About David Learmount

Author Archive | David Learmount

MPL mythbusters

The multi-crew pilot licence (MPL) is still new enough for many industry people to be suspicious of it. These suspicions will gradually erode as knowledge and experience accumulates, and the MPL will – eventually – become the default way of training to become an airline pilot – possibly with the exception of the USA. The […]

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Airline pilot training. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if…

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if the airline and training industries all over the world were to agree on a common set of pilot training, instruction and evaluation standards that reflects the demands on pilots in today’s flying environment? No-one, anywhere, says it’s a great idea to have a system that trains airline pilots […]

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MH17 – the unveiling begins

Flight MH17 was brought down by an external explosion which precipitated the structural break-up of the Boeing 777-200, according to the preliminary report of the accident investigator. The fuselage, particularly near the flightdeck, was extensively punctured by “high energy objects” that entered from outside, says the report. The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder […]

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Boris Island is not dead yet, but Heathrow will get a new runway and Gatwick may get one as well

The widely leaked news that the proposed “inner Thames estuary airport” has been dropped from the UK government’s Airport Commission’s shortlist has surprised nobody, because the decision was foreshadowed in the Commission’s interim report in December last year. The only options remaining on the Commission’s shortlist are extra runways at London Heathrow and/or Gatwick. Meanwhile, […]

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How bad is the volcanic ash risk for European aviation?

Detailing the magnitude of Icelandic eruption risk is a tricky issue. Even volcanologists admit their helplessness – although Iceland continuously monitors seismic activity in real time. Given a certain level of activity it can take anything from 10s to several decades before the Earth’s crust fractures and millions of tonnes of magma, ash and gas […]

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Europe trembles as Iceland shudders

In April 2010 an Icelandic volcano – Eyjafjallajokull - famously shut down European aviation for nearly a week. Now Bárðarbunga threatens. This is what the Icelandic Meteorogical Office has to say about it: “Since the onset of the earthquake swarm at Bárðarbunga on Saturday [16 August] morning, around 2,600 earthquakes have been detected with the earthquake monitoring […]

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The death of the aerodrome control tower

Do air traffic controllers really need to look out of the window in a control tower to manage traffic at an airport? That’s a question UK air navigation service provider NATS is now asking in a recent blog post. The company knows it can’t ignore the advances in remote tower technology that are already available, and […]

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Analyst calls for UK politicians to declare airport support

As the Airport Commission approaches its conclusions and a general election looms, the City of London wants political party leaders to declare their hand now on airports policy in the new government. James Stamp, KPMG’s head of transport puts it particularly clearly: “We welcome the progress being made by the Airports Commission. However, we believe […]

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Holiday flight guide to hijacks, intercepts and bomb threats

Qatar Airways flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, UK was just an ordinary flight until it was quite close to its destination. At that point the window passengers in the Airbus A330 noticed that the flight had been intercepted by an RAF Typhoon fighter. It was shadowing them in loose formation. QR23′s crew had been […]

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Tally-ho! – the QR23 live media event

The Qatar Airways flight QR23 airborne show at Manchester, UK yesterday was a gift for the 24h news media. It was exciting, continued for several hours, and no-one got hurt. The A330 was intercepted by an RAF Typhoon fighter during its approach to Manchester airport after the skipper told ATC there had been a bomb […]

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