Showing posts with label aviation news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aviation news. Show all posts

Friday, January 18, 2008

BA cabin crew praised for post-crash evacuation

Crew of British Airways Flight 38The cabin crew of the British Airways B-777 that crash landed at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) on January 17 are being praised for their quick action and professionalism in initiating and carrying out the evacuation of the aircraft.

Pictured at right are the senior crew members from BA Flight 38. From left to right, senior First Officer John Coward, who was the pilot flying at the time of the incident; Captain Peter Burkill, pilot in command; and Cabin Service Director Sharron Eaton-Mercer, the senior cabin crew member on the flight.

The photo was taken at a press conference, during which Capt. Burkill said:

"I want to pay tribute to the cabin crew and Cabin Service Director Sharron Eaton-Mercer who carried out the evacuation of the passengers with speed, efficiency and care, some incurring minor injuries in the process.

It was typical of Sharon's selflessness that she took time to check that we on the flight deck were all right before going down the chute herself."
The cabin crew were praised as well by British Airways CEO Willie Walsh. A number of passengers who had been on board BA Flight 38 also commented publicly that the cabin crew had remained calm and had quickly evacuated all the passengers in an orderly fashion.

The incident that resulted in the crash landing occurred very late in the flight, while the aircraft was on short finals. The flight deck crew had not been able to warn the cabin crew before the aircraft hit the ground. The cabin crew reportedly initiated the unplanned evacuation as soon as the aircraft came to a rest.

The United Kingdom's Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued a preliminary report on the accident, excerpts of which have been posted on the Professional Pilot News blog. The report noted "minor" injuries to four of the crew. The report also notes that nine passengers also sustained injuries: eight classified as "minor" and one "serious." This is in contrast to press reports that had said there were no serious injuries.

The AAIB investigation is continuing.

[Photo Source]

Thursday, January 17, 2008

British Airways crash landing and evacuation at Heathrow

A British Airways flight arriving at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) from Beijing crash landed at LHR early this afternoon, local time. There were 136 passengers and 16 crew on board the B777-236ER, operating as BA Flight 38. No one was seriously injured, but the aircraft was severely damaged. There was no fire.

Early reports suggest that the aircraft lost power on final approach. The aircraft landed hard on the grass inside the airport's perimeter fence, and skidded several hundred meters before coming to a stop near the threshold of runway 27L. All passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft using emergency slides. There were reports of minor injuries to several people.

Several news media outlets interviewed passengers who were on the flight. They said there was no warning from the crew, and that most people did not realize that the plane had landed short of the runway until it had come to a stop. The cabin crew carried out the unplanned evacuation immediately, and without further incident.

Click here to view a video of a BBC News interview with some passengers from BA Flight 38.

Mr. Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways, praised the crew's actions in a statement to the press. Part of his statement is included in this video posted on YouTube by the Associated Press.



(If the video does not play or display properly, click here to view it on YouTube.)

Congratulations to the crew of BA Flight 38 for a job well done.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Air Canada turbulence incident injures 10

Air CanadaEarly this morning, and Air Canada Flight AC190 with 83 passengers and five crew on board experienced a serious turbulence incident during a scheduled domestic flight between Victoria, BC and Toronto. The A319 aircraft diverted to Calgary for an emergency landing shortly after the incident. Ten people, including two crew members, were hospitalized in Calgary with what have been described as "non-life-threatening" injuries. My understanding is that both crew members who were injured were flight attendants, although this has not been officially confirmed at this time.

Various news reports about the incident, quoting passengers who were on board the flight, indicated that the incident occurred without warning and was particularly violent. Reuters reports:

Those hurt in what was described as sharp drops in altitude and violent rocking were rushed to Calgary hospitals, where their injuries were deemed to be non-life-threatening. Others were treated and released.

"It happened very fast," a female passenger in the plane's front cabin told CBC Television.

"One side of the plane just went up a little bit sideways and then it just sort of went back down. And our friend was really hurt ... she flew up and hit the ceiling and (came) right back down."
An article about the incident in the Toronto Star quoted a passenger who praised the cabin crew, saying, "The flight attendants were amazing, because a lot of them were injured themselves so they had cuts and were trying to dab blood out of their eyes."

A statement about the incident on Flight AC190 on the Air Canada website this afternoon said, "... Of the ten individuals transferred to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, at this time seven have now been released. The remaining two passengers and one flight attendant in hospital are in stable condition. Other passengers are continuing their onward travel."

Best wishes for a speedy to all those who were injured.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Singapore Airlines A380 - What's the cabin like?

The first commercial flight of the world's largest passenger airliner, the double-decker Airbus A380, took place yesterday. For its inaugural flight, Singapore Airlines Flight SQ 380 traveled from Singapore's Changi Airport to Sydney International Airport with 455 passengers and 35 crew on board.

The new Singapore Airlines A380 has two decks with 12 cabins in first class, 60 extra-wide seats in business class, and 399 seats in economy class. If you've been wondering what the interior of the aircraft looks like, here are some videos that will give you an armchair tour.

The first, a two and a half minute video produced by Airbus, shows the A380 cabin interior, including the premium class center aisle seats that convert to double beds:



Next is a four minute promotional video about the A380 from Singapore Airlines:



Thanks to Airbus and Singapore Airlines for providing these videos. For more information about this new aircraft, visit the Airbus A380 Navigator interactive website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Flight attendant provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act

Seal of the US CongressLast week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R.2881, by a vote of 267-151. The legislation includes a number of provisions of interest to flight attendants in the United States.

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) issued a news release about the legislation that summarizes the main points that affect flight attendants.

There are several important provisions included in the FAA Reauthorization that AFA-CWA has repeatedly requested for years.

For the first time in over 30 years, a requirement for workplace safety and health protections for flight attendants was finally recognized. Flight attendants suffer numerous occupational injuries and illnesses while working aboard commercial flights at rates several times higher than those for all private industry workers, yet are not covered under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.

The FAA Reauthorization also states that the FAA must institute a HIMS, or "Return to the Cabin" Program, that will allow flight attendants an opportunity for rehabilitation after testing positive for drug or alcohol abuse.

The House also instructed the FAA to complete studies on flight attendant fatigue and continue sampling and analyzing onboard cabin air.

The FAA must also initiate a study of actual onboard temperatures to determine if regulations are necessary to mandate standard temperatures onboard aircraft.

Protection for seniority integration in case of an airline merger was also included. This provision will help to ensure that, in the event of an airline merger, all employees are treated fairly and one group is not stapled to the bottom of the merged seniority list.

Additionally, the bill mandates that airlines must notify passengers upon ticket purchase if their aircraft is subject to pesticide spraying.
Also of interest, an amendment to the bill (H.AMDT.808) asks the Secretary of Transportation "to issue regulations requiring air carriers to provide initial and annual recurring training for flight attendants and gate attendants regarding serving alcohol, dealing with disruptive passengers, and recognizing intoxicated persons. The training must include situational training on methods of handling an intoxicated person who is belligerent."

The U.S. Senate will consider this legislation some time next month. If the legislation passes the Senate as well, it will be presented to President Bush for his signature.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Evacuation of burning China Airlines B737 at Naha, Okinawa

A China Airlines B737 burst into flames at Naha, Okinawa yesterday morning. The aircraft had just arrived on a scheduled flight from Taipei, and passengers were preparing to deplane when the aircraft caught fire. All 157 passengers and eight crew members evacuated the aircraft safely just before it exploded. Congratulations to the cabin crew of China Airlines Flight 120 for managing to evacuate everyone, and with no serious injuries.

China Airlines officials publicly praised the crew, describing them as "heroes," and a spokesman for the Taiwan government's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said, "Based on the information we have gathered, they evacuated all the passengers in accordance with the standard operation procedure, which requires that all passengers be evacuated within 90 seconds in the case of emergency."

Crew members were identified as You Chien-kuo (captain), Tseng Ta-wei (first officer), cabin chief Kang Li-mei, and flight attendants Cheng Hsieh-jer, Fan Jin-yao, Chang Chia-wen, and Hung Kuan-lin, all from Taiwan. Another flight attendant, a Japanese national, was not identified by name.

From The China Post:

[Captain] You thanked his crew, saying "they immediately evacuated all the passengers upon receiving my order."

"Without them, I would not have the opportunity to stand here to meet you tonight," he said.

You said all he thought about when dealing with the crisis was to make sure that all passengers and crew members were safe.

Only after he saw cabin chief Kang make a safe landing on the ground through an evacuation sliding chute did he order Tseng to quickly get out of the plane.

Television pictures showed Captain You telling the copilot to climb out of the two-story cockpit via rope before doing so himself. Seconds later, the blaze set off a chain of explosions.
This video of the event shows clearly what a close call it was for all those on board:



If the video does not play or display properly here, you can view "China airlines 737 explodes in Okinawa" on YouTube.

Tip of the hat to YouTube user Hobox72 for posting the video.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

American Airlines recalls 460 furloughed TWA F/As

American Airlines logoAmerican Airlines (AA) is sending recall notices to 460 former TWA flight attendants who had been furloughed soon after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The new recalls are in addition to the 200 flight attendants recalled earlier this year. This will be the fifth flight attendant recall by AA since 2003.

A statement about the latest recall on the AA website says that flight attendants who accept and meet all requirements will be eligible to return to service in either November or December 2007.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Air Namibia cabin crew protest long work hours

Air NamibiaCabin crew at Air Namibia have petitioned their country's Ministry of Works to protest the long hours they say the airline is forcing them to work -- sometimes 48 hours at a stretch. They claim that current schedules do not give them enough time to rest between trips, and that safety is being compromised as a result.

Members of the Namibian Cabin Crew Union (NCCU) said that they took this formal action after their employer, Namibia's national flag carrier, would not listen to their concerns. NCCU claims that cost-cutting measures at Air Namibia have resulted in crews flying more hours, with a reduced number of crew members on board each flight.

An article on the AllAfrica.com news website quotes Ellaine Muinjo, President of the Namibian Cabin Crew Union, who said that Air Namibia crew do not get enough time for rest and this affects their performance. "There is no space for fatigue or mistakes. Should Air Namibia have one airline crash, then it is over for Air Namibia. As the frontline staff and the last ones to deal with Air Namibia's passengers who pay our salaries, we cannot jeopardize their safety," Muinjo said.

Air Namibia spokesman Ellison Hijarungu disputes the contentions of the cabin crew, claiming that crew rosters are optimally planned and managed.

Hijarunguru said crew flying on intercontinental routes such as Windhoek to London get an average rest of three and half hours in a specially designed and isolated crew rest area.

Once they reach their destination, he said, they are booked into upmarket hotels to rest for a minimum of 12 hours.

He said upon returning home the same crewmembers get three to four days off before their next flights.

"It remains a simple fact that no Air Namibia crew member has flown or operated and will operate for 48 hours before retiring for the mandatory rest at any given time," Hijarunguru said.
The NCCU president disagrees, saying that crew operating on overseas routes are on duty for at least 13 hours and rest "a few hours" before heading back in the opposite direction.

A related article about the Air Namibia cabin crew protest on Afriquenligne, mentioned the concern among crew members that compromising safety standards could ultimately result in the Air Namibia being blacklisted in markets such as the European Union (EU).

Air Namibia is wholly owned and operated by the Namibian government.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Continental's No. 1 F/A: Fifty years service

Congratulations to Norma Heape, the number one flight attendant at Continental Airlines. Today she celebrated 50 years of service with the airline.

According to a press release, published on Morningstar.com and elsewhere:

Continental will honor Heape's 50 years of service in a brief ceremony on June 13 prior to her departing on flight CO99 from Newark Liberty to Hong Kong. Risoli will present Heape with a specially designed necklace in recognition of her lifelong dedication to the airline.

With the most seniority among nearly 9,000 flight attendants at Continental, Heape sets a great example for her peers. Not once in her career has she missed a scheduled trip due to calling in sick.
Ms. Heape first signed on with Continental in June 1957, before the airline had jet-powered aircraft in its fleet. During the course of her career, she has flown over 26 million miles on 27 different aircraft types to nearly all of Continental's more than 100 destinations worldwide. She has been based in Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Newark.

Among the "firsts" to her credit: she worked the inaugural flight of the Viscount aircraft in 1958, Continental's first military air charter in 1964, and the first Boeing 747 flight to Honolulu in 1970.


Best wishes to you, Norma. May you have many more happy landings!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mom and daughter become Alaska Airlines F/As

Two of the women who will graduate this week from Alaska Airlines flight attendant training are a mother and daughter. Summer Braaten and her mother Beth both will receive their wings tomorrow.

According to a story in the Seattle Times, this is the first time Alaska Airlines has trained a mother-daughter team together. Matthew Coder, manager of Inflight Services Training for Alaska Airlines said, "We've had sisters together, and husbands and wives, but not a mother-daughter. What usually happens is the daughter goes through the training first and they like their jobs so much, we get the mother later."

But not this time. Here's how the story is being told:

Encouraged by a supportive spouse and friends who are flight attendants, Beth Braaten applied first.

"I wanted to be a flight attendant since I was a little girl. It never went away," said the 46-year-old interior designer. "A year ago I decided to pursue the dream."

About the same time, Summer Braaten, who graduated from Central Washington University in 2006 with a degree in tourism and hotel management, was working in catering. On a job, she met an Alaska Airlines recruiter.

"It was mom's dream, but it sounded like fun," said Summer, 23.

She applied in March, two weeks after Beth. Both were accepted and scheduled for the same training class.
Following graduation, both women will be based in Anchorage.
"I never imagined when I held Summer in my arms my first Mother's Day [in 1984] that we'd ever be doing something like this together." Beth said. "Our graduation is a perfect Mother's Day gift."
Happy Mother's Day, Beth. And good luck and happy landings to the new flight attendants.

To read the entire Seattle Times story about Beth and Summer Braaten, with more photos, click here.

[Photo Source]

Monday, May 7, 2007

AA recalling 200 flight attendants

American Airlines announced today that it is sending recall notices to 200 furloughed flight attendants. A news release issued by the airline says that "AA flight attendants, including former TWA flight attendants will be included in this recall."

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union representing American Airlines cabin crew, confirms that the recall notices are going to the 200 most senior furloughees.

An article about the recall in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says:

American still has about 2,100 attendants on furlough, many of them former TWA employees. Under their current contract with American, furloughed attendants lose their right to be recalled after five years. That's led many TWA attendants who were laid off in 2001 and subsequent years to attempt to change the rule so they can eventually return to work.

Last year, TWA attendants protested at the headquarters of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, claiming that the union wasn't representing their interests. But some have also supported the union in its recent marches and rallies against executive pay at the airline.
Recalled flight attendants can choose to work at American's crew bases in Boston, New York or Washington, D.C