Boeing 757 runway excursion at Jackson Hole, Wyoming

On 31/12/2010, in Safety is no accident, by steve

At 11.38 am Mountain Time on 29 December 2010, an American Airlines Boeing 757 overran the 6300 feet asphalt Runway 19 at Jackson Hole airport in Wyoming, USA. The aircraft came to rest about 350 feet beyond the runway end but there was no damage to the aircraft and no injuries among the 181 passengers and crew on board. It was snowing at the time of the incident and the runway overran area was covered by hard-packed snow, something that will have played a role in the no-damage outcome of this event.

An interesting detail… When news of the incident was first published on the Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network, there was also a link to a video made by one of the passengers. Later this video was removed… I wonder why?

Anyway, here is the link to the detailed incident description and the (missing) video.

By the way, Jackson Hole has special relevance to BluSky Services.

Click here to read the full article

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Happy New Year!

On 31/12/2010, in Anniversaries, by steve

We wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year!

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With thanks to Susie – wherever she is to-day

On 29/12/2010, in Flashback, by steve

One of these days I will tell you all about my office at BluSky Services, the place from which we run all the operations of the group. But not now. This story is about something totally different. It is about a memory that was triggered by the 1965 edition of the Collins English Gem Dictionary which I came upon while trying to put some order into the books filling the shelves here…

It was in December 1964 that we arrived in Cairo, Egypt and I was all of 14 and a half years old. I spent the next 5 months as a home student, learning stuff from which I would have to take an examination next Summer, upon return for a short holiday in our home country. Come September 1965, I was thrown into the deep water. At Cairo’s St.George’s College I was the first Hungarian they had ever seen… and also probably the first student ever whose command of the English language was just a tad below zero… Father Melody who was the head-English teacher and  Josef, the Egyptian headmaster were both very understanding and they even explained to the other teachers why they should be understanding too when I just stared in their eyes in response to even the simplest question. I did not understand a word!

Of course in a situation like this, you learn quickly and within a few weeks’ time I started to catch on and soon could easily differentiate between commands like stand up, sit down and shut up. I owe an awful lot to those great, understanding teachers but the fact that to-day I have a fairly good command of Shakespeare’s language was due to an English gal who was of my own age group and also the only hopeless love of my life.

Cherchez la femme you will say. Indeed…

Click here to read the full article

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The long and winding road – women in the cockpit and the control tower

On 27/12/2010, in Women in ATC, by steve

To-day, nobody bats an eye at the sight of a four-striper with long blond hair and lipstick hauling her flight case like her male colleagues do. Even an all female crew in the front office is commonplace these days. A female voice on the control frequency is also quite normal now in most of the world. But this was not always so and in some countries the going was more difficult than in others.

Even after female pilots on commercial flights were no longer a rarity, public reservations resulted in Air Inter telling the passengers of its Paris-Nimes flight on 7 February 1985 that it had been operated by an all female crew… only after they landed! This was a historic event, an absolute first in France.

Perhaps the most convoluted story comes from Hungary where girls had to put up a fierce fight to be allowed a shot at the microphone in international ATC service.

Back in the 70s and 80s Hungarian labor law had a list of professions that were not open to women. These concerned mainly work requiring a lot of physical strength but for some reason, “air traffic controller” was also among them. When asked why this should be so, some kind of weird explanation was given about women having fewer red blood cells that effectively prevented them from working in ATC. The fact that women in other countries were getting licensed and worked to everyone’s satisfaction did not seem to change anything. Hungarian women, apparently, were different…

Click here to read the full article

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Merry Christmas!

On 24/12/2010, in Anniversaries, by steve

We wish all our readers a Merry Christmas!

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Where’s the Exit?

On 23/12/2010, in Flight Safety Foundation News, by steve

Interesting material from the Flight Safety Foundation.

The U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch has recommended design reviews and modifications of emergency exits on public transport aircraft following an emergency landing in which passengers in an Embraer 195 became confused about how to use an overwing exit.

Read more about this here.

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Christmas greetings from the K9 unit

On 22/12/2010, in The lighter side, by steve

We got this nice picture from Chris, our contributor on security related subjects. These dogs are experts at everything from finding bad guys to rescuing people trapped under collapsed buildings. In this festive season they too will take a break but still stand by for the call for help, whenever it might come.

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The Airbus NEO is coming

On 22/12/2010, in The aircraft we fly, by steve

It is definite now, the Airbus 320 family will get new engines, proper winglets and other enhancements so that it may stand on its own in the face of competition from, among others, the Bombardier CSeries and the Boeing 737NG.

NEO stands for New Engine Option and one of the new engines will of course be a variant of the P&W Geared Turbofan (GTF). This is good news for Pratt as riding on the Airbus band wagon will probably take away some of the reservations airlines seem to harbour in respect of the new turbofan architecture.

Analysts differ on the likely impact Airbus’ decision will have on the CSeries, a new aircraft proposal that has so far been less then spectacularly successful. Some believe the NEO Airbus will be replacing larger single-aisle aircraft and therefore will not eat significantly into Bombardier’s market. Others tend to view the CSeries as a dead duck.

Click here to read the full article

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It is the time of the year…

On 21/12/2010, in The lighter side, by steve

Many years ago by this time of the year most of us will have sent our Christmas cards and some of the addressees will even have received them. For some others, the card would come only after Christmas and in extreme cases, even only in the New Year. The postal services of most countries were simply unable to cope with the mountains of cards being sent during the festive season.

Then the Internet and electronic cards came in and the problem was solved. Not only can we send cards until the last minute, we can also be sure that they will arrive on time. We also have a much larger choice and the animated cards can really be special.

Some say that sending electronic cards is a terrible social faux pas but I do not agree. In the modern age where we re trying to conserve the environment, replacing paper cards with electronic ones is simply the right thing to do.

Click on the stamp below to see your card! Be prepared to do a bit of interactive help!

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Snow shuts down airports in Europe

On 21/12/2010, in The lighter side, by steve

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