Archive for February, 2009

Safe Carpatair Emergency Landing at Timisoara

A Saab-2000 airplane operated by Carpatair has executed a safe emergency landing at Timisoara airport in Romania this morning, with no injuries. The plane arrived to Timisoara from Chisinau, Moldavia with 47 passengers, 1 infant and 4 crew members onboard.

It was noticed by the crew during the final approach before landing that the front landing gear did not open to its extended position. Following several attampts to release the nose gear, a low pass over the runway was performed to visually check the nose gear position. It was confirmed from the ground to be in the up position and therefore an emergency landing was decided – which was broadcasted live on Romanian Television.

Carpatair Safe Emergency Landing

All procedures went according to the books and professional plans, the flight spent more than an hour and a half circling around the airport to burn fuel, thus reduce the risk of an explosion or fire upon landing. They landed at 9:44 (instead of the originally planned 8:05) with more than 20 ambulances and fire engines on the site, prepared for the worst.  The aircraft stopped perfectly on the centerline axis shortly after the nose of the aircraft had touched the runway surface. Preliminarily, a foam carpet had been created on the runway to diminish the fire risk (the whote foam is clearly seen on the image above).  Both pilots in the cockpit were very experienced as they have flown for more than 40 years, with more than 10.000 flight hours recorded individually.

Passengers had been disembarked through the front passenger door. No passenger or crew member was injured. The aircraft has no noticeable damages following the emergency landing.

Carpatair is a regional airline serving several airports in Romania and surrounding countries as well as flying to Italy, Greece, Austria and Germany with a fleet of 14 Saab-2000’s and 3 Fokker F100’s. It also flies in cooperation with oneworld member Malév Hungarian Airlines on several routes to and from Budapest, Hungary.

by balint01

Turkish Airlines Crash – Amsterdam

A Boeing 737-800 jet owned by Turkish Airlines, crashed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at 10.40 am local time today (25 February, 2009). The first reports said there were survivors from Flight TK 1591, but the exact numbers of casulties and surivors are still unknown.

There were 135 passengers on the plane: 127 passengers (with 72 Turkish and 32 Dutch nationalities) and 7 crew members according to Turkish media.

(c) CNN

(c) CNN

The first pictures show the plane broken into 3 parts, but there is no sign of fire, therefore everybody is optimistic about the number of survivors.

A few hours after the accident, the Dutch authorities have confirmed that at least 9 people (including 3 pilots) have been killed, with more than 50 injured – 5 of those are in a life threatening condition. By noon local time, all survivors have been escaped from the wreckage, while many lucky passengers have simply walked away after the accident.

Update from Turkish Airlines’ emergency website:Turkish Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight Number TK 1951 from Istanbul to Amsterdam the capital of The Netherlands  was involved in an accident today near the Amsterdam Airport.
The aircraft, a B737-800 was during the landing when the accident occurred, at around 11:30 a.m. local time.
At this time, after the search and rescue operations, we have 9 casualties, and 50 passengers were injured. Turkish Airlines staff has been doing everything possible to assist the emergency services and local authorities.
There were127 passengers and 7 crew members on board Flight Number TK 1951 and we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for this flight.

The plane crash-landed in the fields just outside of Schiphol International Airport, coming to a rest only 150 m’s from the A9 highway. The plane broke into three parts with the aft part totally destroyed, while the front has broken in two around the front part of the wings. Many of the around 50 people who walked away from the plane have left the aircraft in the back where the cabin was wide open after the back of the plane has broken off.

Turkish TK1591 Amsterdam c-by-daan-krans on

The first reports suggested, the plane attempted to land but was too high and instead the pilots chose to abort landing but by then the plane was too slow to fully take off again, and the back of the fuselage hit the ground just after the the end of the runway. This process has been explained both by a passenger onboard as well as by a witness on the ground. However most of the reports are suggesting that the plane was on final approach to the runway which is also supported by the Aviation Safety Network’s Flight Path image. Some witnesses claim that the Boeing was quietly gliding just before the crash – which could theoretically mean that there was an engine failure, or could also mean that the plane has simply ran out of fuel. This second version is also supported by the fact that the plane has not caught on fire after the crash. (Last year a British Airways Boeing 777 crash-landing short of the London Heathrow runway – where nobody was hurt.)

The plane was a Boeing 737-800 with 165 seats. Turkish Airlines flies 52 of these planes in its fleet, while this type is considered as one of the safest airliners in the skies. This particular plane (registration: TC-JGE, name: Tekirdağ) first flew on January 24, 2002 and was originally delivered to Turkish Airlines.

By Szafi and balint01

Can You Land On The Hudson River?

16 January has already become a part of aviation history. After a double bird strike the engines of US Airways flight 1549 completely stopped and the pilot landed the plane safely on New York’s Hudson River. The outstanding pilot performance of Captain Chesley Sullenberger will be remembered forever.  The plane was full with fuel and passengers aboard, the engines did not work and besides that he had to put down the plane on a river without landing gears, without reversers in the middle of New York City, one of the world’s mostly populated metropolitans.

Now you can learn it yourselves how difficult this maneuver is. Of course this time it is just virtual, but still it gives you some idea how hard it is. I am sure that for some people this is still traumatic, but as an old commonsense says: humor heals everything.

Game 1

The first game is simpler, but it is funny. Click here to play.

Double Bird Strike Game

Game 2

The second game has much better graphics and it is really exciting to play. The aim is to avoid bird strikes, and after the second strike you have to land perfectly on the river. Click here to play.

Bird Strike Game

Enjoy the games!

By Szafi

Plane Landing “Art” Project

Aleksandra Mir is a Lublin, Poland born modern artist, who has previously claimed herself as the First Woman on the Moon in 1999 – among other strange artistic projects. My colleague, Péter has brought my attention to one of her latest artworks, which is referred to as “Plane Landing“.

Cameron Balloons Drawing

Plane Landing goes back to 2001, when she first came up with the idea of creating a special, large balloon with the shape of a landing passenger airliner and inflate it at places, where we would not expect to see a jet airplane. Then it turned out to be a relatively complicated engineering project at Cameron Balloons of Bristol (the company that gave us Darth Vader, Coke Bottle or Flying Cow shaped ballons just to mention a few) where the actual balloon was designed and manufactured. It became a science project rather than art at this stage with aeronautics, engineering and design playing the major roles.Cameron Balloons At WorkPlane Landing First Test Inflation - c by

The balloon became an impressive one:

  • Length = 20.8 meters
  • Wing span = 15 meters
  • Volume = about 100 cubic meters
  • 4 different fabrics = white gas fabric (white gas fabric with overlaid silver), black hyper last for the go-faster stripe, black window fabric and red doorframe artwork fabric.
  • Approximately = 1 km of thread and heat sealed seams

It was first inflated in Compton Verney, in the UK in 2003 with three successful test inflations and with the first crowd gathering around it in the park. Mir usually prepares a collage or a sketch of the location where she is planning to land the plane – and after approval she lands it. We have no information on where the plane had spent the following five years – maybe at the Mojave desert among the other parked planes or simply flying in the air – but the next documented landing only happened in July 2008 ,when the plane arrived in Switzerland. Contrary to the original idea, it showed up in a place where we would most expect it to be: at Zürich Airport! It was first inflated at dawn at the place where the plane observers watch actual planes touching down, while the second landing took place overnight at the airport tarmac, in front of Gate 44.

Plane Landing in Zürich 1

Plane Landing in Zürich - c by

Plane Landing in Zürich - c by

Plane Landing Art Project at Zürich Airport Gate 44 - c by

Just a little more than 3 months after landing in Zürich, the plane arrived to dowtown Paris in October 21-22-23, 2008 with inflations around the most famous locations such as the Eiffel Tower or the in front of the Louvre. You can see all Paris pictures at

Plane Landing Art Project in Paris - c by

Plane Landing Art Project in Paris - c by

Plane Landing Art Project in Paris - c by

I’m not fully convinced that this project can be categorized as art, but I very much like it as a gig, and hope to hear about its next landing somewhere in the near future!

Aleksandra, if you happen to read this post and plan to land the plane in Budapest, Hungary, please let us know, we would help you with organization and some publicity!

by balint01

49 killed in Continental Airlines Crash In Buffalo

On Thursday, 12 February Continental Airlines’ flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York shortly after 10 pm. 49 people died in the crash including 4 crew members, all passengers on board and one person on the ground.


Photo: Buffalo News

According to the first official news, the plane reported serious technical problems when it approached Buffalo airport. People who live near the crash scene said the sound of the engines was strange and shortly before the crash there was a thunderous explosion. Other witnesses claim the strange engine sounds had stopped for a few seconds, right before the actual crash at 10:20 pm.

After the plane crashed into a building, surrounding houses were also evacuated as they caught fire, too. The flames could be seen from miles away.


Photo: Buffalo News

The house the plane crashed into was completely flattened. Nobody on board survived the crash.

The airplane was a Bombardier Dash-8 (also known as DHC-8 or Q400), flying as Continental Connection Flight CJC 3407, operated by Colgan Air, registration number N200WQ, built in 2008.

Read more on Buffalo News.

By Szafi

Airport signs

Probably the most boring part of our flight is when the plane is taxiing from the apron to the runway or the other direction after landing.

Now with the help of this simple guide you can become an expert of airport signs and you can show off with it to the passenger seated next to you. 🙂

The pictures are taken from a PDF file I found on AOPA‘s website. This post here presents only the more interesting ones, but if you would like to become a real expert or you are getting prepared for your pilot license exam, you can download it and print it for yourself. Here is the full version.

Before we get started, let’s clarify some basic expressions:

taxiways: a system of tracks the lead planes from the terminal building to the runway. Once a plane enters the taxiway, it is under the control of the tower and must follow their instructions.

runway: where planes land and take off. It is dangerous to stay on the runway too long, therefore planes are directed to the taxi ways if they need to wait for their slot.

holding point: where the plane has to wait before entering the runway.

ILS: Instrument Landing System – an automated system that helps pilots in landing. Most airports that accept passenger jets are equipped with ILS that becomes extremely important in case of bad weather.

And now the signs:

ilsILS critical area holding position sign:

Hold at this sign on the taxiway, where the ILS is in use and the weather is less than 800 feet and 2 miles. Aircraft taxiing beyond this point may interfere with the ILS signal to approaching aircraft.


1533Runway holding position sign:

Hold here. In this example, the threshold for runway 15 is to your left and the threshold for runway 33 is to your right. This sign is located next to the yellow holding position marking painted on taxiways. The “A” sign is the Taxiway location sign. It indicates the taxiway you are on.

taxiwayTaxiway direction:

The yellow signs usually seen next to a taxiway location sign, indicate the direction of intersecting taxiways. In this example taxiway Charlie is to the left and right, and Alpha takes a turn to the right ahead.


15apchRunway approach area holding position sign:

Taxiing past this sign may interfere with operations on the runway. In this case, aircraft arriving to runway 15 or departing from runway 33. It is located next to the yellow Holding position markings painted on the taxiway pavement. The aircraft has to stop on the solid lines side of the marking. The dashed lines show the direction towards the runway. Planes must stopped at this line until cleared.

Have fun with your new knowledge during your next flight!

By Szafi

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