Compass CEO’s Plane Wreckage to Be Recovered in Search for Clues

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:35

By Angus Whitley

The wreckage of the Sydney seaplane that crashed and killed Compass Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Richard Cousins is due to be recovered on Thursday as investigators search for clues.

The operation will start shortly after first light and the aircraft should be raised from the water around midday, New South Wales police said in a statement on Wednesday. The plane is largely intact and lying upside down on the bottom of the Hawkesbury river, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of Sydney.

Air safety experts are hoping data from the flight instruments, or footage from cameras and phones left in the cabin, might explain why the single-engine aircraft plunged into the water on New Year’s Eve. The DHC-2 Beaver Seaplane, which was built in 1963 and operated by Sydney Seaplanes, sank minutes after it hit the water, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The pilot, 58-year-old Cousins and four members of his close family including his fiancee and two sons perished. They had taken a sightseeing flight from Sydney and had eaten at a restaurant on the banks of the river. They were on the return leg when the plane crashed. All bodies have been recovered.

Four men who saw the crash immediately sped to the scene by boat, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Three of them dived down and attempted to open the plane’s door, but the water was too deep and clouded by aviation fuel. Their attempts to tow the plane to shore by its tail also failed, the ABC said.

Cousins was due to step down as CEO of Compass, the world’s largest caterer, on March 31. He’s been succeeded by Dominic Blakemore, formerly Compass’s chief operating officer for Europe.

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When Everything Went Wrong, This F-16 Pilot Did Everything Right

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:34

Captain Jonathan Morgan Said He Was ‘Just Doing My Job’

Imagine you’re an F-16 pilot, and your plane goes into catastrophic failure minutes after takeoff, right over heavily populated Washington, D.C. That’s a nightmare scenario one D.C. Air National Guard pilot went through last spring – one that ended with the best possible outcome and earned him an unexpected award. 

Capt. Jonathan Morgan was honored in early December with the Flying Safety Award and the Meritorious Service Medal.

“I was just doing my job,” he said. “Anyone else in that position would have done the same thing.”

So what, exactly, happened? Captain Morgan – yes, he knows the irony of his name, and he loves it – went through the details with us.

On April 5, Morgan and three other F-16 pilots took off from Joint Base Andrews on a training mission to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. But as soon as he got airborne, things started to go wrong.

“I see uncontrolled acceleration in my jet,” Morgan said. As he was troubleshooting that, a much bigger problem arose – his engine gave out. And since the F-16 only has one, as Morgan said, that was a “game changer.” He let the other pilots in formation know what was happening and immediately turned back toward Andrews, scouting the ground for emergency places to land if needed, despite the area’s heavy population. “Almost every day we go over an emergency before we fly, and we have emergency procedure simulators that we work on every month just to keep us sharp,” Morgan said.

That came in handy. One of the critical action procedures was to drop his external fuel tanks to lighten the plane so he could glide further. But since he was over Old Town Alexandria, he decided to wait a few seconds so no one below would be affected. Instead, he dropped the tanks in the Potomac River.

Before he had a chance to breathe a sigh of relief over that, though, one of his fellow pilots gave him more bad news. “I have a giant flame coming out of the back end of my aircraft,” Morgan said. “So, I had uncontrolled acceleration, my engine gave out on me, and now I’m being told that I’m on fire.”

Thankfully, the skies were clear that day, giving Morgan a clear view of Andrews in the distance. He realized he wasn’t going to make it there, so his mindset quickly switched from landing safely to ejecting. “I’m looking for any uninhabited land where I can put this jet to cause the least amount of harm to people on the ground,” Morgan said. “I fortunately find a big open field, so I point the jet to that field, and at about 1,500 feet … I eject.

“It felt like half a second. It’s a 14G explosion out of a jet. The canopy explodes off, and then the seat with the rockets underneath takes you up,” he said. 

Before Morgan knew it, his parachute had opened, and he started looking for his jet, which crashed in a wooded area in Clinton, Maryland, not far from the field he had spotted. “I felt like I landed like a bag of rocks,” he said, thinking he was going to break his legs. “But I was unscathed. I didn’t have a scratch on me. I couldn’t believe it.”

Within a minute, neighbors came to check on him, as did the U.S. Park Police and the 1st Helicopter Squadron from Andrews, which coincidentally had a flight surgeon on board who was able to evaluate him. “After the emergencies happened, you could not have scripted it any better. Everything worked … It was incredible,” Morgan said. “I was very fortunate.”

So what caused that kind of catastrophic failure? An investigation revealed that when the engine was assembled, a small ring and pin were forgotten. “I’m not kidding – [the pin] couldn’t have been more than 2 inches long,” Morgan said.

So eight months later, it was a complete surprise for Morgan to learn he was earning an award for his actions. “I was very thankful to have the other three pilots by my side while it was all happening,” he said, also giving a shout-out to the community for its support and the crew that made sure all of his equipment functioned that day.

Great work to Morgan and the entire crew behind his successful unsuccessful flight!

(Source: DOD Live. Images provided)


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Nobody Died In Commercial Jet Crashes In 2017: Good News, But Not As Good As You Might Think

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:31

Dan Reed 

There’s no denying that reports out over the New Year’s holiday weekend showing that ZERO commercial airline passengers died in 2017 in scheduled jet airplane crashes is very good news.

But that news isn’t quite as good as the agencies promoting it would have you believe. Nor is it a sign that human engineering, competence and innovation have once-and-for-all eliminated risk from the air travel equation.

By any measure, including those with significant exclusions, exceptions and caveats, global commercial aviation’s safety record last year was remarkable. Just a year earlier, in 2016, 271 people around the world died in commercial jet crashes. In 2015 the death count was 471. In 2014 it was 864.

Given the more than 3.5 billion passenger boardings, and the more than 37.5 million commercial flights operated each year, the odds of any one passenger, globally, being killed in a crash are in the neighborhood of one in 16 million. That makes flying many, many times safer than driving or riding in a car, not only here in the United States, but even in some of the most poorly-developed Third World nations.

But it would be a mistake – a huge mistake – to conclude from 2017’s lack of commercial jet crashes and passenger deaths that all is well operationally with the world’s airlines. That includes the world’s best-known carriers based in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia, not just the lesser-known, and often less-well-managed and financed carriers from poor and developing nations.

They continue to operate far, far too many flights late, even by the extraordinarily forgiving definition of “late” used by the U.S. Department of Transportation. They continue to infuriate consumers with extraordinarily complex pricing systems and rules. And they most assuredly will continue to treat those of us who sit in the back half of their planes with all the dignity and care deserved by “self-loading cargo.”

There’s no arguing that commercial airline safety has come a very long way from the days when piston engine airliners suffered regular fatal crashes in the 1930s through the 1950s, and in the 1960s through the 1980s when first and second generation commercial jets seemed to fall from the sky two or three times a year with 100 to 400 people aboard. But the data from 2017 does not tell us that all those problems have been solved.  And here are three reasons why we should not jump to that wrong conclusion:

  • The excellent report on 2017 commercial air crashes is somewhat manipulated. In actuality, at least 64 people died in commercial airline crashes last year. It’s just that they died in:
  1. Crashes of smaller “commuter” planes deemed not to be “jets” because their turboprop engines (which are a type of jet) have exposed propellers rather than completely shrouded fans like those on “big” jets. Example: the crash of a small Embraer plane in Angola that was being operated as an air ambulance, killing seven
  2. Crashes of freighters like the Turkish Boeing 747 that landed short of a runway in Kyrgyzstan, killing 35 villagers on the ground and all four crew members
  3. Crashes of unscheduled commercial flights operated as charters, like the Costa Rican plane that crashed on Dec. 31, killing 10 American tourists and two Costa Rican pilots, and an Australian seaplane that crashed the same day killing the pilot and five paying passengers.
  • Both the number of crashes and the body count would have been much higher if modern commercial aircraft were built any less robustly, flown less professionally, and maintained less diligently. There were in 2017, as in every year, dozens of incidents that quite easily could have resulted in deadly crashes if not for the quality of modern aircraft or the professionalism and extreme competence of today’s pilots and mechanics. To be sure, there remain underqualified and underperforming pilots and mechanics. Thankfully, the data indicate that there are relatively few of them and that existing safeguards keep them from working alone and unsupervised. Redundancy runs deep in the airline business. There are human back-ups to guard against human screw-ups just as today’s commercial aircraft are heavily “over-engineered” so that they can continue operating after the loss of major systems or even multiple major systems. Three giant Airbus A380s that each suffered major inflight failures illustrate the importance of the robust human and mechanical failsafe systems that exist. In September an Emirates A380 with 446 souls aboard badly missed not one but two landing approaches and likely would have landed miles short of the runway had not onboard systems and air traffic controllers issued urgent warnings to an apparently over-matched pilot. In December much the same thing happened at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, where another Emirates A380 would have landed 2.5 miles short of the runway but for controllers’ last-second warning. And in September an Air France A380 hauling 487 passengers to Los Angeles had its right outer engine – one of our on the A380 – explode in flight at 37,000 feet over Greenland. Though frightening, the incident merely caused the pilots to fly on three engines another hour to reach a runway long enough to handle such a large plane – in Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
  • Luck, good fortune, the law of averages, chance or Providence. Whatever you want to call it, in most inflight incidents or emergencies, something beyond the mechanical redundancy built into planes, and something beyond the innate skills and advanced training of pilots, flight attendants and mechanics plays a role in a plane’s survival. In 1989 a United DC-10 suffered an “uncontained engine failure” very similar to the one that happened on that Air France flight over Greenland. In the incident 29 years ago the “fan disk,” the heavy metal center of the engine’s giant fan, separated and penetrated the plane’s fuselage, where it severed all of the plane’s hydraulic control lines. The plane crash landed in Sioux City, IA. The crew was hailed for its amazing efforts to bring an effectively “uncontrollable” plane to the ground in a way that enabled 185 of the 296 people onboard to survive. In the Air France incident in September the fan disk fell harmlessly to the frozen earth below and the worst thing that happened was that some passengers suffered a two-day delay. How else can one explain the different outcomes of near-identical mechanical failures than luck, or something similar?

It also would be a mistake to think that 2017’s sterling performance in terms of crashes and fatalities means that the U.S. and global aviation industries finally have their act entirely together. It is true that U.S. and some stronger European and Asian carriers are investing heavily in new-generate aircraft. They have to.

After stalling equipment replacement plans throughout the economically devastating 2000s, airlines’ fleets were getting very old and very expensive to maintain. So the addition of more than 1,500 new jets to the global fleet every year for the past three years and, probably, for the next 10 years, is a very good thing. But even with the propitious acquisitions of thousands of new planes, one must keep in mind that disaster in the airline business is always just one wrongly-turned wrench, one distracted pilot, one crazed terrorist or one bird strike away.

Thus it is unlikely that 2018 also will be a crash- and fatality-free year like 2017. There’s always hope, but it would be unwise to bet that way.

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:30

14 Years ago today: On 3 January 2004 a Flash Airlines Boeing 737-300 crashed into the sea following take-off from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt killing 148 occupants.

Date: Saturday 3 January 2004 Time: 04:45 Type: Boeing 737-3Q8 Operator: Flash Airlines Registration: SU-ZCF C/n / msn: 26283/2383 First flight: 1992-10-09 (11 years 3 months) Total airframe hrs: 25603 Cycles: 17976 Engines:CFMI CFM56-3C1 Crew: Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13 Passengers: Fatalities: 135 / Occupants: 135 Total: Fatalities: 148 / Occupants: 148 Airplane damage: Destroyed Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 15 km (9.4 mls) S off Sharm el Sheikh (   Egypt) Phase: En route (ENR) Nature: Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Sharm el Sheikh-Ophira Airport (SSH/HESH), Egypt Destination airport: Cairo International Airport (CAI/HECA), Egypt Flightnumber: 604

Weather was perfect (excellent visibility, 17 degrees C and a light breeze) when Flash Air flight 604 departed the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh for a flight to Paris-CDG with an intermediate stop at Cairo. On board were 135, mostly French, holidaymakers who were heading home.
At 04:38 the flight was cleared to taxi to runway 22R for departure. After takeoff, at 04:42, the plane climbed and maneuvered for a procedural left turn to intercept the 306 radial from the Sharm el-Sheikh VOR station. When the autopilot was engaged the captain made an exclamation and the autopilot was immediately switched off again. The captain then requested Heading Select to be engaged. The plane then began to bank to the right. The copilot then warned the captain a few times about the fact that the bank angle was increasing. At a bank angle of 40 degrees to the right the captain stated “OK come out”. The ailerons returned briefly to neutral before additional aileron movements commanded an increase in the right bank.
The aircraft had reached a maximum altitude of 5460 feet with a 50 degrees bank when the copilot stated: “Overbank”. Repeating himself as the bank angle kept increasing. The maximum bank angle recorded was 111 degrees right. Pitch attitude at that time was 43 degrees nose down and altitude was 3470 feet.
The observer on the flight deck, a trainee copilot, called “Retard power, retard power, retard power”. Both throttles were moved to idle and the airplane gently seemed to recover from the nose-down, right bank attitude. Speed however increased, causing an overspeed warning. At 04:45 the airplane struck the surface of the water in a 24 degrees right bank, 24 degrees nose-down, at a speed of 416 kts and with a 3,9 G load.
The wreckage sank to a depth of approx. 900 metres.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSION: “No conclusive evidence could be found from the findings gathered through this investigation to determin the probable cause. However, based on the work done, it could be concluded that any combination of these findings could have caused or contributed to the accident.
Although the crew at the last stage of this accident attempted to correctly recover, the gravity upset condition with regards to attitude, altitude and speed made this attempt insufficient to achieve a successful recovery.”

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Today is Tuesday the 2nd of January, 2018

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:44

I hope you all enjoyed the New Year celebrations this past weekend and have clear heads as we start 2018!

We start the new year with the following stories…

Be safe out there!



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10 Americans die in fiery plane crash in Costa Rica

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:40

Investigators on Monday were trying to determine what caused the deadly New Year’s Eve plane crash in Costa Rica that claimed the lives of 10 Americans and the two crew members.

The chartered single-engine plane crashed into a mountain shortly after taking off at 1 p.m. (ET) from an air field in Punta Islita, the country’s president, Luis Guillermo Solís, confirmed.

Five of the victims were New Yorkers: Bruce Steinberg, his wife Irene, and their three sons, Matthew, William and Zachary.

“We are in utter shock and disbelief right now,” Bruce Steinberg’s sister, Tamara Jacobson, said in a Facebook post.

The “amazing” family lived in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale and had recently celebrated the birthdays of three generations of relatives, she told NBC News.

The Steinberg family was very involved in local Jewish groups and charities, said Rabbi Jonathan Blake of the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale. “This tragedy hits the community very hard,” he said.

“I know there will be much more to say in the coming days, and that so many of us want to do everything we can to express our grief and to show support for their bereaved family,” he added in a statement on Facebook.

Also killed in the crash were four members of the Weiss family, who lived in Belleair, Florida.

“It’s a tragedy and a devastating loss to their families, for our synagogue family, and for the Pinellas County Community,” Rabbi Jacob Luski of Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg told NBC News.

Luski identified the dead as Dr. Mitchell Weiss, his wife, Dr. Leslie Weiss, and their children Hannah and Ari. He said they had been members of the congregation “for years.”

“Family friends called last night to inform me,” Luski said.

The final American fatality was Amanda Geissler, a trip leader of the Backroads Active Travel Company, said company spokeswoman Liz Einbinder.

Einbinder said that the plane that went down was one of two carrying “Backroads guests” that took off from Punta Islita. The other plane made it safely to the Costa Rican capital San Jose.

“We are extremely heartbroken over this horrific loss of life and are working with local authorities to understand the cause of the crash,” she said in a statement.

Geissler worked as a vacation travel leader since May and “she was able to see many beautiful places across the world in just a few short months” and she “lived her life with no regrets,” her family said in a statement.

“She is loved by many, and with a heavy heart it will be hard to say goodbye. If Amanda could leave us all with one thing it would be — write down whatever it is you want to do…and make it happen,” her family said.

The two pilots were Costa Rican. Laura Chinchilla, a former president of Costa Rica, wrote on Twitter that her cousin, Juan Manuel Retana, was one of them.

“You will remain in our beloved heart,” she said.

The plane is owned by a Costa Rican airline called Nature Air. It flies charters in and out of Guanacaste, a province on the Pacific coast of the country that is popular with tourists,

Witness Dawn Wolf said she was eating lunch with her family near the airport when she saw the doomed plane pass overhead.

The aircraft had a single propeller, she said, adding that such planes are sometimes used to get from small towns to bigger cities for about $50.

“The plane was super low and then all of a sudden [it] veered to the left and crashed into the ground of the mountain sideways, wing first,” she said.

The plane was in the air for less than a minute, Wolf said.

Wolf heard a boom, then she said she saw an explosion 20 seconds later.

The “plane was broken into two,” she said.

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Sydney seaplane tragedy: same model involved in 2015 crash that killed second family

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:38

Investigators say type of seaplane that crashed on New Year’s Eve, killing five Britons and pilot, is generally reliable

The model of seaplane that crashed on New Year’s Eve, killing five Britons and the plane’s pilot, is generally reliable, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said on Tuesday.

The plane crashed in the Hawkesbury river, north of Sydney, at 3.10pm local time on Sunday and has yet to be retrieved.

The experienced pilot, Gareth Morgan, 44, died along with his passengers – the high-profile UK businessman Richard Cousins, 58, his sons, Edward and William Cousins, aged 23 and 25, his fiancee, Emma Bowden, 48, and her daughter, Heather Bowden-Page, 11.

The 1964 DH C-2 Beaver seaplane is the same model of aircraft that crashed in Canada in 2015, killing another British family. Australian investigators were unable to say whether the plane that crashed on Sunday was fitted with a warning system recommended by Canadian authorities following the investigation into that crash.

But they hope to piece together the final moments of the seaplane flight. Police divers worked until nightfall to recover the six bodies.

The family was on holiday in Sydney and returning from lunch at the Cottage Point Inn when the crash happened.

“The aircraft took off in a north-easterly direction, followed by a turn to the north-west, then a subsequent right turn before impacting the water,” the ATSB executive director of transport safety, Nat Nagy, said.

One witness, Will McGovern, rushed with his friends to the downed plane after it hit the river.

“The water was full of fuel, a massive slick across the top and the fumes actually burned your eyes,” he told the ABC. “The boys were in the water diving down, trying to help these people inside the plane.”

But the plane quickly sank, nose down, and remains on the riverbed.

Nagy and the other investigators, who have data retrieval and aviation expertise, worked with divers at the crash site on Tuesday to assess how best to recover the wreckage.

A crane or airbags are being considered as options to refloat the plane, hopefully on Thursday.

Nagy said it was too early to speculate on the cause of the crash but all aspects of the aircraft, from mechanics to its history, would be examined closely once the plane was recovered.

Investigators are hopeful data can still be recovered from the plane’s avionic instruments and smartphones or cameras on board.

“As well as that we will be looking at the maintenance records of the aircraft, talking to the operator, look at the pilot’s background and experience,” Nagy said. “We’ll also be talking to witnesses to try and piece together those final moments before the aircraft impacted the water.”

Cousins was the chief executive of the world’s largest food catering company, Compass Group, and was a keen cricket fan.

The former England cricket team captain Michael Vaughan, tweeted: “Saddened to hear of the passing away of Richard Cousins and some family members in Sydney … Great man who loved the game of cricket … Thoughts to all his family.”

The English team’s supporters, the Barmy Army, plan to hold a minute’s silence at the start of the fifth Ashes test on Wednesday.

It will take about 30 days for a preliminary report into the cause of the crash to be published but, if any urgent issues around the DH C-2 Beaver plane emerge, authorities will be quickly notified, Nagy said.

“This is a tragic and sad end to 2017,” he said. “It’s the ATSB’s role to investigate transport and safety accidents and incidents such as this and to work out what happened with the key goal of trying to prevent accidents like this from happening into the future.”

Sydney Seaplanes has suspended all flights indefinitely following the tragedy.

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Boise man injured in aircraft crash in Nampa

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:35


NAMPA — A 28-year-old Boise man suffered minor injuries when, police say, he became disoriented and crashed an airplane Monday night in Nampa.

Nampa Police say they responded to East Terra Linda Way and Selland Way at 9 p.m. for a report of a crashed Cessna 150 aircraft. According to the initial investigation, the pilot became disoriented while travelling from Burley to Caldwell and tried to land where he believed was the Caldwell Airport. When readying to land, the man realized he was not at the airport but was unable to avoid crashing.

Police say a family member of the pilot called from the scene and told police the pilot was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries. The pilot was the only occupant in the plane. No one else was injured.

The investigation has been turned over to officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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No Injuries in Emergency Landing at Hector International Airport

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:33


FARGO, ND — A small plane had to make an emergency landing at Hector International Airport in Fargo.

The plane touched down around 5:45 this evening and ended up on its belly after a problem with the landing gear.

The plane circled the airport a few times before landing to burn off some fuel.

Four people were on board the aircraft and officials say there were no injuries.

No official word yet on who was on board but records show that the plane is owned by New Richmond Aviation of Wisconsin.

It took off from an airport in Eden Prairie headed for Fargo.

No official word yet on who was on board or who owns the plane.

It took emergency crews more than an hour in the bitter cold to remove the plane from the runway.

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Light plane lands safely in San Bernardino after pilot reports landing gear trouble

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:31

SAN BERNARDINO –There was drama in the skies above San Bernardino International Airport on Friday night when a single-engine plane circled the airport with what the pilot reported as a possible landing gear problem. 

EMS and San Bernardino County Fire Department crews mobilized in preparation for a worst-case landing, but in the end the pilot of the Cessna 210J landed the plane safely.

The pilot had circled the airport for just over an hour to burn fuel prior to landing, fire officials said.

The pilot was the only person in the plane,  said officials from the fire agency, which had staged an aircraft crash rig and other fire apparatus in preparation for the landing.

Upon landing, the gear did not support the plane’s weight.

“The pilot walked away,” said Mark Gibbs, airport director of aviation.

The gear was not locked in place during the landing, Gibbs said.

The plane did not catch fire.

The incident will be investigated by the FAA, Gibbs said.

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4 people taken to hospital from American Airlines flight

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:27


Three crew members and one passenger were taken to hospitals on New Year’s Day after an American Airlines plane was forced to return to the gate before taking off in Boston, officials said.

Passengers reported an odor in the cabin of Flight 1719, which was scheduled to fly from Boston to Charlotte, the airline said. The plane carried 120 passengers and 5 crew members.

Massport confirmed the four people were transported to hospitals to be evaluated.

The airline said a “mechanical issue” was to blame, and the jet was taken out of service. The remaining passengers are now waiting for a different plane.

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Porter flight makes emergency landing at Pearson following technical problem

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:25

By JENNA MOON Staff Reporter

A Porter Airlines flight was forced to land at Toronto Pearson Airport Monday night following engine issues, passengers said.

Travellers on the Porter flight that had taken off from Billy Bishop airport downtown were en route to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty airport.

The flight had to shut down an engine “due to an oil pressure indication,” Porter spokesperson Brad Cicero said in an email to CP24.

“The plane landed without incident. Passengers are being provided with ground transportation options to return to Billy Bishop and travel on another flight this afternoon,” Cicero said.

Porter does not operate flights out of Pearson, instead flying exclusively out of Billy Bishop.

Passengers on the flight were scheduled to leave at 10 a.m. Monday morning from Billy Bishop. A rescheduled flight did not depart the airport until 5:15 p.m., landing in Newark shortly before 7 p.m.

Some travellers who were stranded, including Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period, took to Twitter to lament the delays.

Solomon said on Twitter that despite finally landing in New Jersey, they remained stranded on the tarmac.

The emergency landing came amid hundreds of cancellations at Pearson on Monday due to high winds and winter weather conditions.

The airport took to twitter Monday evening to warn travellers to check their flight status before heading out.

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Seattle to Baltimore flight turned around due to mechanical issue

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:24

A Southwest flight was turned around Monday afternoon for an issue with the plane’s nose gear.

Flight 5489 was forced to return to Sea-Tac Airport for an issue with the plane’s nose gear, according to Southwest Airlines.

Flight 5489 departed at 1:45 p.m. and was expected to reach Baltimore around 9:45 p.m. EST.

Residents in the around Olympia saw the plane flying low for about one hour. The plane was required to burn a certain amount of fuel before it could land back at Sea-Tac.

Another plane will take the passengers to Baltimore later tonight.

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Taxpayers hosed by city airport vendor

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:21

Contractor hijacked at least $44,000 of hydrant water

By Matt Potter

An unidentified city contractor has been tapping fire hydrants for an undetermined but substantial amount of free water over more than a decade at Montgomery Field and Brown Field airports says a December 28 report by city auditor Eduardo Luna.

“On May 4, 2017, the Office of the City Auditor received an anonymous Fraud Hotline report alleging that a City vendor for the City’s two general aviation airports has been using water from City hydrants without paying for several years,” per the report.

“Our investigation determined that the allegation was substantiated. It also appears that the vendor may have violated the San Diego Municipal Code section regarding use of water from a City fire hydrant.”

According to the document, “the City’s contract with the vendor did not require the vendor to pay for the water and City staff directed the vendor to use the water without a meter for approximately ten years at a potential estimated cost of $44,000.”

Adds the report, “However, we note that the water rates have not been constant for the past ten years and there is no way to know how much water was actually used.”

Making matters worse, “a new contract, which was out for bid during our investigation, did not address water use, and did not include a reference to the City’s Fire Hydrant Meter Program.”

Even after a would-be bidder for the new contract noted the lapses, airport officials failed to change the proposed agreement to deal with water costs and usage, says the report.

“Although a different vendor raised the question at a recent pre-bid conference, Airports Division staff did not provide that information to the Purchasing and Contracting Department to be included as an addendum to the contract.”

“As of the date of this Fraud Hotline Report, City staff had not included the water use information in the draft amendment to the contract.”

Luna’s audit cites a city code section saying, “It is unlawful to use City water from a fire hydrant for purposes other than extinguishing a fire without prior authorization from the Department and installation of a fire hydrant meter, regardless of knowledge or intent.”

Additionally, “Use of water from any fire hydrant without a properly issued and installed fire hydrant meter is theft of City property. Customers who use water for unauthorized purposes or without a City of San Diego issued meter will be prosecuted.”

As a result of the auditor’s findings, the report says, the Public Utilities Customer Support Division will investigate whether “an Administrative Citation or Administrative Warning is warranted based on the information contained in the confidential version of the report and take the appropriate action.”

Officials have also vowed to change the terms of pending contracts to address fire hydrants and water usage payment requirements, with an implementation deadline set for June 30, 2018, according to the report.

“Our investigation determined that the vendor’s prior contract did not contain any reference to the City’s Fire Hydrant Meter Program and did not address payment for water use.”

In all, says the report, auditors “made four recommendations to hold the vendor accountable, update City’s policy, recover costs, and include payment for water use in the new contract. City management agreed to implement all four recommendations.”

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:20

42 Years ago today: On 2 January 1976 an Overseas National DC-10, operating for Saudia, landed heavily at Istanbul and ran off the runway; no casualties among 373 occupants.

Date: Friday 2 January 1976 Time: 06:36 Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30CF Operating for: Saudi Arabian Airlines Leased from: Overseas National Airways – ONA Registration: N1031F C/n / msn: 46825/81 First flight: 1973 Total airframe hrs: 9848 Engines:General Electric CF6-50C Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13 Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 364 Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 377 Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair Location: Istanbul-Yesilköy Airport (IST) (   Turkey) Phase: Landing (LDG) Nature: Int’l Non Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Jeddah International Airport, Saudi Arabia Destination airport: Ankara-Esenboga Airport (ESB/LTAC), Turkey Flightnumber: SV5130

A DC-10-30CF passenger plane, N1031F, was damaged beyond repair when it impacted terrain while attempting to land at Istanbul Airport (IST), Turkey.
The airplane was owned by Overseas National Airlines and leased by Saudia to perform hajj flights to and from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Flight SV5130 was a charter flight from Jeddah to Ankara, Turkey. Because of poor weather conditions at Ankara, the destination was changed to Istanbul-Yesilköy Airport (IST).
The en route part of the flight was uneventful and the airplane was positioned for an NDB approach to runway 24. During the approach, the flight continued below the glide slope. On finals the first officer noticed that one of the VASI lights turned red. He warned the captain: “We are below the approach slope.”. The captain increased power on all three engines but the sink rate increased. The aircraft struck the ground in a nose up attitude, 27 feet before the beginning of the stopway.
The undercarriage dug in and the no. 1 engine tore away. The left hand main gear and center gear then separated after impacting the raised lip of the runway.
When the aircraft came to a stop, the left wing was on fire. The aircraft was evacuated within 3-5 minutes. One crew member was injured.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: “The aircraft reported the runway in sight before reaching NDB and crossed the NDB about 600 ft below the established minimum. In the final approach continuously followed a path (glide slope) which was also below the 3° angle approach slope of the VASIS.
There were strong evidences that the first officer’s altitude call-outs were from the radio-altimeter, which was considered a contributing factor for this low approach due to terrain characteristics.”

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Today is December 29th, 2017 – The Final “Morning Report” of 2017!

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:31

And here we are, the last “Morning Report” of 2017….

When I was a teenager my parents told me “enjoy it kid, cause it’s gonna fly by as you get older”, well let me tell you that truer words have never been spoken as we are now at the end of yet another year.

As for the upcoming year and what it may bring…..

My wish for all of you is that 2018 be the year that your dreams come true, that your hard work reaps great results and rewards, that you stay safe and healthy and that all your family and friends keep you company.

Cheers to the New Year, may it be a memorable one. Happy New Year!!!

And remember, it’ll be amateur nights all weekend, so be extra careful out there!

Talk to you next year,


Now here are the last news stories to close out 2017…

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Police: No injuries in plane crash at CG airport

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:11

CASA GRANDE — Police said no one was injured when a small plane made a hard landing at Casa Grande Municipal Airport Thursday.

Casa Grande Police Chief Mark McCrory said the pilot was out of the plane and walking when first responders arrived. The man, whose name or age wasn’t known, reportedly failed to put his landing gear down upon descent.

The call came in shortly before noon, said Joe Jett, airport manager.

Jett said the plane, a Piper-Mooney, landed with his landing gear up and slid down the runway for about 450 feet before stopping. The plane sustained minor physical damage and no damage was done to the runway.

“It just took a while to clean up,” Jett said.

The plane was towed off of the runway. Jett said the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct an investigation, as is protocol.

The flight originated in Kingman, Jett said.

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Japan Airlines : Mechanic dies after crushed by plane wing at Japanese airport

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:09

12/29/2017 | 12:03pm CET

A mechanic died Friday after he was crushed under a wing of an airplane being pulled into a hangar at Kagoshima Airport in southwestern Japan, a local airline and fire department said.

Japan Air Commuter Co., a subsidiary of Japan Airlines Co., said the man was Koki Kihara, a 31-year-old employee. He was among some 10 people taking part in work to pull a Japan Coast Guard plane into a hanger for a checkup when the aircraft leaned to the left shortly before 1 p.m., and he became trapped between its left wing and the ground.

The mechanic was unconscious when transported to a hospital by helicopter, and he was later pronounced dead.

Police believe that the Saab 340 aircraft tilted when something triggered its left wing wheel to be stored into the plane body, and are further investigating the accident.

The aircraft, 20 meters in length and 22 meters in width, was undergoing an annual checkup, according to the local Japan Coast Guard unit, which has outsourced its maintenance to Japan Air Commuter.

The propeller aircraft is used for patrolling Japanese territorial waters and conducting maritime search-and-rescue operations.

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Delta Connection flight makes emergency landing at Milwaukee after sudden drop in cabin pressure

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:07

Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A sudden loss of cabin pressure caused an airline flight en route from Iowa to Detroit to make an emergency landing Thursday morning at Mitchell International Airport, where one passenger was taken to a hospital for an ear injury.

The SkyWest flight, operating as Delta Connection, left Cedar Rapids about 7 a.m. headed for Detroit but landed in Milwaukee shortly after 8 a.m.

Marissa Snow, a SkyWest spokeswoman, said in an email that the plane, a 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ 200 with 38 passengers and three crew, landed safely and that mechanical crews were investigating why the cabin lost pressure, while the airline helped passengers continue their trip on a different aircraft.

A female passenger was taken to the hospital, Snow said, where she was checked for ear pain and later resumed her travels. Another passenger on the flight told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the woman appeared to have suffered a burst eardrum during the descent.

The passenger, who said he was flying for business and his employer did not want him to be identified, said the oxygen masks deployed and the interior of the plane got very warm and the air smelled bad. He said he rented a car and was driving to his final destination.

Online records show the flight later left Milwaukee for Detroit about 2:30 p.m.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the agency is investigating the incident.

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Guernsey plane U-turn not caused by ‘lightning strike’

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:03

An aircraft carrying 69 passengers was forced to make a U-turn after initial claims it was “struck by lightning”.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said reports from the crew said “a lightning strike over the Isle of Wight had damaged electrical equipment” on the flight from Guernsey to Manchester.

But after engineers examined the plane, airline Aurigny said it did “not believe it was actually struck by lightning”.

There was also no damage to the plane.

A spokesman for the airline said although the flight did encounter a thunderstorm they did not believe it had been hit.

He said the aircraft had been checked “as a precaution” but there was “no damage”.

NATS said the plane had been on course to divert to land at Southampton Airport but this would have meant “flying further into the storm at that time”.

Guernsey Airport confirmed the GR670 aircraft landed without incident and passengers were transferred to another airline.

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