tirsdag 30. juni 2015

Hercules ulykken - Oppdatering - 142 døde

Indonesia transport plane crash: More than 100 feared dead

  • 16 minutes ago
More than 100 people are feared dead after a military transport plane crashed in a residential area of the Indonesian city of Medan.
The Hercules C-130 plane hit two houses and a hotel before bursting into flames, creating a huge fireball.
Air Force head Agus Supriatna visited the crash site and told reporters he believed there were no survivors among the 113 people on board.
At least 66 bodies have been recovered so far.
A major rescue operation is under way at the site which was covered in flames and thick black smoke.
The BBC's Alice Budisatrijo in Jakarta says that only the tail of the aircraft is still recognisable; the rest has been reduced to debris.
Our correspondent says that there are reports that people are trapped inside wrecked buildings and the nearest hospital is continuing to receive bodies arriving from the crash site.
Many of the passengers are thought to have been relatives of servicemen and women.
It is too early to know exactly how many people were killed in the disaster, or what caused it, our correspondent says.

Comments from an observer:
  • C-130’s fly just fine on 3 engines. Making a turn back to the airport with one inoperative is nowhere near impossible. Making a turn back when the airplane is full of fuel and overloaded with passengers, well, that’s entirely different. I have no idea if the airplane was overloaded in this case, but with 100 passengers, it sure sounds like it. Operating the airplane within its designed performance limits is perfectly safe on 3 engines and poses little difficulty for a crew trying to make a return to an airport.
    • The most specific information I saw was that the crew reported engine trouble. I don’t know if they were down to 3 or less engines, but it’s extremely rare to lose more than one in such a short span of time. I’m merely speculating, just like everyone else, but from the few details I’ve read, the most likely scenario is the loss of one engine after takeoff and an overweight return attempt.
      BBC is reporting that there were 113 on board, including crew:

Drones - Look mom, no pilot - Only 5-7 years away

Cirrus Diamond used i American experiments

Remote-controlled passenger flights 5 years away, CEO says

FAA allows first large, remote-controlled plane to fly at drone test site

The four-seater Centaur will be tested to study collision avoidance technology
Event marks a step toward a future when small, remote-controlled passenger planes could share the skies

(CNN)Little drones flying overhead are one thing. A much larger, unmanned, four-seater airplane is another.

You may not have heard about it, but a 4,100-pound twin-propeller experimental airplane called the Centaur was flight-tested this month at a Federal Aviation Administration-designated site in Rome, New York.

The Centaur flew with no pilot in the cockpit, becoming the first large-scale fixed wing unmanned aircraft to fly at an FAA-approved test site, according to Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., which makes the Centaur.

It represents an important new step toward airplanes without pilots in the cockpit being able to fly in the nation's commercial airspace.

Currently, the FAA limits large unmanned planes to special military or civilian test zones. But the popularity of drones and other remote-controlled aircraft is prompting officials to write new regulations for this kind of emerging technology.

Aurora calls Centaur an "optionally piloted aircraft" because it can be piloted in the cockpit or by remote control. When a pilot is operating it inside the cockpit, the aircraft is perfectly legal to fly around the U.S. like any other small passenger plane.

It's marketed as a cheaper way for pipeline operators or mining companies to survey their property. But if CEO John Langford has his way, people will be riding in them too.

"I'm a huge believer that the unmanned airplane revolution will make aviation safer for everybody," he told CNN. "That isn't to say there won't be accidents, but the overall level of safety will go up as the robotic stuff is introduced."

For many Americans, the idea of 30-foot-long remote-controlled airplanes flying overhead might take some getting used to.

Best-case scenario, in five to seven years, Langford guesses we'll see planes like the Centaur operate under the same U.S. certification levels that manned airplanes currently do.

Between now and then the FAA will have to develop new regulations for these remote-controlled planes. Engineers will have to perfect collision avoidance technology that will prevent crashes.

"There's kind of a race to do that now," he said.

FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker told a House committee this month that "very robust" technologies are being tested which "will allow the vehicles to stay clear from humans and other vehicles. We just need to make sure that technology is robust enough to incorporate into our air system."

The Centaur looks a lot like any other general aviation plane, with two propellers, three wheels, two passenger seats and two cockpit seats for pilots to sit in. It can fly as high as 27,500 feet and as far as 2,300 miles when it has a 200-pound payload. Top speed: about 200 mph. In just four hours, it can be converted from remote-control mode into a more traditional plane that will only fly if there's a pilot in the cockpit.

But unlike typical private planes at your local executive airport, the Centaur is outfitted with gear that allows a pilot to fly it from the ground, using not much more than a laptop computer and a satellite or radio link.

In company video showing the June 12-15 test in Rome, you can see equipment in the cockpit controlling the yoke, which normally would be handled by a pilot.

The Centaur
Weight: 4,100 pounds

Length: 28 feet

Wingspan: 44 feet

Top speed: 200 mph

Maximum range: 2,300 miles

Engines: Twin propeller

Capacity: Four people

Source: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

Aurora Flight Sciences is no stranger to drone technology. The company had a big hand in developing the U.S. military's Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned spy plane.

Earlier in his career, Langford, an MIT grad, interned at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and worked as a Lockheed engineer helping to develop the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet.

And as scary as it is to think about, you have to ask: How hard would it be for bad guys to get hold of a Centaur and do God-knows-what?

"Secure networks are made by humans, so they're not totally 100% perfect," Langford acknowledged. "You deal with it the same way you deal with all secure networks, which is, they have to be protected and there's a high degree of encryption."

He predicts authorities will develop a super-secure version of the Internet that would be used exclusively for aviation security, much as the U.S. Department of Defense has its own secure and more protected version of the Internet.

The Centaur comes from the same company that helped build the Global Hawk surveillance drone.
Will remote-controlled small passenger planes lead to jetliners with no pilots in the cockpit? "I don't think we'll ever see that in our lifetime," Langford said. "I think the big commercial operations will continue to be done by professionals."

However, he said we may see something like Uber in the sky for short-distance travelers trained as "operators" -- but not as highly skilled as today's licensed pilots.

"If we want to go someplace, you'll have an app like Uber," he said. "The plane can come to you. Nobody's on board. It doesn't need a pilot. You're a trained operator."

If we want to go someplace, you'll have an app like Uber. The plane can come to you.

John Langford, CEO, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

This scenario would lead to a huge increase in commercial flying, he said. Clearly it would fundamentally change many things about the way we travel and how we view the aviation industry.

Final commercial regulations for small unmanned aircraft systems will be in place "hopefully before June 17" of next year, the FAA's Whitaker said. But those rules will only apply to aircraft under 55 pounds -- what are commonly called "drones." For larger unmanned aircraft, he said the FAA has only recently started the rule-making process.

Whitaker hinted that a pilot on the ground would not be allowed to control multiple large unmanned aircraft simultaneously. "If it's a large aircraft, certainly there will be one [pilot] per aircraft," he said.

Merging large unmanned aircraft into commercial airspace will be a complicated bureaucratic journey with lots of moving parts including aircraft and operator certification, air traffic controllers and the FAA's ambitious air traffic system overhaul called NextGen.

With so many variables and stakeholders, routinely flying large commercial unmanned airplanes in the nation's airspace within five to seven years seems very optimistic.

For now, the focus will remain on testing, Langford said. Aurora Flight Sciences continues to use the FAA-designated site to gather data on Centaur that might be used to develop collision avoidance rules and systems.

The Swiss Air Force, Langford said, has also been testing Centaur to learn more about how to merge unmanned airplanes into its own national airspace system.

It's all part of a deliberate process, he said. "Baby steps, so that the safety level stays at least as high as it is today. But the goal is to make the whole aviation system even safer."

More theft from the baggage claim area - The US

Woman arrested for stealing bags from airport

A woman was charged with theft after stealing bags from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Natalie Abrams, 37, was seen taking bags from the airport baggage claim by an airport employee, according to the affidavit. The employee told police that she saw Abrams take a black bag from the baggage claim, then run into a nearby restroom with it. Minutes later, she returned and took a pink bag, then ran into the restroom again, the affidavit says.

Abrams told police she found the pink bag outside the terminal at a bus stop. Police also found a Garmin navigation system in one of Abrams's bags. When they asked her where she got it, she told them, "I got it from the pink bag I stole," according to the affidavit.

Abrams was arrested and was being held at Travis County Jail on Monday evening. Her bail is set at $5,000.

Pilots fired - Blame it on the Greeks

Pilots fired for letting Playboy model fly plane
ARGENTINA - A pair of Argentinian pilots have been fired after videos of a Playboy model in the cockpit were leaked.

Model Victoria Xipolitakis, who has posed for the Greek edition of Playboy magazine, recorded six videos of herself and the pilots in the cockpit, according to Mashable.

In one of the videos, one of the pilots tells Xipolitakis she will control the plane for part of the takeoff.

"You sure?" she asks. "Nothing could happen?"

There were reportedly 36 passengers on the flight when the model took over.

Not only were the pilots fired, but Xipolitakis has been banned from the Austral Líneas Aéreas airline for five years.

"The company confirms its continuing commitment to safety and the respect for operational and safety policies and protocols," the airline said. "The behavior of the pilots, also rejected by their professional association, is totally opposed to the operational safety culture of Austral Líneas Aéreas."

In addition to firing the pilots and banning the model, Austral announced forthcoming criminal proceedings against the three "for putting the flight's safety at risk."

Xipolitakis apologized, via a tweet in Spanish, for the pain she had caused, and said that it was not an example of her character.

Solar Impulse II - Flyr nå feil vei

Kl 1325 UTc flyr den på 270 grader med 12 knop i 8 000 fot. Det er natt så det kan være et operativt grep dette her.

Hercules ulykken i Medan - Antall omkomne stiger


Indonesia transport plane crash: At least 37 killed

  • 2 minutes ago
  • From the section Asia
At least 37 people have been killed in a military transport plane crash in a residential area of the Indonesian city of Medan, officials say.
The Hercules C-130 plane crashed into two houses and a car and burst into flames creating a huge fireball.
Military spokesman Fuad Basya told the BBC that the plane came down soon after take-off and that there were at least 12 crew members on board.
Officials say that bodies were recovered from the plane wreckage.
A major rescue operation is under way at the crash site which was covered in flames and thick black smoke.
The BBC's Alice Budisatrijo in Jakarta says that only the tail of the aircraft is still recognisable; the rest has been reduced to debris.
Our correspondent says that there are reports that people are trapped inside wrecked buildings and the nearest hospital is continuing to receive bodies arriving from the crash site.
It is too early to know exactly how many people were killed in the disaster, our correspondent says, or what caused it.
Military personnel removed an aircraft wheel from the crash site on Tuesday
Rescuers are having to deal with wreckage from the aircraft as well as debris from destroyed buildings
The crash is one of several involving military aircraft in recent years
A large crowd has gathered at the crash site
Large crowds watched the emergency services search the flaming wreckage, with the fuselage of the aircraft visible through the thick plumes of smoke.
"I saw the plane from the direction of the airport and it was tilting already, then I saw smoke billowing," a local resident told the AFP news agency.
Air Force Chief of Staff Agus Supriatna said that the pilot had asked to return to base because of technical difficulties.
"The plane crashed while it was turning right to return to the airport,'' he said.
The Hercules transport plane was manufactured in 1964, but a military spokesman said he was convinced that it was in good condition.
Correspondents say that it is the second time in 10 years that a plane has crashed in Medan.
In September 2005, a Boeing 737 came down in a crowded residential area shortly after take-off from Medan's Polonia airport, killing 143 people including 30 on the ground.
The latest crash in Medan is one of several involving military aircraft since 2009:
  • April 2015: An F-16 fighter jet catches fire as it takes off from an airbase in Jakarta,
  • March 2015: Two air force planes from an Indonesian aerobatics team crash during a practice session
  • November 2013: An army helicopter crashes near the Indonesian-Malaysian border, killing 13 people
  • August 2013: A door from a training helicopter falls onto a residential area of Jakarta
  • 2012, nine people killed after an Indonesian air force plane crashed into a housing complex in Jakarta
  • 2009 military transport plane carrying troops and their families crashed in Java, killing 98 people

Hercules havarert i Medan, Sumatra

Sumatra: Hercules-fly styrtet i nabolag

Et C-130 Hercules-fly har krasjlandet i et nabolag i byen Medan på Sumatra.

Det opplyser en indonesisk militær talsmann om, ifølge nyhetsbyrået AP.

Bilder fra stedet viser store flammer midt i nabolaget. Svart røyk siger opp rundt husene og mange mennesker har samlet seg rundt vraket.
Det er foreløpig ikke klart hvor mange som befant seg i flyet eller i husene som ble truffet.
Det bor 1,7 millioner mennesker i Medan, som er hovedstaden i provinsen Sumatera Utara i Indonesia.

Gardermoen innrettes for å ta imot A380 rutinemessig

Nedgang i flytrafikken til tross, hovedflyplassen i Norge skal få større arealer for fly som har ruter til områder utenfor Schengen.
Det betyr i klartekst at lufthavnen skal utvide og forlenge det som i dag er utenriksterminalen.
Arbeidet skal påbegynnes i 2017, og stå ferdig i 2019.
Når denne utbyggingen er ferdig, skal flyplassen være klargjort for å ta imot verdens største passasjerfly på fast rutebasis.
Styret i Avinor har nettopp gitt sin tilslutning til valg av utbygningskonsept for «nye non schengen», og endelig beslutning tas våren 2016. Dette er beregnet å koste rundt 2,5 milliarder kroner.
Flytypen A380 er bygget i flere versjoner, og den største med bare én klasse kan ta opptil 850 passasjerer.

Koster milliarder

Øyvind Hasaas
- Som et av prosjektene er det å klargjøre flyplassen slik at det skal være mulig å si ja til flyselskaper som vil bruke det største passasjerflyet som finnes i dag, det franskbygde Airbus A380, sier Oslo Lufthavns administrerende direktør, Øyvind Hasaas, til Aftenposten.
Mega-jumboen brukes av flere av de selskapene som i dag har ruter til Gardermoen, bl.a. Midtøsten-selskapet Emirates fra Dubai som jekker opp sin flytype på ruten til København til en A380 fra desember av.

OSL vil være forberedt

Så langt har ingen selskap som bruker denne flytypen gitt uttrykk for at de kan tenke seg å komme til Oslo med verdens største fly. Men OSL vil forberede seg på muligheten, og legger derfor til rette for å rydde plass for å ekspedere storfuglen på Gardermoen.
At terminalen som betjener flyene som går til land utenfor Schengen bygges ut, er en bevisst strategi, sier lufthavnsjefen:
- Alle prognoser viser at det er på utenlandstrafikken vi vil få den største passasjerveksten i årene fremover. I tillegg jobber vi målrettet med å trekke til oss nye interkontinentale ruter. Derfor må terminalen mot øst bygges ut siden dette i stor utstrekning kommer til å bli ruter som går til reisemål utenfor Europa, sier Hasaas.

Er det norske markedet stort nok?

Derfor vil den nye utbyggingen inkludere to nye flyoppstillingsplasser som vil være store nok til å ekspedere super-jumboene, som med flere klassser vanligvis kan ta rundt 600 passasjer.
Hasaas sier at forberedelsene til å kunne ta imot kjempefuglen vil gjøre at et bare kreves små utbygginger av gangbroer før A380-flyene kan klappe til gate på Gardermoen.
- Det er jo usikkert om det norske markedet er stort nok for en slik flytype. Utvidelsen av terminalen vil uansett gi oss mulighet til å kunne håndtere mange nye langdistansefly samtidig. Det er det et stort behov for allerede i dag fordi denne delen av flyplassen oppleves som veldig trang når flere langdistansefly med mange passasjerer har avgang omtrent på samme tid, sier Hasaas og legger til:
- Mest av alt er vi opptatt av å kunne tilby attraktive destinasjoner til det norske markedet.

mandag 29. juni 2015

Jet pack - In the same bracket as flying cars - Superflous

Consumer Jetpacks Will Be Flying By 2016, Martin Aircraft Says, But First You Need $150K 

The first flight of the Martin Jetback, shown here in 2008, reminded observers of science fiction fantasies popularized in the 1950s and 1960s.

The jetpacks have finally arrived. Decades after science fiction writers first popularized the idea of strapping a rocket to your back and piloting yourself through the air, a New Zealand aircraft company has announced it will actually start selling commercial jetpacks for a price of $150,000. But consumers will need to wait until 2016.

Built by the Martin Aircraft Company, the jetpack (known as the Martin Jetpack) would be the first aircraft of its kind to go on sale to the public. Rather than being powered by rockets, though, the jetpack lifts off and navigates with help from large fans, which are easier to control. It's capable of carrying a 260 pound person 1,000 meters into the air before they deploy a parachute, company sources told Reuters.

Even with such a high cost, Martin suggested jetpacks will be more than a toy for millionaires. They say the aircraft can safely land on wire-laden rooftops and navigate tight areas, two advantages over a helicopter.

Airbus - large order from Saudi Airlines

Airbus Group Receives Order of 50 Aircraft From Saudi Airlines

Saudi Arabian Airlines signs a contract with Airbus to acquire 30 A320 and 20 A330 commercial aircraft through International Airfinance Corporation

Airbus Group recently announced that it signed a contract with Saudi Arabian Airlines to deliver 50 aircraft for a total value of $8.2 billion based on the list price. Airbus was in talks with Saudi Airlines since the beginning of the Paris Air Show; the deal has now been finalized.

According to the contract, Airbus will be supplying 30 A320neo aircraft and 20 A330-300 aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines. The contract will certainly help Airbus in taking a lead from its rival, Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). However, Saudi Arabian Airlines will acquire the aircraft through Islamic financing. The $8.2 billion deal makes it the largest deal in the aviation industry made through Islamic financing.

Yesterday, Airbus also announced that it is in talks with China to book an order of 50-70 A330-300 commercial aircraft, but the company has not yet finalized a contract. It is believed that the contract will be based on the list price and will be valued at approximately $16 billion.

Malaysian MH17 - Putin blocking investigation

Dutch Say Inquiry Into Malaysia Jet Crash Is Being Blocked in Ukraine

MOSCOW - Pro-Russian separatist leaders in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk have blocked access to Dutch law enforcement officials pursuing an investigation into the downing of a Malaysian jetliner nearly a year ago, the Netherlands Public Prosecution Office said on Saturday.

The obstruction by separatist officials prompted the investigators, from the Dutch National Police and Ministry of Defense, to cut short their field work in Ukraine without conducting research into cellphone towers and cellular networks in the region, the public prosecution office said.

The passenger jet, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, was shot down on July 17 as it flew over the war zone in eastern Ukraine during a journey from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch citizens.

Based on preliminary analysis and intelligence, including from the United States government, the aircraft was widely believed to have been destroyed by a surface-to-air missile fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces.

The separatist groups, however, strongly deny that they had anything to do with the crash, and the Russian government has sought to provide evidence that the plane was fired upon by a Ukrainian jet fighter.

And on Friday, a senior Russian official said the Kremlin would oppose a plan by Malaysia calling on the United Nations Security Council to create a tribunal to try suspects in the downing of the jetliner. Calling the idea "ill-timed and counterproductive," Gennady Gatilov, a deputy foreign minister, told Russian news agencies, "We need to wait for the end of the investigation, not adopt hasty resolutions on the creation of tribunals."

Hot summer in the SW US also -. Allegiant

Allegiant Air defends safety record amid emergency landings, cancellations

Allegiant Air is defending its safety record after a series of emergency landings and cancellations at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. 

At the height of its travel season, Allegiant Air finds itself with a challenging public relations problem.

Recent headlines described two emergency landings at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in June; a series of flight cancellations there and at other airports that left hundreds of passengers temporarily stranded; and a labor dispute with a pilots union alleging Allegiant puts profits above safety.

Facing one of its most difficult years since the budget airline's 1997 founding, Allegiant officials last week moved to counter the perception that its fleet of 70 planes - one of the oldest among U.S. carriers - is plagued by maintenance issues. A spokeswoman said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times that the airline has one of the industry's best safety records and that recent headlines amount to little more than bad luck.

"So while we can appreciate that there have been some incidents that have been quite public" at St. Pete-Clearwater, "we stand by the fact that our flights are safe and that the safety of our passengers and crews are our No. 1 priority," said Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler.

Lufthansa - Facing hot summer

Lufthansa Faces Summer of Strikes by Cabin Crew

 - June 22, 2015, 10:02 AM
Lufthansa could again see strikes disrupt operations during its busy summer travel season. (Photo: Lufthansa)
Lufthansa Airlines faces as many as two and a half months of strikes by its flight attendants after management and the UFO cabin crew union failed to reach a settlement over pay and retirement benefits. The union has set a deadline of June 30 to reach a pact before limited strike action begins on July 1. Lufthansa and the UFO reached an agreement in January to enter arbitration over the airline’s effort to institute cost-cutting measures. Last weekend the two arbitrators, Herta Däubler-Gmelin and Friedrich Merz, could not recommend a final settlement “due to the fundamentally different positions of Lufthansa and UFO.”
The UFO said it would announce precise dates of the planned strike action on July 1, when it plans to hold a series of rallies protesting Lufthansa’s attempt to cut corporate pensions and transitional benefits. The union said it would continue the work actions until at least September 16, and that the frequency and any necessary expansion of the strikes “will depend on the readiness of the executive board of Lufthansa.”
In essence, Lufthansa could avoid the strikes if it offers to settle by June 30, accepts the conditions to which the parties agreed last year and maintains the previous benefits structure until the sides reach a deal, said the union.
Lufthansa pilot unions engaged in a series of near crippling strikes for the airline over the past year in protest of the airline’s efforts to raise the retirement age for new-hire pilots from 55 to 60. Retired pilots can now draw 60 percent of their salary until they turn 63, at which point they become eligible for state- and employer-sponsored retirement benefits. The sides remain in arbitration over the matter.


Pilot shortage - Created by the industry itself

Airline Pilots: Low Pay Drives Disputed Pilot Shortage

 - June 25, 2015, 5:07 PM
SkyWest Airlines regional jet
Average starting pay for a first officer in the regional airline industry is $23,000, according to the Air Line Pilots Association. (Image: SkyWest Airlines)
Low pay, high academic debt and quality of life issues dissuade people from pursuing a career as an airline pilot, speakers said June 25 during a day-long conference organized by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). Those factors contribute to a pilot shortage, although the extent of the shortage is disputed.
ALPA claims that it has more than 700 members in North America who are currently on furlough from their airlines. The association contests that a widespread pilot shortage exists, characterizing the situation as a “pilot pay shortage” that prevents pilot candidates from entering the industry through regional airlines. Lacking career advancement, some working pilots depart for better-paying foreign airlines or other jobs.
The average starting pay for a first officer at a regional airline is $23,000, according to ALPA. The five lowest-paying airlines—SkyWest, Mesa, Republic/Shuttle/Chautauqua, ExpressJet and GoJet—combined operate more than half of all regional flights each day, it says. Meanwhile, candidates entering the field by the academic route face excessive debt, having spent $150,000 to $200,000 for a university degree and flight training.
Why are some airlines having trouble filling their flight decks?” ALPA president Tim Canoll asked to start the conference. “We all know that, indeed, some airlines are experiencing difficulties in hiring [and] retaining qualified pilots. It comes down to a simple lesson in economics. When airlines continue to offer an average starting salary of $23,000 a year, the market is going to respond.”
Canoll offered that major airlines have reduced flights, not because of a pilot shortage but because of a focus on “capacity discipline…in an attempt to maximize profits.” He said industry opponents of strict new Federal Aviation Administration pilot training and qualification requirements have “fabricated” a shortage. The U.S. offers ample opportunity for aspiring pilots through universities, flight schools and the military, producing more pilots than the number of airline jobs available, he said.
These and other facts tell us that there really isn’t a pilot shortage right now, but with upcoming retirements and increasing airline fleets, it’s certainly an area of potential concern,” Canoll said. “And it’s clear that there is a pilot pay shortage. Some pilots are simply not willing to accept the compensation packages offered by some airlines, especially when there is not a clear career path for them to follow at that carrier.”
Alex Marren, chief operating officer of Atlanta-based ExpressJet Airlines, a SkyWest subsidiary, offered the regional airline perspective. ExpressJet operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ 200/700/900 and Embraer 135/145 regional jets on scheduled flights as American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express.
We definitely are seeing a pilot shortage, if you define a pilot shortage as more and more challenges in terms of attracting and hiring talent into the profession,” Marren said. “When I started in aviation in the seventies and eighties, we called it the ‘glamour days.’ In those days, it was the buzz, it was the place to go to, it was fascinating, it was growing, it was exciting. Now people don’t necessarily have quite the same view of the aviation industry.”
Marren said the pilot gap has caused some carriers to reduce their number of flights, although there has been some “upgaging” to larger aircraft with more seats. “This is in an environment, certainly with low fuel prices, where you would actually be seeing the opposite if it weren’t for somewhat of a constraint that we have now in how many pilots we have in the pipeline,” she said. “The major carriers are asking us, how much can you fly for us? Certain carriers [are] postponing the number of flights that they can handle for our major partners until they can get their classes filled and people through the training.”

Solar Impulse 2 passed PNR - Is it in trouble again? GS only 9kts now

This computation is dificult to comprehend since the aircraft now has only flown 1/6th of the distance to Hawaii, perhaps even less. At 16.45 GMT the aircraft is literally parked.

Solar Impulse passes 'point of no return' over Pacific

Solar Impulse
The plane has a bigger wingspan than a jumbo jet but is incredibly light

A solar-powered plane has passed the "point of no return" in its second bid at making a record-breaking flight across the Pacific Ocean.
Solar Impulse took off from Japan's Nagoya Airfield at 18:03 GMT on Sunday.
The journey to Hawaii is expected to take approximately 120 hours.
The team spent nearly two months waiting for clear weather to cross the Pacific, and a developing cold front forced the plane to make an unscheduled landing in Japan earlier this month.
"Andre Borschberg has passed the point of no return and must now see this 5 days 5 nights flight through to the end," Solar Impulse said on its website.
The pilot now no longer has the option to turn around and return to Japan, if the weather forecast changes.

F-35 oppdatering - Liten, men interessant kontrakt

Ny norsk leverandør til Norges nye kampfly F-35

Berget AS har blitt valgt som leverandør av deler til F-35. Den familieeide bedriften på Notodden skal i første omgang produsere et mindre volum av maskinerte deler til flyet, og dette blir det første oppdraget etter at bedriften tidligere i år ble kvalifisert som en leverandør til det internasjonale F-35-programmet.
– Det at vi nå har fått en ny norsk bedrift som direkte leverandør i programmet viser at industrien er konkurransedyktig i et høyteknologisk og krevende program. Regjeringen arbeider kontinuerlig med posisjonering av norsk industri inn mot flyproduksjonen, og at en SMB-bedrift lykkes er derfor svært gledelig, sier statssekretær Øystein Bø.
Den første leveransen av deler vil ha en samlet verdi av i overkant av 1 million kroner.  – Potensialet er imidlertid betydelig og vi ser muligheter for å videreutvikle vår automatiserte produksjonsprosess ytterligere. Det er viktig for Notodden som industriområde å vise at det er mulig å konkurrere om oppdrag innenfor et produksjonssegment der våre konkurrenter har fordel av å operere med lavere kostnadsnivåer, sier markedssjef Arnstein Frømyr.
Notodden-bedriften er fra før underleverandør til Kongsberg Defence Systems i deres F-35-produksjon, og har arbeidet målrettet med kvalifisering som selvstendig leverandør til det internasjonale programmet. – Dette viser at ringvirkningen av de store industrikontraktene ikke bare tilflyter norsk industri som underleveranser, men kan være med på å styrke den generelle konkurranseevnen, avslutter Bø.
Frem til i dag har norsk industri undertegnet F-35-kontrakter verdt 2,8 milliarder kroner, noe som er en økning på omlag 20 % siden nyttår. Denne summen dekker likevel bare leveranser til et par hundre av de over 3 000 flyene som er planlagt produsert, og det er ventet ytterligere kontrakter til norsk industri i tiden fremover etter hvert som den årlige produksjonen av F-35 øker.

Drones goes offshore - Australian Navy

Unmanned Helicopters to Revolutionise Australia’s Naval Aviation

Fire ScoutAustralia is set to become only the second nation in the world to operate unmanned helicopters from navy warships. Future Royal Australian Navy vessels will almost certainly be equipped with both manned and remote unmanned choppers that will reduce risk and cost.
However the most potent of all new warships — the troubled 7000-tonne Air Warfare Destroyer — can’t accommodate an unmanned machine because its hangar can only fit a single manned MRH-90 machine.
The navy’s future frigate programme includes a requirement for both manned and unmanned machines.
A MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Sea Hawk helicopter (left) and a MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter off
The advanced and battle proven and missile armed unmanned helicopters being used by the US Navy could operate from two new 27,500-tonne Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious support ships.
Known as the Fire Scout the choppers — built by aerospace giant Northrop Grumman — have been operating with US forces off frigates and over land in Africa and Afghanistan for more than two years.
The initial MQ-8B version of the machine has flown 15,000 hours and is roughly eight times cheaper to operate than a Seahawk Romeo manned helicopter.
Australia is interested in the latest $20 million ‘C’ model of the system that is based on a “de-manned” version of the Canadian built Bell 407 civilian chopper.
US Navy MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopters in the hangar at the Point Mugu Naval Air Station, n
The ‘C’ model is larger, can carry bigger loads, fly faster and higher and stay aloft for 12 hours.
Program director US Navy Captain Jeff Dodge said the step up from the MQ-8B to the ‘C’ model aircraft was akin to a brain transplant.
“We are taking the computer and putting it on a bigger, stronger helicopter,” he said.
US Navy officers Commander Brian Reardon and Captain Jeff Dodge with a Northrop Grumman M
In a hangar at Webster Field on Chesapeake Bay near Washington, US Navy and Northrop Grumman technicians are conducting further testing on the smaller version of the Fire Scout.
The trials have included a live firing of a laser guided rocket and a beach zone mine detection system.
Each ship operating the Fire Scout is equipped with a precision landing system that tracks the pilotless chopper and feeds it data to guide it in for a perfect landing every time.
The system is being tested on numerous US ships including the hi-speed Littoral Combat Ship.
There are 29 ‘B’ models in service and 19 ‘C’ models in production.
“Unmanned is absolutely here to stay for dull, dirty and dangerous missions,’ Captain Dodge said.
“You will always need the flexibility that manned systems bring.”
Ground staff prepare a Northrop Grumman Fire Scout MQ-8C unmanned helicopter for a test f
The US Navy’s concept of operations for the system involves a mixture of manned and unmanned aircraft using experienced pilots to operate the remote system.
“Someone who has done missions in a helicopter can make decisions better than non-pilots,” he said.
According to US navy officer Commander Brian Reardon, several aircraft were lost including one shot down in Af ghanistan and another that crashed due to severe icing.
“We didn’t have to go and visit anyone’s family, that’s the magic,” Commander Reardon said.
Across the country at the Point Mugu Naval Air Station north of Los Angeles six of the larger MQ-8C models of Fire Scout are undergoing intensive testing.
Civilian airspace managers remain very nervous about unmanned systems and Point Mugu is the only location in the US where unmanned helicopters operate inside manned airspace.
Test flight director Lieutenant Commander David Belew, a fixed wing pilot, said pilots were amazed by the stability of the Fire Scout.
US Navy Fire Scout unmanned helicopter test flight director Lieutenant Commander David Se
One chopper pilot told him that there was no way he could hold the aircraft as steady as the remote system.
Due to its larger payload the C model could be used for both anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare as well as surveillance.
Northrop Grumman’s program lead for Australia, Japan and Korea Greg Miller said the unmanned system was designed to complement a manned system.
“You use a manned and unmanned team to extend mission performance and reduce the overall cost,” he said.
  • Based on Bell 407 commercial helicopter
  • Designed to operate from ships or on land
  • Operated remotely (fly by mouse) by pilot using computer keyboard and mouse
  • Automatic landing system fitted to ship’s deck to guide chopper in
  • Motion and speed of ship calculated automatically
  • Maximum speed 180km/h
  • Service ceiling 5500 metres
  • Endurance 10 to 12 hours
  • Approx cost $20 million (fly away)
  • 8 times cheaper to run than Seahawk helicopter
  • Navy could purchase up to 12

Solar Impulse 2 heading for Hawaii - Follow it in Flightradar24.com 200NM SE of Tokyo

Solar Impulse makes second bid to cross Pacific Ocean

Solar Impulse
The plane has a bigger wingspan than a jumbo jet but is incredibly light

A solar-powered plane is making its second bid at a record-breaking flight across the Pacific Ocean.
Solar Impulse took off from Nagoya Airfield in Japan at 18:03 GMT on Sunday and is scheduled to land in Hawaii in approximately 120 hours.
Solar Impulse said on its website that pilot Andre Borschberg had passed the point of no return.
The team has spent nearly two months waiting for a clear weather window to cross the Pacific.
"Andre Borschberg has passed the point of no return and must now see this 5 days 5 nights flight through to the end," Solar Impulse said on its website.
The pilot now no longer has the option to turn around and return to Japan, if the weather forecast changes.

Weeks of delay

The first attempt to fly over the ocean was cut short after a change in the forecast forced an unscheduled landing.
And another attempt to take off last Tuesday was cancelled at the last moment because of concerns about the conditions.
This time, the team will not be widely publicising the take-off until the plane is several hours into its flight, as it may need to turn back if the forecast changes.
However, if the pilot succeeds, it will be the longest-duration solo flight in aviation history, as well as the furthest distance flown by a craft that is powered only by the Sun.
The Pacific crossing is the eighth leg of Solar Impulse's journey around the world.
But this stage has proven to be the most difficult, and has been hit by weeks of delays.
The plane had to make an unscheduled landing in Japan after its first attempt to cross the ocean

Swiss pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder Andre Borschberg, who is flying the experimental single-seater craft, was initially supposed to begin his journey to Hawaii from Nanjing in China.
But he spent weeks there, with his ground-support team, waiting for the right flying conditions to present themselves.
He finally took off on the 31 May, but a deterioration in the forecast a few hours into the mission meant that he had to divert to Japan.
The rainy season in Nagoya has meant another long wait there - but after the false start last week, meteorologists are now confident they have found a weather window to make the five-day, five-night crossing to Hawaii.
A spokesperson said that the plane would be heading straight out across the Pacific.

LEG 1: 9 March. Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Muscat (Oman) - 441km; in 13 hours and 1 minute
LEG 2: 10 March. Muscat (Oman) to Ahmedabad (India) - 1,468km; in 15 hours and 20 minutes
LEG 3: 18 March. Ahmedabad (India) to Varanasi (India) - 1,215km; in 13 hours and 15 minutes
LEG 4: 19 March. Varanasi (India) to Mandalay (Myanmar) - 1,398km; in 13 hours and 29 minutes
LEG 5: 29 March. Mandalay (Myanmar) to Chongqing (China) - 1,459km; in 20 hours and 29 minutes
LEG 6: 21 April. Chongqing (China) to Nanjing China - 1,241km; in 17 hours and 22 minutes
LEG 7: 31 May. Nanjing (China) to Kalaeloa, Hawaii (USA) - 8,200km; journey aborted, plane diverted to Nagoya, Japan

The experimental craft - which has 17,000 solar cells - is powered only by the Sun.
Once over the ocean, if it fails to soak up enough rays to fully charge its batteries and make it through the night, the pilot could be forced to bail out.
Mr Borschberg has been trained for that eventuality.
He has a dinghy and enough supplies for several days while he waits for the team to identify a vessel to go pick him up.
But, of course, the team hopes none of this will be necessary.
Mr Borschberg's will spend the duration of the flight strapped into his seat in a cockpit that is about the same size as a telephone booth.
He will only be allowed to take 20-minute cat-naps, but says he will use yoga and meditation to make his journey more comfortable.
If this flight succeeds, the plane will continue its journey around the world, with Bertrand Piccard taking the controls for the next Pacific crossing from Hawaii to the US mainland.
The plane will then continue across North America, before attempting to fly over the Atlantic.
However, the build-up of delays could impact on the later stages. Ideally, the plane needs to cross the Atlantic before August, when the hurricane season reaches its peak.