Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Year, Another Jumbo-Sized Collection of Aviation Stories

From start to finish 2013 was as jam packed as an airliner during the holidays with news about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. When I wasn't writing about whether the forced grounding of the world’s newest airliner was justified or an overreaction by persnickety air safety agencies, I was writing about the equally polarized debate over the use of electronic devices onairplanes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Air Traveler's Resolution, Smile More, Grumble Less

My son, Antonio will be flying on Christmas.
My son, Antonio, is flying from Charlotte, North Carolina on Christmas Day - so he can be home in Connecticut with the family. When he boards his US Airways flight, he will flash his beautiful smile and wish the gate agent, the flight attendants and the cockpit crew a very Merry Christmas. He'll do that because he's just that way. But also because he knows, and so do you, that people respond to pleasant, with pleasant.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wrong Taxi by BA 747 Crew Takes a Bite Out of Building

And I'm guessing the wing on this airplane doesn't look too good either. Right.

In what might be the most consequential error in their career, the flight crew of British Airways Flight 34 appears to have taken the wrong taxiway while maneuvering for takeoff from Johannesburg's's OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday night. A statement from the South African Civil Aviation Authority said it had confirmed "that the air crew got instructions from the Air Traffic Control to taxi using taxi way B. The crew continued onto taxi way M which is narrower resulting in the aircraft impacting on an office building behind the SAA Technical hangers."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Airlines Say US Should Deny Operating Certificate to Norwegian's "Shell Company"

Bjorn Kjos is interviewed in Oslo in 2012
Four major U.S. airlines and the largest American pilots union are calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to deny Norwegian's attempt to fly into the United States under a new subsidiary based in Ireland. This could threaten the low cost carrier's rocket-like ascent into the U.S. and Asia markets from hubs in Scandinavia. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

What a 10 Thousand Foot View Can Reveal

It was going to be a disappointing ride; two and a half hours on a bus traveling between Klagenfurt, Austria to the Alpine ski community of Kals. The bus would take me through spectacular scenery but I would not be able to appreciate it either way because both drives would be made in the dark. Such is what happens when late evening and early morning flights are booked.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Boeing Can Hope Ethiopian Flight Will End Its Annus Horribilis

The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 that caught fire in London this summer will soon fly back to Addis Ababa, a flight both companies surely hope will take them closer to the end of 2013, an "annus horribilis" if there ever was one.

Boeing's not talking but Tweolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian's chief executive officer said that repairs to the plane's aft fuselage and tail section are nearing completion. This comes less than six months after the July 12th event in which a blaze above the ceiling of the back passenger section burned through to the exterior of the plane. At the time, ET-AOP was parked away from the gate at Heathrow Airport, awaiting its 9:00 pm flight back to Addis. No one was on board when smoke was seen emerging from the top of the airplane.