Archive for 2007
It is a little late for ‘Merry Christmas” but, wherever you are I hope you have had a peaceful time of the silly season.
The last month has been a tad on the busy side, we have moved just a little deeper into the arms of Somerset, our beautiful County. The countryside surrounding us is laced with fantastic walks, undulating countryside and flown over extensively by our brave lads from the Royal Navy in their strange clattering devices. Helicopters, as we all know don’t actually fly but remain airborne through faith and a pact with the devil.
From Airbus internal sources.
Update on industrial accident at Saint-Martin Site By Internal communications / Source: GDCM Following the accident of the A340-600, which occurred on Thursday 15 November in Toulouse Saint-Martin, one Airbus employee and an Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies employee are recovering in hospital. They are being visited regularly by management representatives from the flight test team and Airbus is providing all necessary support to their families.
The investigation is being carried out by the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA). Airbus must comply with the international rules applicable in this case and with the requirements of the technical and legal investigation. Under these rules Airbus is not in a position to make any comment nor to provide any information concerning the accident.
For your information, find below an extract of the statement issued by the BEA this afternoon:
“The aircraft was at stop. The wheels were not blocked by ground chocks. A last engine run with brakes applied, was carried out. First validated information that was provided by the flight recorders show that the four engines were running at high thrust for about three minutes. The aircraft started moving and hit the anti-noise barrier 13 seconds later. At this stage, there is no evidence of any technical malfunction at systems and engine level.”
Similar information is being issued by Airbus to its operators through the formal Airbus Information Telex (AIT) procedure.
Speculation will continue in the media, especially in Toulouse and we would like to remind you that Airbus employees should not contribute to any speculation.
The incident is old news now though I wonder if they have managed to clear up the mess yet. I guess the inquiry will reveal the causes, but here is a clear picture of the effects. Someone is probably for the high jump that (thank goodness) the aircraft didn’t quite manage.
The poor bird looks like an eviscerated fish doesn’t it.
This subject is hardly what you might expect to see covered on a blog of this sort, but I have just finished a fascinating book which moved me to write a piece about it. The book also contains a little about the role of the helicopter in Iraq and the way they supplement IOD operations, so perhaps it fits here in a strange, indirect way.
From our roving reporter!
It was last night at 22:40 and seems to be caused by the nose landing gear being broken on landing. Apparently there were also dogs at the runway and it is under investigation if they caused the accident.
No injuries reported
Some aircraft continue long after conventional economics would consign them to history. To survive they need an X factor, that ‘nothing else does the job’ reason to stay in the air. The DC 3 qualifies, and so it seems does the Mars Flying Boat.
I was sent this email by a friend, I don’t know the original sender but hope that he won’t mind me passing on the content to you. To be frank, to do less would be to deprive us all of some magical images, wouldn’t it?
Look at the precision with which this fine aviator placed his craft through the undershoot. Magnificent! ‘Graphs or tables for the performance calcs? Yea, right….
Mars landing at Lake Elsinore, California
These photos were fwd’d. to me without any accompanying text, other than to state that they were recent. Coulson was likely under contract to fight the fires in S. CA and it looks like Lake Elsinore was a convenient water pickup site. The daring pilot of this magnificent relic apparently needed every bit of the length of the lake to effect a successful water pickup and still get off the lake. There is zero wind, too. I especially like the last photo where the pilot seems to be picking a path through the salt cedar bushes….. It must be an expensive chore, keeping those Wright Duplex Cyclones clanking away!
Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, LH Cargo and German wings need about 420 additional pilots next year to meet growing demand, including 315 pilots for the passenger segment alone, and the company is formulating a new training concept to help fill the ranks.
Approximately 4,500 pilots currently fly for the three carriers. “Our subsidiary LFT trained around 220 new pilots in the last two years at its pilot school in Bremen. For additional expansion we are looking for an additional 200 pilots on the free market,” said VP-Training Standards and Crew training Werner Maas.
David Kaminski-Morrow, Air Transport Intelligence News, October 30, 2007
Danish investigations into the Scandinavian Airlines Bombardier Q400 gear-up landing in Copenhagen at the weekend have discovered that a blockage in a retraction actuator prevented the right -hand landing-gear extending.
The finding supports initial suggestions that the 27 October event was unrelated to the two gear collapse accidents involving Scandinavian Airlines Q400s at Aalborg and Vilnius on 9 and 12 September.
Danish investigation authority HCL says the right-hand main landing-gear only partially deployed during the approach to Copenhagen, and attempts to recycle the gear and use alternative extension procedures failed to resolve the problem. Corroded retraction actuators, which had then disconnected, had been found on the Q400s involved in the earlier accidents but HCL says the actuator on the Copenhagen aircraft was found to be intact and still connected to the undercarriage. But it states that further examination identified a blocked orifice within the actuator assembly which prevented the complete extension of the right main gear. “This finding is not related to the two previous accidents,” says HCL. “The source of the blockage is unknown at this time and the investigation continues.”
HCL’s discovery appears to back manufacturer Bombardier’s earlier claim that this latest event was unconnected to those last month. SAS Group grounded all Q400s after the first two accidents in order to replace appropriate landing-gear components on its entire fleet, and the aircraft had only been back in service for a few days when the Copenhagen event occurred.
The event has prompted SAS to ground its Q400s again and permanently withdraw them from service.
Some interesting and revealing comment that widens our understanding of the issues surrounding the type and more importantly the Bombardier situation in Canada.
Any old car buff probably has on his study wall of the vintage ‘blower’ Bentley in a remote place, covered in an old tarpaulin and chicken litter. They may even be a hen parked irreverently in the drivers seat clucking over her egg as the barn door opens splaying light across the magical scene.
This fantasy lives on in another form with the aircraft collectors advances across Europe and the newly opened Eastern Block and Russia. I have photographs (ok, later) of major, fairly intact sections of a Stuka (JU 87) found by an acquaintance in Russia and presumably exported to Europe for restoration. Like other aircraft either crashed or forced down in that extremely cold and low humidity environment, it looks as though it landed yesterday. Its paint work and unit markings bright as the day they were dropped in the snow, though pierced with bullet holes created by their persuers.
I became involved some time ago in the restoration of a FW189 that had been discovered in Russia. It had been shot down by a couple of LAK 5′s and was resting inverted in a clearing in the cold wastes between St Petersburg and Archangel. The Germans lost over 500 aircraft trying to cut, and keep out of action the railway line connecting the town and the city.
The aircraft had been forced landed and whilst it was substantially damaged, it was rebuild-able as the critical components (castings) were intact. Again the aircraft was complete, the only missing items were the fuel tanks that had been appropriated by farmers for their tractors. The locals learned the hard way that weapons and munitions are dangerous booty and they left them well alone. They lay where they fell in the wreckage surrounded other detritus of war. Remarkable really, and an exceptional record lying still in the frozen wastes.
For one reason or another I didn’t retain my association with that project; the detail of the discovery and restoration would make another fine story. The excitement that surrounds these enterprises borders on hysterical sometimes and I am sure lives have been taken in the squabbles over spoils. You need to use your imagination there a bit.
Back to the Spitfire. pretty, isn’t she? I have this old friend (I used to fly with his father) who is Welsh (not that you would notice) and speaks a little Russian (work that one out) you see, who is….
Sorry – not a story that can be told yet, more perhaps much, much later…. maybe.
Interesting isn’t it Henry?