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Ethiopian Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Dakar, no casualties

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Ethiopian Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Dakar, no casualties

An Ethiopian Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing minutes after taking off in Senegal on Tuesday because an engine had caught fire, an airport spokesman said.

None of the 90 passengers or crew were injured, spokesman Tidiane Tamba told Reuters.

The airline confirmed on Twitter that its Boeing 767 aircraft had to land unexpectedly at Senegal’s Blaise Diagne International Airport near the capital Dakar because of “a technical problem” without providing more detail on the cause.

It said that all passengers were being rebooked on other flights.

Photos posted on the airport’s official Twitter account showed fire fighters and airport staff posing next to the plane’s charred engine with what appeared to be foam from a fire hose at their feet.

Seven months ago, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 nose-dived into farmland outside the capital Addis Ababa, killing 157 people just minutes after take off.

The incident caused a global debate into the safety of a new Boeing 737 MAX model that had also crashed months before in Indonesia.

Preliminary reports in both cases highlighted the role of an automated system that erroneously pointed the plane’s nose down as pilots struggled to override it. The two crashes killed 346 people.

 

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Aviation

Bird strike resurgence poses challenge to airline operators

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Bird strike resurgence poses challenge to airline operators

…spurs over N5bn loss annually

 

The resurgence of bird strikes in Nigerian aviation industry and its economic losses to airlines, which is put at approximately N5billion annually, has become a source of worry to operators.

Although bird strike is a global phenomenon, many factors such as the nation’s carelessness to the environment culminating in over grown bushes and other untidy behaviours around the aerodromes are escalating the activities of birds and animals around airport areas.

A bird strike is a collision between an airborne animal, usually a bird or bat and a manmade vehicle, usually an aircraft. The term is also used for bird deaths resulting from collisions with structures such as power lines, towers and wind turbines.

Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. There are over 13,000 bird strikes annually in the US alone.

However, the number of major accidents involving civil aircraft is quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about 1 accident resulting in human death in one billion (109) flying hours.

The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft; however the collision is usually fatal to the bird(s) involved.

In monetary terms, it is estimated that about $1.2 billion per annum is lost to bird strike by the global aviation industry. In the United States of America about $650 million is lost annually as a result of bird strike.

Bird strike incidents usually affect the engines of aircraft, which cost about $1.5 million (N547.5 million) to replace, depending on the type and capacity of the aircraft involved in the incident. This is apart from the cost of shipping the engine into the country.

Nigerian airlines experience at least 12 bird strike incidents annually, our correspondent gathered. He reported that in the past 24 months, there has been no fewer than 28 bird strike incidents recorded across the country’s airports.

Statistics of the incidents obtained by New Telegraph indicates that the airlines encountered 14 bird strikes during take-offs and another 13 on landings, with half of the incidents happening at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Virtually all domestic airlines have experienced one form of damage to their engines or nose wheel. Ethiopian Airline landing gear was hit by a massive bird last week Thursday but caused just minimal damage.

In the past two months, at least two Nigerian carriers experienced major bird strike incidents that severely damaged the aircraft’s engines, costing the airlines and their insurers millions of dollars to replace the engines.

Air Peace is the hardest hit as many of its airplane engines had been damaged, Arik, Aero, Dana, Azman and others are becoming almost a monthly occurrence.

Spokeswoman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, told our correspondent that the agency was looking at making sure it eradicate or reduce this threat of bird ingestion to aircraft or animal incursion into the runway and so the need to disperse the discovered roost before it became worst.

Being a pilot and a frequent flyer along the MMA axis, she disclosed that the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, like other pilots, have been aware of the roost for some time as they see it when they take off or land due to the fact that the habitat is directly under approach flight path of aircraft that are inbound runway 18L Murtala Muhammad Airport.

A source, who pleaded anonymity, attributed high incidence of bird/wildlife strikes in to the attraction of many species of wildlife to the airports due to the presence of thick bushes, waste dumps and farmlands around the airports.

He called for adequate funding of the airports by the acquisition of modern safety equipment in the airports, stressing that this will also allow adequate maintenance of vehicles, proper habitat management, adequate fencing and regular training and retraining of bird/wildlife hazard control officers.

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NCAA notifies pilots, operators of new format for birds, wildlife strike reporting

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NCAA notifies pilots, operators of new format for birds, wildlife strike reporting

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has notified pilots, airports and Airline Operators as well as Aircraft Engineers of a change in birds and wildlife strike reporting format.

Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, made the announcement in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos.

Adurogboye said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had evolved a new format for birds and wildfire strike reporting.

According to him, the European Coordinating Centre for Accidents and Incidents Reporting System (ECCAIRS) Excel-based format will now be used for ICAO Bird strike Information System (IBIS) reporting.

He said the notification was contained in an advisory circular with reference NCAA/AAS/BHC/04/006/11/132 dated July 30 to all airports/airline operators, pilots and aircraft engineers.

Adurogboye said the notification was signed by the Director, Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, Mr T. A. Odunowo on behalf of the Director General of NCAA.

He said it was mandatory for them to forward to NCAA, Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards (DAAS), using the attached IBIS-ECCAIRS form for all Bird and Wildlife strikes at their Aerodromes on or before 30 days of occurrence for the submission.

Adurogboye said this was in accordance with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs) 2015, Part 12.6.23.2 and Aerodrome Standards Manual (ASM), Section 13.2.4.2.

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Aviation

Lufthansa cancels 1,300 flights over strike

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Lufthansa said Wednesday it was scrapping 1,300 flights as German cabin crew pressed ahead with a two-day strike, plunging passengers into travel chaos amid an escalating row over pay and conditions.

“As a result of the strike, around 180,000 passengers will be affected by 1,300 flight cancellations,” the airline said in a statement after losing a last-minute court battle to halt the walkout.

The 48-hour stoppage called by the UFO flight attendants’ union is due to start at 2300 GMT on Wednesday and last until 2300 GMT on Friday.

The union said the stoppage would affect all Lufthansa departures in Germany during that time.

Germany’s largest airline said it “regrets the inconvenience for the passengers”.

The carrier was putting together an alternative flight schedule where possible, it said, adding that affected passengers could rebook their journeys for free or swap their domestic flights for train tickets.

The announcement of 700 flight cancellations on Thursday and roughly 600 on Friday come after a Frankfurt labour court denied Lufthansa’s request for an injunction to block the strike.

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Aviation

Pilot gets life ban after woman’s cockpit photo

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Pilot gets life ban after woman’s cockpit photo

A Chinese pilot has been banned from flying after a photo went viral showing a female passenger in the cockpit.

The photo was taken in January on an Air Guilin flight from Guilin city to Yangzhou city, state media said, but was widely shared this week – causing the airline to take action.

It shows a woman posing in the cockpit with refreshments laid out next to her, reports the BBC.

Air Guilin said in a statement the pilot had violated air safety regulations.

The incident took place on January 4 on flight GT1011 from Guilin city to Yangzhou city, according to state media outlet ‘The Global Times’.

But it was brought to the airline’s attention on Sunday after screenshots of the alleged passenger’s post started being shared widely on micro-blogging site Weibo.

The post showed the woman making a V sign with her fingers – a popular pose in China – with the photo captioned: “Thanks to the captain. So happy.”

The woman is rumoured to be a flight attendant in training at a Guilin university, according to news site ‘Chinese News Service’.

Air Guilin did not specify if the photo was taken mid-flight, but Chinese pilots and analysts said the photo appears to have been taken during the flight.

The pilot, who was not named, has been banned from flying for life, though it is unclear if he was fired from all roles by the airline.

Air Guilin said in a statement that he had “violated [regulations] by allowing irrelevant personnel into the cockpit”.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, passengers are not allowed to enter the cockpit without special approval or under “necessary” circumstances.

Other staff members involved in the incident have also been “suspended indefinitely” while further investigations are held.

“Passengers’ safety is always Air Guilin’s priority. We take a zero-tolerance approach against any inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour that might risk the aviation safety,” the Chinese carrier said.

Last year, Chinese carrier Donghai Airlines suspended a pilot for six months and revoked his qualifications as a flight instructor after he allowed his wife to go inside the cockpit.

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Aviation

Plane makes emergency landing on beach

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Plane makes emergency landing on beach

A small plane was forced to make an emergency landing on a Long Island beach Monday after experiencing engine problems, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The single-engine Cessna 150L touched down about 2:20 p.m. at Point Lookout in Hempstead — about nine miles east of John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials said.

Two people were on board the craft. There were no reports of any injuries, reports New York Post.

The plane had taken off from Stevensville airport in Maryland and was en route to Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip when it was forced to land, records show.

According to FAA records the plane is registered in Ronkonkoma.

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Aviation

Plane makes emergency landing on beach

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Plane makes emergency landing on beach

A small plane was forced to make an emergency landing on a Long Island beach Monday after experiencing engine problems, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The single-engine Cessna 150L touched down about 2:20 p.m. at Point Lookout in Hempstead — about nine miles east of John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials said.

Two people were on board the craft. There were no reports of any injuries, reports New York Post.

The plane had taken off from Stevensville airport in Maryland and was en route to Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip when it was forced to land, records show.

According to FAA records the plane is registered in Ronkonkoma.

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Aviation

Qantas, Southwest stepping up checks for cracks in 737 NG aircraft after issues found

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Qantas, Southwest stepping up checks for cracks in 737 NG aircraft after issues found

Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) and Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) are stepping up checks for structural cracks on Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 NGs after discovering problems with planes that did not require urgent inspections, airline sources said.

The cracks are on what is known as the “pickle fork” – a part that attaches the plane’s fuselage, or body, to the wing structure.

Repairing the cracks requires grounding the airplane, with remedial work costing an estimated $275,000 per aircraft, according to aviation consultancy IBA.

Boeing on October 11 said 38 planes worldwide had been grounded after urgent checks but has not provided a further update. The issue surfaced while the newer 737 MAX model is grounded globally following two deadly crashes, reports Reuters.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on October 2 mandated checks of 737 NGs with more than 30,000 take-off and landing cycles within seven days.

It said jets with 22,600 to 29,999 cycles must be inspected within 1,000 cycles, which typically correspond to the number of flights.

Qantas discovered cracks in a plane with about 26,700 cycles that was undergoing heavy maintenance, while Southwest found cracks in one with about 28,500 cycles, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

A Qantas spokesman said the airline had found cracking in one jet with just under 27,000 cycles that had been removed from service for repair.

He said that no Qantas jets had yet reached 30,000 cycles, but that the airline would inspect 33 planes with more than 22,600 cycles by the end of this week.

A Southwest spokesman said he could not confirm the number of cycles of the three jets the airline has pulled from service for pickle fork repairs. He said the company has complied with the FAA directive on inspections but was expanding checks to its entire 737 NG fleet.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Boeing said all 737 NGs with more than 30,000 flight cycles and about one-third of planes with over 22,600 flight cycles had been inspected for pickle fork cracks.

The manufacturer said additional assessments were underway to determine the cause and potential implications for planes with fewer than 22,600 cycles.

“Depending on the results of these assessments, additional inspections or repairs may be required,” Boeing said.

It said that so far the repair costs were not big enough to affect its bottom line. But the company added that it could not estimate potential future financial impacts because since the inspections were ongoing.

A Boeing spokesman on Wednesday said he could not provide a further update.

American Airlines and United Airlines, whose 737 NG fleets have less than 30,000 cycles, are also inspecting their entire fleets but have not found any pickle fork issues so far, representatives for both airlines said.

Virgin Australia said it had already inspected all 19 of its 737 NGs with more than 22,600 cycles and did not find any cracks.

South Korea’s transport ministry said all nine 737 NGs grounded in the country with cracks had more than 30,000 cycles.

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Aviation

Airbus cuts delivery goal on Hamburg plant snags

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Airbus cuts delivery goal on Hamburg plant snags

Airbus (AIR.PA) cut its full-year delivery goal for commercial jets on Wednesday, as the planemaker struggles with production delays at a newly expanded German plant.

Europe’s largest aerospace group expects to deliver “around 860” airliners in 2019 instead of the 880-890 previously targeted, the company said as it posted 1.6 billion euros ($1.78 billion) in adjusted operating income for the third quarter, reports Reuters.

The revised delivery numbers and outlook “reflect the underlying actions to secure a more efficient delivery flow in the next years”, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in the company statement.

The adjusted operating profit figure rose 2% year-on-year as revenue fell 1% to 15.3 billion euros for July-September and net income rose 3% to 989 million euros. The group also trimmed its 2019 free cash flow goal to reflect the revised delivery outlook.

Airbus has been wrestling with delays to its A321 jets at its plant in Hamburg, Germany for around two years, and a top leasing industry executive said earlier on Wednesday that the situation showed no sign of improving.

John Plueger, chief executive of Air Lease Corp (AL.N), told the Airfinance Journal Asia Pacific 2019 conference that problems at the Hamburg plant were “getting worse, not better”.

Asked about Plueger’s comments, an Airbus spokesman said: “We are agreeing next deliveries with our customers.” The discussions with customers were confidential, he added.

To reach its revised 2019 goal, Airbus must still hand over 289 planes in the final quarter, a little short of its record 297 deliveries in the same period last year.

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Aviation

Airbus cuts delivery goal on Hamburg plant snags

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Airbus cuts delivery goal on Hamburg plant snags

Airbus (AIR.PA) cut its full-year delivery goal for commercial jets on Wednesday, as the planemaker struggles with production delays at a newly expanded German plant.

Europe’s largest aerospace group expects to deliver “around 860” airliners in 2019 instead of the 880-890 previously targeted, the company said as it posted 1.6 billion euros ($1.78 billion) in adjusted operating income for the third quarter, reports Reuters.

The revised delivery numbers and outlook “reflect the underlying actions to secure a more efficient delivery flow in the next years”, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in the company statement.

The adjusted operating profit figure rose 2% year-on-year as revenue fell 1% to 15.3 billion euros for July-September and net income rose 3% to 989 million euros. The group also trimmed its 2019 free cash flow goal to reflect the revised delivery outlook.

Airbus has been wrestling with delays to its A321 jets at its plant in Hamburg, Germany for around two years, and a top leasing industry executive said earlier on Wednesday that the situation showed no sign of improving.

John Plueger, chief executive of Air Lease Corp (AL.N), told the Airfinance Journal Asia Pacific 2019 conference that problems at the Hamburg plant were “getting worse, not better”.

Asked about Plueger’s comments, an Airbus spokesman said: “We are agreeing next deliveries with our customers.” The discussions with customers were confidential, he added.

To reach its revised 2019 goal, Airbus must still hand over 289 planes in the final quarter, a little short of its record 297 deliveries in the same period last year.

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A year on from Lion Air crash, Indonesians pray, scatter petals for victims

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A year on from Lion Air crash, Indonesians pray, scatter petals for victims

One year after a Lion Air plane crash that killed 189, relatives and friends of victims held prayer vigils and cast flower petals into the Java Sea at the site where the budget carrier’s Boeing 737 MAX jet went down beneath the waves.

The almost new Boeing Co aircraft had been flying from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to the town of Pangkal Pinang, on the Bangka-Belitung islands off Sumatra, when it crashed within minutes of take-off.

“This cannot be forgotten because it was such a tragic and unbelievable event,” said Epi Samsul Komar, whose 24-year-old son, Muhammad Rafi Andrian, was on the doomed flight, JT610.”Hopefully this flower-scattering ceremony can heal our longing for our child,” Komar told Reuters.

He was among the families of victims who went by boat to the crash site off the West Java district of Karawang to throw petals into the sea, a tribute they also performed last November 8.

Tuesday’s event came days after Indonesian investigators issued their final report on the disaster, setting out Boeing’s failure to identify risks in the design of cockpit software and recommending better training for Lion Air’s pilots.

The fatal crash, followed within five months by another at Ethiopian Airlines, led to a global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and a crisis for the world’s biggest planemaker.

Stan Deal, newly appointed President and Chief Executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, attended the ceremony in Jakarta, at which he told Reuters he was there to pay his respects.

Deal’s predecessor, Kevin McAllister, was ousted by Boeing last week, the first high-level departure since the two crashes.

In the town of Pangkal Pinang, tax office employees held special prayers for seven colleagues killed in the crash, the office head, Krisna Wiryawan, said.

A tribute video featured photographs of the victims in happier times.

“When the loved ones are gone, only memories remain,” read a message near the end of the video. “These memories will remain in our hearts.”

Indonesian regulators criticized the design of the 737 MAX’s anti-stall system, known as MCAS, which automatically pushed the plane’s nose down, leaving pilots fighting for control.

Investigators attributed the Lion Air crash to a number of factors, including design flaws and inadequate regulatory oversight, as well as errors by Lion Air pilots and engineers.

Lion Air was “always improving upon pilot skills and maintenance because it’s a never ending job in the airline industry,” Chief Executive Edward Sirait told reporters at Tuesday’s event.

Boeing ran a statement in Indonesian newspapers in which its president and chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, said, “We are deeply sorry and grieve for the loss of life.”

“May God rest their souls in peace, provide strength to their families, and keep their memories alive,” he said.

Muilenburg also visited the Indonesian embassy in Washington to offer condolences a day before he is due to testify before the U.S. senate on Tuesday.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said she hoped victims’ relatives would receive proper compensation.

Boeing settled first claims with family members’ representatives in September. Three people familiar with the matter said family members are set to receive at least $1.2 million each.

That figure is compensation for a single victim without any dependents, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations were confidential.

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