Wednesday, February 23, 2011

About Our Safer Skies

It's great to see another hopeful IATA report on the state of world airline safety.  Even if 2010's record low hull loss rate story is buried 32 layers below Justin Bieber's new haircut, the air transport world should be proud.

Aviation has proven a quick study on some problems, painfully slow on others.  The safety culture that has given us sterile cockpits and relentless emergency drills still hasn't cracked low-wage regional pilots and too-frequent reports of near misses in congested airspace, for instance.  And in some parts of the world airline safety remains Plan B (C ... or D ...).

While the past decade's improving commercial airline safety record is very real, we know there will always be a "next big one."  The harder we work to be wrong about that, the better.

In the meantime, congratulations to all the folks who work hard every day to make fewer accidents no accident.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

February 20 - A Delta Air Lines B737 made a safe emergency return landing to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida after an engine failed shortly after takeoff. (AVSIG Discussion)

February 19 - An Air France B777 made a safe emergency landing in St. John's, Newfoundland after a passenger suffered a medical emergency during a schedule flight from Paris to Houston.

February 19 - The pilot of a Cessna 150 was killed after crashing in a field near Princeton, South Carolina. Witnesses said they hear the plane's engine operation at high RPM before the crash.

February 17 - A Cessna 182 crashed during a landing attempt at Levelland Municipal Airport in Levelland, Texas, killing two and injuring two.

February 17 - A Heliswiss helicopter crashed during a landing attempt in the Swiss Alps near Thonon-les-Bains, injuring all six aboard. Weather was reported clear at the time of the crash.

February 16 - Both aboard a Cessna 172 operated by Phoenix East Aviation were missing and presumed dead after crashing off the coast of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The aircraft was on an instruction flight at the time of the crash.

February 15 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were injured after crashing in a heavily-wooded area near Americus, Indiana. Authorities believe the aircraft lost engine power before the crash.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

February 14 - Both aboard a Thai Air Force F-16 safely ejected before the aircraft crashed in the Chaiyaphum province of Thailand. The aircraft was on a training exercise at the time of the crash.

February 12 - No serious injuries were reported after a Cessna 150 crashed near Springdale Airport in Springdale, Arkansas.

February 12 - All five aboard an aircraft operated by Sabang Merauke Raya Air Charter were killed after crashing in the Riau Islands province of Indonesia. The aircraft was reportedly on a maintenance test flight at the time of the crash.

February 11 - A SkyWest flight bound for San Francisco from Santa Barbara made a safe emergency landing at Monterey Peninsula Airport in California after losing cabin pressure.

February 11 - All five aboard a single-engine plane were killed after the aircraft crashed into the 3,000-foot level of a mountainside in Saint-Luc, Val d’Anniviers Switzerland.

February 10 - An Alaska Airlines flight returned to the gate Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a rat was seen in the cabin. Passengers were transferred to another flight.

February 9 - Two single-engine planes collided at 1,500 feet over Mission, British Columbia Canada, killing one of two aboard a plane that crashed into a swamp. Both aircraft were reportedly locked together and spiraling to the ground when the crew of one aircraft was able to work the controls to free the airplane from the entanglement. The crew of that aircraft found that full flight control was still available, cut fuel, restarted, and made a safe emergency landing in a field. The aircraft involved in the collision were reportedly flying in formation with several other aircraft at the time.

February 9 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency return landing to Omaha after smoke filled the cockpit shortly after takeoff.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

NOTAM: Still Watch for Cattle on the Runway

We haven't gotten mailbags here at the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm ever since the mail man was chased off by the FBO Labradoodle, but somehow these questions arrived in our mailbag this week:

Is the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm a real place?
WM, Poughkeepsie, NY 

Do you provide flight training?
WHM, Fargo, ND

Are there any beef cows in the runway overruns, and do you guys ship the steaks when someone lands long?
discoPete, Miami, FL

Well of course the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm is real ... in every way that the tin man's heart, scarecrow's brain, and lion's courage are real.  But we don't provide flight training, and we don't ship steaks from unfortunate ORBs*

Let's just say that in heavy rain we're the kind of real place where our hangar leaks, but nobody gets wet.

The 'Drome & Farm shtick developed in AVSIG's blinking fixed-pitch green-on-black beginning when something in our collective human nature demanded that we attach a folksy backdrop to the novel act of typing messages back and forth to strangers on CRT screens.

There were no Twitter feeds or YouTubes to suggest that there was anything normal or everyday about conducting life inside a glass rectangle in 1981.  Sandy Trevor & Co. hadn't yet dreamed up GIFs to spare us our thousand words.

So the sight-unseen destination modem-connected aviators from around the globe converged on naturally became an airport.  Land your bits and bauds a the AVSIG International Aerodrome.

Someone soon surrounded our airport by farmland, and then someone started talking about cows. 

Industrial parks and golfers are used to intercept short and long runway traffic at some airports, but our virtual airport would use grazing cows.  Land your bits and bauds at the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm.

This year we celebrate AVSIG's 30th anniversary as the oldest real imagined place in all of online-dom.  Though we've rehabbed the runways a few times and a metropolis of FaceGoogles have grown up around us we're still the same old place.

Please do log-in and land at our humble little aerodrome.  Hang around our always-open, always-warm, always-well-lit hangar, where the coffee and conversation never stops flowing and the coffee pot always never gets cleaned.

Despite the fact we don't offer flight training and don't ship steaks, you might learn a thing or two about aviation, and you might periodically step in evidence of cows.


*Overun Retention Bovine

Monday, February 7, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

February 6 - The pilot of an ultralight was critically injured after crashing near a landfill in Mojave, California.

February 6 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was injured after crashing near West Blocton, Alabama.

February 5 - A US Airways B767 bound for Philadelphia from Switzerland diverted to Greensboro, North Carolina after anti-icing equipment necessary for operating in Philadelphia's weather conditions failed.

February 4 - A jetBlue A320 bound for Bogata from Orlando made a safe emergency landing in Kingston, Jamaica after onboard instruments indicated smoke in the cabin. The aircraft was inspected in Kingston and cleared for takeoff three hours later.

February 4 - A twin-engine plane owned by Faruk, Inc. crashed on takeoff from Sulaymaniyah International Airport in Iraq, killing four and injuring eight. Heavy fog was reported at the time of the crash.

February 3 - A Hawker jet made a safe emergency return landing to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Missouri after an engine failed shortly after takeoff.

February 3 - Both Aboard a 1943 Aeronca 0-58B were injured after crashing on ranch land near San Luis Obispo, California. Air traffic controllers indicated the pilot reported mechanical trouble before the crash.

February 2 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency landing in Omaha after the crew detected the odor of smoke in the cockpit during scheduled flight from Denver to Philadelphia.

February 2 - Both aboard a Fouga CM-170 Magister were killed after crashing on approach to Kissimmee Municipal Airport in Florida. (AVSIG Discussion)

February 2 - A Colgan Air flight made a safe emergency return landing to Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York after experiencing engine trouble shortly after takeoff.