About David Learmount

Author Archive | David Learmount

Norwegian and Ryanair for pilots

  Widespread confusion about Norwegian Air Shuttle’s pilot employment contracting processes has been raising temperatures at flightcrew associations in Europe for more than a year, and is now having the same effect at American pilot unions since the company recently applied for transatlantic services. I’ve just returned from the 8-9 April Flyoperativt Forum at  Oslo […]

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If we had been able to track MH370…

Let’s go back to 8 March and start again from the point where the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 radar return disappears from ATC screens as the transponder is deactivated, then turns west from its north-easterly heading. This sequence, using what little is known about the 777′s behaviour that night, is intended to show that a […]

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Where now for future pilots?

Pilots have been coming in for a lot of stick since the loss of AF447 in 2009, not helped much by more recent events like the Asiana 777 crash on landing at San Francisco last year. It seems some pilots simply don’t watch the basics any more: airspeed, attitude, power. The automatic systems are so […]

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MH370: where now?

The quote that says it all came about 24h ago from one of the leaders of the Australian search team: “We’re not looking for a needle in a haystack. We’re looking for the haystack.” The Malaysian government has accepted that they are not going to find any survivors. After more than two weeks, that is […]

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That 5,000ft story about MH370

The media have been rightly confused by the story which says that Singapore radar saw MH370 descend to 5,000ft from 35,000ft after switching off the transponder. The proposed reason for the descent is that at such a low altitude even the military radar couldn’t see them. So why could Singapore radar see them, then? 5,000ft […]

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The flight path of the MH370 story

It was about 01:30 local time on Saturday 8 March that the secondary radar return of flight MH370 no longer painted on Kuala Lumpur radar screens, and no-one at the Vietnamese ATC centre at Ho Chi Minh City that was expecting to take over surveillance responsibility for it could see them either. A week later, […]

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Malaysia is handling MH370 incompetently

It’s bad enough for a widebody jet to go missing with 239 people on board, but then for the responsible country’s government and aviation agencies to handle the associated information with total incompetence is unforgivable. China, which may have lost more of its nationals on board than any other single country, certainly thinks so. This […]

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A surge in public interest

After witnesses near London Heathrow saw a British Airways Airbus A319 suffer what looked and sounded like an engine failure soon after take-off in the evening of 6 March, there was, perhaps predictably, a lot of media publicity given to the event. The airline subsequently confirmed that one of the aircraft’s engines had “surged”, and […]

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Air traffic management and geology

At the World ATM Congress in Madrid I was waiting for something to fire up my enthusiasm when someone explained why I was waiting so long. He told the Conference from the podium that watching ATM developments in Europe’s Single European Sky programme was “more like watching geology than Formula 1″. That was David McMillan, former […]

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New paint for Red Arrows

    The Reds and the Blues (the Reds’ engineering team) show off the new tail livery which has been adopted to celebrate the team’s 50th display season. Before the Red Arrows? The Black Arrows, of course. A team of 16 Hawker Hunters. They were good too  

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