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Plane Talking



New Melbourne money machine takes off

Ben SandilandsOct 20, 20082 Comments

If the TV coverage of this morning's inaugural Qantas A380 departure from Melbourne to Los Angeles is a good guide the fully laden jet took off in 23-25 seconds. That is incredibly prom

Lessons Learned at terrible cost

Ben SandilandsOct 17, 20082 Comments

The US Federal Aviation Administration or FAA has put up a new resource on Lessons Learned from major crashes. So far there are 11 accident

A unique incident that needs further examination

Ben SandilandsOct 14, 2008

The ATSB media briefing this evening, at a time and place almost no-one could attend and without dial-in facilities, has described the QF 72 accident as being caused by a 'unique' fault

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QF 72 late developments

Ben SandilandsOct 14, 2008

The ATSB has called a media conference to update the public on its QF 72 inquiry for this evening, coincidentally after most of the first editions of tomorrow's newspapers will be locke

Inside the QF 72 investigation

Ben SandilandsOct 10, 2008

The ATSB held another briefing on the QF 72 accident today which includes an animation of the episodes of uncontrolled

QF 72 made shorter but nasty dives

Ben SandilandsOct 9, 2008

Some early surprises have emerged from the black box flight recorders that have been read at the ATSB headquarters in Canberra. The flight data recorder shows that the initial uncomm

No it wasn't a laptop or a Blackberry or an iPhone, or...

Ben SandilandsOct 9, 2008

There is an absurd rumor going around that Qantas is going to confiscate smart phones and computers at the gate to avoid the electronic contamination that some other rumors say is being

Some important questions about QF 72

Ben SandilandsOct 9, 2008

In today's Crikey some important questions about the QF 72 incident are highlighted. They may or may

QF 72-an 'irregularity' at 37,000 feet, but why?

Ben SandilandsOct 8, 20084 Comments

The ATSB has described how an 'irregularity' in the elevator control system hit QF 72 while it was in level flight at 37,000 feet over WA yesterday shortly before its emergency landin

How far down, how quickly and why?

Ben SandilandsOct 8, 20083 Comments

At this stage the general public and the investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau know as much about the QF 72 emergency over WA yesterday as each other. Which is next

In-flight upsets

Ben SandilandsOct 7, 2008

One of the toughest tests for airline pilots is recovering from a mid-air 'upset'. The pilots flying QF 72, the Qantas A330 on this afternoon's Singapore-Perth run passed that test w

Earth to Albanese-AirServices needs to be fixed now

Ben SandilandsOct 7, 20081 Comment

Virgin Blue has always been good at publicity stunts, but its bill to AirServices Australia for half a million dollars because it couldn't deliver full air traffic control at Sydney Air

Stanley Brogden 1913-2008

Ben SandilandsOct 6, 2008

Stanley Brogden who reported aviation in Australia for more than half a century has died in Melbourne aged 94. Stanley grew up in a world where aviation arrived before radio for our

Virgin's Pacific blues

Ben SandilandsOct 2, 20082 Comments

V Australia's inaugural trans Pacific flights between Sydney and Los Angeles have been pushed back from 15 December to 28 February because of a strike that has shut down the Boeing asse

Cash but no carry

Ben SandilandsSep 30, 2008

If you think there is a risk of hard times sending Qantas and Virgin Blue broke, think again. It is their employees who risk going broke instead. The two major carriers will sit on a

Good idea, wrong result

Ben SandilandsSep 30, 20081 Comment

This mostly matters to those who don't like flying at the best of times and have to use crappy country airstrips like the ones the pilots of a larger airliner would only contemplate if

Fear, loathing and stupidity at Brisbane airport

Ben SandilandsSep 29, 20081 Comment

Brisbane airport last night was a perfect reminder that Australia relies on implausible scenarios, imperfectly screened, to create an impression that air travel is secure. Early in

Qantas under the Joyce stick

Ben SandilandsSep 26, 2008

The Joyce age at Qantas is under way. There was no surprise in the appointment of Bruce Buchanan his loyal deputy attitude adjuster at Jetstar as his replacement as the low cost unit