I got the greatest e-mail of all time today. But I’ll get to that in a moment. A while ago, Business Insider published an article detailing the “Most Dangerous Airlines.” This piece was in my opinion a hack job twisting facts to meet conclusions with only a limited basis in reality.
A body fell from Air France flight 547 on approach to Niamy, Niger before continuing on to Paris. The Airbus 330-200 originated from Ouagadougau, Burkina Faso. The person, a presumed stowaway, had most likely hidden in one of the wheel wells and fallen when the gear opened for landing. As the flight was only 261 miles long, it highly likely that the individual was still alive at the time of his fall. Most stowaways freeze to death due to the extreme cold from long periods of high altitude flight. Unfortunately, this event is not uncommon and happens several times a year from flights originating in Africa. A post flight inspection of the aircraft discovered blood on one of the wings and the plane has been grounded pending a more thorough inspection.
I really wish events like this didn’t happen, but they do. Events like this only serve to reinforce the idea that something needs to be done to help the developing world.
As my normal signature would seem trite, I will only say be well.
H/T Aviation Herald.
For a lot of people the 5% US Federal budget cut aka Sequestration aka “The Fiscal Cliff” that went into effect last January has been a non-issue.* Tell that to the Customs and Border Patrol station at Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. During the business summer travel season some 20+ international flights arrive at roughly the same time. Since sequestration DFW CBP has seen a 25% reduction in staff during peak hours. The result of less staffing and more flights is predictable. The video after the jump provides an excellent illustration of the problem.
Delta today announced that on March 20, 2014 they will begin daily 767 service to London’s Heatrow Airport. This adds to the current 10x weekly service operated by British Airways. I guess London is a popular destination for Seattle residents and vice versa as there will now be 17 weekly flights between the two cities.
United Airlines is bleeding and current changes in market conditions will make it likely that United Airlines will go bankrupt again.
Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have any diplomatic relations. A result of this is Saudi Arabia does not allow Israeli citizens into Saudi Arabia and they can not transit Saudi Arabia either. Since well pretty much all of Saudi Arabian Airlines’ flights transit their hub in Saudi Arabia Israeli citizens are not allowed on Saudi Arabian Airlines flights. This is neither a new issue or an unexpected issue. However, due to the NYC mayor’s race, the issue has come up again.
Both of these changes were noted on the Airline routes blog. H/T to them
Delta Air Lines is starting seasonal weekly service out of Indianapolis to Nassau and Montego Bay. This adds to Delta’s winter service to Ft. Myers, Orlando, Tampa, and Cancun. What surprises me isn’t snowbird service, but that Delta is expanding a city that is less than 400 miles from three Delta hubs, CVG, MEM, and DTW. While Delta could expand service from any those three hubs, they went with expanding IND. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but then again it doesn’t have to.
United Airlines is reducing their daily service on Washington DC-Kuwait City-Bahrain to 4x weekly service. This appears just to be another instance of United trying to shrink to profitability, a scenario that has barely worked in the airline industry. That being said United needs to swap crews in Kuwait City, which does increase the cost of the route dramatically.
Ok, well maybe not a bad deal, but there are better deals out.
Several weeks ago Asiana flight 214 crash landed at San Francisco International Airport. Of the 307 people on-board there were only three deaths. Of those three that died, 16 year old Ye Mengyaun died from essentially being run-over by a fire truck enroute to the scene.
Airport personnel frequently practice fire rescue on commercial airplanes. Those fire trainers, often repurposed airliners, are frequently visible in some disused corner of the airport. Due to the nature of their training, personnel do not have a large number of people running around to really simulate an airplane crash. Thirty years ago this made sense, back then the prospect of surviving an airplane crash was slim-to-none. Now however, if the airplane makes to the airfield, or never left, the probability of survival is quite high. The highest it has ever been actually. If a plane crashes on an airfield, rescue crews can expect to see large numbers of both ambulatory and nonambulatory passengers. So training for both ground staff and and aircrews needs to change.
Aircrews are currently trained to get the passengers off the plane as quickly as possible. The rule is that any commercial aircraft of any size has to be evacuated within 90 seconds. However, as far as I know there is no training for the next 90 seconds. After the evacuation there is now a large number of people panicking and rescue crews showing up who are just as amped up as the passengers. That alone is a recipe for disaster.
The solution to this problem isn’t easy. Every crash is different. However, aircrews should be expect to provide some crowd control after evacuation, and tell passengers move to the back, front, port, or aft. There should also be pre-arranged ways of communicating this to the rescue staff. This would insure the passengers do not interfere with rescue personnel and prevent future deaths.
Last week I took a trip on Delta to a destination in the Southeast. For those that follow my blog you may remember the last time I got on a Delta flight was at the end of 2012 and that was because I had a Delta voucher. Well this trip was for business and the organization that made the arrangements purchased the ticket for me. So, I had no say in the ticket which was fine. The ticket was fairly last minute and when booked therefore I was in the middle-seat on Phoenix-Atlanta. That wouldn’t do so I availed myself of the only option to get out of the middle-seat, I paid $60.00 for an economy comfort seat.