Following are several items received from visitors. If you can offer any assistance, contact me and I'll put the parties in touch:
Aviation training software for Australia:
Swales Developments specializes in software products which assist in the process of course material delivery and student competency testing. They want to find out more about the Australian aviation training industry and in particular the prospects regarding finding a reseller of software in Australia.
DC 8-62 for lease in South America:
Intercontinental Aero Leasing is a cargo company that currently owns 2 DC 8 cargo aircraft, 1 62 model and a 63. The 62 is currently in flying condition and they have a 129 certificate from Lima Peru. IAL is currently looking for charter flights within South America.
Crashed Firebird Commander:
A visitor submitted this. Please respond here in the blog with any comments you may have.
I am writing for some advice regarding a Firebird Commander which we just bought for our 11 year old son. Today (Easter Monday) was the first day we tied to use it, on a fine calm day in a very large grassy field. The plane flew easily and on the first flight landed beautifully. However, on the second flight it landed at sharper angle to the ground (of about 20 degress) - a chunk was ripped out of the back of one wing, the plastic seal on the front of the other wing was split and the front hood was ripped off the fuselage. We managed to secure it with an elastic band and on the third flight it again flew well again, but again it came down at a sharper angle and this time destroyed itself. The plastic rivets on the front of the fuselage were bent backwards from the impact, the propeller was broken off from the motor and the plastic mounting for the propeller on the fuselage has been bent almost inside out.
I appreciate that these planes are not indestructible and that this is a budget model - we had already bought a replacement propeller in anticipation. However, I would expect that it should be able to land a bit roughly without breaking so irretrievably - it just can’t be mended as far as we can see. We carried out all of the tests satisfactorily and my son is a very intelligent 11 year old - there is no question regarding our adherence to the instructions and guidance. It seems to me that this is a well designed plane built from sub-standard materials which are never going to last long under normal conditions.Of course, the warranty carefully relinquishes responsibility for damage from use, so I do not expect there is much I can do - is there? If not, can you suggest a more robust model for the future?
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Following are several items received from visitors. If you can offer any assistance, contact me and I'll put the parties in touch:
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Newsweek March 21 issue:
What with Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotels.com and every airline, hotel chain and car-rental place hosting its own site, you would think that the last thing the world needs is another travel destination on the Web. Nonetheless, veterans of several of the aforementioned online travel giants have launched yet another start-up, Kayak.com, claiming that it would be more of a travel search engine than a direct competitor to the others. The site has been in beta since last fall and offers a few things not seen on other sites, like complete access to discount airlines like JetBlue and Southwest, and a nice way to refine results without having to go back to the beginning of the search...
Defensenews.com reports: The maker of the U.S. military’s Predator family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is preparing to roll out a new variant of the airplane, potentially raising the competitive pressure in the business.
The next generation of the series the Predator C, which can fly higher and faster than the current Predator B UAV, will be ready later this year...
The maker of the U.S. military’s Predator family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is preparing to roll out a new variant of the airplane, potentially raising the competitive pressure in the business.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
This international aeronautics and space E-magazine is currently looking for free-lance commercial assistants. Skycontrol provides news about airports, service providers, general aviation, military aviation, helicopters, air sports, flight sim, model making, careers, and more. See their good aerial photography article. Contact Skycontrol through their website to inquire about the job.
Monday, March 21, 2005
I think we need some common sense when it comes to air travel security. Nail clippers? Ohh, there's a threat! Lighters? Seems absurd to me.
Zippo statement on lighter ban:
While Zippo agrees with the TSA "that fueled lighters could pose a potential security risk if carried into the passenger cabin of a commercial aircraft," they "strongly oppose the interpretation by the Department of Transportation (DOT) that prohibits packing lighters in checked luggage. In testing performed by Zippo engineers, as well as investigations done by the Lighter Association, Inc., not a single bit of evidence points to lighters being hazardous in checked luggage. Specifically, we have not uncovered one instance in which lighters in checked luggage exploded, caught fire or otherwise posed a danger to the aircraft."
Zippo goes on to point out the irony that:
"DOT regulations permit such items as ammunition, as well as aerosol cans, which could contain isobutane propellants, to be carried in checked luggage, and considers these items to be non-hazardous."
Where does it end?
Friday, March 18, 2005
The Fox TV show (in the U.S.) "Trading Spouses" is casting for new episodes and they are looking for a family with a flight attendant. You have to have at least one child between the ages of 6 and 18, US citizenship, and an ability to speak English. Also, the spouses must be legally married. Email me if you are interested and I'll put you in touch.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
From the Washington Post (free registration):
Pentagon Has Far-Reaching Defense Spacecraft in Works
By Walter Pincus
The Pentagon is working to develop a suborbital space capsule within the next five years that would be launched from the United States and could deliver conventional weapons anywhere in the world within two hours, defense officials said.
This year, the Falcon program will test a launcher for its Common Aero Vehicle (CAV), an unmanned maneuverable spacecraft that would travel at five times the speed of sound and could carry 1,000 pounds of munitions, intelligence sensors or other payloads. Among the system's strengths is that commanders could order a CAV -- an unpowered glide vehicle -- not to release its payload if they decided not to follow through with an attack.
The first-generation CAV, expected to be ready by 2010, will have "an incredible capability to provide the warfighter with a global reach capability against high payoff targets," Gen. Lance W. Lord, commander of Air Force Space Command, told the House Armed Services Committee last Wednesday.
Within the next three years, the Falcon program hopes to enter a second stage of the effort: flight-testing two versions of a reusable hypersonic cruise vehicle, sometimes referred to as a space plane, that could travel a suborbital path, about 100,000 feet high, carrying a CAV anywhere in the world. Unlike a missile, the vehicle could return to its base after releasing the CAV to deliver bombs or intelligence sensors.
The Falcon program vehicles "will improve the military's ability to quickly position intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads, while reducing its reliance on forward and foreign basing," Anthony J. "Tony" Tether, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee last week.
While most public attention today focuses on meeting threats abroad with traditional land, sea and air forces, the Falcon program reflects how the Bush administration is increasingly looking to space to meet dangers it anticipates.
The use of space "enables us to project power anywhere in the world from secure bases of operation," says the Pentagon's national defense strategy, which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed on March 1. Among the key goals in the strategy paper are "to ensure our access to and use of space and to deny hostile exploitation of space to adversaries." The strategy paper, done every four years, provides the policy basis on which the armed services plan their research, development and acquisitions of weapons systems. This year's strategy, Rumsfeld wrote, "emphasizes the importance of influencing events before challenges become more dangerous and less manageable."
In congressional appearances over two weeks, Lord, Tether and other senior Pentagon officials have described a variety of new space initiatives for meeting challenges such as updating intelligence and communications satellite programs and even fielding systems that would allow the United States to temporarily silence enemy satellites if the need arose.
Space communications have already become important to U.S. warfighting. As Lord put it, "Our most recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq prove our nation relies on capabilities coming from and through space more than ever before." For example, more than 60 percent of all communications at the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom came through satellites, which also guided munitions to targets and today transmit intelligence from the United States directly to troops fighting in the field.
Looking to the future, the defense strategy calls for the use of space vehicles that provide capabilities beyond the current intercontinental missiles to thwart any future adversaries that move to prevent U.S. use of land or sea bases.
Such abilities, Lord told the House members, are dubbed "prompt global strike" and represent "a top priority for our space and missile forces." Because CAVs, unlike missiles, can be recalled, they could be launched toward a potential target even before a final decision was made to attack. The system could, Lord said, "deliver a conventional payload precisely on target within minutes of a valid command and control release order."
The capability offered by CAV would also reduce the need for overseas bases and enable the United States "to react promptly and decisively to destabilizing or threatening actions by hostile countries and terrorist organizations," according to DARPA's early solicitation for bids put out in mid-2003.
John E. Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a nongovernmental defense think tank, said yesterday that the Falcon and CAV programs will allow the United States "to crush someone anywhere in world on 30 minutes' notice with no need for a nearby air base."
In addition to creating attack weapons, the Pentagon is working on new defense systems to protect the ever-more-important satellites the United States has in space.
"I think everybody that I know in the United States military and the Department of Defense understands the important role that our space assets play in our national security," Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday.
Last October, the Pentagon announced deployment of its first mobile ground-based system that could temporarily disrupt satellite-based communications from an enemy satellite. The counter-communications system uses powerful electromagnetic radio frequency energy to silence transmissions from a satellite in a way that is reversible if the need passes. Two more units are due later this year.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Expressions of Interest sought. We received this notice:
This is a venture to raise money for and awareness of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) called the Great Circle Air Safari. We are intending flying up to 20 vintage aircraft through NSW, Qld, NT and SA visiting the major RFDS bases over a period of 12 days commencing 1 October 2005.
The air safari had its advent in November 2003, when we held the "Bridge to Uluru Air Safari" to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This safari involved flying four vintage Boeing Stearman, a De Havilland Dragon Rapide, supported by a Piper Dakota aircraft from Sydney to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and return raising money from Corporate Australia and awareness of the RFDS. This safari was a great success and provided a proof of concept for the larger air safari which we intend to hold in October 2005. We raised $20,000 in funds and significant publicity for the RFDS through TV, radio and newspaper. A journalist and photographer from The Australian newspaper travelled with the air safari to Uluru and did a series of stories the journey. We also had a film company from Canada film the entire air safari, with a documentary currently in post production, due for completion in mid 2005.
The Great Circle Air Safari has a similar theme as Bridge to Uluru Air Safari in that we are raising funds for the RFDS to purchase replacement aircraft ($8 million each) which are funded by the Australian community. However this time we also are aiming to raise the awareness in the cities of Australia about the RFDS "mantle of safety" for people travelling in regional and remote Australia if anything goes wrong. RFDS statistics are showing that there is an increasing number of people from the cities making outback journeys who ultimately need their help when "things go wrong". It is this group that have a limited awareness of the essential service the RFDS provide and currently provide limited support to this Australian icon.
Departing on 1 October 2005 we hope to have up to 20 vintage aircraft making a journey through NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia, visiting all the major RFDS bases along the way with a target of raising $500,000 and increase awareness of the RFDS. Our tag line for this safari is "linking coast to country".
Expressions of Interest
We currently are looking for expressions of interest from pilots who would like to participate in this journey, who own or have access to a vintage aircraft. The journey is expected to take approximately 12 days. We currently have expressions of interest from four Boeing Stearman, One Dragon Rapide and One Dakota. We have limited the number of aircraft taking part in the air safari to a maximum of 20 with acceptances on a first come, first serve basis. We also would like to talk to pilots who would be willing to join the air safari for several legs, but not the entire journey.
See the website.
Monday, March 14, 2005
The Aviation Security Report Card is the culmination of The Coalition of Airline Pilots Association's efforts to highlight the problems in the U.S. aviation security system. CAPA's goal is "One Level of Security" for all of America's commercial aircraft operations because terrorists don't care whether they use a passenger or cargo aircraft to achieve their means.
A site visitor writes:
I'm seeking funny and instructive anecdotes from flight attendants about how to ensure your pet has a safe flight -- the kinds of things they WISH passengers knew or understood about traveling with Fifi or Fido.
Is there someplace on one of these boards where I can seek interviewees for this story for PREVENTION magazine's July issue?
If you you can help, email email@example.com.
Friday, March 11, 2005
The FCC proposes to replace or relax the ban on airborne usage of 800 MHz cellular handsets as well as propose other steps to facilitate the use of wireless handsets and devices, including those used for broadband applications, on airborne aircraft in appropriate circumstances.
In 1991, the Commission adopted its prohibition on using 800 MHz cellular phones while airborne. The rule prevents the airborne use of cellular phones carried onboard by passengers or crew members, as well as use of cellular equipment that might be installed permanently, on both private and commercial aircraft. The ban was adopted in order to guard against the threat of harmful interference from airborne use of cellular phones to terrestrial cellular networks. While Personal Communications Services (PCS) under part 24 and Wireless Communications Services (WCS) under part 27 are not subject to an airborne use prohibition by Commission rules, regulations promulgated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibit the use of all types of mobile telephones, as well as other portable electronic devices (PEDs), on aircraft, unless the aircraft operator has determined that the use of the PED (including mobile/cellular telephones) will not interfere with the aircraft's aviation navigation and communication systems. Thus, while the objective is to relax or remove the Commission's prohibition on the airborne use of cellular telephones, any steps ultimately taken will leave the use of personal electronic devices (including cellular and other wireless handsets) aboard aircraft subject to the rules and policies of the FAA and aircraft operators.
Comments are due on or before April 11, 2005, and reply comments are due May 9, 2005.
Find more at http://wireless.fcc.gov/archive2005.html. Search the page for "FCC 04-288" to find pdf and Word versions of "Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Use of Cellular Telephones and Other Wireless Devices Aboard Airborne Aircraft."
Friday, March 04, 2005
A few links to get you started on this story:
From Composites News: CFRP Composites GlobalFlyer w/Steve Fossett Does it! Circles the World, Solo, Nonstop, Unrefueled
From CNN: Fossett makes history - Pilot completes first nonstop, global flight without refueling
And the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer Home Page
Thursday, March 03, 2005
The New York Times (free registration) reports:
Uli Derickson, the Trans World Airlines flight attendant honored for saving passengers' lives in 1985 by both confronting and mollifying terrorist hijackers, died on Friday at her home in Tucson. She was 60.
On June 14, 1985, when a pair of Lebanese gunmen commandeered a T.W.A. flight from Athens to Rome, Ms. Derickson took the lead in protecting the 152 passengers and crew members...
This story is worth a read.
SIAE, the organisers of the Paris Air Show, and Blyenburgh & Co (on behalf of UVS International), have signed apartnership agreement to jointly promote unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems at the upcoming Paris Air Show (13-19 June 2005).
Under the terms of this agreement, UVS International will organise the UAV Awareness Forum at the Paris Air Show. This 2-day conference on all classesof UAV systems will take place on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 June 2005 in a conference room in the main building at the air show. The objective of the UAV Awareness Forum is to highlight existing UAV systems and to inform on ongoing UAV system developments.
The F/A-22 Raptor was officially unveiled during a dedication ceremony at Langley Air Force Base, Va., on Feb. 11, 2005. The 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing at Langley is the first operational squadron to use theF/A-22 Raptor. See the Photo Essay at the U.S. Department of Defense Force Transformation page.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
A site visitor recently inherited some WWII Royal Air Force flight charts, log books and other books as follows:
Various ordnance survey maps form circa 1944, including UK, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Transport Command Royal Air Force Route Briefs (1944-45) :UK - AlgiersUK - Cairo.
US Army Air Forces Pilot's Handbook (1944-45): Casablanca - Cairo, Accra-Kano-Khartoum, Khartoum-Cairo.
Royal Canadian Air Force Flying Log Book and Sight Log Book (1943).
The Royal Air Force Medical Examination for Fitness for Flying (1938).
The Royal Air Force Air Navigation Manual (1941).
Civil Defence Handbook No 5 - Light Rescue (1958).
If you should have any interest in any or all of these documents/books, contact me and I'll put you in touch.
Composites News reports:
The Boeing Co. has revealed new details about required maintenance -- or the lack of it -- for its 787 Dreamliner. The company is so sure that the composite structure, including the fuselage, of the plane formerly known as the 7E7, will require far less maintenance than anything flying today that Boeing has made maintenance "guarantees" to customers...
This USA Today article examines the state of Wi-Fi implementations at airports:
Air travelers generally are finding it easier to check e-mail wirelessly, but big airports are adding Wi-Fi hot spots at a slower pace than are other public places.
Mark Bolger, marketing chief for T-Mobile HotSpot, says providing wireless Internet access at airports can be more complicated than at, say, a coffeehouse or hotel...
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
According to the Washington Post (free registration), a BA flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow experienced an engine surge (they happen) shortly after takeoff. Either the engine failed (usually you like to see an engine recover after a surge), or it was shut down (that can happen for a variety of reasons).
After considering several options, including dumping fuel and returning to LA, the decision was made to continue the flight on 3 engines. (The aircraft must have been a 747-400 with RB211 engines.) But the drama wasn't over yet - due to unexpected headwinds, fuel consumption was higher than normal. The captain issued a Mayday when the fuel ran low, and made an emergency landing at Manchester.
Routine stuff, or cause for concern? Read more and you decide:
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