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QF 72 made shorter but nasty dives

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 uncommanded climb above the cruise altitude of 37,000 feet was 200 feet, not 300 as previously indicated in briefings. The first dive was 650 feet in […]

No it wasn’t a laptop or a Blackberry or an iPhone, or…

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 investigated as the cause of the QF 72 accident. Actually Qantas and many other airlines are in the process of cashing in on […]

Some important questions about QF 72

In today’s Crikey some important questions about the QF 72 incident are highlighted. They may or may not prove to be material to the accident investigation but the records associated with aircraft maintenance are always an important part of the investigative process. Qantas hasn’t yet answered our question about these possible issues and has indicated […]

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

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 landing at Learmonth with dozens of injured passengers. In lay terms the elevators are control surfaces on the tail of the jet which are […]

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How far down, how quickly and why?

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 to nothing in terms of the reasons. However the ATSB will soon start to get the hard facts together. The cockpit voice recorder […]

In-flight upsets

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 when a violent upset injured dozens of passengers and some cabin crew and caused an emergency landing at Learmonth. It isn’t known what caused the […]

Earth to Albanese-AirServices needs to be fixed now

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 Airport last Friday is not a joke. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, has been told by all of the major airlines that […]

Stanley Brogden 1913-2008

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 parents and grand parents. He knew many of the early adventurers and entrepreneurs of aviation. He saw them change the world, and from […]

Virgin’s Pacific blues

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 assembly line indefinitely. It needs the first two of its order for up to six Boeing 777-300ER jets (plus one on lease through IAG […]

Cash but no carry

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 as much of their cash reserves as possible and put however much of their fleets they need to ‘up against the […]

Good idea, wrong result

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 they were on fire. Navigating into rough strips like the one at Lockhart River where Transair hit a hill on approach […]

Fear, loathing and stupidity at Brisbane airport

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 the evening a number of Qantas passengers, the Courier-Mail says there were only three of them, reached their departure gates in the ‘airside’ part of the terminal without […]

Qantas under the Joyce stick

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’s chief executive officer. Buchanan came to Jetstar when it launched in 2004 from five years in the Boston Consulting Group’s travel and […]

Boeing’s Dreamliner trapped on Second Earth

Boeing’s Dreamliner project set a new marker for fantasy overnight when launch customer All Nippon Airways said it had reached agreement to take delivery of the first of the plastic twin engined 300 passenger airliners next August. The 787-8 prototype has yet to fly. It has a flight test schedule of nine months. It has […]

Hello everybody, big jet coming through

Hello everybody, big jet coming through

Up until midnight there had been 69 declarations this month of zones in the sky over Australia where normal air traffic control was unavailable to airliners, air freighters and private aircraft capable of using the same air space. The position of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese is that this is a consequence […]