Archive for November, 2007

All 56 Aboard Died In An MD-83 Air Crash In Isparta, Turkey

The MD-83 departed Istanbul at 00:50 on a domestic flight to Isparta with 49 passengers and 7 crew. The airplane crashed in mountainous terrain near Isparta.

Crash Site (from

Local officials said the plane had broken into two pieces, with its fuselage and rear landing in different locations. Anatolia said the plane’s wings and engine were at the top of a hill while the fuselage was 500 feet lower.

The MD-83, carrying 49 passengers and seven crew members, took off from Istanbul at 00:50 a.m. local time and was headed to Isparta on a flight of about one hour. It went off the radar just before landing at the airport.

“As a nation, our pain is great because of this regrettable accident,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement. Erdogan said initial information indicated the plane was turning when its rear hit the mountainside. Investigators found the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, which will help them determine the cause of the crash.

Atlasjet said the wreckage of the plane was found on a mountain around 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) high, and that rescuers initially had difficulty reaching the site because of the rugged terrain. The area where the plane crashed is called Turbe Tepe, which means “Shrine Peak” in Turkish. Much of the wreckage lay amid snow patches 200 meters (650 feet) from the top of the mountain.

 Atlasjet published the following press release (this is not the full version – the editor):

“First of all, we wish God has mercy on martyrdoms who have lost thier lives. MD83 type passenger aircraft, with flight number KK 4203, belonging to World Focus Airlines, leased by Atlasjet Airlines, took off from Ataturk Airport at 00.50 to fly from Istanbul to Isparta.

There were 56 people on board the aircraft. Those were 49 passengers and 7 crew: 2 pilots, 4 cabin attendants and 1 technician. The pilots, cabin chief and flight technician on the flight are the staff of World Focus Airlines, 3 stewardesses from the cabin crew are the staff of Atlasjet Airlines. After take off, communication was established with the tower, over Isparta Airport, the airport was seen, and as from this moment communication with the aircraft has been cut off. At approximately 06.15, we were informed that the aircraft had crashed in the west of Kilinc District, the north of Cukuroren Village, the west of Turbetepe.

It has been determined that the aircraft had no technical problem during landing and take-off. After inbound (last approach to the airport for landing), communication with the aircraft was cut off.

As from the moment the event was learned, all related units including Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Turkish Air Force and Police Department started working on the event. According to the information rendered at approximately 06.15, the aircraft was found to be on a hill of approximately 5.000 feet in the northwest of the airport. Search and rescue teams tried to reach the venue over-land. Because it is a highland, teams are having difficulty to reach the area. According to the information received from the search and rescue helicopter, no vital sign has been determined up to now. ”


Atlasjet, a private airline established in 2001, operates regular flights inside Turkey and chartered flights to Europe and other foreign destinations. In 2005, one of its planes ran off the runway in winter conditions, but the company had not been involved in any fatal accidents. Its fleet consits of B757s, A320s, A319s and CRJ-900s.

World Focus Airlines

We wanted to take a look at the website of World Focus Airlines to learn more about their fleet and background, but no content is available in English, so if anyone speaks Turkish, we would be grateful for some information about the airline. For us by the design and structure of the website it seems like a subsidiary of Atlasjet. Their website is available here.

by Szafi

Pakistan International Airline Allowed Into EU

PIA fleetThe European Commission adopted today the sixth update of the Community`s list of airlines banned in the European Union. With this update the Commission is lifting the ban imposed upon Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam together with the operating restrictions imposed on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Blue Wing Airlines and PIA have successfully completed the implementation of a corrective action plan following their inclusion in the list. Their oversight authorities have produced evidence that they verified the measures taken by the airlines and that these measures provide for long-lasting sustainable solutions to avoid the same problems recurring in the future.

While Blue Wing Airlines is a very small, private airline with old, small planes, PIA is the national flag carrier of Pakistan. Its fleets consists of B777s, B747s, B737-300s, A310s and ATR42s.

The EU put restriction on PIA’s landing rights at certain airports. The restriction concerned only the B747 and A310 fleet. To overcome the EU’s concerns,PIA had developed a comprehensive Recovery Plan to strengthen its systems and procedures relating to the upkeep and airworthiness of its fleet.

Now EU has shown satisfaction over the progress PIA has shown. In a statement from Transport Commissioner of European Union, Jacques Barrot said: “When airlines take rapid corrective action to comply with safety standards, they can be withdrawn from the list of restricted airlines quickly”.

Well done, PIA!

By Szafi

Qantas To Pay USD 61 Million Penalty

The US Department of Justice found Qantas guilty in “a conspiracy to eliminate competition by fixing the rates for shipments of cargo” from at least January 2000 to February 2006. Qantas was the largest cargo carrier between the U.S. and Australia during that time and earned more than $600 million from cargo in the period, DOJ said.

Qantas said today it had entered a Plea Agreement with the US Government to settle its liability in the United States resulting from illegal price fixing conduct within its Freight Division.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Qantas had agreed to pay a fine of US$61 million. Mr Dixon said the illegal conduct involved fuel surcharges in the international air cargo market between 2000 and 2006. “Similar investigations to those being carried out by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) are being undertaken by antitrust regulators in other countries, including Australia.

“Four past and two current employees of Qantas Freight have been excluded from the Plea Agreement and the DOJ has reserved the right to investigate these cases further. This does not mean the individuals have been involved in any illegal conduct nor that the DOJ would prosecute them.
“Our 2006/07 financial statements included a US$40 million provision for the US liability. We do not believe this or any further financial penalties will materially affect future operating results.” – said Mr Dixon.

We will monitor the development of this story.

By Szafi

Bermuda Triangle And Other Geomagnetic Zones Cause Navigation Problems

According to Russia Infor Center, pilots of one of the air clubs of the Omsk Region of Russia have found that flights over the ruins of the Pokrovskaya Fortress often result in failure of flight-navigation instruments and spinning of the compass magnetic needle.
“Frankly speaking, it is not a pleasant feeling as if you get in a reversed world where the habitual physics laws do not work. It is easy to crash here. The situation usually lasts only several minutes, but these minutes are enough to realize how helpless a person can be when comes upon the unexplained”, as one of the air club members Andrey Gagarin admits.

The fortress

Up to now the Pokrovskaya Fortress has been mainly a subject of archaeologists’ interest. This summer the regional enthusiasts joint the scientists. They have examined the fortress territory and draw their attention to the fact that within several kilometres around there are no villages or settlements and that even birds are rare guests here. The explorers also try not to stay in the zone for long complaining that they start having headaches, anxious thoughts and insomnia.

Although the anxious thoguhts and insomnia might have a psychological background rather than geomagnetical activity, it is true that there are similar areas both under oceans and on the mainland. Just to mention the most famous, the Bermuda Triangle area is also thought to be a more active geomagnetical zone.

Geomagnetic field of Earth

Earth’s geomagnetic field is approximately a magnetic dipole, with one pole near the north pole (see Magnetic North Pole) and the other near the geographic south pole (see Magnetic South Pole). An imaginary line joining the magnetic poles would be inclined by approximately 11.3° from the planet’s axis of rotation. The cause of the field is probably explained by dynamo theory. Navigation of both ships and planes were always based on this gemagnetic field. The anomalous zones disturb the regulerity of this field somehow. It is not clear for scientists what causes the anomalies in such zones, but pilots always try avoid them.

I would be grateful if anybody who knows more about the scientific background of geomagnetic zones could give us some more detailed explanation on the topic.

By Szafi

Sexy Stewardess Uniforms

It has been a long time I wanted to take the time and write this post. It is a little bit long, but I ensure you it is not just the photos that are interesting! 🙂

Who can become a flight attendant?

Not everybody qualifies for a stewardes. Flighat attendants need to go through a 6 weeks to 6 months training period that includes psychological, IQ and physical tests (depending on the airline’s requirements). Safety training includes, but is not limited to: emergency passenger evacuation management, use of evacuation slides / life rafts, in-flight fire fighting, survival in the jungle, sea, desert, ice, first aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), defibrillation, ditching/emergency landing procedures, decompression emergencies, Crew Resource Management and security.

But even those, who pass these tests and trainings, may fail. Some airlines have height and weight requirements. While airlines using bigger jets have minimum height limit, because air hostesses cannot reach the overhead compartments, regional carriers have maximum height limit as the ceiling of the aircrafts is very low. Weight is almost always a concern. Even if they do not communicate it, almost all airlines hire only girls with regular weight. Neither underweighing, nor overweighing applicants are accepted. Even later if somebody gains some weight do the airlines give out a new uniform to anyone.

Playmates, beauty queens

Sex has always been associated with flight attendants. There have been several playmates and former bueauty queen working as stewardesses. No wonder that if we take a look at the series of known women who worked as flight attendants before or after they became famous.

Some of them were:

  • Ester Codet was a playmate of the motnh in October 1974
  • Avis Miller was playmate in November, 1970
  • Julie Woodson was playmate in April, 1973
  • Jennifer Hosten was Miss World in 1970, first to win this title for her home, Grenada.
  • Kate Linder is still an active US actress
  • Evangeline Lilly is a Golden-globe nominated actress, most known for her role in Lost. She worked for Air Canada.

Ester CodetAvis MillerJennifer Hosten

Kate LinderEvangeline Lilly

History of airline uniforms

Old Delta Airlines uniformThe first stewardess uniforms were designed to be durable, practical, and inspire confidence in passengers. The first stewardesses for United Airlines wore green berets, green capes and nurse’s shoes. Other airlines, such as Eastern Air Lines, actually dressed stewardesses in nurses’ uniforms.
Perhaps reflecting the military aviation background of many commercial aviation pioneers, many early uniforms had a strongly military appearance; hats, jackets, and skirts showed simple straight lines and military details like epaulettes and brass buttons. Many uniforms had a summer and winter version, differentiated by colours and fabrics appropriate to the season: navy blue for winter, for example, khaki for summer. But as the role of women in the air grew, and airline companies began to realise the publicity value of their stewardesses, more feminine lines and colours began to appear in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Some airlines began to commission designs from high-end department stores and still others called in noted designers or even milliners to create distinctive and attractive apparel.

Famous fashion designers – famous uniforms

British Airways new uniform designChristian Lacroix designs uniforms for Air France. British Airways flight crews and staff now sport designs by Givenchy star Julien Macdonald. Los Angeles-based celebrity designer Richard Tyler presented Delta Air Lines’ new line-up alongside his ready-to-wear collection during New York Fashion Week. Korean Air launched new outfits by Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre, including pants for the first time in the airline’s history.

Sexiest airline uniforms

And now let’s look at the list of the most sexy airline uniforms:

1. Hooters Air

Hooter AirHooters Air

2. Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines

3. Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia AirlinesMalaysia Airlines

4. Delta Airlines

Delta Air LinesDelta Air Lines

5. Thai Airways

Thai Airways

6. Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways

7. Gulf Air

Gulf Air

8. Air France

Air FranceAir FranceAir France

9. Wizz Air

Wizz Air

10. Sky Europe

Sky EuropeSky Europe

If you liked this collection, check out our other post about special aircraft paintings and our other post about airline meals!

By Szafi

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Etihad Airbus Crash Pictures

We received the following pictures in a usual forwarded email thread. They were taken at the crash sceneat the Toulouse Airbus factory shortly after an Airbus A340 crashed into a wall during ground engine testing. I tried to find out who the original photographer can be, but without success. I wanted to ask for his/her permission to publish them.

If anybody feels that we violated his/her copyrights, please drop us a note.

Etihad Airbus A340 crashEtihad Airbus A340 crashEtihad Airbus A340 crashEtihad Airbus A340 crashEtihad Airbus A340 crashEtihad Airbus A340 crash

By Szafi

Our blog is moving to a new place. Please drop us an email to, if you would like to receive updates about our blog!

Friday Fun – Good Airline Commercials III.

Today again I have collected some nice airline commercials as I did in an earlier post.

1. Lufthansa 50 years
An image ad about the 50 years old Lufthansa’s past and present.

2. Qantas – I still call Australia home
A nice Qantas commercial, although it is not th best ever, but…

3. Qantas parody
…here is the parody of the previous commercial. Now you’ll understand why I found that one important to place it here. 🙂

By Szafi

Malev Boeing 767 In New Dress

Malev stopped its Budapest – New York and Budapest – Toronto flights on 25 October 2007, because these flights were not profitable. At that time the airline’s management studied the possibility of having the plane rented or leased.

In the meantime deal was apparently done with Midle East’s Oman Air, the flag carrier of the Sultanate of Oman. Oman Air was founded in 1993 and operates flights from its Muscat hub to main Middle Eastern destination like Dubai, Bahrein, Abudhabi, Doha and South-Eastern Asian countries like India, Bangladesh or Pakistan.

Malev plane in its new dress

Photo: Viktor Laszlo

Oman Air uniforms

Oman Air will rent the plane for five months as a start, but the contract may be extended. It is not just the plane that received new dress. Oman Air rented flight crew from Malev as well. The plane is under testing in Hungary now and it will be delivered to its new user, Oman Air.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Ready For Launch In December

The launch team at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the crew members of STS-122 concluded a successful dress rehearsal Tuesday for the upcoming launch of space shuttle Atlantis.

The real event is targeted for Dec. 6 on a flight to the International Space Station, but astronauts and flight managers and contractors routinely run through a complete practice to get ready for a liftoff.

NASA astronaut Steve Frick led his crew through the same activities they will conduct on launch day, including getting on orange pressure suits, riding to the launch pad in the astrovan and strapping into Atlantis.

Atlantis crew members

NASA astronauts Alan Poindexter, Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim took their places on the flight deck of Atlantis along with Frick.

There are two European astronauts also taling part in the mission. Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts reclined in their seats on the lower deck. “For us Europeans, it is a special event,” Schlegel said. “For me personally, it is an honor and a duty and a joy for this team to bring up this unit and activate it in orbit.”

Atlantis is scheduled to spend at least 11 days in orbit. Three spacewalks are planned while the shuttle is docked at the station, to deliver and install the European Space Agency’s Columbus module to the ISS.

You can read more technical details of the space shuttle as an aircraft in our earlier post.

By Szafi

Indonesian Boeing Loses Part of Wing Inflight

Many people around the world thought it’s not fair for the US and the EU to introduce and maintain a list of airlines which they ban from their airspace and classify as “not acceptable” basically in terms of flight safety. Besides saving their airspace from possible accidents, they are trying to protect their citizens by providing them with a list of airlines they believe is not safe to fly. The reason is usually the lack of proper technical maintenance at these airlines. ALL air companies of Indonesia have been on these lists since they were introduced, and many people did not like the idea of putting all aviation companies of a certain country on the list. But the recent events in Indonesian Air Transport show the list is (at least very close to being) right!

Batavia Boeing 737-400 (by

Let’s see the latest occurance of a flight threataning situation in Indonesia (following two deadly crashes this year) from last night:

A Boeing 737-400 operated by Batavia Air – a low cost airline on the Indonesian market since 2002, operating 36 aircraft including Airbus A319 and A320’s besides the older Boeing 737 family versions (-200, -300 and -400) – took from Jakarta Sukarno-Hatta airport, carrying 144 people (138 passengers and 6 crew). Not so long after take-off (about 15 minutes according to some of the news sources) a piece of the wing has simply fallen off the aircraft. Some reports claim it was a 2 m piece, while others are mentioning an “only” 40cm×50cm part. It doesn’t really matter how big it actually was, the fact that a part of the wing just falls off of an airplane carrying passengers is scary enough in my opinion and should not happen! According to some reports, the separated chunk of the wing landed close to the airport, others say it fell on a residential house. The plane was bound to fly to Pontianak on Borneo island before turning around and safely landing at the airport. Nobody onboard was hurt.

Fortunately this third relatively bigger incident in Indonesian Aviation this year did not claim any lifes, unlike the two crashes earlier in 2007 by Garuda and Adam Air, where a total of 123 casulties were suffered. We hope there will be no more aviation safety news from Indonesia this year, and that the domestic airlines will start taking air safety seriously following such accidents and incidents!

by balint01

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November 2007