Archive for the 'airline safety' Category

Friday Fun – Future Airline Safety Message

With the record high fuel prices these days, airlines are trying to get extra revenue (actually getting back some part of their lost revenue) by charging for services that otherwise used to be free (included in the price). Here is a funny vision of how our safety messages may look like in the future, if the current trends in in the pricing of airline services continue.

by balint01

Friday Fun – Airport Security

It’s been a while since our last Friday Fun post, so here we go again.

Is this how airport security really works? It would explain a few situations, I guess…

by balint01

Are You A Passenger Or A Criminal?

Cavity search, biometric data, pat-down, body screening. What is next? A regular passenger is checked more often than an average criminal in jail. Is it really necessary?

As CNN reported yesterday (April 16), two majos US airports – Los Angeles LAX and New York JFK – will start to use body screening machines. The machines had been tested in Phoenix, Arizona and apparently it proved to be useful as more passenegrs chose to go through the body screener than having a pat-down.

When I read this part of the article, I was really surprised. I am not pleased by a pat-down, still I would prefer it to a body screening machine, where all bits of my body could be seen for a complete stranger. May be it just my “feminist aggression” that says: no, I have the right to decide who can see my body.

Then I kept on reading and I understood it:

Travelers will continuously and randomly be selected to go through the machine. While signs will inform them of the pat-down option, screeners will not announce that choice. But passengers electing not to go through the millimeter wave machine will be given the option of the pat-down.

You have the right, you just won’t be informed about it. Now that is nice, isn’t it? Bad news for passengers departing from the US is that TSA is planning to buy 30 more machines. Once a business is blossoming…

Body screeningI understand it, that they just want to protect us, regular travellers from being blown up on a passenger jet and I agree that airline safety is first priority for them, but is it really necessary? Is there anything on earth that this wil show on a human body and those beeping gates do not filter out? Is it still about safety?

Basically it has become a nightmare to fly in or out of the US. Hours of queues at the immigration when travelling in including fingerprint and eye check and now body screening when travelling out. Why is it much more simple in the EU?

(photo by USA Today)
By Szafi

Indonesia Grounds Adam Air

Indonesian authorities have withdrawn the Operation Specification Adam Air Sky Connection (Adam Air). The carrier is grounded as of March 19 and has three months to make safety improvements or it will have its AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate) revoked.

Shortcomings noted by the Ministry of Transport include that the airline carried out operations not in accordance with their AOM (Aircraft Operations Maintenance). Also, personnel training was not carried out in accordance with the company’s training program. And maintenance was carried out, not in accordance with the Maintenance Manual.

Adam AirAdam Air was founded in 2002 by two persons, a well-known Indonesian businessman called Agung Laksono and a lady called Sandra Ang. It was named after Sandra Ang’s son. The airline started operations on 19 December 2003 with 2 Boeing 737s. There were discussions about selling 20% of the stakes – even Qantas was among the expected investors -, but after the crash of flight 574 on 11 February 2006 international investors backed down, although there were no fatalities or injuries in that accident.

Since the crash there have been continuous talks about the safety records and management style of Adam Air. According to talks they bribed their pilots to fly unsafe planes. Today’s decision of the Indonesian ministry was a logical effect of serious reports from the pilots of the airline about safety issues and corruption.

You can read more about Adam Air here.

By Szafi

After Series Of Crashes SAS Buys Q400s Again

Following a series of serious crash landings last year, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) decided to stop operating Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 type in October 2007.

A debate between the manufacturer and the airline started right after the decision was made. Investigations showed that in all cases the source of the indients was the landing gear. Therefore it was not just Bombardier involved in the discussions; Goodrich, the manufacturer of the landing gears also took part.

Finally the three parties came to a very strange agreement. SAS will receive a compensation of approximately 165 million dollars. The weird part of the agreement is that SAS orders 27 new Bombardier aircrafts and 13 of the new planes will be Q400s. This means that a few months after SAS refused to continue the operation of Q400s, it orders 13 new ones.

Although the spokesman of the airline said the Q400 NextGen is modified in several ways compared to the old ones, still it looks a little bit strange for me.

Luckily I am not the CEO of the airline, nor am I in the board of directors. It must have been a tough situation to decide on the signing of such an agreement. I am wondering how they will communicate this to their passengers.

I am interested in your opinions about it. I recommend this video to everyone interested in this topic.

By Szafi 

Southwest Airlines Flew Unsafe Planes

This is the title of a CNN article that says that as of March last year Southwest Airlines flew 117 planes without regular safety checks. If that is right, it is the most serious violation of safetly regulations in the US.

CNN’s article quotes from documents submitted by FAA to  congressional investigators with the recommendation to call a hearing as soon as possible to find out more about the reason of this quite unusual business decision of the airline.

The FAA investigator said the airline’s managers knew the planes were unsafe and unairworthy, but still they kept flying them that way putting passengers’ (and crew’s) lives at risk.

I myself was kind of shocked reading the article and I am wondering what you think about it. If this story is true and one of the oldest and most prestigous low cost airlines did that, that will completely destroy the image of low cost airlines.

Here is the full article.

We’ll follow the story.

By Szafi 

Lufthansa Plane Landing in Strong Crosswind

Over the past weekend, we have experienced some strange weather all around Europe, with really strong winds and huge storms. There was one major incident reported, where a Lufthansa plane flying from München attempted to land in Hamburg, in a really-really strong sidewind. The report mentioned that the wing has touched the runway, but if you take a look at this footage of the actual landing attempt, you’ll see that it was not just a small touch… The plane landed safely at the second try.

The Airports in Münich and Frankfurt were closed for several hours on Saturday as well.

I suppose there were several other tough landings around the airports of Western Europe over the weekend, very similar ones to this, which was recorded earlier, in January this year, at London City Airport, by a Swiss AvroLiner. We can really see how important the landing gears are to such airliners…

[Kata and Gábor, thanks for the links!]

Here is a collection of other crosswind landings.

by balint01


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