Archive | May, 2013

The A319 interim report

Now the basic truths are known. The NTSB (see previous entry) had indeed exaggerated the nature of the problem the pilots had to deal with, but the pilots would still have had their hands full bringing their ship back home safely. The engine – the right one (No 2) that was seen streaming smoke – […]

Continue Reading

Just how serious was the BA A319 incident?

As I write, the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch has still not told us what happened to the British Airways A319 at Heathrow last Friday (24 May). But it has informed us, rather vaguely through a non-expert spokesperson, that information released by the US National Transportation Safety Board about the event is inaccurate or misleading. […]

Continue Reading
Stuart Linklater.jpg

Piloting the shortest hop

After 24 years of linking remote communities in Scotland and its islands, Loganair pilot Stuart Linklater flew the shortest scheduled airline route in the world for the last time on Sunday, 26 May. He’s retiring to fly part-time for the airline out of Glasgow. Stuart has flown the world’s shortest route - between the Orkney islands […]

Continue Reading
EBACE emissions.jpg

Emissions at EBACE

Emissions policy is just a load of hot air right now. It’s a mess, and that’s the result of the failure of national governments to agree on anything, let alone a policy that industry could reasonably work with. Aviation, the producer of 2% of global warming emissions is, as usual, being targeted by governments who […]

Continue Reading

Pilot lock-out

As soon as I had written the two previous entries about the push toward single-pilot flightdecks, the story broke about the Air India captain being locked of the cockpit by a faulty door. The copilot diverted the aircraft and landed safely.Can you imagine what the skipper felt like? He was still the aircraft commander, even […]

Continue Reading

Single-pilot flightdeck – the answer to flightcrew shortage?

“They” have been talking for some time about single pilots flying widebody freighters. But all of a sudden the talk is no longer restricted to cargo aircraft. The theory was this:  Technology could easily make single-pilot airliners possible, but the industry needs a non-controversial way of slipping the idea into the system. Freighters could provide […]

Continue Reading

Single-pilot jumbo jets just around the corner

It’s official: the industry is working toward an airline flight deck that can safely be operated by a single pilot. And if it’s extended long-haul, an augmented crew would be two pilots: one on the flight deck and the other resting. A team led by Thales Avionics, consisting of many other high-profile European companies plus […]

Continue Reading

Pilot mercenaries

There’s definitely a place in the industry for contract crews, whether they are pilots or maintenance engineers. But when an airline requires its permanent, home-based pilots to be self-employed and uses an agency to carry out the rather vestigial remaining Human Resources function, it is reasonable to ask what kind of a relationship the pilots […]

Continue Reading

EZY’s ash cache

EasyJet has just airfreighted – to a test centre at Airbus Toulouse – a tonne of Icelandic volcanic ash, collected by the Institute of Earth Sciences, Reykjavik.  The ash, with a consistency like fine talcum powder – but very harmful to airframes and jet engines – will be used in an airborne experiment planned for […]

Continue Reading

UK pilot trainees to get student loans

Starting in September, aspiring UK commercial pilots will be able to apply for student loans up to £14,500 a year for their three-stage ab-initio pilot training course.  If that sounds too good to be true, you can find the details at the Aviation Skills Partnership website. The course, which will take place at any accredited UK […]

Continue Reading