggest operator of the A380 globally, is not affected as it uses a different type of engine.

A Qantas A380 with 466 people on board made an emergency landing in Singapore on November 4, after one of its Rolls-Royce engines partly disintegrated in mid-flight after an oil fire.

Since then, airlines have sought to replace their existing engines with newer versions.

Rolls-Royce said last week that the problem with the Trent 900 engine is confined to a specific component in the turbine area. Aviation experts say the fault develops over time, so the new engines should not present any safety issues and will give Rolls-Royce time to come up with a permanent solution.

Singapore Airlines would not confirm any future engine change and said it was acting in compliance with a European emergency directive.

"We remain in very close contact with Rolls-Royce and Airbus, and all checks that we have carried out to date have been in full compliance with their recommendations and instructions," the airline said.


Qantas's six A380s have been grounded since the incident, while Singapore Air has also been forced to cancel several flights in order to replace some older engines.

Analysts said the earnings impact on Qantas -- which lost about 4-5 percent of its seat capacity with the A380 grounding -- has been muted so far with a cost of around AUD$1 million per day. Disruption to flights caused by volcanic ash over Europe earlier this year cost AUD$46 million through lost revenue and extra costs, Qantas has said.

Still, analysts said costs will escalate quickly if Qantas cannot get the A380s back in the air for the busy southern hemisphere summer travel period which starts next month.

Joyce confirmed Qantas wanted Airbus to replace some of the airline's existing Rolls-Royce engines with new engines from aircraft still in production on the Airbus assembly line.

However, he said any change would not impact the delivery of two more A380s due in December as the swap would be with aircraft in earlier stages of production.

Joyce said he could not predict when the airline's A380s would return to service and declined to confirm an Australian newspaper report on Thursday that they are likely to remain grounded until at least early December.


A New Way to Solve Airport Screening Concerns

This was forwarded to me by a good friend and is funny as heck but in reality it could work. My apologies if this is old, it's the first time I had seen it..................enjoy!

Here's the solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the airports:

Have a booth that you can step into that will not x-ray you, but will
detonate any explosive device you may have on your body.

It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of this crap about racial profiling and this method would eliminate a long and expensive trial.
Justice would be quick and swift.

This is so simple that it's brilliant. I can see it now. You're in the
airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion.

Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system, "Attention standby passengers. We now have a seat available on flight number 4665....followed by "Maintenance needed, Shop-Vac is required in booth number 4 for clean-up."

I love it when a plan comes together!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interesting visitor at Orange County

Monday November 15, 2010, we had this interesting visitor depart Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA). De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q (c/n 4235) N721AL which had been parked on the Signature ramp departed for an unknown destination at 08:45.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Royal Air Force takes delivery of 7th C-17A

Parked on "Juliet" getting ready for departure.

Holding short of Rwy 30 just prior to departure.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) took delivery of it's 7th C-17A (F-227/UK7) ZZ177 today. The aircraft departed Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) at 10:10 this morning. Following it's takeoff on Rwy 30, the aircraft made a left turn and entered a downwind headed back to Rwy 30 to perform a traditional delivery fly-by waving goodbye to the Douglas (Boeing) employees who built her.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Qantas A380 engine failure - Not a minor issue in the least

(Photo HWT Image Library)

A QANTAS A380 was a flying wreck after an engine exploded last week, shooting metal through fuel tanks.

Last week's mid-air emergency off Singapore also badly damaged a wing, which may have to be replaced.

The Herald Sun can reveal the full list of damage as the big jet was nursed back to Singapore on three engines.

When it touched down the fuel systems were failing, the forward spar supporting the left wing had been holed and one of the jet's two hydraulic systems was knocked out and totally drained of fluid.

Sources compared the A380 to the Memphis Belle, the World War II bomber that struggled back to England from Germany on its final mission and became the subject of an award-winning 1990s Hollywood movie by the same name.

Richard Woodward, vice-president of the International Air Pilots' Federation, told the Herald Sun yesterday that the lesson from the near disaster was the value of an experienced flight crew.

"There was a wealth of experience in the cockpit, even the lowest ranked officer on board had thousands of hours of experience in his former role as a military flying instructor," said Capt Woodward, himself an A380 pilot on leave from Qantas.

As another senior pilot said: "It is bad enough for an engine to explode in mid-air let alone lose so many secondary systems".

Investigators found shrapnel damage to the flaps, a huge hole in the upper surface of the left wing and a generator that was not working.

The crew could not shutdown the No. 1 engine using the fire switch.

As a result the engine's fire extinguishers could not be deployed.

Captain Richard de Crespigny, first officer Matt Hicks and Mark Johnson, the second officer, could not jettison the volume of fuel required for a safe emergency landing.

With more than 80 tonnes of highly volatile jet kerosene still in the 11 tanks -- two of which were leaking -- they made an overweight and high speed approach to Changi Airport.

Without full hydraulics the spoilers -- the hinged flaps on the front of the wings -- could not be fully deployed to slow the jet.

The crew also had to rely on gravity for the undercarriage to drop and lock into place.

On landing they had no anti-skid brakes and could rely on only one engine for reverse thrust -- needing all of the 4km runway at Changi to bring the jet to a stop.

The three crew have been interviewed by Australian investigators and cleared to return to duties.

Industry sources said the damage will almost certainly put the airline's flagship jet -- the Nancy Bird-Walton -- out of service for months.

Investigators found that an oil fire may have caused the engine to explode.

Details of the stricken jet's problems were revealed yesterday in an emergency directive by the European Aviation Safety Authority.

The authority made it mandatory for airlines with the now suspect Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines to make checks for excess oil.

If not detected, excess oil can cause a fire and ultimately result in "uncontained" engine failure, with potential damage to the aeroplane and to people or property on the ground.

Qantas made it clear it will keep its six superjumbos grounded indefinitely and has rearranged flight schedules using substitute aircraft.

"The specific checks mandated by the directive were already being carried out by Qantas in conjunction with Rolls-Royce," it said.

"Qantas's A380 aircraft will not return to service until there is complete certainty that the fleet can operate safely."


Damage to the A380

1 Massive fuel leak in the left mid fuel tank (there are 11 tanks, including in the horizontal stabiliser on the tail)

2 Massive fuel leak in the left inner fuel tank

3 A hole on the flap fairing big enough to climb through

4 The aft gallery in the fuel system failed, preventing many fuel transfer functions

5 Problem jettisoning fuel

6 Massive hole in the upper wing surface

7 Partial failure of leading edge slats

8 Partial failure of speed brakes/ground spoilers

9 Shrapnel damage to the flaps

10 Total loss of all hydraulic fluid in one of the jet's two systems

11 Manual extension of landing gear

12 Loss of one generator and associated systems

13 Loss of brake anti-skid system

14 No.1 engine could not be shut down in the usual way after landing because of major damage to systems

15 No.1 engine could not be shut down using the fire switch, which meant fire extinguishers would not work on that engine

16 ECAM (electronic centralised aircraft monitor) warnings about the major fuel imbalance (because of fuel leaks on left side) could not be fixed with cross-feeding

17 Fuel was trapped in the trim tank (in the tail)creating a balance problem for landing

18 Left wing forward spar penetrated by debris

(Geoff Easdown - Heraldsun.com.au)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Qatar C-17A A7-MAB comes home to Long Beach

Qatar Emiri Air Force C-17A (F-209/QA-2) A7-MAB arrived back at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) this afternoon arriving at 12:32.
(Photos by Michael Carter)
As many of you know I am a Gulfstream fanatic and while in Las Vegas last week I scored a new airframe (G-III) and a new international registration on a G550.

G-III (c/n 396) N175BG just seconds before touching down on Rwy 25L.

G550 (c/n 5182) XA-CHR on short final to Rwy 25L and sporting a very stylish livery.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Midwest (Republic Airlines) at Long Beach

It sure can be confusing for the average traveler when flying on Frontier out of Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB). You buy a ticket on Frontier to fly to Denver but when you walk out to board your plane you get on a small aircraft that says Midwest.

Embraer ERJ-190-100IGW 190AR (c/n 19000173) N167HQ taxies to Rwy 30 for an early morning departure to Denver on November 9, 2010.

Embraer ERJ-190-100LR 190LR (c/n 19000255) N163HQ climbs from Rwy 12 during east traffic operations on November 11, 2010.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Boeing update on 787 fire

Boeing 787-881 (40691/2) (ZA002) N787EX is the aircraft involved in the in-flight fire this past Monday. It is seen arriving back at Seattle Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI) on May 6, 2010.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

This is Boeings Thursday update regarding the 787 fire Monday evening during a test flight:

"Boeing continues to investigate Monday's incident on ZA002. We have determined that a failure in the P100 panel led to a fire involving an insulation blanket. The insulation self-extinguished once the fault in the P100 panel cleared. The P100 panel on ZA002 has been removed and a replacement unit is being shipped to Laredo. The insulation material near the unit also has been removed.
"Damage to the ZA002 P100 panel is significant. Initial inspections, however, do not show extensive damage to the surrounding structure or other systems. We have not completed our inspections of that area of the airplane.

"The P100 panel is one of several power panels in the aft electronics bay. It receives power from the left engine and distributes it to an array of systems. In the event of a failure of the P100 panel, backup power sources - including power from the right engine, the Ram Air Turbine, the auxiliary power unit or the battery - are designed to automatically engage to ensure that those systems needed for continued safe operation of the airplane are powered. The backup systems engaged during the incident and the crew retained positive control of the airplane at all times and had the information it needed to perform a safe landing.

"Molten metal has been observed near the P100 panel, which is not unexpected in the presence of high heat. The presence of this material does not reveal anything meaningful to the investigation.

"Inspection of the surrounding area will take several days and is ongoing. It is too early to determine if there is significant damage to any structure or adjacent systems.

"As part of our investigation, we will conduct a detailed inspection of the panel and insulation material to determine if they enhance our understanding of the incident.

"We continue to evaluate data to understand this incident. At the same time, we are working through a repair plan. In addition, we are determining the appropriate steps required to return the rest of the flight test fleet to flying status.

"Boeing will continue to provide updates as new understanding is gained."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Photo of the Day / FedEx MD-10-10(F)

FedEx MD-10-10(F) (47830/323) N571FE "Ella" is captured arriving in Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) on November 3, 2010. The aircraft was originally delivered to American Airlines on June 6, 1980 as DC-10-10 N135AA. Following twenty years of service with AA, the aircraft was leased to Hawaiian Airlines on March 16, 2000. The DC-10 operated with Hawaiian Airlines until January 23, 2002 when it was WFU and stored at Mojave (MHV/KMHV). FedEx bought the aircraft on March 19, 2003 then had it converted to an MD-10-10(F) in late 2005.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Boeing B-29A "FIFI" arrives in Long Beach

Boeing B-29A "Superfortress" (c/n 11547) N529B / 44-62070 "FIFI" of the Comemorative Air Force arrived in Long Beach (LGB/KLGB) today November 11, 2010 to take part in the AOPA convention activities this weekend. It was a delight to see and hear this beauty arrive on Rwy 30 and even more thrilling is the fact that it is "Veterans Day" in the U.S. today.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) "Heavies"

Philippines A340-313X (c/n 176) RP-C3431 touches down on Rwy 25L.

Thomas Cook A330-243 (c/n 301) G-OMYT stands on her "Tip-Toes" as she arrives in Las Vegas on a lovely afternoon.

Condor (Thomas Cook) smokes the mains on Rwy 25L as she arrives on a simply gorgeous afternoon.

Korean Air 777-2B5/ER (34214/684) HL7764 arrives in Las Vegas touching down on Rwy 25L.

Virgin Atlantic 747-443 (30885/1268) G-VROS "English Rose" arrives in Las Vegas having departed London-Gatwick ( LGW/EGKK) 9 hours earlier.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

United Commemorates Oprah Winfrey's 25th and final season

United Airlines unveiled newly painted 757-222 (25276/396) N542UA at O’Hare International Airport commemorating the 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

The Boeing 757-222’s tail is blue with Winfrey’s signature, with the words “The Farewell Season” painted on the fuselage.

On Thursday’s inaugural flight to Los Angeles passengers, which included Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanual, heard a message from Winfrey before boarding the flight and received a monogrammed “Oprah 25” fleece blanket. One lucky passenger also will win a trip around the world.

“As Chicago’s hometown airline, United is proud to celebrate ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’s’ farewell season with our customers, employees and ‘Oprah’ show fans,” Mark Bergsrud, United’s senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “This unique plane represents the global reach of two great Chicago icons.”

United is the second airline to capitalize on the hype surrounding Winfrey’s final season. In the first episode in September, Winfrey and Qantas announced that they will fly the entire audience — about 300 people — to Australia in December.

The “Oprah” plane will be used on United’s domestic routes through May. In conjunction with the plane, United launched a sweepstakes that will give 1 million frequent-flyer miles to a customer each month through May.

(Press Release and Photo - United Airlines)

Canadian Royal Air Force visits Las Vegas

CF-188B (CF-18B) (c/n 0445/B080) "Hornet" 188923 touches down on Rwy 25L.
CF-188A (CF-18A) (c/n 0658/A539) "Hornet" 188796 arrives in Las Vegas sporting colorful tail art.
CF-188A (CF-18A) (c/n 0237/A188) "Hornet" 188750 arrives in Las Vegas on a goreous afternoon.
(Photos by Michael Carter)

Hawaiian Airlines action in Las Vegas

A330-243 (c/n 1104) N380HA "Makaki'i climbs from Rwy 1L past the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

A330-243 (c/n 1114) N381HA "Hokule" departs Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) on a simply gorgeous November morning in the desert.

767-33A/ER (28139/857) N582HA "Ake Ake" smokes the mains on Rwy 25L as it arrives from Honolulu (HNL/PHNL).
(Photos by Michael Carter)