Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Sunday, June 27, 2021
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told Boeing Co that its planned 777X is not yet ready for a significant certification step and warned it "realistically" will not certify the airplane until mid- to late 2023.
The FAA in a May 13 letter to Boeing seen by Reuters cited a number of issues in rejecting a request by the manufacturer to issue a Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) Readiness. "The aircraft is not yet ready for TIA," the FAA wrote.
The letter cites numerous concerns about lack of data and the lack of a preliminary safety assessment for the FAA to review.
“The FAA will not approve any aircraft unless it meets our safety and certification standards," the agency said in a statement Sunday.
Boeing has been developing the wide-body jet, a new version of its popular 777 aircraft, since 2013 and at one expected to release it for airline use in 2020.
The 777X will be the first major jet to be certified since software flaws in two Boeing 737 MAX planes caused fatal crashes and prompted accusations of cozy relations between the company and FAA.
European regulators have said in particular that they will subject the 777X to extra scrutiny after the fatal crashes prompted the 20-month grounding of the 737 MAX.
The MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people within five months in 2018 and 2019.
The letter cites a number of issues that still need to be addressed, including an "upcoming major software update with the software load of flight control... The FAA understands that there are many significant problem report items that will be addressed by that version of the software load, including the software fix for the un-commanded pitch event that occurred on December 8, 2020."
The agency added that "software load dates are continuously sliding and the FAA needs better visibility into the causes of the delays."
It said that "after the un-commanded pitch event, the FAA is yet to see how Boeing fully implements all the corrective actions identified by the root cause investigation."
The agency said it wants Boeing to "implement a robust process so similar escape will not happen in the future and this is not a systemic issue."
The letter was reported earlier by the Seattle Times.
Boeing did not immediately comment.
(David Shepardson - Reuters)
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
On short final to Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as "WL338" arriving from El Paso International Airport (ELP/KELP) on April 29, 2021 sporting the bare metal livery of the aircraft's previous operator, American Airlines.
Delivered to American Airlines on August 24, 1992 as N76201.
WFU and STD at Roswell (ROW/KROW) New Mexico 7/5/2015 - 2/12/2018.
Ferried (ELP/KELP) - (MIA/KMIA) February 12, 2018 on delivery to World Atlantic Airlines.
Re-registered as N801WA and named "Luis Oliva" on August 31, 2018, currently named "Emily."
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
"GLF62" taxies to Rwy 30 for an early morning departure.
When delivered the aircraft will join the Conoco Phillips fleet.
Rolls for takeoff on a simply gorgeous SoCal Morning.
(Photos by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Sadly this is the last brand new Gulfstream to depart from Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as Gulfstream Aerospace has made the decision to close down its West Coast Completion Center due to the unfavorable business climate here in California. The Gulfstream Service Center will remain open until August or September of this year then will also close moving it's operations to Van Nuys Airport (VNY/KVNY).
Gulfstream joins a long list of companies that have left the airport over the years. Cessna was the first moving its service center to Arizona, McDonnell Douglas / Boeing, jetBlue Airways, Federal Express (FedEx) and Toyota AirFlite FBO.
Michael Carter - Editor: Aero Pacific Flightlines)
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Arrives at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) as "UA2569" on April 6, 2021.
Captured later rolling for takeoff on Rwy 30 as "UA2511" bound for Tampa International Airport (TPA/KTPA) with the California Angels on board.
(Photos by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
New U.S. budget airline Avelo seeks niche on West Coast
Avelo Airlines, an ultra-low-cost carrier created by a former United Airlines executive, made its debut on Thursday with plans for service between secondary airports on the U.S. West Coast and one-way fares starting at $19.
Backed by $125 million in private equity, Avelo will begin operations from its first base at Hollywood Burbank Airport just outside Los Angeles, with flights starting April 28.
Although travel demand has dropped during the pandemic, the downturn has opened opportunities including gate capacity at Burbank and cheaper aircraft as large carriers scaled back operations globally, Avelo's founder and chief executive, Andrew Levy, told Reuters."There's market opportunities that would have been harder for us to tackle a year ago," said Levy, the co-founder and former president of low-cost carrier Allegiant Airlines and chief financial officer of United Airlines.
Avelo will begin with 11 non-stop routes from Burbank and three Boeing 737-800 planes with 189 seats and one-way fares starting at $19. It expects to have at least six airplanes and around 400 employees by the end of year, Levy said.
U.S. airlines executives have recently pointed to large pent-up travel demand as the economy reopens and more Americans receive COVID-19 vaccinations, a desire Levy hopes to tap into with low fares.
"Demand is coming back quickly. It's still nowhere near what it used to be so I think in the short term prices will be really low, but we're built for that," he said.
Another U.S. start-up, Breeze Airways based in Salt Lake City and backed by aviation veteran David Neeleman, is preparing to begin low-cost flights on routes it says have been abandoned by larger carriers.
(Tracy Rucinski - Reuters)
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the co-pilot’s poor training and inability to handle pressure contributed to the crash of Atlas Air Flight 3591. The co-pilot withheld parts of his work history from the air carrier to conceal his troubles at other airlines and was a “train wreck” in training, board members and investigators said during a Tuesday hearing on the crash.
The Boeing 767 was carrying cargo from Miami for Amazon.com and the U.S. Postal Service when it went from a slight climb to a high-speed dive and disintegrated upon slamming into a shallow bay east of Houston. All three people on board, including a pilot hopping a ride in the jump seat, were killed.
The board said Tuesday that the plane was being flown by Conrad Aska, the 44-year-old first officer. Investigators believe that as the plane passed through mild turbulence Aska unintentionally hit a switch that put the plane into a “go-around,” an acceleration maneuver normally done only to abort a landing.
As the plane tipped slightly higher, Aska became disoriented and wrongly believed the plane was about to stall, or lose the ability to stay aloft. He pushed the nose of the plane down, triggering the nosedive, investigators said during the hearing.
The board found that the captain, 60-year-old Ricky Blakely, had failed to intervene to stop the crash.
The final seconds of the flight were captured on grainy footage from a security camera operated by the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. The plane dropped more than 3000 feet (914 meters) in 30 seconds before smashing into Trinity Bay, 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the intended destination of George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The board also highlighted past problems in Aska's training, including that he hid his record from Atlas, and criticized the Federal Aviation Administration for being slow to set up a database of pilot records.
“The first officer's training record was bluntly, well, terrible,” said NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg.
The co-pilot's training record showed he acted “impulsively” during training exercises at several previous airlines and had a history of failed check rides, in which an instructor or supervisor watches.
“He had an inability to remain calm during stressful situations," investigator David Lawrence, a pilot, said.
The investigation determined that Aska had hid his record from Atlas by not disclosing he had spent time at two regional airlines. In its findings of probable cause, the safety board faulted the FAA for not fully enacting changes in pilot record reporting that Congress mandated years ago.
“The FAA has dragged their feet on implementing a sufficiently robust pilot records database,” said Chairman Robert Sumwalt.
An FAA spokesperson said there is a voluntary version of this database. The agency expects to publish a rule that would require air carries share pilot records in January 2021 and will complete the database after that, she said.
Atlas Air’s president and CEO, John Dietrich, said his company has improved its hiring, training and pilot review procedures since the crash. He also backed the NTSB’s call to make pilot records more accessible.
“Of critical importance is the need for an improved federal pilot records database to provide airlines with full visibility of pilot history in the hiring process,” Dietrich said in a statement.
Saturday, June 27, 2020
United States Marine Corps (USMC) McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C "Hornet" (1127/C302) 164693 / 03 VMFA-232 "Red Devils"
United States Marine Corps (USMC) McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D "Hornet" (1147/D105) 164707 / 25 VMFA-232 "Red Devils"
It’s always hard to say goodbye, especially when you know that it is for good. However, today (June 26, 2020) Air France says goodbye as it operates its final Airbus A380 flight on an aircraft less than ten years old. The French flag carrier becomes the first airline to scrap the gentle giant altogether.
October 30th, 2009, was a ‘giant’ day for Air France. The French flag carrier took delivery of its first Airbus A380. The airline went on to take 10 of the super-jumbos. However, after today, the A380 will no longer fly for Air France.
Air France picked a fitting flight number for its final Airbus A380 flight. Flight "AF380" was explicitly scheduled by the airline to say goodbye to the type. Much like an aircraft’s delivery flight, this exceptional trip was strictly by invite only. But how did you get an invite?
The flight was open to 500 members of staff, chosen from the pool of crew that had worked on the Airbus A380 during its time in service. After departure at 15:57, the aircraft climbed to 21,000 feet and flew roughly South from Paris until it reached Montpellier.
Unfortunately, the aircraft didn’t get to fly over its Toulouse birthplace. However, it did get to rendezvous with an undelivered Airbus A350 in Air France colors over the Gulf of Lyon. At the time of writing, the aircraft was flying back towards Paris for its final landing to mark the end of an era.
Why is Air France bidding au revoir?
The retirement of Air France’s A380 aircraft didn’t come as a huge surprise. The airline had earmarked the entire fleet to be retired over the next couple of years. Indeed, it had already retired its first A380 before the pandemic.
While it is unfortunate that aircraft under ten years old are being retired, it makes sense for Air France from a financial point of view. According to the airline, retiring the A380 fleet immediately will set them back by a total of €500 million ($550 million). The airline will book this expense in the second quarter as a non-current cost/expense.
However, the alternate doesn’t make sense for the French flag carrier. Air France had earmarked the aircraft for retirement over the next couple of years. Meanwhile, IATA doesn’t believe that demand will return until 2023/24. This means that there is little to no chance these A380s will fly again before they were retired anyway. There is no point in paying to maintain something that won’t fly again.
While sad, this won’t be the end of the Airbus A380. Indeed, the largest operator, Emirates, said that the giant would return to the skies in its colors in mid-July.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Featuring three living areas with Nuage seating and powered by a pair of 15,125-pound-thrust Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines, the 5500 has a range of 5,900 nm—200 nm more than originally planned. “This spacious and efficient aircraft is the ultimate business tool, with the range and access to safely take our customers where they need to be,” said Bombardier Aviation president David Coleal.
Coleal noted that the 5500, along with the earlier 5000 variant, breaks from tradition with interior completions done at Bombardier’s Wichita site, where the Montreal-based company assembles Learjets, operates service and flight-test centers, and performs specialized aircraft work.
With a top speed of Mach 0.90, the 5500 accommodates up to 16 passengers. It also has Bombardier’s Vision flight deck, Ka-band connectivity, and an air purification system with an advanced HEPA filter.