Archive for August 24th, 2007

Chairman Resigned, Loose Bolt Caused China Airlines 737 Fire and Explosion – Update

Loose bolt caused fuel leakage

According to the Japanese investigation committee a very small hole on the fuel tank caused by a loose bolt was the reason fuel leaked from the aircraft. It is still unclear though why the leaking fuel ignited. The committee held a press conference in Okinawa, where cheif investigator Kazushige Daiki presented a photo of the punctured fuel tank. It is unknown yet how the bolt moved away from its original place in the left wing and pierced through the fuel tank.

China Airlines Chairman resigns

Meanwhile China Airlines Chairman Philip Wei offered his resignation to the board of directors. Following a weird prompt compensation on site, China Airlines offered around USD 800-900 for each passenger and around the same amount for their distroyed baggages.

Passengers criticize airline crew

Also passengers who were on board of the aircraft critcized the airline crew for not giving clear instructions during evacuation. The crew noticed the fire much later than passengers sitting by the window during landing. People reportedly started shouting and screaming inside the aircraft and crew memebers could not conduct the evacuation professionally. It was hard to open emergency exits and it was not clear either what to do outside the aircraft.

“If the crew hadn’t been on the ball and the clients hadn’t cooperated, then the result could have been different,” said Chen Peng-yu, the Taiwan based airline’s assistant publicity vice president.

We will soon release a post about the problems with airline safety procedures, because this is a real issue what happened in Okinawa. There no instructions about wat to do outside the aircraft during evacuation.

By Szafi

Friday Fun – Size Matters

It’s Friday again, so here comes our aviation joke of the week: 

Shortly after just landing at a big international airport in his Cessna 150, our hero strolls into the busy airport cafeteria for a bite to eat. He finds an empty table by the window to keep an eye on the airport comings and goings. Shortly thereafter, a striking woman walks up and asks to share his table. Naturally, he invites her to sit down.

After several minutes of small talk, the woman asks if he is a pilot. He responds, “Why, yes, I am — I fly a C-150.” Knowing next to nothing about airplanes, she asks him what a C-150 is. The pilot looks out the window and spots a Lockheed C-130 Hercules taxing out for takeoff.
Pointing to it, he tells his companion, “See that plane over there? That is a C-130. I fly a C-150!

by balint01

Iberia Helps Peru Earthquake Victims

Site in Pisco after the 2007 Peru Earthquake - photo by

August 15, 2007 18:41 local time: the date of a deadly earthquake with an epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of central Peru, South of the capital, Lima. The towns most hit by the 8.0 magnitude earthquake were Chincha, Ica, Canete and Pisco. Having visited Peru about 8 months ago, I have passed through Ica and Pisco on our bus-ride from the Nazca lines back to Lima, so it was especially saddening to hear the news about the earthquake. I find it interesting how you are moved more by events happening at a place that you have visited before. I think that’s part of the reason why September 11 really shocked the world, as so many people could connect the pictures with their personal memories/experiences about NYC… But back to the earthquake: besides about 30.000 families left homeless due to their traditional adobe-brick homes having been collapsed, more than 500 people are reported to be dead, 200 of them in Pisco alone, where the main Catholic church collapsed while a mass was taking place. Even in Lima (home to 8 million people), which is about 150 kilometers North from the epicenter 2 people died when many of the buildings shook. (Reuters Photo gallery about the earthquake.)

Many organizations began to help almost immediately, among them the UN, the Lutheran World Relief, OPEC and also an airline: Iberia. Iberia is famous for focusing on routes between Latin America and Europe, so it’s understandable that they moved soon to help the victims at one of the countries served by the airline. A total of 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid is planned to be shipped by the Spanish member of oneworld in the coming days, the first portion included 10,000 kg on the flight on 22AUG taking off from Madrid at 12:40. I took the exact same flight (IB 6651) before Christmas, which was an A340-600, that is capable of carrying some 55 tones of payload, so the 10 tones should easily fit in the belly of the plane. But where is all this aid coming from? According to Iberia: The aid was contributed by individuals and numerous Spanish firms and organisations, including Farmamundi, an NGO that distributes pharmaceuticals to developing countries; the Fundación Coca-Cola, supplying isotonic beverages; Panaderos sin fronteras (“Bakers without Borders”); the cheese company Quesos Campo Real which is sending nutritionally enhanced cheese; Europac, the largest packaging firm on the Iberian Peninsula, which supplied 150 packing cases to ship the air materials, and whose employees supplied another 150 cases. The shipment was collected and coordinated by Iberia and “Mano a Mano,” and which also contributed aid materials. (Mano a Mano is a relief organisation founded by Iberia employees in 1994 to collect and deliver relief and aid materials to countries and regions in need which are served by the airline, using empty hold space and unused flight crew baggage allowances.) The first air shipment also included food rations, especially infant food, drinking water; water purification equipment, medicines, especially for bronchial illness, blankets, sleeping bags, and long-life battery lamps. Another 20,000 kg of aid will be sent in later shipments in Iberia’s cargo holds.

It’s good to know that in general airlines tend to provide aid or material help (mostly cargo hold or free seats for rescue workers) in such situations, like Iberia did this time to ease the terrible situation in Peru.

by balint01

Blog calendar

August 2007