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July 26, 2017 by
Air India Flight 676, bound from Kolkata to Mumbai, was forced to land at Nagpur on Saturday, July 22 due to its fuel running low. As reported by Times of India, Air India has grounded the two pilots who did not pull back the landing gear of the aircraft after the take off from Kolkata all the way till Nagpur. The flight was headed to Mumbai but had to halt at Nagpur. The pilots realised that they had been flying the aircraft with the wheels out only when they prepared to land at Nagpur, TOI reported.     Flying an aircraft with the wheels out means flying low and also results in more utilisation of fuel. The aircraft AI 676 had 99 passengers on board on Saturday. TOI reported quoting a source, “After take off, both the pilots forgot to retract the landing gear. As a result, the brand new Airbus A-320 continued to ascend at a very low climb rate. The plane finally gave up climbing after reaching an altitude of 24,000 feet as the extended landing gear meant very heavy drag. It then levelled out and flew at 230 knots for the next 1.5 hours.” Since the aircraft was flying at a very low range compared to the optimal level in the sky that an aircraft is supposed to fly within, it resulted in the immense burning of the fuel due to the extra dragging. By the time the Airbus A-320 reached Nagpur, it went low on fuel and both the pilots decided to divert the plane to the Nagpur airport as it would not have been possible to reach Mumbai in that much fuel, reported Times of India. TOI quoted the AI spokesperson, Dhananjay Kumar, who said, “The pilots were de-rostered after the incident was reported.” He said that the airline is probing further into the case. According to TOI, the two pilots are equally surprised that none of the cabin crew members or the passengers complained about the noise and vibrations made by the aircraft due to flying at such a low altitude.

June 19, 2017 by
An enhanced version of the A380 dubbed the A380-plus, seeking to regain market traction with its biggest aircraft. The new version will feature 13% lower costs per seat compared to the current A380, according to Airbus. The A380-plus, if firmly launched, will feature new winglets and some wing refinements that, the manufacturer expects, will lead to a fuel-burn reduction of up to 4%. Furthermore, Airbus is targeting a significant reduction of maintenance by stretching intervals and reducing down time for the six-year check. The A380plus also includes proposed changes to the interior that will allow for the addition of up to 80 seats in a four-class configuration.   The A380-plus will feature an increased maximum takeoff weight of 578 tons, compared to 575 tons for the current version. That will allow airlines to carry the up to 80 more passengers over the same range (8,200 nm) as the existing aircraft or increase the range by 300 nm for ultra-long-haul missions.     Airbus is reportedly talking to Emirates about another follow-up order for around 20 more A380s that could be announced at the Dubai Air Show in November. Securing further commitments in the short term is crucial for Airbus to be able to avoid having to decide further production cut-backs. 

June 14, 2017 by
In case you’ve ever wondered how much an Airbus passenger jet costs, here are the official Airbus list prices for 2017.   AIRBUS AIRCRAFT 2017 AVERAGE LIST PRICES (millions of US$)             A318     75.1                                                                A319     89.6     A320     98.0   A321     114.9   A319neo     98.5   A320neo     107.3     A321neo     125.7   A330-200     231.5   A330-800neo     252.3   A330-200 Freighter     234.7   A330-300     256.4   A330-900neo     287.7   A350-800     272.4   A350-900     308.1   A350-1000     355.7   A380-800       432.6     Price depends on design weights, engines choice and level of selected customisation. 

June 14, 2017 by
India’s IndiGo has marked a temporary request with ATR for up to 50 ATR 72-600 airplane, in an arrangement worth over USD$1.3 billion at rundown costs. The assention enables IndiGo to fluctuate the quantity of air ship under specific conditions. ATR said the primary airplane ought to enter benefit before the year’s over. IndiGo, as of now an all-Airbus administrator, will utilize the ATRs to manufacture a territorial system in India as the administration pushes to lift nearby economies by associating little and remote urban areas. “We are leaving on an adventure to fabricate an across the nation local system and associate urban areas that have not profited from the development in Indian avionics,” IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said. “The ATR’s low working expenses will help us assemble an extensive territorial air travel connect with sensible admissions.”       The temporary request matches with the dispatch of the Indian government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN, that means to help monetary improvement, work and tourism in the areas.   India’s domestic flight advertise has been developing by more than 20 percent every year, achieving very nearly 100 million travelers in 2016. Under UDAN 100 new air terminals will be worked throughout the following a few years and aircrafts will receive financing and other incentives to support the plan.   Low cost carrier IndiGo is the largest airline in India by passenger numbers and fleet size. It operates a fleet of over 130 Airbus A320-family aircraft, including 20 A320neos out of an order for over 400.

February 10, 2017 by
नरेंद्र मोदी क्यों बदलने जा रहे है इंदिरा गाँधी एयरपोर्ट का नाम । दिल्ली के इंदिरा गांधी इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट, जो भारत की राजधानी दिल्ली का प्रधान अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय एयरपोर्ट है, का नाम अब बदला जाएगाl इस बात का संकेत खुद नागरिक उड्डयन राज्यमंत्री ने इंडियन एक्सप्रेस के साथ एक इंटरव्यू में दिया हैl आखिर क्या कारण है कि मोदी सरकार अब ये बदलाव लाने जा रही है? किस कारण के चलते लेना पड़ा ये निर्णय? क्या कहा नागरिक उड्डयन राज्यमंत्री जयंत सिन्हा ने? खबरों और रिपोर्ट्स के अनुसार, एयरपोर्ट के नाम के बदले जाने के सुझाव पर इसलिए विचार किया जा रहा है ताकि यात्रियों और पर्यटकों को दिक्कत ना आये क्योंकि वो ऐसे नामों से परिचित नहीं रहते हैंl राज्यमंत्री जयंत सिन्हा ने इंटरव्यू के दौरान कहा कि इस सुझाव पर विचार किया जा रहा है कि सभी मौजूदा एयरपोर्ट्स और फ्यूचर ग्रीनफील्ड एयरपोर्ट्स का नाम किसी शख्सियत के नाम पर न होकर शहरों के नाम पर होl इसके साथ ही सिन्हा बोले कि फिलहाल यूनियन केबिनेट द्वारा इस सुझाव के पास होने का इंतजार किया जा रहा हैl जल्द ही इसपर अंतिम निर्णय ले लिए जायेगाl ज़्यादातर मुख्य एयरपोर्ट्स का नाम किसी शख्सियत के ऊपर ही है, जैसे छत्रपति शिवाजी इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट(मुंबई), इंदिरा गांधी इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट (दिल्ली), राजीव गांधी इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट (हैदराबाद), चौधरी चरणसिंह इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट (लखनऊ) आदिl शहरों के हिसाब से एयरपोर्ट्स के नाम रखना भी मुश्किल कार्य हैl आप इसे चंडीगढ़ इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट के उदाहरण से समझ सकते है जिसमे दोनों पंजाब और हरयाणा की सरकार का 24.5 फीसदी हिस्सा है और बाकि का स्टेट ओंड अथॉरिटी ऑफ इंडिया के अंदर आता हैl दोनों सरकारों ने 2008 में दो अलग अलग नामों का सुझाव दिया था l पंजाब की तरफ से शहीद-ए-आज़म सरदार भगत सिंह इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट, मोहाली नाम का सुझाव आया था, वहीं हरयाणा की सरकार ने शहीद भगत सिंह इंटरनेशनल एयरपोर्ट, चंडीगढ़ नाम का सुझाव दिया थाl  

January 16, 2017 by
B737NG operating temperatures   Question again out of the field of operation:  An aircraft requested a descent due to low SAT/OAT of – 70°C, is there such a limit on the B737NG? It looks that we know the answer related to the minimum FUEL temperature in the tank (#1). For takeoff and in flight this is the highest of -43°C, or 3°C above the freezing level of the fuel in the tanks. Fuel freezing level temperature specifications are: – JET A1 (JP1) _ freezing point – 47°C – JET A _ freezing point – 40°C – JP-5 _ freezing point – 46°C – JP-8 _ freezing point – 47°C Any fuel ice preventing additive does not change the minimum fuel tank temperature limit and (just as a guideline), fuel cools depending on fuel quantity and OAT about 3°C/hr. The actual answer to the question relates to the aircrafts operating OAT’s which can be found on the ENVIRONMENTAL ENVELOPE diagram in the B737NG AFM. I’ve highlighted the in flight minimum and maximum OAT limits, and also the takeoff and landing OAT limits can be determined to the current PA, and ISA deviations. Takeoff and landing limits are bounded at sea level and with standard day conditions from: – Lower OAT limit at – 54°C – Upper OAT limit to + 54°C until + 39,4°C at 8.400 feet PA. (maximum T/O and LND field elevation) In flight the lower limit at standard day conditions depends on PA, and varies from: – Lower OAT limit at 0 ft PA, – 62°C – Lower OAT limit at FL 410, – 73,2°C (mind ISA adjustments)

December 7, 2016 by
Which is better: Donald Trump’s plane or Air Force One? On Tuesday, Donald Trump Twitter-suggested that the government cancel its contract for new presidential aircraft from Boeing. One can't help but think that -- perhaps subconsciously, perhaps not -- Trump is entertaining the idea of continuing to use his existing plane, at least every once in a while. There are good reasons he'd want to, as we found when we compared the two planes in Sep. 2015. There is only one candidate for president who already has access to most of the accoutrements of the office. Fabulous, expansive home? Donald Trump has it, atop Manhattan's Trump Tower. A helicopter or snazzy motorcade to shuttle him around? Got that, too. Access to his own golf course, whenever he wants? Sure, take your pick. And then there's the plane. Paul Solotaroff's excellent Rolling Stone profile of Trump starts off on what we'll call "Trump Force One," the 757 Trump bought from Microsoft mogul Paul Allen and refitted with plenty of gold plating and Trump family crests. Trump bragged to Solotaroff about the accommodations. "It's bigger than Air Force One," Trump told Solotaroff, "which is a step down from this in every way. Rolls-Royce engines; seats 43. Didja know it was featured on the Discovery Channel as the world's most luxurious jetliner?" Solotaroff is quick to point out that Trump's plane is, in fact, not bigger than Air Force One (and that it was not on the Discovery Channel, but on the Smithsonian Channel). But we thought this was worth exploring, given that Trump might need to pick between the two in several months. So which is the better plane, Air Force One or Trump Force One? Size Winner: Air Force One As noted above, Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747-200, is indeed larger than Trump Force One, a 757-200 with winglets. We grabbed schematics from Boeing to compare the two. Air Force One is wider, longer, taller.   Speed and range Winner: Air Force One When it comes to service as a means of getting from point A (LaGuardia) to point B (Des Moines, Iowa), Air Force One is better, too. Better numbers are in bold below.   Air Force One Trump Force One Top speed 0.92 Mach 0.86 Mach Cruising speed 0.84 Mach 0.80 Mach Range 6,800 nm 4,100 nm When you're trying to get from Andrews Air Force Base to Bagram in a hurry, speed and range matter. Fanciness Winner: Trump Force One This is perhaps a bit subjective. But, look: Air Force One, for all of its elegance, is utilitarian, in much the same way that the White House is utilitarian. There's stuff on Air Force One that Trump doesn't need, like seating for members of the media. Air Force One seats 70 people, to Trump's 43. It's a bigger plane, of course, but it's also because it has to schlep around people that Trump's does not. What's more, Trump can invest in touches at which taxpayers might balk. Trump's plane has a movie theater! The president's plane, it seems, does not. It does have a conference room -- but so does Trump Force One. But videos speak 29,970 words per second. So let's compare the two via video tour, shall we?   Here's Air Force One: AIRFORCE ONE And here's Trump's: TRUMP ONE    The president's plane has a hospital on-board, for obvious reasons, but that's not exactly "fancy." Overall Winner: Donald Trump Look, we're at the point of comparing one giant, customized luxury jet to another. This is like assessing a person who's trying to decide which Bentley to buy at a dealership outside of London. Whichever car he buys, he's probably doing alright. And it suggests a possible campaign plank for Trump: Donald Trump, the guy who will decrease the national debt by selling Air Force One, Marine One, the presidential motorcade and, heck, the White House. After all, who needs 'em?

December 2, 2016 by
Those of you who work Line Maintenance know that a good portion of the calls we get during the course of the day are for things like coffee makers, seat belts, window washes, and of course oil. This past week started off normal enough. I start work mid week and one of the first calls was for oil. This is not unusual but as the day progressed it seemed like all the flight crews wanted oil. There were 5 or 6 of us on shift that day and I would bet that each of us went through 2 or 3 cases of oil EACH!! We have a table that we put our empty oil cans on to drain out the last bits of oil and make the cans clean for the recyclers. The table was full and the cans were stacked! I know that this happens every now and then but this seemed to be excessive. Easily every other call was for oil I was amazed. Turns out that the flight crews have a new requirement that says they must call Maintenance Control if they are at a station with no SWA maintenance and their oil qty is 65% or lower. I can only guess as to the reasoning behind this but I'm sure that if the dollars and cents, nitty gritty, nuts and bolts were explained to me, then it would make total sense. What I do know is that the flight crews do not want to talk to Maintenance Control. They like talking to them so little that they make sure that they get the oil filled up at a Maintenance Station, like OAK. I admit that it is tiresome to go out and put 2 or 3 quarts of oil into an engine. I start to think things like "It's raining out here, the Captain is nice and dry upstairs and called me out in this mess to put a lousy 2 quarts of oil in the engine?!" Of course there are times when I have put over 10 quarts into an engine and that pisses me off too. "How could these fools leave whatever station they were at with the oil being so low?" It really irks me that they would treat the engines, my engines like that. I think whats going on is that the company wants to save as much money as possible and it really is kind of silly to have to pay contract maintenance to put oil in a plane that just left OAK (or where ever) one or two legs ago. Saving money helps SWA put food on my table so I guess I will go oil up that plane in the rain, snow, heat, dark even if it's a mere two quarts. It's taking care of our engines and our bottom line, two birds-one can of oil, type of thing.

December 2, 2016 by
My wife is a pilot. A lot of my wife's friends are pilots. When her pilot friends come over or we are spending time with them they always start talking pilot talk and I have no idea what they are saying! I started to wonder about aircraft maintenance and mechanics. Do we have our own language? When outsiders are amongst us aircraft mechanics do they have trouble understanding what we are talking about? Of course the answer to both of these questions is: YES! We at SWA have our own lingo we revert to when we are in the break room or trouble shooting, etc. We have the tried and true 3 letter (or more) acronyms such as APU, CDS, EGT, FMC, and on and on and on. There are other things that we say which are airline maint. specific. I started to compile a list of these sayings. Although I am not close to being finished with my list I figured I would share some with you guys and see if you readers have anything to add. With just one weekends work we at the shop came up with the following: Aisle Donkey a flight attendant Dip-Shittery your basic cluster in progress Angle of the Dangle this refers to using wrenches or tools and how the angle of the fastener relates to the angle of the wrench you are using to remove it. German Torque unspecified torque on a bolt or fastener. Pretzelized when something is totally out of shape or crushed up PBA Prolly-Be-Alright Lick it, Stick it and Kick it!! MEL the thing and get it out of here. Pushin' Tin The process of keeping planes in the air. Doing maintenance so the plane keeps flying. These are just a few of the things we say at work and I will keep adding to the list as time goes on. Until then keep Pushin' Tin!!

November 14, 2016 by
Instrument Landing System What is an ILS? An ILS is a highly accurate radio signal navigation aid used by pilots landing at an airport when there is poor weather and/or low visibility. It consists of two antennas which transmit signals to receivers in the aircraft cockpit—a glide path tower located next to the runway at the northern end and a localiser antenna at the southern end. These antennas provide the pilot with vertical and horizontal guidance when landing in low visibility. Video Explanation - An ILS may be used outside these conditions as a preferred approach particularly for international operators. It may also be used by some aircraft at night and there will be occasions where aircraft and airlines require the ILS approach for licensing and training requirements. How the localizer and glide path work together to provide vertical and horizontal guidance to pilots ? How will an ILS improve flight reliability? Gold Coast Airport is operating safely without an ILS and the public can continue to travel by air with confidence. An ILS enables airlines and airports to continue operations in low visibility conditions, such as heavy rain and very low cloud. This will increase the reliability of landing at the airport. In any weather conditions, pilots must be able to see the runway before landing. Installing an ILS at Gold Coast Airport will reduce the decision altitude or height at which a pilot must make the decision to continue with the landing with the runway in sight or to go-around or divert because the runway is obscured by cloud. An ILS will reduce the decision height, or minima, from 500 feet to 280 feet, improving the chance of landing in poor weather. However, an ILS will not guarantee a landing in all weather—the decision to land in poor weather is ultimately up to the pilot-in-command. Why is an ILS proposed for Gold Coast Airport? An ILS was foreshadowed in Gold Coast Airport’s 2011 Master Plan which outlines key infrastructure and capability needs over the next 20 years to meet air traffic growth. An ILS is a well-established and proven technology used around the world. All commercial aircraft currently flying into the airport are able to make use of ILS technology to assist with landing in low visibility. Increasingly, aircraft are also able to use satellite-assisted technologies, such as Smart Tracking, which was permanently introduced at the Gold Coast in late 2014. Why is the proposed ILS being installed on Runway 14? The ILS is proposed to be installed on Runway 14 as about two-thirds of flights to Gold Coast Airport land from this direction each year due to prevailing winds in the area. Runway 14 is also the airport’s preferred runway and is used by aircraft landing from the north. Airlines were also consulted about the decision on which runway to install the ILS. What is the difference between ILS and Smart Tracking? Smart Tracking is satellite-assisted navigation technology allowing aircraft to fly with greater accuracy and can assist in allowing an aircraft to land in low visibility conditions. At the Gold Coast, Smart Tracking allows aircraft to approach Runway 14 from the south and north with the majority of the flight path over the water before making a final approach for landing. Smart Tracking at Gold Coast Airport has a decision altitude or minima—where the pilot must be able to see the runway to continue with the landing—of 500 feet. In comparison, the proposed ILS will provide a minimum decision altitude of 280 feet and will improve the predictability of landing at the airport in low visibility conditions.

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