tip off

BEN SANDILANDS | July 21, 2015 | AIR SAFETY | 14 |

Airbus completes runway crash prevention system availability

Three people died in this bungled Asiana 777 runway crash at SFO in 2013

For Australian aviation watchers there is a certain irony in Airbus achieving European certification of its runway overrun prevention system for A330s when recent safety reviews in this country focused on how a Qantas A330 and a Virgin Australia 777 had problems even getting to their intended runway for landings at Melbourne Airport.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 20, 2015 | AIRPORTS | 15 |

Ice makes a rare impact on Australian flights

Regular deicing for this Aeroflot A330-200, unlikely here, not even at Melbourne Airport

While frost is relatively common over many Australian airports, delays caused by aircraft icing like those being reported from Melbourne Airport this morning are rare.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 18, 2015 | SEATING | 2 |

Virgin Australia runs into a seat design problem or two?

A rather forensic overseas report into the delays in Virgin Australia introducing a new business class seat for its A330s and 777s is something of a blow for competition at the top end of Australian air travel market.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 16, 2015 | AIR CRASHES | 51 |

Dutch blame Russia for MH17 but now airline faces tough questions

A part of the wreckage of MH17 in an eastern Ukraine field

The leaking tonight of a draft Dutch led investigation report which says that MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile launched in a part of Ukraine held by pro-Russia separatists isn’t a surprise.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 16, 2015 | SPACE | 8 |

Pluto’s ice peaks and Charon’s deep chasms snap into focus

The ice peaks that punctured some previous assumptions about Pluto

It only takes a few sharp images from worlds previously unseen in any detail to rewrite once confidently held assertions by planetary scientists about what lies in deep space, and that has just happened at the New Horizons mission briefing in Washington DC.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 15, 2015 | AIR SAFETY | 5 |

ATSB tweets that Qantas Melbourne incident was an accident that nearly happened

The ATSB has tweeted its media followers that the definition of a serious aviation incident is one in which an accident nearly occurred.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 15, 2015 | AIR SAFETY | 28 |

Virgin Australia gets wake up call over botched Melbourne 777 approach

ATSB cover graphic of Virgin Australia's too low approach to Melbourne Airport

Less than a week after the ATSB pinged Qantas for a seriously too low A330 approach to Melbourne Airport it has called out Virgin Australia for flying much too low to the same airport in a Boeing 777.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 14, 2015 | SPACE | 14 |

NASA shows off curtain raiser image as Pluto fly-by makes closest pass

The New Horizons space probe that took 10 years to built and nine and half years from launching to make its fly past of Pluto tonight has been given a curtain raiser image by NASA showing a stunning wide view image of the ‘encounter side’ of the dwarf planet.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 14, 2015 | VOLCANIC ASH | 4 |

Two early lessons from Bali on air travel versus volcanoes

Flying home to steep uninsured delay costs from Denpasar airport

Although the complaints may not have yet turned into a torrent of references to small claims tribunals, there are two lessons from the Bali volcanic ash crisis.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 14, 2015 | SPACE | 6 |

Pale moon Charon reveals itself to Pluto probe

Colour contrast between pale Charon and ochre Pluto as seen by New Horizons

As NASA probe New Horizons races to toward its closest fly past point above the surface of Pluto (Tuesday night Australian time), the dwarf planet’s disproportionately large moon Charon has swung into view as a pale, faintly blueish orb with hints of rift chasms in one area and a smooth looking northern polar plain.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 13, 2015 | BOX TICKING | 15 |

Consumer ‘ditch the tick’ campaign targets Jetstar unfarely?

Sometimes even well meaning people stuff up, as seems to be the case with Choice and its ‘ditch the tick’ campaign, which mainly targets the Jetstar on-line booking pages.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 12, 2015 | SPACE | 4 |

Pluto begins showing first and last glimpses of parts of its geology

Tantalising glimpse of the Charon facing hemisphere of Pluto from New Horizon's probe.

There must be some bitter sweet moments for NASA scientists who have waited nine years for the New Horizons probe to get close enough to start revealing the geological features of dwarf planet Pluto.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 11, 2015 | IT ATROCITIES | 4 |

Time to unshare your personal info with airlines?

Should travelers keep their personal lives blurry when they use social media?

Moves by IATA and the airlines to screw individual passengers with specially tailored fares based on their personal data ought to be resisted, if not challenged under consumer or discrimination laws where such remedies are available.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 10, 2015 | JETS ELECTRIC | 8 |

Airbus makes second electric flight English channel crossing

From the Airbus Group site after the E-Fan channel crossing

Due process by Airbus and a ‘just-do-it’ attitude by a private electric aircraft owner saw two small multi-engined planes make battery powered crossings of the English Channel to Calais in the last two days.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 10, 2015 | CABINS | 7 |

All Nippon returns to Australia, adds to 787 seats battle

 

Maybe ANA would modify this livery on a 787-9 to SEAT WARS for its Sydney flights

Australian Business Traveller has called the return of All Nippon Airways (ANA) to Australia from October, and it looks set to add to competitive pressures on Qantas to make sure its 787-9s are as generous in seat pitch and width as its full service competitors on the Japan routes.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 10, 2015 | JETS ELECTRIC | 3 |

Historic electric English channel flight all charged up ready to go

The E-Fan 2.0 demonstrator has now made over 100 flights

Updated Airbus has been upstaged by a private owner of a different electric aircraft who became the first to fly the English channel yesterday, as reported by Australian Flying.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 10, 2015 | VOLCANIC ASH | 7 |

Bali volcanic ash crisis may force major evacuation airlift

The culprit, Mt Raung, on a good day.

Speculation It’s too early to know if the RAAF may be called in, but the flight home from Bali for holidaymakers stranded by a volcanic ash cloud might be in a windowless but otherwise spacious C-17 Globemaster.

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BEN SANDILANDS | July 09, 2015 | AIR SAFETY | 18 |

Qantas acts over too low approach by A330 to Melbourne

The cover illustration for the ATSB report

On 8 March 2013, a Qantas A330 with over 300 seats, found itself much too close to the ground while flying a visual approach toward a still distant landing at Melbourne Airport.

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