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Flight Safety Information- January 4, 2021No. 002

 

 

In This Issue

: When You Need A Supplement Lift - ARGUS IS YOUR PARTNER

: Incident: Rossiya A319 at Surgut on Dec 27th 2020, door open indication

: ProSafeT - Inviting All Helicopter Operators

: Incident: Ameromexico B788 at Cancun on Jan 3rd 2021, rejected takeoff due to bird strike

: Incident: THY B772 at Istanbul on Jan 3rd 2021, flock of birds

: Incident: American B738 at Charlotte on Jan 1st 2021, rejected takeoff due to never ending windshear

: Incident: American B738 at Boston on Jan 2nd 2021, rejected takeoff due to caution announciation

: Incident: Bridge Cargo B744 at Amsterdam on Jan 1st 2021, gear problem on departure

: Incident: PSA CRJ7 near Albany on Jan 1st 2021, wing anti ice issues

: Learjet 31 suffers runway excursion after landing at Diamantina Airport, Brazil

: Beechcraft 200 Super King Air - Takeoff Accident (New York)

: A319 Tangles With ‘Pyrotechnics Balloon’ Landing In Bogota

: The world's safest airlines for 2021 revealed

: People killed in large commercial airline crashes higher in 2020 than 2019

: Aviation Reinsurance Rates Rise by as Much as 250% in January Renewals

: Pakistan's PIA faces asset grab in British Virgin Islands

: Privacy nightmare? FAA's drone tracking rules have big consequences

: China Airlines Plans Special Goodbye For Last Passenger 747-400 Built

: Rolls-Royce to put engine development ‘on ice’ until new jet unveiled

: Will Axiom Space provide a commercial space station replacement for NASA's ISS?

: 2021 Aircraft Cabin Air Conference

: Book: GROUNDED - How to solve the Aviation Crisis

: Today's Photo

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Incident: Rossiya A319 at Surgut on Dec 27th 2020, door open indication

 

A Rossiya Airbus A319-100 on behalf of Aeroflot, registration VQ-BBA performing flight SU-6442 from Surgut to St. Petersburg (Russia) with 114 passengers and 5 crew, was climbing out of Surgut's runway 07 when the crew received a door open indication and noticed the cabin did not pressurize. The crew stopped the climb at about 8000 feet, descended to 5000 feet and entered a hold while working the checklists and burning off fuel. The aircraft returned to Surgut for a safe landing on runway 07 about 55 minutes after departure.

 

The aircraft remained on the ground in Surgut for 15 hours, then departed for St. Petersburg as flight FV-5404.

 

On Jan 4th 2021 Rosaviatsia reported the crew detected the cabin did not pressurize, subsequently a door open indication for the aft luggage compartment appeared. The aircraft entered a hold to burn off fuel and returned to Surgut. Maintenance did not find any faults, the aft cargo door was closed, the door open sensor malfunction was deferred according to minimum equipment list requirements.

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e10c039&opt=0

 

 

 

 

Incident: Ameromexico B788 at Cancun on Jan 3rd 2021, rejected takeoff due to bird strike

 

An Aeromexico Boeing 787-8, registration N782AM performing flight AM-549 from Cancun to Mexico City (Mexico), was accelerating for takeoff from Cancun's runway 12L when the left hand engine (GEnx) failed emitting a muffled bang and a streak of flames. The crew rejected takeoff at low speed (about 60 knots over ground) and brought the aircraft down to a stop about 1100 meters down the runway. The aircraft subsequently taxied to the end of the runway, vacated the runway there and taxied to the apron.

 

The airline reported the engine failed due to the ingestion of birds.

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e15b239&opt=0

 

 

Incident: THY B772 at Istanbul on Jan 3rd 2021, flock of birds

 

A THY Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-200 freighter, registration TC-LJN performing freight flight TK-6220 from Istanbul Ataturk (Turkey) to Almaty (Kazakhstan), was climbing out of Ataturk's runway 05 when the aircraft flew through a flock of birds and received multiple bird strikes including the left hand pitot tube. The aircraft stopped the climb at 5000 feet and returned to Ataturk Airport for a safe landing on runway 05 about 45 minutes after departure and taxied to the apron. The aircraft received a reshaped radome and a bent left pitot tube.

 

A replacement Boeing 777-200 freighter registration TC-LJL is estimated to reach Almaty with a delay of 3.75 hours.

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e1524fa&opt=0

 

 

Incident: American B738 at Charlotte on Jan 1st 2021, rejected takeoff due to never ending windshear

 

An American Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration N901NN performing flight AA-2755 from Charlotte,NC to Minneapolis,MN (USA), was accelerating for takeoff from Charlotte's runway 36C when the crew rejected takeoff at about 70 knots over ground reporting they had a windshear warning. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.

 

The Aviation Herald received information that the wind shear warning did not want to stop. There had been no windshear.

 

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 100 minutes, then was able to depart and reached Minneapolis with a delay of 1:45 hours.

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e14bade&opt=0

 

 

Incident: American B738 at Boston on Jan 2nd 2021, rejected takeoff due to caution announciation

 

An American Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration N990AN performing flight AA-2741 from Boston,MA to Dallas Ft. Worth,TX (USA), was accelerating for takeoff from Boston's runway 04R when the crew rejected takeoff at about 80 knots due to an announciation, a caution light. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.

 

The aircraft is still on the ground in Boston 4 hours later.

 

The Aviation Herald received information that the caution light was "P FEEL DIFF PRESS".

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e14b9a6&opt=0

 

 

Incident: Bridge Cargo B744 at Amsterdam on Jan 1st 2021, gear problem on departure

 

An Air Bridge Cargo Boeing 747-400, registration VP-BIG performing flight RU-452 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Moscow Sheremetyevo (Russia), was climbing out of Amsterdam when the crew requested to stop the climb at FL200 to troubleshoot a problem. The crew subsequently requested to enter a hold advising they had a gear signal. The aircraft turned around towards Amsterdam and descended, the crew subsequently advised they were ready for the approach, no need to enter the hold, and landed safely on Amsterdam's runway 18R about 50 minutes after departure.

 

The aircraft is still on the ground in Amsterdam about 19.5 hours after landing back.

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e14a3e6&opt=0

 

 

Incident: PSA CRJ7 near Albany on Jan 1st 2021, wing anti ice issues

 

A PSA Airlines Canadair CRJ-700 on behalf of American Airlines, registration N716PS performing flight AA-5088 from Burlington,VT to Philadelphia,PA (USA), was climbing through FL260 out of Burlington when the crew decided to divert to Albany,NY (USA) when the crew recveived a wing anti-ice caution message. The aircraft subsequently performed a descending left 360 to deal with the anti-ice caution message. ATC provided information about precipitation around their flight path, vectored the aircraft around an area of precipitation. While on a heading of 350 approach instructed the aircraft to turn right to heading 340 followed by the clearance for the ILS approach to Albany's runway 01. The aircraft landed safely on Albany's runway 01 about 25 minutes after stopping the climb at FL260.

 

The aircraft is still on the ground in Albany about 13 hours after landing.

 

http://avherald.com/h?article=4e149205&opt=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learjet 31 suffers runway excursion after landing at Diamantina Airport, Brazil

 

Status: Preliminary

Date: Saturday 2 January 2021

Type: Learjet 31A

Operator: Brasil Vida Táxi Aéreo

Registration: PP-BBV

C/n / msn: 31-113

First flight: 1995

Engines: 2 Garrett TFE731

Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2

Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2

Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4

Aircraft damage: Substantial

Location: Diamantina Airport, MG (DTI) (Brazil)

Phase: Landing (LDG)

Nature: Ambulance

Departure airport: São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, SP (CGH/SBSP), Brazil

Destination airport: Diamantina-Juscelino Kubitschek Airport, MG (DTI/SNDT), Brazil

Narrative:

The Learjet 31A suffered a runway excursion after landing on runway 03 at Diamantina Airport, Brazil. It went down a dropoff.

The aircraft was operating an ambulance flight to pick up a Covid-19 patient.

 

Diamantina Airport has a single asphalt runway (03/21), measuring 1610 x 30 m. Past the paved runway surface of runway 03 there is a 60 m stopway, followed by downsloping terrain.

 

https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20210102-0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beechcraft 200 Super King Air - Takeoff Accident (New York)

 

Status: Preliminary

Date: Saturday 2 January 2021

Time: 15:00

Type: Beechcraft 200 Super King Air

Operator: Vagus Group, Inc.

Registration: N831WP

C/n / msn: BB-569

First flight: 1979

Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-52

Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:

Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:

Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:

Aircraft damage: Unknown

Location: White Plains-Westchester County Airport, NY (HPN) (United States of America)

Phase: Takeoff (TOF)

Nature: Unknown

Departure airport: White Plains-Westchester County Airport, NY (HPN/KHPN), United States of America

Destination airport: New Bedford Airport, MA (EWB/KEWB), United States of America

Narrative:

A Beechcraft 200 Super King Air, registration N831WP, suffered an accident on takeoff from runway 34 at White Plains-Westchester County Airport, New York, USA.

At the time of takeoff clearance, the Tower controller reported "Wind 320 at 20, gust 27."

The runway was closed for an hour and the aircraft was subsequently removed on a flat bed truck.

 

https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20210102-1

 

 

A319 Tangles With ‘Pyrotechnics Balloon’ Landing In Bogota

 

VIDEO

 

Colombian officials politely asked people to refrain from flying balloons, possibly packed with explosives, near airports just before a bizarre collision at Bogota Airport. A Bianca Airlines A319 had just touched down on a flight from Orlando on New Year’s Eve when it became entangled with yards of streamers and plastic from what authorities described as a “pyrotechnics balloon.” The crew was able to roll out safely trailing the shiny streamers, some of which tangled in an engine and the gear. Launching fireworks from balloons is apparently a popular way to blow in the New Year in Colombia. It’s not clear if the balloon still had its payload of fireworks.

 

The country’s Civil Aeronautics Authority apparently saw the potential for trouble and issued a cautionary statement an hour before the incident. “Your contribution adds to the security in the country’s air operations. Remember that the use and launch of balloons near airports affects the safety of air operations and travelers,” the tweet said. The plane wasn’t damaged and the airline hasn’t commented other than to clarify that the collision happened after touchdown and not in flight as some early reports suggested. No one was hurt.

 

https://www.avweb.com/aviation-news/a319-tangles-with-pyrotechnics-balloon-landing-in-bogota/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world's safest airlines for 2021 revealed

 

AirlineRatings.com's safest airlines for 2021:

 

1. Qantas

2. Qatar Airways

3. Air New Zealand

4. Singapore Airlines

5. Emirates

6. EVA Air

7. Etihad Airways

8. Alaska Airlines

9. Cathay Pacific Airways

10. British Airways

11. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic

12. Hawaiian Airlines

13. Southwest Airlines

14. Delta Air Lines

15. American Airlines

16. SAS

17. Finnair

18. Lufthansa

19. KLM

20. United Airlines

 

World's safest airline: AirlineRatings.com has spotlighted the 20 airlines it considers the safest in the world. Aussie carrier Qantas takes the top spot.

 

(CNN) — There may have been far fewer airplanes in the skies this past year, but if you're looking ahead to future travel, you might take heed of the latest rankings of the world's safest airlines from AirlineRatings.com.

 

AirlineRatings.com keeps tabs on 385 carriers from across the globe, measuring factors including the airlines' crash and serious incident records, and age of their aircraft.

"The challenge this year was the number of airlines that were flying, although our Top 20 safest airlines have all continued to fly or had limited cessation of flights," AirlineRatings editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas tells CNN Travel.

 

For 2021, the airline safety and product review website awarded Aussie airline Qantas the top spot.

 

AirlineRatings highlighted Qantas' commitment to retraining pilots ahead of a return to service after time out during the pandemic. AirlineRatings found that a Qantas 737 pilot must undergo a six day course ahead of returning to the skies, including a day focused on wellbeing.

 

Qantas held the title of world's safest airline from 2014 to 2017. In 2018, AirlineRatings said it could find no clear winner and chose to rank its top 20 equally, but once again in 2019 and 2020 Qantas was crowned world's safest carrier.

 

On some previous occasions, AirlineRatings has chosen its winner and then listed the rest of the top airlines alphabetically.

 

But for 2021, the website has ranked each of the top 20 airlines in numerical order. Qatar Airways takes the number two spot, while Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Emirates round out the top five.

 

Thomas told CNN Travel that the rating system was slightly adjusted this year, to allow for greater accuracy.

 

"Over the past two years we have become aware that some airlines, which had passed bi-annual safety audits, were not on a day-to-day basis following the operational disciplines required by the auditors," Thomas said.

 

AirlineRatings also looked into airline fraudulent pilot license scams and bribery allegations, added Thomas.

 

As a result, they decided to do a five-year audit of serious safety incidents to narrow down the top 20.

 

"Accidents and incidents make up five of our seven star rating with audits accounting for one and Covid-19 compliance the final star for a maximum seven-star ranking," says Thomas.

 

Thomas adds that travelers are even more focused on airline safety in the wake of the pandemic.

 

"They are not taking anything for granted and our inquiry level has tripled over the past six months on a variety of safety issues, not just Covid-19," says Thomas.

 

Separately, AirlineRatings also spotlighted the safest low cost airlines, listing the top 10 in alphabetical order. They are Air Arabia, Allegiant, EasyJet, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Ryanair, Vietjet, Westjet, and Wizz Air.

 

AirlineRatings has also produced a separate index of the top 20 Covid-compliant airlines, listed in alphabetical order.

 

They are Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jetblue, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, Qatar Airways and Westjet.

 

AirlineRatings said these airlines had gone "above and beyond in the protection of passengers."

 

Thomas highlighted how Qatar Airways, for example, has been providing face shields as well as masks, while Emirates introduced Covid-19 health insurance and a health kit for passengers.

 

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-safest-airlines-2021/index.html

 

 

People killed in large commercial airline crashes higher in 2020 than 2019

 

In 2020 there were 40 accidents involving large commercial passenger planes, five of which were fatal, resulting in 299 fatalities

 

The number of people killed in large commercial airplane crashes rose in 2020 to 299 worldwide, even as the number of crashes fell by more than 50%, a Dutch consulting firm said.

 

Aviation consulting firm To70 said in 2020 there were 40 accidents involving large commercial passenger planes, five of which were fatal, resulting in 299 fatalities. In 2019 there were 86 accidents, eight of which were fatal, resulting in 257 fatalities.

 

Large commercial airplanes had 0.27 fatal accidents per million flights in 2020, To70 said, or one fatal crash every 3.7 million flights -- up from 0.18 fatal accidents per million flights in 2019.

 

The decline in crashes came amid a sharp decline in flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. Flightradar24 reported commercial flights it tracked worldwide in 2020 fell 42% to 24.4 million.

 

More than half of all deaths in the To70 review were the 176 people killed in January 2020 when a Ukrainian plane was shot down in Iranian airspace.

 

The second deadliest incident was the May crash of a Pakistan airliner crashed in May killing 98.

 

Large passenger airplanes covered by the statistics are used by nearly all travelers on airlines but exclude small commuter airplanes in service.

 

Over the last two decades, aviation deaths have been falling dramatically. As recently as 2005, there were 1,015 deaths aboard commercial passenger flights worldwide, the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) said.

 

Over the last five years, there have been an average of 14 fatal accidents for commercial passenger and cargo planes resulting in 345 deaths annually, ASN said.

 

In 2017, aviation had its safest year on record worldwide with only two fatal accidents involving regional turboprops that resulted in 13 deaths and no fatal crashes of passenger jets.

 

The United States has not had a fatal U.S. passenger airline crash since February 2009 and one fatality due to a U.S. passenger airline accident in that period.

 

https://en.mercopress.com/2021/01/04/people-killed-in-large-commercial-airline-crashes-higher-in-2020-than-2019

 

 

Aviation Reinsurance Rates Rise by as Much as 250% in January Renewals

 

Aviation reinsurance rates rose by up to 250% at the key Jan. 1 renewal date, broker Willis Re said in a report on Monday, with the market still reeling from the impact of Boeing 737 MAX crashes two years ago.

 

The 737 MAX resumed commercial flights in the United States last week, following a 20-month safety ban after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people. (Editor’s note: The report is titled “Willis Re 1st View January 2021.”)

 

Insurers and reinsurers face claims from the crashes relating to hull and product liability that could amount to more than $2 billion, a large sum in a relatively small insurance sector, Willis Re International chair James Vickers told Reuters.

 

Aviation underwriters are also suffering from lower premiums due to worldwide lockdowns and travel bans, as insurance contracts are often negotiated based on the amount of time planes spend in the air.

 

Reinsurers, which share the burden of large risks with insurers in return for part of the premium, are also seeing rate rises in other

 

Aviation reinsurance rates rose by up to 250% at the key Jan. 1 renewal date, broker Willis Re said in a report on Monday, with the market still reeling from the impact of Boeing 737 MAX crashes two years ago.

 

The 737 MAX resumed commercial flights in the United States last week, following a 20-month safety ban after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people.

 

Insurers and reinsurers face claims from the crashes relating to hull and product liability that could amount to more than $2 billion, a large sum in a relatively small insurance sector, Willis Re International chair James Vickers told Reuters.

 

Aviation underwriters are also suffering from lower premiums due to worldwide lockdowns and travel bans, as insurance contracts are often negotiated based on the amount of time planes spend in the air.

 

Reinsurers, which share the burden of large risks with insurers in return for part of the premium, are also seeing rate rises in other sectors after years of falls.

 

Property and casualty reinsurance premiums are up by 25-30% for the riskiest areas of business, the report showed.

 

Analysts at Jefferies said the report showed a reinsurance hard market – in which premium rates are rising – was “underway,” highlighting gains in U.S. property, global casualty and specialty lines such as trade credit and political risk, as well as aviation.

 

But rates are not rising as much as reinsurers had hoped, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Insurers have themselves benefited from higher rates this year as well as lower claims in areas such as motor, giving them a strong hand in contract negotiations, Vickers said.

 

“Reinsurers were feeling quite bullish and feeling, ‘this is our moment’,” Vickers said, adding that they had nevertheless “achieved at least rate stability and some rate increases.”

 

Vickers said the biggest disagreements between insurers and reinsurers had been about cover for cyber attacks and communicable diseases such as COVID-19. Reinsurers are largely excluding these risks from policy wordings, he said.

 

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2021/01/04/595857.htm

 

 

Pakistan's PIA faces asset grab in British Virgin Islands

 

PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Islamabad Quaid-e-Azam Int'l) could see its assets attached by the High Court of Justice in the British Virgin Islands, where it is incorporated, over a longstanding dispute between its shareholder, the Pakistan state, and gold and copper exploration giant Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).

 

TCC has asked the High Court to enforce a USD5.97 billion award against Pakistan by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitral tribunal granted on July 12, 2019. The settlement award related to the Pakistan Province of Balochistan in 2011 having refused TCC a mining lease for the development of a USD3.3 billion copper-gold mine at Reko Diq in Balochistan. This resulted in TCC filing a case against Pakistan with the ICSID in 2012.

 

The enforcement of the award was provisionally stayed in September 2019, which was again extended on September 17, 2020, after the Pakistan government had applied for its annulment.

 

In a statement in December 2020, the office of the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) confirmed that TCC had initiated proceedings for the enforcement of the award before the High Court of Justice in the British Virgin Islands and that TCC sought the attachment of certain assets belonging to Pakistani institutions.

 

The AGP said the Pakistan government would “vigorously” contest proceedings in any jurisdiction and protect national assets “wherever they may be located”, but that the government aimed to settle the matter amicably.

 

The ICSID was still considering Pakistan’s appeal against the penalty and a final hearing would take place in May 2021, Pakistan media reported.

 

TCC is a 50/50 joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile.

 

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, PIA owns five ATR42-500s, four B777-200(ER)s, two B777-200(LR)s, and three B777-300(ER)s with the remainder of its fleet - eleven A320-200s, four ATR72-500s, two B777-200(ER)s, and one B777-300(ER) all leased.

 

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/98970-pakistans-pia-faces-asset-grab-in-british-virgin-islands

 

 

Privacy nightmare? FAA's drone tracking rules have big consequences

 

New rules require broadcast of information that could compromise delivery customers' privacy.

 

In the last week of December, while many of us were sleeping off a bizarre holiday season after a long, wearying year, the FAA announced final rules for Unmanned Aircraft (UA), more commonly known as drones. The new rules, which have long been anticipated and were closely watched in the sector, will require Remote Identification (Remote ID) of drones and allow operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions.

 

On the one had, the relaxation of the strict embargo on small drones flying over people is a boon to a commercial small drone sector that's been chomping at the bit to catch up to international markets in areas like drone delivery. And clear guidance from the FAA, which has been cautious about issuing new rulemaking when it comes to drones, is going to help what has become the fastest-growing segment in the transportation sector (there are currently over 1.7 million drones registered with the FAA).

 

But there's been a vocal cry of disappointment by some in the drone sector, including Alphabet's Wing team, which sees a major privacy flaw in the FAA's new framework.

 

"At a basic level, the new rule would enable the real-time tracking of consumer's drone delivery orders by the general public," a public affairs spokesperson for Wing, told me by email. "American communities would not accept real-time surveillance of their deliveries or taxi trips on the road. They should not accept it in the sky."

 

To be clear, both the FAA and its critics support remote ID in drones as a necessary development. What Wing and others are taking exception to is the singluar way that flight information is broadcast in the current framework, and to whom. Wing addressed the distinction in a recent blog post:

 

Unfortunately, the final rule, unlike existing international standards, does not allow the use of equally effective network remote ID, and requires all UAS, no matter the use case, to use "broadcast" RID. This approach creates barriers to compliance and will have unintended negative privacy impacts for businesses and consumers. Unlike traditional aircraft flying between known airports, commercial drones fly closer to communities and between businesses and homes. While an observer tracking an airplane can't infer much about the individuals or cargo onboard, an observer tracking a drone can infer sensitive information about specific users, including where they visit, spend time, and live and where customers receive packages from and when. American communities would not accept this type of surveillance of their deliveries or taxi trips on the road. They should not accept it in the sky.

 

The FAA's stance is that the remote ID rules, which become effective 60 days after publication, is a necessary step toward integrating drones into the national airspace system. Like AIS in the maritime sector, Remote ID typically provides identification of drones in flight as well as the location of their control stations and even flight path and flight history, providing that crucial information to national security agencies and law enforcement. Part 107 of the federal aviation regulations currently prohibits drone operations over people and at night unless the operator obtains a waiver from the FAA, but the new FAA regulations jointly provide increased flexibility, which will be a boon to the nascent drone delivery sector.

 

"The new rules make way for the further integration of drones into our airspace by addressing safety and security concerns," said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. "They get us closer to the day when we will more routinely see drone operations such as the delivery of packages."

 

Wing's stance is that there's ample room to use network-based RID for some use cases, especially delivery, which is a system that could discriminate what kind of information is available to whom. Leveraging the internet, for example, one possibility is an RID system for delivery drones where the general public could access basic information about a drone that flies by but would be locked out of more sensitive information, such as flight plans and history. That information would remain available to law enforcement via credentialed access.

 

"We hope the FAA and broader Administration will consider the many ways that drones will be used in the future and recognize and respect the privacy rights of Americans who rely on this technology," Wing writes.

 

The FAA's rules have been a long time in coming and they've worked closely with commercial partners through various trials of RID. How much the rules may evolve in the near term remains to be seen, but if privacy breaches do begin to surface as the delivery drone sector takes off there's going to be a lot of public pressure on the FAA to change course. Wing's stance may just be the warning bell.

 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/privacy-nightmare-faas-drone-tracking-rules-have-consequences/

 

 

China Airlines Plans Special Goodbye For Last Passenger 747-400 Built

 

China Airlines is planning a special goodbye for the Boeing 747-400, which is being retired from its fleet early this year. The airline will operate a special farewell flight with one of its 747-400s, which also happens to be the last passenger -400 to have been built by Boeing.

 

2020, while now behind us, will be remembered as the year of mass Boeing 747 retirements. Major operators from across the globe retired their entire fleets early including British Airways, KLM, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, and others. However, it seems as though the retirements haven’t stopped, with China Airlines now joining the mix in 2021.

 

A special farewell

The Queen of the Skies is an iconic aircraft. With over 50 years of history, the jumbo jet’s unique fuselage has made it a favorite with passengers and plane spotters the world over. But, like all good things, the reign of the queen is coming to an end.

 

Unlike some airlines, British Airways included, China Airlines is planning a special one-off flight to commemorate the Queen’s retirement. The experience will cost between 7,470 TWD ($266) and 10,747 TWD ($383), slightly more than Virgin Atlantic’s £50 ($68) 747 farewell late last year. Passengers will get to fly on the Boeing 747-400 one last time for almost six hours for this fee.

 

What do passengers get?

Much like ANA’s Airbus A380 flights to nowhere, China Airlines’ offering will be more than just a flight. Check-in will begin at 07:47, lasting until 09:00 on February 6th. Before the flight, there will be special activities in the departure lounge, including a photo experience for business and first class passengers.

 

The five hour and 40-minute flight is scheduled to depart from Taoyuan at 11:30 with the flight number CI2747. It will fly out to Japan, where it will overfly Mount Fuji before returning to Taoyuan.

 

Of course, there will be gifts!

It seems as though passengers are in for a real treat onboard this special flight. Firstly, there will be a host of gifts given to each passenger. These include a 1:200 Boeing 747-400 model, a branded face mask, a key ring, a canvas bag, and more.

 

Onboard the flight itself, passengers will benefit from meals explicitly designed for this farewell, with a Japanese theme. Sales of tickets will begin on January 6th at 10:00 and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be sold on the KKday website.

 

The aircraft

According to China Airlines, the aircraft to be used for the flight is B18215. The airline states that this was the last 747-400 to be built for passengers by Boeing. Data from Planespotters.net shows that the 15.8-year-old 747-400 was delivered to China Airlines in April 2005. Following its retirement, the aircraft is bound for GA Telesis.

 

What have other airlines done to say goodbye?

China Airlines isn’t alone in planning a special farewell for the Boeing 747. In 2019 El Al flew a giant 747 shape in the sky while saying goodbye to its last 747. Meanwhile, last year Qantas ran three goodbye flights for the queen before drawing a giant kangaroo in the skies on its final retirement flight of the type.

 

https://simpleflying.com/china-airlines-plans-special-goodbye-for-last-passenger-747-400-built/

 

 

Rolls-Royce to put engine development ‘on ice’ until new jet unveiled

 

UltraFan engine programme to be halted when testing finishes in 2022, says chief

 

Rolls-Royce has spent roughly £500m on developing the UltraFan demonstrator

 

Rolls-Royce will put its UltraFan engine programme “on ice” when testing finishes in 2022, halting further investment until a new aircraft is launched, according to Warren East, chief executive.

 

The UK aero-engine maker will also postpone finding an industrial partner for the next-generation propulsion system until a new aircraft programme is launched, which is likely to be several years away, the chief executive told the Financial Times.

 

“We absolutely intend to . . . complete the phase we are in at the moment, which is to create and fully test our demonstrator,” said Mr East in a recent interview. “But at that point, we will put the thing on ice. I can’t force airframe manufacturers to invent new aeroplanes and if there is no demand for them then there is no demand for the engines.”

 

Rolls-Royce is relying on its UltraFan programme of engine technologies to help it break back into the market for narrow-body aircraft, which it left nearly a decade ago when it pulled out of a joint venture with Pratt & Whitney of the US.

 

The group has spent roughly £500m on developing the UltraFan demonstrator, which uses a geared architecture to improve performance, as well as composite fan blades, and aims to be 25 per cent more efficient than the group’s first Trent engines.

 

Mr East has previously said the company would seek new forms of industrial collaboration to help bring UltraFan technology to the commercial market. Speculation has focused on reviving the partnership with Pratt & Whitney, or a new collaboration with France’s Safran, which makes single-aisle engines through a joint venture with General Electric of the US. However these players have little reason to help Rolls-Royce re-enter the highest-volume segment of the aero-engine market, several analysts suggest.

 

But Rolls-Royce’s search for a collaborator has been made more pressing by the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought international air travel to a virtual standstill. This has sorely damaged the company’s cash flow, which relies heavily on the number of hours its engines fly. In December the company warned that it was burning through cash at a slightly faster rate than expected, just weeks after raising £5bn through a £2bn rights issue and new credit lines.

 

Mr East said the group would take a disciplined approach to investing in the narrow-body segment.

 

“We are not going to invest in the industrial capacity required to create the volumes required for a single-aisle application . . . we don't have the industrial capacity, there's no point us investing in it,” he said.

 

Any serious discussion about industrial collaboration would also depend on the type of aircraft to be launched. It was still too early to strike any deals, Mr East said. “Nobody is going to invent a partnership for a business that isn’t there,” he said.

 

Both Boeing and Airbus — which together dominate the global market for manufacturing aircraft — are reluctant to launch a new aircraft while airlines remain financially stretched because of the global collapse in air travel.

 

If either manufacturer does decide to press ahead with a new aircraft platform, however, it is unlikely to be a twin-aisle, according to many industry experts. Domestic travel, largely served by narrow-body aircraft, is expected to recover more quickly than the long-haul market and demand for the widebody aircraft used on longer international journeys is expected to remain depressed for several years. Rolls-Royce’s Trent product range is focused on larger engines for twin-aisle aircraft.

 

The pandemic is widely perceived to have pushed back plans for any new aircraft programme by several years, with the industry set to record losses of $118bn this year and $38bn in 2021, according to the aviation trade body Iata.

 

“The whole sector has taken a battering from Covid, it is going to be bruised for several years to come and so I’d anticipate a reasonably significant delay before those new aircraft appear,” Mr East said.

 

The longer the delay, the greater the dilemma for Rolls-Royce, according to analysts. The UltraFan demonstrator is focused on improvements to traditional gas turbine technology, while Airbus has said it wants its next jet to be “green” to meet tough new net-zero emissions targets. The group is investing heavily in low-carbon technologies such as hybrid electric and hydrogen and has said it wants to launch a green passenger jet by the mid-2030s.

 

“If Rolls-Royce spends a fortune now to get a geared engine, the question is, will it be superseded by new technology before it can get an adequate return off the investment?” said Nick Cunningham, analyst at Agency Partners.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/6fcf500c-4089-45d5-92c3-5743d96984d9

 

 

Will Axiom Space provide a commercial space station replacement for NASA's ISS?

 

Axiom Space has announced that it is creating an office park and manufacturing center at the Houston SpacePort at Ellington Field.

 

The development is a hopeful sign that, despite foot dragging by Congress, a commercial replacement for the International Space Station (ISS) may well happen. The United States has a chance to avoid a “space gap” when the ISS reaches the end of its operational life, like the one that happened between the end of the space shuttle program and the first launch of the SpaceX commercial crew Dragon mission.

 

When Jim Bridenstine became NASA administrator, one of the questions confronting him was what to do about maintaining a presence in low Earth orbit after the ISS. The idea that he and experts at NASA have been pushing is to encourage private companies to build their own space station. NASA would provide needed support by pledging to become an anchor tenant for such orbiting facilities. However, the commercial space stations would also have to find private customers.

 

The problem is that Congress has been remarkably stingy when it comes to putting up real money for this approach. The fiscal 2020 budget request included $150 million for commercial space stations. Congress funded support for private orbiting labs for a grand total of $15 million. The fiscal 2020 budget request repeated the request for $150 million. Congress chose to be slightly more generous: $17 million.

 

It’s not that Congress is opposed to keeping a human presence in low Earth orbit. Indeed, as Space.com reports, the Senate version of the NASA authorization bill extends the operational life of the ISS to 2030. Considering the stream of science and technology discoveries that have flowed from the orbiting laboratory, it is not hard to see why. Early critics of the ISS, including the late James Van Allen, have been thoroughly discredited.

 

Congress does not seem to have any urgency about planning for a post-ISS future. The year 2030 is almost 10 years away. The elected politicians are doing what they do best, kicking the can down the road.

 

In the meantime, NASA is doing what it can, given the allocated resources, to help jump-start a commercial space station industry. An inflatable module called the BEAM, courtesy of Bigelow Aerospace, has been attached to the ISS for the past three years. Unfortunately, a number of factors, not the least of which has been the coronavirus pandemic, have obliged Bigelow to lay off its entire workforce. Bigelow is now seeking NASA funding for a free-flying space station created with its inflatable modules, ironically using space-agency-developed technology called TransHab.

 

Axiom Space has won the nod to attach one of its own modules to the ISS. Not waiting for Congress to cough up funding for NASA, Axiom has announced a facility to manufacture space station modules at the Ellington SpacePort in Houston. The company will also have private astronaut training facilities.

 

Besides employing 1,000 people, the new Axiom facility represents a commitment to creating a commercial space station industry. The fact that a company is willing to invest money to build the pieces of a private space station should have an effect on other stakeholders. Axiom should be able to attract commercial customers willing to pay for time spent in an orbiting research lab.

 

The positioning of the Axiom facility in Texas is no accident, either. The Texas congressional delegation, for obvious reasons, has been supportive of NASA and, increasingly, of the commercial space sector that has expanded its presence in the Lone Star State in recent years. Good old-fashioned politics that cause House members and senators to favor funding projects that mean jobs in their states will combine with sound space policy to help increase funding in future years.

 

It is also likely no accident that the Axiom facility is about a five-hour drive from the growing SpaceX spaceport in Boca Chica near the southern tip of Texas. No doubt SpaceX CEO Elon Musk would be pleased to launch finished modules to space, using the mighty Starship rocket, and later crews and cargo.

 

In the midst of a pandemic, part of a space future is taking shape in South Texas. This time it’s being driven by the private sector. NASA had best jump on board or risk being left behind.

 

https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/532370-will-axiom-space-provide-a-commercial-space-station-replacement-for-nasas

 

 

 

2021 Aircraft Cabin Air Conference

Registration Now Open

** With over 500 registrants in just 10 days - the sponsors have extended the free registration to the first 1000 registrants**

 

 

2021 Aircraft Cabin Air Conference

15 to 18 March 2021

1500 to 2000 GMT daily via Zoom

(0700 to 1200 PST)

 

Four onlinedays of powerful talks given by

industry and subject matter experts.

 

Registration is open and FREE for the first 1000 registrants.

 

https://www.aircraftcabinair.com/

 

Following on from the success of the 2017 and 2019 Aircraft Cabin Air Conferences, the 2021 conference will bean essential four-day free modular online event via Zoom. Providing anin-depth overview or update for all those seeking to understand the subject of contaminated air, the flight safety implications, the latest scientific and medical evidence investigating the contaminated air debate and the emerging solutions available to airlines and aircraft operators.

 

The 2021 conference will be the biggest conference ever held on the issue.

 

Who should participate?

 

Airline Management - Aircraft Manufacturers-Safety equipment providers - Health & Safety Regulators- Maintenance Companies - Airline Safety Departments- Air Accident Investigators- Crew & Unions- Policy Makers- Press & Media-Aircraft Insurers - Leasing Companies- Scientists - Occupational Health Professionals- Academics &Researchers - Engineers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC | [email protected] | 817-845-3983 | www.curt-lewis.com

 

Newsletter Signup: www.fsinfo.org

 

 

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