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China Air plough's through ground equipment at Chicago in Snow

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 An Air China Cargo B-747 ploughed through cargo containers at Chicago Airport on 28th jan 2022, damaging one of her engines. The airport was covered with snow and light snowfall was present when this occurrence took place at nigh around 1600 hrs UTC. METAR text: KORD 281610Z 35008KT 2 1/2SM -SN BKN026 OVC034 M08/M12 A3031 RMK AO2 P0000 T10831117 Conditions at: KORD (CHICAGO O'HARE , IL, US) observed 1610 UTC 28 January 2022 Temperature: -8.3°C (17°F) Dewpoint: -11.7°C (11°F) [RH = 76%] Pressure (altimeter): 30.31 inches Hg (1026.5 mb) Winds: from the N (350 degrees) at 9 MPH (8 knots; 4.1 m/s) Visibility: 2.50 miles (4.02 km) Ceiling: 2600 feet AGL Clouds: broken clouds at 2600 feet AGL overcast cloud deck at 3400 feet AGL Weather: -SN  (light snow) As per media reports there were no injuries to personnel on board or on the ground. Images from social media and Flightradar24 

Qatar Airways avoids potential traffic collision with a crossing aircraft over Iran

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  A Qatar Airways newly acquired Airbus A-350-1000 series aircraft had a close call over Iran on 12th April when it came into close proximity with another crossing aircraft. The airliner equipped with the state of art technology and traffic collision avoidance system was seen climbing by about 500ft while cruising at 34000ft on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Los Angles, USA.           Flightradar24 plotted aircraft track The automated TCAS detects an incoming aircraft and if it identifies the other aircraft on a potential collision trajectory, she arms the traffic collision avoidance system. When the intruder crosses a pre-set threshold , the system automatically initiates an avoidance maneuver to provide the minimum safe separation between two aircrafts. Altitude increase/ Speed decay due to traffic avoidance In this incident the Qatar Airways A350 registration 97-ANO dropped its speed by almost 35km/hr while cruising at 888km/hr. This drop in speed at an high altitude is not safe since

A virtual reality solution for the accident prone helicopters

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A virtual reality based flight simulator may provide the solution to the helicopter industry for pilot training and other safety aspects. EASA has approved the first virtual reality based flight simulation device. “This is a significant milestone in the evolution of Flight Simulation Training Devices,” said Jesper Rasmussen, EASA Flight Standards Director. “The Agency is pursuing the modernisation of its regulation for training devices to reflect their actual capability and technology advancement. This evolution will make a wider range of cost-effective training devices available to complement Full Flight Simulators and is being driven in part by training needs for new Vertical Take Off & Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Robinson Helicopter Crash History The Robinson helicopters have been notorious worldwide with the R44 model accounting for 1.6 accident per 1000,000 hrs. Robinson Helicopter Company began in 1973 as a helicopter manufacturing company, based in Southern California, which pr

Psychology of why COVID19 didn't create fear in people till it rained havoc ?

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  The definition of Fear is highly subjective. When COVID19 virus began to spread in the late 2019 originating from China, the world couldn't care less and life was normal around the globe. A pandemic was declared and the freedom of movement was curbed, for passengers to fly strict S.O.P. was put in place. Soon, people began to take the S.O.P. casually, drop their masks, disregard social distancing while traveling as they couldn't see the effects of the virus and refused to take the vaccines. Passengers began to defy the curbs and a second wave hit a few nations where people began see death up close. This is the stage when fear set in. The question arises, why didn't fear set in the first time when it was evident that the virus will take its toll?  To understand this, we need to define fear. Fear is subjective in nature and every person will define it a bit differently depending upon the perception. One of the definition is "Fear is the natural, and therefore reasonabl

IATA Travel Pass, the safest solution to reopen international borders amidst the COVID19 pandemic

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  COVID19 is here to stay. Its been over a year and the globe is still reeling with the effects of death and destruction caused due to the on going pandemic. Aviation industry has been affected the most and the recovery is predicted to be cautious and slow. Despite all the precautions being taken by the aviation industry the governments are apprehensive to open up borders to normalize flight schedules. The governments have initiated COVID19 vaccine drive but it will take over an year before a substantial percentage of the world's population has been vaccinated. IATA the international body promoting air travel which has a membership of 290 airlines from 120 nations, has taken up the initiative of helping reopen the borders. To re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status. Informing passengers on

Singapore Airlines B777 levels out at 500ft, as strong cultures overshadow procedures

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  I am a true believer that society and culture cannot be separated from work and training. However best the training may be, it is under a controlled environment and the performance indicators needed to be achieved are briefed before hand. The crew undergoing training works together to achieve their objective and they are driven by performance indicators required to be achieved to declare them competent. In the real world, the motivation, drive and targets are not briefed as well as they are in a training environment. There are a lot many distractions and personal cultures and behavioral influences are lot more active as compared to a training environment.   The First Officer of this Singapore Airlines B777 departing from Shanghai, China was a Multi Crew Pilot License holder with over 1700hrs flight experience on type. The essence of an MPL training program is multi crew coordination and threat error management. Therefore it can be safely assuming that the crew had demonstrated all th

Multi-Crew Pilot License, India needs better preparedness to adopt the change

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  The Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) was adopted by ICAO in 2006 with an amendment in the ICAO Annex-1. India has still not implemented the change. India has been following the traditional prescriptive training methodology with very few changes over the year. The idiom “ Don’t fix it until it breaks ” fits well in the Indian context. There is however a need to rationalize training curriculum since it has been overloaded with additional training requirement post a major accident or an ICAO mandate. There are lobbies which have been pushing for the introduction of MPL in India in partnership with a few airlines. The airlines unknowingly are falling for the bait that they have been traditionally been doing since eternity. India has always been seen as a milking cow by the west and the sheer numbers in terms of training hours requirement seems like a lucrative business to anyone. The question here is,   is India prepared to launch and support a new training and licensing methodology? The c

Aviation ministry sits on INR1450 Cr in the backdrop of unpaid salaries & COVID crisis

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  Un-utilised funds COVID19 crisis has crippled the aviation sector which has witnessed salary cuts and job losses to stay afloat. In this time of crisis the civil aviation ministry has managed to overlook utilization of budgetary allocation of a staggering INR1450 Cr FY 2020-21.  This has been recorded in the report of the Parliamentary committee on transport tabled  in March 2021. The report in para 8.1 states the following "The Committee is distressed to note that the Ministry has been able to spend only 64.9% of the enhanced RE allocation of ₹4131.63 crores, which means that the Ministry has to spend ₹1450.78 crore in the remaining two months of the Financial Year 2020-21 .  The Committee apprehends significant underutilization of the budgetary funds available with the Ministry. At a time when the Government was facing major financial troubles on account of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry received a considerable boost of 8.8% at RE 2020-21 , as compared to BE 2020-21. 

First autonomous cargo flight, gate to gate

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The future of aviation is going to change soon with drones and now autonomous aircraft making its debut after the demonstration flight. Xwing, a USA based company has completed its first gate-to-gate autonomous demonstration flight of a commercial cargo aircraft. The company said Thursday it has raised $40 million at a post-money valuation of $400 million. The company is setting its sights on expansion — not only tripling its engineering team, but eventually running regular fully unmanned commercial cargo flights. Xwing has developed technology to automatically detect and avoid other aircraft and obstacles, integrating radar, ADSB, optical cameras and lidar. The sensor system is designed to be easily added to existing aircraft, along with navigation and control systems that allow the plane to go from taxi to landing by itself, deciding on the most efficient flight path and adjusting to any issues along the way, while coordinating with air traffic controllers. "Our software integra

In the business of training pilots, the airlines are making a quick buck

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Becoming a pilot is an expensive proposition due to the high training costs without an assurance of a job and on the other hand can be a lucrative business for some. Every year hundreds of youth train to become pilots at flying schools in India and abroad having borrowed huge sums in loans or mortgage. A pilots profession not only pays well but increases the social standing of an individual. The youth is desperate for jobs and the airlines need pilots, but do airlines have a moral and social responsibility of not making pilot training into a business which works towards maximising profits and at some stage even insensitivity? A pilots profession is an aspirational career for most young adults and more so after the aviation boom with the arrival of airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet. IndiGo leads the pack in terms of market share and number of aircrafts. The growth of the airlines has been phenomenal and expansion is a never ending process. This requires the recruitment of hundreds of pi