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Shyster
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Postby Shyster » Tue May 26, 2020 6:06 pm

Photos from the runway in Karachi appear to confirm that the engines on PK8303 contacted the runway during the first landing attempt:



It looks like, for reasons that are to be determined, the pilots tried to land without lowering the gear. When the engines hit the runway, they managed to get airborne again. But the impact likely damaged the engines and may have severed oil or fuel lines, which caused the engines to fail before the aircraft could get back around.

It would really be shocking if the pilots tried to land without the gear down. There would have been a constant Master Warning alert going, and the Airbus's panels would have been displaying L/G NOT DOWN to go with the alarm.

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Postby Shyster » Wed May 27, 2020 6:08 pm

April numbers for PIT: total passengers are down 94%, aircraft operations down 63%. There were 32,413 domestic passengers and a whopping two int'l passengers. The only positive is mail; up 21.2% for the month and up 3.5% year to date.

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Postby Shyster » Wed May 27, 2020 6:24 pm

blancolirio (the YouTube channel of pilot Juan Browne) has a number of excellent videos on the PK8303 crash. If the ADSB data is accurate, it's not looking good for the pilots. It was an unable approach where the aircraft was way, way too high and fast for a normal visual approach. They were thousands of feet above the glideslope, and it appears they were trying to execute a "slam dunk" approach where they were practically diving for the runway threshold. The aircraft also touched down (on its engines) well beyond the normal touchdown zone.

He also has a video explaining the likely cause of the engine failures. The A320 in question was equipped with CFM56-5 engines, and those engines have their shaft-driven accessory-drive gear boxes located on their lower sides (probably around 5 o'clock if looking from the front of the engine). Those accessory boxes contain the fuel pump, oil pump, electrical generator, engine starter, and hydraulic pump. It's quite possible that an engine strike on the runway would damage those boxes, and if they broke then the engine would quickly shut down due to fuel or oil starvation or both.

https://www.youtube.com/user/blancolirio

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:38 pm

End of an era today. Delta is flying the final commercial flights for its few remaining MD-88s and MD-90s. The MD-88s were originally supposed to be withdrawn by the end of the year, and the MD-90s by 2022, but the pandemic led Delta to retire them all early. There are no longer any "McDonnell Douglas" aircraft flying in US passenger operations, although for the moment Delta is still operating the renamed Boeing 717s. That fleet is being cut in half, and the remainder will likely be retired as Delta takes delivery of more of its Airbus A220s.

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Postby RonnieFranchise » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:34 pm

Sad, my first jet flight was on a USAir DC-9-30 PIT-MCO when i was 9, shortly after they were renamed from Allegheny. Been an av geek ever since. I always tried to get the 2 seat side on the 9 and Mad Dogs.

My first flight at all was That same day on a Beech 99 IPT-PIT. Not as enjoyable.....

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Postby NTP66 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:37 pm

Nostalgic, but I won’t miss the mad dog.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:50 pm

I don't remember what aircraft was first, but a lot of my early flights were either DC-9s or BAC-1-11s. I remember one flight on the BAC 1-11 where I ended up in the very last row next to the engines, with no window. The 1-11s and their Rolls-Royce Spey engines were famously loud, and that flight sucked hard.

I never found the mad dogs to be less comfortable than the other narrowbodies, and if you were seated toward the front the noise was usually lower to boot (not so much if you got stuck in the back). Still, other than business jets, rear-engined aircraft are on the way out. Unlike aircraft with under-wing engines, it's drastically harder to re-engine those jets because the engines are so far away from the center of mass/lift. That's why there was never an updated version of the Bombardier CRJs, but there is a second-gen version of the Embraer E-Jets.

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Postby NTP66 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:11 pm

Funny, my first flight was also on a DC-9.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:21 pm

The initial report for the PK8303 crash blames the pilots for an unstable approach and ATC for not ordering the pilots to break off their obviously unstable approach. According to the FDR and CVR, the pilots disregarded multiple warnings and alerts such as over-speed, landing gear not down, and ground proximity.

I think assigning any blame to ATC is unfair. Karachi Approach advised repeatedly (twice to discontinue the approach and once cautioned) about excessive height. The report implies that tower should have noticed that the gear wasn't extended. Tower's job is to make sure the aircraft taking off and landing are property spaced and separated and that the runway is clear for each takeoff or landing. I don't think it's the job of tower controllers to make sure every aircraft is property configured for takeoff or landing.


Pakistan's aviation minister also revealed this rather horrifying bit of news:

Almost 1 in 3 pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses, aviation minister says

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/25/busi ... index.html
More than 30% of civilian pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses and are not qualified to fly, the country's aviation minister revealed Wednesday.

Addressing Pakistan's National Assembly, Ghulam Sarwar Khan said 262 pilots in the country "did not take the exam themselves" and had paid someone else to sit it on their behalf.

"They don't have flying experience," he said.

Pakistan has 860 active pilots serving its domestic airlines -- including the country's Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flagship -- as well as a number of foreign carriers, Khan said.

PIA has grounded all its pilots who hold fake licenses, effective immediately.

"PIA acknowledges that fake licenses is not just a PIA issue but spread across the entire Pakistani airline industry," spokesperson Abdullah Khan said, adding that some of the fake pilots also fly for foreign carriers.

The results of the investigation were announced Wednesday as part of a preliminary report into a plane crash that killed 97 people in the southern city of Karachi on May 22. The PIA plane crashed after taking off from Lahore, killing all but two of the passengers and crew on board.
No comments on whether the pilots flying PK8303 had fake licenses.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:40 pm

In other aviation news, Qantas has announced that it will cut more than 6,000 jobs, retire its remaining 747s, and delay delivery of new aircraft:

- Reduce workforce by 6,000, including 1500 from ground ops, 1,450 from non operational roles, 220 pilots, 1,050 flight attendants and 630 engineers
- Retire all 747-400ERs
- Delay delivery of Qantas 787-9’s and Jetstar A321neo’s
- Ground at least 100 aircraft for at least mid 2021, including all A380s

Lufthansa announced that its Airbus A380s will not fly again until at least 2022, and they may be retired outright.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:57 pm

The European Aviation Safety Agency and the UK Civil Aviation Agency have both barred Pakistan International Airlines from operating in EU or UK airspace for six months beginning on July 1st. The United Arab Emirates has also demanded that PIA verify the credentials of PIA personnel who work in the UAE. These moves come after Pakistan revealed that literally hundreds of PIA pilots had falsified licenses.

https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/easa ... ix-months/

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:11 pm

Saw that Boeing began FAA recert flights for the 73-MAX jets this week.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:27 pm

Saw that Boeing began FAA recert flights for the 73-MAX jets this week.
The first flight was yesterday, I believe. The test aircraft was a MAX7, which I find interesting given that both of the crash aircraft were MAX8s. I believe the FAA has said that the flights will last at least a couple more days.

Boeing got a bunch of cancellations this week. Norwegian Air said on Monday it had cancelled orders for 92 737 MAXs, and Singaporean aircraft lessor BOC Aviation canceled orders for 30. Norwegian has been in financial trouble for a while, so that's not a surprise, but it's a major loss. Also, Qatar airlines, which has large pending orders from both Airbus and Boeing, came out and said that it will not take any new planes in 2020 or 2021. Dozens are scheduled to be delivered this year and next from both companies. It remains to be seen how that will shake out.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:58 pm

Bad aviation news keeps rolling in. Aeromexico has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chile’s LATAM Airlines and Colombia’s Avianca Holdings had earlier declared bankruptcy. The South American airlines are really hurting.

Airbus has announced a plan to cut over 14,000 jobs, including 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain, 1,700 in the UK, and 1,300 elsewhere. Airbus officials said that they do not expect air traffic to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025.

With a resurgence of cases in Israel, El Al has announced that it is temporarily ceasing operations. The plan is to restructure financially, and El Al is hoping for a bailout from the Israeli government because the airline has suffered massive loses. El Al has only been operating a small number of flights anyway, Their entire current schedule is a handful of weekly flights to and from Paris, London, NYC, Miami, and LA.

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Postby tifosi77 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:12 pm

I don't know if this is normal for El Al, or just an LAX protocol (there was a shooting at the El Al ticket counter many years ago, so they may have amped up security here), but when they push back and taxi, they have ramp priority. No other aircraft are cleared to cross in front of the jet, and the moment it starts moving forward away from the gate they are #1 for takeoff; they lineup and go. Oh.... and they have a police escort.

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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:54 pm

With all the talk about the unfortunate passing of Kelly Preston, it made me think about what a complete AvGeek noted crazy person John Travolta is. Fun fact: Travolta was the first non-test pilot to stick an Airbus A380.

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:36 pm

I know Travolta sold/donated his Boeing 707 to a museum in Australia. His 707 was a special version that was originally built only for Qantas, and I think it's in a Qantas-related museum. He still owns a Bombardier Challenger 601 and an Eclipse 500. Those are probably the two jets in the picture in the RIP thread.

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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:30 pm

Where does Travolta get his money from, other than acting? Doesn’t he own the publishing for Saturday Night Fever or something like that?

Also, judging from the Google Maps picture (which says copyright 2020), there are plenty of lots available down there folks...Maybe go in for a group purchase? :lol:

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:44 pm

On a lot or on an aircraft? The jet might cost a lot more than the house. When the Bombardier Challenger went out of production in 2018, the price tag for a new one was $32 million. Although a used one of the same vintage as the one owned by Travolta would only be around $2 to $3 million.

New aircraft are stupid expensive. A new Cessna 172 costs more than $300,000, and a more modern design like a Cirrus SR-22 costs more than $600,000. Yeah, the new Cessna comes with a modern Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, but it's still a Cessna 172. Those prices are why so many general-aviation owners are flying around in aircraft that are 40+ years old.

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Postby dodint » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:00 pm

Truth.

Sometimes when I window shop planes I am excited to find one from the 1970s that I could afford. :lol:

And to think, the real expense is in the consumables.

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Postby Shyster » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:07 pm

Consumables and maintenance. It boggles my mind that most GA aircraft are still using 1940s-era air-cooled engines that are basically glorified VW Bug engines, and an engine rebuild on one of those costs something like $15,000 to $30,000 (and a new engine can cost upwards of $50,000). All that for an engine that still uses leaded gas, is ignited by freaking magnetos, and in many cases is still running off a carburetor.

There are plenty of 1970s and earlier Cessnas, Pipers, and Beeches out there for not much money. But then it's got a high-time engine ($20,000 for a rebuild) and you'd like a modern display to replace the old "six pack" of instruments (Garmin G500 TXi display for $12,000, not counting installation), a GPS/ADSB and nav/coms upgrade (Garmin GTN 650 for $10,000, not counting installation)) and maybe an basic autopilot (Garmin GFC 500 for $7,000, of course not counting installation), and you've maybe already spent more than you spent on the aircraft.

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:38 am

Where does Travolta get his money from, other than acting? Doesn’t he own the publishing for Saturday Night Fever or something like that?
Profit participation and residuals. Also, he's worth over $200 million as it is.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:30 pm

The NTSB has released its report on Atlas Air flight 3591, which was the 767 cargo aircraft that crashed in Trinity Bay, Texas, in Frbruary 2019. The aircraft was flying cargo under contract with Amazon.com. The cause of the accident was determined to be an inadvertent activation of the go-around mode, which resulted in the engines increasing power. The first officer, who was the pilot flying, responded inappropriately to the increase in speed. The NTSB concluded the first officer likely experienced a pitch-up somatogravic illusion–a specific kind of spatial disorientation in which forward acceleration is misinterpreted as the airplane pitching up–as the airplane accelerated due to the inadvertent activation of the go-around mode, which prompted the first officer to push forward on the elevator control column. The first officer then apparently believed the airplane was stalling and continued to push the control column forward, exacerbating the airplane’s dive. The aircraft never recovered from the dive and impacted the bay. The first officer’s response was contrary to standard procedures and training for responding to a stall.

The report also faults the captain as the pilot monitoring for failing to timely recognize the dive or to take the controls. In addition, the report says that the first officer not only had a history of performance deficiencies, but that "the first officer took deliberate actions to conceal his history of performance deficiencies." Basically, this guy had a long history of poor flying, but he managed to hide a lot of it from Atlas Air and still get hired.

The recommendations issued by the NTSB include addressing address flight-crew performance, addressing industry hiring-process deficiencies, implementing automatic ground collision avoidance system technology (Auto-GCAS), and installing cockpit imaging recorders on all aircraft already required to have cockpit voice and flight-data recorders. Given how small modern cameras can be and how much data can fit onto very small memory chips, I see no reason why commercial aircraft shouldn't have video recorders. Heck, I'd put cameras in the cockpit and in the cabin.

https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-release ... 00714.aspx

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Postby Shyster » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:17 pm


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Postby Shyster » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:39 am

British Airways, which is the largest operator of the 747-400, has announced that it will be parking and retiring all 35 of its 747s effective immediately. This will make Lufthansa the largest 747 operator, with eight 747-400s and 19 747-8s. Although how long those will stick around is still unknown.

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