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Flight Safety Information

TopFlight Safety Information


May 13, 2019 -No. 096



In This Issue


China Tried to Link 737 Max Approval to Support for Its Own Jets

Boeing crash payouts would be partly based on how long passengers knew they were doomed

Incident: Qantas B744 over Pacific on May 12th 2019, engine shut down in flight

Incident: Delta B738 at Tri-Cities and Knoxville on May 12th 2019, nose gear problem

Accident: Myanmar E190 at Mandalay on May 12th 2019, nose gear failed to extend

Incident: Alaska A320 near Los Angeles on May 10th 2019, strong odour in cabin

EVAS - Cockpit Smoke Protection

Accident: Jazz DH8C at Toronto on May 10th 2019, fuel truck ran into aircraft.

Incident: Canada A320 at Cancun on May 5th 2019, seized wheel

Southwest, Pilot Unions Get Subpoenas for 737 Max Documents


Passenger on airplane tries to open door mid-flight: 'I will kill every one of you'

Boeing expects changes to safety regime after 737 crisis

Airbus Cancels Jet Airways' A330 Order

Etihad submits bid for India's Jet, eyes minority stake..

Virgin Galactic moves to New Mexico, entering 'home stretch' toward commercial flight


ISASI - DFW Regional Chapter Meeting





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China Tried to Link 737 Max Approval to Support for Its Own Jets

By Alan Levin and Jenny Leonard

  • Issue arose in 2017 when Boeing jetliner entered service
  • Actions may complicate grounded Max's return to the skies

A 737 Max jet on the production line at Boeing's Renton facility in Washington.

As Boeing Co.'s 737 Max was about to enter service in 2017 it became the subject of an unusual diplomatic exchange.

Chinese officials, eager to enter the global aircraft manufacturing market dominated by Boeing and Europe's Airbus SE, raised the prospect with their U.S. counterparts of clearing Boeing's aircraft for use in China in exchange for favorable treatment of jetliners it had under development.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration refused when asked by U.S. trade officials who were eyeing more American exports, including aircraft to the Asian nation, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. China certified the Max anyway.

In March, China was one of the first countries to ground the 737 Max after one of the planes crashed in Ethiopia. In October, a 737 Max crashed in Indonesia. China's willingness to permit the jet to fly again will be closely watched, and could loom in the background of tense trade talks now under way with the U.S.

Complex Relations
The aviation industry and regulatory framework in the U.S. and China have had a complex and sometimes tense relationship for decades. In the 2000s, the FAA worked closely with China to help it set up a more mature regulatory oversight system. The result was a dramatically lower accident rate and closer relations.

But China has been frustrated with the U.S. reluctance to certify its locally-made jets. While the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd.'s ARJ21 twin-engined regional jet entered service in China in 2014, it hasn't been approved for commercial flights in the U.S.

Comac has also built a larger aircraft, the C919, which holds close to 200 passengers and is designed to compete directly against the Max as well as Airbus SE's A320neo. The C919 first flew in May 2017, just after the FAA certified the Max. It isn't expected to enter service for several years.

China's Comac C919 Passenger Aircraft's Maiden Test Flight

While Chinese officials made no overt demands on the U.S. government during the 2017 period as the Max aircraft were being certified, their intentions were clear, according to people who participated or were briefed on the issue.

"That's the opposite of safety," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group who's written that the grounding of the Max plays into China's hands during the trade talks. He had no direct knowledge of the 2017 communications.

At the time, high-ranking Boeing officials contacted leaders of the FAA expressing concerns that China might be preparing to slow its approval of the new plane.

Similarly, U.S. trade officials reached out to the FAA to ask whether the agency would be willing to move forward more quickly on approving Chinese aircraft. After FAA officials explained that aircraft were certified under complex, highly technical legal standards, the trade officials didn't press for leniency for the Chinese, according to one of the people.

The FAA declined to comment on the issue. The Chinese embassy in Washington didn't respond to multiple requests for comment.

Boeing declined to comment directly on the 2017 talks. "We continue to share information and work with global regulators and customers to return the 737 Max fleet to service," it said in a statement.

Not all recent interactions between U.S. and Chinese aviation regulators have been fraught. In October 2017, just before Trump visited China, the two nations signed a bilateral agreement to work more closely on certifying each others' aircraft.

Boeing is developing a software fix for the 737 Max family of jets to modify a safety system implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed a total of 346 people. In both cases, a malfunctioning sensor caused the system to repeatedly drive down the nose until pilots became overwhelmed and the planes crashed.

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Boeing crash payouts would be partly based on how long passengers knew they were doomed

Settlements to the families of 346 people who died in the two catastrophic Boeing Max plane crashes will be calculated, in part, by how long the victims knew they were doomed.

Lawyers handling claims against the US aerospace company said the longer the passengers and crew were aware of their desperate fate, the larger the likely payout.

"There's a better chance of (financial) recovery if it took minutes rather than seconds for the plane to crash,'' Joe Power, a personal-injury lawyer representing some Ethiopian victims, told Bloomberg this weekend.

Lawyers handling claims against the US aerospace company said the longer the passengers and crew were aware of their desperate fate, the larger the likely payout.

The first passenger plane, Lion Air Flight 610, ditched into the Java Sea 12 minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia on October 29th last year.

Six months later on March 10th, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed six minutes after take off from Addis Ababa.

In both cases, the jets were Max 8 models and in both cases, all aboard died.

Experts say the Boeing Company could be facing payouts in excess of $1 billion (£770 million) if it can be proved that it had knowledge that the model had safety flaws.

Thirty individual law suits have now been filed against Boeing on behalf of families with many more expected.

"The bottom line is Boeing's exposure is much more substantial than in any other case that I've been a part of in my quarter-century of representing families'" in plane-crash cases, said Brian Alexander, a New York aviation lawyer for victims of the Ethiopian Airlines jet .

"You get into 'What did you know and when did you know it.'"

The two disasters, with similar characteristics, led to the worldwide grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 models.

Both pilots desperately struggled to take control of the aeroplanes as they intermittently dived while reaching speeds of close to 600 miles per hour.

Investigators have zeroed in on the malfunctioning Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, an automated safety feature designed to prevent a stall.

Earlier this month Dennis Muilenburg, the Boeing CEO acknowledged its automatic flight control system played a role in the two crashes.

"The full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by the government authorities in the final reports, but, with the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation, it's apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information."

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Incident: Qantas B744 over Pacific on May 12th 2019, engine shut down in flight


A Qantas Boeing 747-400, registration VH-OJU performing flight QF-26 (dep May 11th) from Tokyo Haneda (Japan) to Sydney,NS (Australia), was enroute at FL350 over the Pacific Ocean north of Papua New Guinea when an engine (RB211) emitted a loud bang, streaks of flame followed by sparks and was subsequently shut down by the crew. The crew drifted the aircraft down to FL290, later FL250 and diverted to Cairns,QL (Australia) where the aircraft landed safely about 135 minutes after the engine went bang.

The airline confirmed the crew shut an engine down.

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Incident: Delta B738 at Tri-Cities and Knoxville on May 12th 2019, nose gear problem


A Delta Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration N375DA performing flight DL-1417 from Tri-Cities,TN to Atlanta,GA (USA) with 132 people on board, was climbing out of Tri-Cities when the crew stopped the climb at 10,000 feet due to being unable to retract the nose gear. The crew decided to divert to Knoxville,TN (USA) advising ATC their nose gear was stuck down, after selecting the gear down all gear indicated safe (down and locked). The aircraft landed safely on Knoxville's runway 23L.

A replacement Boeing 737-800 registration N3744F reached Atlanta with a delay of 4:45 hours.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground in Knoxvlle for about 5.5 hours, then was able to position to Atlanta.

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Accident: Myanmar E190 at Mandalay on May 12th 2019, nose gear failed to extend


A Myanmar National Airlines Embraer ERJ-190, registration XY-AGQ performing flight UB-103 from Yangon to Mandalay (Myanmar) with 82 passengers and 7 crew, was on approach to Mandalay's runway 17 at about 09:00L (02:30Z) when the crew could not extend the nose gear and went around. The crew worked the related checklists, attempted an alternate gear extension, which also could not extend the nose gear. A low approach confirmed the nose gear was still not extended. The crew prepared for a nose gear up landing and landed on Mandalay's runway 17, keeping the nose up as long as practicable, bringing the aircraft to a halt on the runway on both main gear struts and the nose of the aircraft. Smoke entered the cabin after the nose touched down. The aircraft was evacuated via slides. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained susbtantial damage.

The airline reported the aircraft was on its way from Yangon to Mandalay when on approach to Mandalay the crew could not extend the nose gear. The aircraft overflew the runway twice to have tower check the landing gear. The aircraft entered a hold to burn off fuel.

VYMD 120430Z 19010G20KT 6000 FEW020 38/24 Q1006 NOSIG=
VYMD 120330Z 18010G25KT 6000 HZ FEW025 37/25 Q1007 NOSIG=
VYMD 120230Z 18010G25KT 6000 HZ FEW025 35/24 Q1007 NOSIG=
VYMD 120130Z 18010G20KT 6000 HZ FEW025 34/24 Q1007 NOSIG=
VYMD 120030Z 17010G20KT 6000 HZ FEW025 32/25 Q1006 NOSIG=
VYMD 112330Z 18009G18KT 6000 HZ FEW025 31/24 Q1005 NOSIG=

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Incident: Alaska A320 near Los Angeles on May 10th 2019, strong odour in cabin


An Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration N635VA performing flight AS-1154 from Portland,OR to Santa Ana,CA (USA) with 146 passengers and 5 crew, was enroute at FL350 about 130nm northnorthwest of Los Angeles,CA when the crew decided to divert to Los Angeles due to a strong odour originating from the back of the cabin. The aircraft landed safely on Los Angeles' runway 24R about 25 minutes later.

The occurrence aircraft is still on the ground in Los Angeles about 16 hours after landing.

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Accident: Jazz DH8C at Toronto on May 10th 2019, fuel truck ran into aircraft


A Jazz de Havilland Dash 8-300, registration C-FJXZ performing flight QK-8615 (dep May 9th) from Toronto,ON to Sudbury,ON (Canada) with 50 people on board, had flown to Subbury and had entered a hold due to weather before the crew decided to return to Toronto, where the aircraft landed safely about 2.5 hours after departure. While taxiing to the apron a fuel truck drove into the aircraft causing substantial damage to the aircraft (believed to be beyond repair) including nose, left fuselage, the left hand propeller as well as to the fuel truck. Fuel leaked, however, no fire broke out. 5 occupants of the aircraft including both flight crew needed medical treatment at the airport, 3 of the injured were taken to hospitals.

Passengers reported the aircraft suddenly spun around and came to stop, then the smell of fuel occurred in the cabin causing panic and a rapid evacuation. After jumping out of the aircraft a lot of fuel was seen on the tarmac.

Airport police reported the fuel truck driver has been charged with dangerous driving. The aircraft appears to be a write off.

The airport reported 3 people were taken to hospitals.

Metars Sudbury:
CYSB 100600Z 19007KT 1 1/2SM -RA BR OVC005 09/09 A2968 RMK SF8 SLP063=
CYSB 100541Z 19008KT 1SM R22/3000V5500FT/U -RA BR OVC002 09/09 A2969 RMK SF8 SLP066=
CYSB 100500Z 17003KT 1/4SM R22/2200FT/N FG VV001 09/09 A2966 RMK FG8 SLP054=
CYSB 100443Z 21003KT 150V230 1/4SM R22/2000FT/N FG VV001 09/09 A2966 RMK FG8 SLP054=
CYSB 100400Z 18006KT 1/8SM R22/1200FT/N FG VV001 09/09 A2968 RMK FG8 SLP064=
CYSB 100300Z 17009KT 1/8SM R22/1200FT/N -DZ FG VV001 08/08 A2968 RMK FG8 SLP063=
CYSB 100200Z 17006KT 1/8SM R22/1200FT/N -DZ FG VV001 08/08 A2969 RMK FG8 SLP067=
CYSB 100100Z CCA 14006KT 1/4SM R22/1600FT/N -DZ FG VV001 07/07 A2968 RMK FG8 SLP064=
CYSB 100000Z 13009KT 1/4SM R22/2800FT/N -RA FG VV001 07/07 A2969 RMK FG8 SLP066=

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Incident: Canada A320 at Cancun on May 5th 2019, seized wheel


An Air Canada Airbus A320-200, registration C-FPDN performing flight AC-1410 from Halifax,NS (Canada) to Cancun (Mexico) with 24 passengers and 5 crew, landed on Cancun's runway 12L and rolled out safely. While vacating the runway the crew experienced difficulties exiting the runway, stopped past the hold short line and requested an inspection of the tyres. All tyres were found inflated, however, one wheel had seized. The crew attempted to reset the brakes without success. The crew shut the aircraft, the passengers disembarked onto the taxiway.

The Canadian TSB reported maintenance replaced the brake.

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Southwest, Pilot Unions Get Subpoenas for 737 Max Documents

  • Labor groups required to produce information on new jetliner
  • Plane has been grounded almost two months after deadly crashes

Southwest Airlines Co. joined the list of organizations -- currently including pilot unions from Southwest, United Continental Holdings Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. -- receiving federal grand jury subpoenas for documents relating to Boeing Co.'s grounded 737 Max.

Southwest is cooperating fully with the request, company spokeswoman Brandy King said in a statement Saturday. The airline has the largest Max fleet, with 34 planes and additional orders for more than 200.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association was given until May 24 to comply with the demand from the U.S. Justice Department's criminal division, union President Jon Weaks said Friday. The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents aviators at United and other carriers, said it also received a subpoena. The Allied Pilots Association, whose members work for American, got one as well, said a person familiar with the matter.

Investigators are probing Boeing's development of the Max, a popular single-aisle model that's been grounded since mid-March after crashing twice in five months. In both disasters, a new software system known as MCAS repeatedly shoved the nose of the doomed jets down, eventually overwhelming pilots. Congress and the Transportation Department also are examining the Federal Aviation Administration's approval of the aircraft.

"I don't know what aspect they are investigating," Weaks said in an interview. "They just want to know what we have on the Max. We knew it would come eventually."

Max Operators
The Southwest pilots' union will probably seek an extension of the deadline because of the time needed to search through documents, emails and other papers for Max-related items, he said.

At least one former Boeing engineer has also been subpoenaed in connection with the Max, the best-selling plane in the company's history.

U.S. investigators began a probe weeks after a Lion Air Max 8 plunged into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia on Oct. 29. An Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, bringing the death toll from the two accidents to 346. The Max, the newest version of the 737, began flying commercially in May 2017.

A law enforcement agent with the Transportation Department Inspector General's office has contacted at least one FAA official to ask how the MCAS system was certified, Bloomberg reported in March. Another facet of the inquiry has focused on why Boeing didn't flag the feature in pilot manuals.

A Congressional hearing is set for May 15.

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A senior Air India Express pilot ignored the recommendations of his junior female co-pilot while landing in bad weather, and ended up driving the aircraft into an open drain. That's according to a report from India's aviation authority.

A report, seen by the Hindustan Times, noted that the pilot-who was 30 years older than his colleague-overruled advice from his co-pilot to request assistance while landing in heavy rain at an airport in the southern Indian city of Kochi in September 2017.

The 102 passengers aboard Air India Express flight IX 452 from Abu Dhabi ended up stuck in an open water drain following the landing. Three travelers were injured and the aircraft was seriously damaged, its front landing gear collapsed.

An official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), who asked not to be named, told the Hindustan Times the organization found the "incorrect judgment" of the pilot in command to be at fault. The official noted that heavy rain and poor visibility were "contributory factors."

The directorate general's report said that the co-pilot told the senior pilot that she could not see the runway markings below and requested he slow the plane down. She then suggested he call for a "follow-me" vehicle that is used to guide aircraft down in tricky landing conditions.

"There was no response" from the pilot, the report said. Upon landing, the aircraft crashed into the open water drain after taking an early turn some 295 feet before it should have. The pilot then applied the throttle three times to try to escape the drain even though his co-pilot had asked him not to. The aircraft eventually came to rest on its engines and the lower fuselage, with the surviving landing gears stuck in the air.

The DGCA reflected on the 13,000 hours and 30 years difference in flight experience between the two aviators, and suggested airlines should avoid pairing pilots with such a gulf in flight time. The two pilots had never worked together before their ill-fated flight.

"Coordination was lacking from [the pilot in command] side," the report said. In 2016, the senior pilot in question was found to be alcohol-positive twice and had his flight license suspended for three months. The pilot said he had not been able to sleep the night before, and the cockpit voice recorder picked up the sound of him yawning, the report explained.

PG Prageesh, head of corporate communications for Air India Express, said the airline's "top management" had received the DGCA recommendations, which would be "duly" implemented.

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Passenger on airplane tries to open door mid-flight: 'I will kill every one of you'

MANCHESTER (FOX) - A passenger on a flight from Manchester to Gran Canaria, Spain, reportedly tried to hit a stewardess with a fire extinguisher and threatened to kill everyone on the flight.

According to passengers on the Ryanair flight who witnessed the event, the man started yelling at the cabin crew and passengers and then throwing cups on the floor during the middle of the flight. He then allegedly attempted to open one of the plane's doors. At this point, several passengers intervened, causing him to act even more aggressively.

The Sun reports that Jodie Fisher was on the flight and witnessed the incident. She claims that the man "took the fire extinguisher off the wall and threatened to hit the female member of the cabin crew with it." When Fisher and her sister attempted to intervene, he allegedly ripped her top, broke her phone and bit her sister.

At that point, other passengers jumped in to help. They reportedly restrained the man and held him against the floor for 45 minutes.

In a video taken of the incident, the suspect can be heard insulting passengers and threatening to burn down their houses and kill them. In the footage, he threatens "I will literally fight every one of you and kill you and don't think I'm joking, I will kill every one of you." When the plane landed, police reportedly took the man into custody, The Sun reports.

In a statement obtained by Fox News, a Ryanair spokesperson said, "The crew of this flight from Manchester to Gran Canaria on May 4th requested police assistance upon landing after a passenger became disruptive mid-flight. The safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority. This passenger has been banned from flying with Ryanair again and this is now a matter for local police."

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Boeing expects changes to safety regime after 737 crisis

  • Aircraft maker's lead independent director defends CEO as pressure builds on regulators
  • The US Congress will conduct hearings in to the Boeing 737 Max crisis next week. The aircraft remain grounded around the world

Boeing is expecting "far reaching" changes to the way aircraft are certified safe across the global aviation industry, according to its lead director, as pressure builds on regulators to prevent further fatal accidents like the two recent Boeing 737 Max air disasters.

David Calhoun, who is lead independent director on the board of the world's largest commercial aircraft maker, defended the role chief executive Dennis Muilenburg has played in the crisis provoked by the two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, in which 346 people died. All Boeing 737 Max aircraft have been grounded until Boeing and regulators agree on a fix to a flight control system believed to have played a big role in both crashes.

"I think our leader has done a really good job in keeping the company focused on delivering a fix to our part of this issue, and also to begin planning for long-term changes which I think are going to be quite far reaching and not just for Boeing but for the industry at large," he told the Financial Times in an interview.

"I am confident that substantive things will happen. Nobody's ducking anything. I think this will be a very long set of improvements over a long period of time", he added, but declined to go into detail.

Mr Calhoun defended Mr Muilenburg's decision to advise the US regulator not to ground the jets until after most global regulators had done so."So far he has passed all the tests," he said.

His comments came as signs of a deepening rift emerged between US and European regulators over who should be in charge of ensuring the safety of the Max before it returns to global skies.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it was conducting its own "independent" review of the design of the Max and that the completion of this was "a prerequisite to the return to service of the aircraft" in Europe.

I am confident that substantive things will happen. Nobody's ducking anything. I think this will be a very long set of improvements over a long period of time

David Calhoun, lead independent director at Boeing
Aviation experts said it was not unprecedented for EASA to conduct its own review, but it was unusual. The normal convention is for regulators to follow the lead of the authority in the country where the aeroplane was manufactured, in this case that of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA, which had been seen as the leader on aviation safety prior to the two accidents, has come under fire both for the way in which it certified the aircraft and for being the last big regulator to ground the plane.

News of the rift comes ahead of congressional hearings in Washington this week into the Max crisis and before the FAA convenes a critical May 23 meeting with other global regulators, which Boeing hopes will lay out a path to allow the Max to return to the skies.

"It is not unexpected and national regulators always have the ability to do their own additional checks but it certainly has not happened very often," said one industry expert.

Southwest Airlines and some US pilots unions said at the weekend that they had received federal grand jury subpoenas for documents relating to the Max, as part of an investigation by the US Department of Justice into the development of the Max and its certification as safe.

Mr Calhoun said Boeing's future would depend on restoring the trust of the flying community in the safety of its planes, but added that there is "no advertising campaign that we could organise that would mean a hill of beans" to reassuring passengers. "We have to do what we do, engineer it with pride and put it in the air and make sure everything around it is safe".

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Airbus Cancels Jet Airways' A330 Order

It has been a rough year for India's Jet Airways, and the prognosis for the airline's future has just got bleaker. Five A330s destined for Jet Airways have quietly disappeared from the Airbus order book, as the manufacturer cancelled the airline's remaining order. It's another blow for the crippled Indian airline that once had big ambitions.

Just when Airbus cancelled the A330s order is not known, but aviation consultancy FlightGlobal looked at the manufacturer's backlog data and noted the disappearance. It comes not long after it was reported on this site that Boeing was rumoured to have cancelled an order for 210 aircraft destined for Jet Airways.

Will someone save Jet Airways?
Just a year or two ago, the Mumbai based airline was one of the go-to airlines for visitors flying around the subcontinent. Two years ago, Jet Airways was India's second biggest airline. It flew to 36 cities around India and international destinations across the northern hemisphere

Now, it's grounded in a financial quagmire of unpaid leases, fuel bills, and staff wages.

But is it too early to write off Jet Airways? Reports suggest that staff have considered trying to restart the airline. Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani and Etihad have also been floated as potential saviours.

Etihad, which has a record of bad airline investments, bought a 24% stake in Jet Airways in 2013 for $370m. Rather than writing this off, it has been suggested that Etihad increase their stake to 49% for a bargain price. However, given Etihad's own financial issues, this appears unlikely to happen.

Disappearing planes
In fact, the news for Jet Airways keeps getting worse. Despite efforts to refinance and pay staff outstanding wages, the airline is losing their aircraft at a rapid rate.

Low cost Malaysian carrier Air Asia is reportedly interested in taking some 737s off Jet Airways hands. Simple Flying also reporting recently that Vistara will take 16 aircraft, including 10 Boeing 777s.

Since flights were grounded in April 2019, there has been a steady stream of Jet Airways aircraft being returned to their lessors. Aviation forum livefromalounge reports that over 30 aircraft were deregistered and returned to their owners in the weeks following the April grounding.

Airbus didn't have a great month in April 2019 with its order book shrinking. The cancellation of the Jet Airways A330 order certainly would not have helped the mood at Toulouse. But, like Boeing, it knows when to cut its losses.

At this point in time, Jet Airways' demise seems almost inevitable. It's a shame we won't see the Mumbai based airline winging its way around the globe again. But perhaps the next contender to step up in the booming Indian aviation market will take on board the lessons learnt from the failure of Jet Airways.

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Etihad submits bid for India's Jet, eyes minority stake

FILE PHOTO: Jet Airways aircrafts are seen parked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai

ABU DHABI/MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways has submitted a bid for a stake in India's Jet Airways, the unit of State Bank of India (SBI) overseeing the sale of the stricken airline said on Friday.

SBI had invited binding bids for a stake in the airline, which is saddled with roughly $1.2 billion in bank debt. Binding offers were due by 1800 IST (1230 GMT) on Friday.

Etihad, which already holds a minority stake in Jet, is interested in re-investing in the airline, subject to certain conditions, a spokesman for the Middle Eastern carrier said earlier on Friday.

However, he added that Etihad "cannot be expected to be the sole investor" and "additional suitable investors would need to provide the majority of Jet Airways' required recapitalisation."

Etihad gave no indication whether it was working with any other investors that might take a majority stake in Jet.

Once India's largest private airline, Jet was crippled by mounting losses as it tried to compete with low-cost rivals IndiGo and SpiceJet Ltd.

Jet, which also owes vast sums to its lessors, pilots, fuel suppliers and other parties, stopped all flights from April 17 after its lenders, led by SBI, refused to extend more funds to keep the carrier flying.

Etihad was among four investors that submitted initial bids for the airline last month. The others were private equity firms TPG Capital and Indigo Partners and Indian wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

SBI has also received two unsolicited, non-binding bids for Jet, the bank's Chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters, after a news conference on Friday, adding it had no plans at this time to drag the airline into a bankruptcy process

"(We've) made disproportionate efforts to keep Jet flying," Kumar said.

Jet for several months tried to convince investors, including Etihad, to pump in money and save the airline. But several potential investors had at least one condition - Jet's founder and former chairman Naresh Goyal must cede control.

When Jet failed to garner interest, the banks, led by SBI, moved in with a rescue plan which was first announced in February and put into action in March after Goyal stepped down.

"A few unsolicited offers have also been received which the lenders may deliberate upon subsequently," SBI Capital Markets said in a statement without giving further details.


Analysts are sceptical the sale process will succeed.

"The process of bidding and winning isn't so easy," said HDFC Securities analyst Deepak Jasani. "Day by day, losses and loans are rising at Jet, the more the process is delayed the more the situation becomes irreparable," he said.

While the bid process was on, Jet was forced to vacate its offices at many airports across the country and employee access was revoked. Lessors also forced Jet to ground dozens of planes over non-payment of dues and it is left with just 13 aircraft, a senior SBI source told Reuters.

At its peak, 26-year-old Jet operated over 120 planes and well over 600 daily flights, flying Bollywood film-stars, politicians and business tycoons across India and the world.

If a deal fails to materialise, the airline could be dragged into bankruptcy by creditors, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

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Virgin Galactic moves to New Mexico, entering 'home stretch' toward commercial flight

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Billionaire Richard Branson is moving Virgin Galactic's winged passenger rocket and more than 100 employees from California to a remote commercial launch and landing facility in southern New Mexico, bringing his space-tourism dream a step closer to reality.

Branson said Friday at a news conference that Virgin Galactic's development and testing program has advanced enough to make the move to the custom-tailored hangar and runway at the taxpayer-financed Spaceport America facility near the town of Truth or Consequences.

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said a small number of flight tests are pending. He declined to set a specific deadline for the first commercial flight.

Early shots of two more spaceships that Virgin Galactic is busy assembling in Mojave, California. While these planes are designed to go into space and return to Earth in the same spot, Virgin founder Richard Branson has expressed interest in perhaps using such technology for point-to-point transcontinental travel, much like the service provide by the now-shuttered Concorde.

An interior cabin for the company's space rocket is being tested, and pilots and engineers are among the employees relocating from California to New Mexico. The move to New Mexico puts the company in the "home stretch," Whitesides said.

The manufacturing of the space vehicles by a sister enterprise, The Spaceship Company, will remain based in the community of Mojave, California.

Virgin Galactic's long road
Taxpayers invested over $200 million in Spaceport America after Branson and then-Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, pitched the plan for the facility, with Virgin Galactic as the anchor tenant.

Virgin Galactic's spaceship development has taken far longer than expected and had a major setback when the company's first experimental craft broke apart during a 2014 test flight, killing the co-pilot.

Branson thanked New Mexico politicians and residents for their patience over the past decade. He said he believes space tourism - once aloft - is likely to bring about profound change.

"Our future success as a species rests on the planetary perspective," Branson said. "The perspective that we know comes sharply into focus when that planet is viewed from the black sky of space."

Tech thoughts: Would trolls, fake news and privacy invasions go away with a new Facebook?

Branson described a vision of hotels in space and a network of spaceports allowing supersonic, transcontinental travel anywhere on earth within a few hours. He indicated, however, that building financial viability comes first.

"We need the financial impetus to be able to do all that," he said. "If the space program is successful as I think ... then the sky is the limit."

'Like freefall at an amusement park'
In February, a new version of Virgin Galactic's winged craft SpaceShipTwo soared at three times the speed of sound to an altitude of nearly 56 miles (99 kilometers) in a test flight over Southern California, as a crew member soaked in the experience.

"Our future success as a species rests on the planetary perspective. The perspective that we know comes sharply into focus when that planet is viewed from the black sky of space."

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group
On Friday, that crew member, Beth Moses, recounted her voyage into weightlessness and the visual spectacle of pitch-black space and the earth below.

"Everything is silent and still and you can unstrap and float about the cabin," she said. "Pictures do not do the view from space justice. ... I will be able to see it forever."

The company's current spaceship doesn't launch from the ground. It is carried under a special plane to an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) before detaching and igniting its rocket engine.

"Release is like freefall at an amusement park, except it keeps going," Moses said. "And then the rocket motor lights. Before you know it, you're supersonic."

The craft coasts to the top of its climb before gradually descending to earth, stabilized by "feathering" technology in which twin tails rotate upward to increase drag on the way to a runway landing.

First suborbital flight
Branson previously has said he would like to make his first suborbital flight this year as one of the venture's first passengers on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20. But he made no mention of timelines on Friday.

Pressed on the timeframe, Whitesides said he anticipates the first commercial flight within a year.

Three people with future space-flight reservations were in the audience.

"They've been patient too," Branson said. "Space is hard."

Hundreds of potential customers have committed as much as $250,000 up front for rides in Virgin's six-passenger rocket, which is about the size of an executive jet.

Rise in space tourism interest
Space tourism has not been a complete novelty since millionaire U.S. engineer Dennis Tito in 2001 paid $20 million to join a Russian space mission to the International Space Station. Branson's goal has been to "democratize" space by opening travel up to more and more people.

The endeavor began in 2004 when Branson announced the founding of Virgin Galactic in the heady days after the flights of SpaceShipOne, the first privately financed manned spacecraft that made three flights into space.

Space sector analyst Adam Jonas, a managing director of equity research at Morgan Stanley, said Branson's venture could have an outsized impact in the age of social media on how the public visualizes space as a domain for scientific and commercial exploration.

"You bring them back to earth and they explain what they saw - that's a story, put through the velocity of social media, people want to hear," he said. "Sometimes you need some distance to gain a perspective, seeing the earth from space, seeing how thin that layer of atmosphere is that protects us."

Branson's plans have gradually advanced amid a broader surge in private investment in space technology with cost-saving innovations in reusable rockets and microsatellite technology.

Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos announced Thursday that his space company Blue Origin will send a robotic spaceship to the moon with aspirations for another ship that could bring people there along the same timeframe as NASA's proposed 2024 return. Bezos has provided no details about launch dates.

Virgin Galactic says its rocket plane has reached space for a second time in a test flight over California. The spacecraft carried two pilots, and a third crew member to evaluate the cabin from a passenger perspective. (Feb. 22) AP

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Job Description

A unique opportunity to bring your aviation expertise and management skills to help Shell drive its operational excellence. Join a team of subject matter experts, applying your aviation expertise, to jointly develop, implement and audit the best safety standards in close collaboration with our worldwide Shell business units.

Where you fit in

The Shell Aircraft Air Safety and Advisory Group gives advice to 35 Shell Business Units in 30 countries and audits up to 100 aircraft operators on their behalf. This results in substantial financial savings and major improvements in safety and quality. Shell exposure to flying, at 85,000 flying hours per year, equates to the activity of a moderate size airline. The Air Safety & Advisory Group is staffed by a team of Aviation Advisers and is part of Shell Aircraft International which also includes the Corporate Fleet department.

At Shell our commitment is to satisfy the world's need for energy with economically, socially and environmentally responsible solutions. We seek a high standard of performance and understand that great ideas can change the world. If you want to work with a group of safety conscious, ambitious and committed professionals then you should consider Shell. We will provide you with the resources to put your ideas into action, possible worldwide opportunities to advance your career, and outstanding benefits and rewards. Join us and let's make adifference together.

What's the role?

As Aviation Advisor, you're going to be playing a vital role in maintaining and improving our operational excellence. Providing expert advice on the safe and efficient use of aircraft and air transport services in support of the Shell Business Unit aviation strategy. In practice that means you'll be running operational and technical audits of contractors and logistics teams; producing reports in accordance with Shell Aircraft processes and procedures; and making sure any audit recommendations are actioned by aviation management. You can also expect to be involved with air safety accident and incident investigations. Naturally, you'll need to have a strong safety drive for achieving excellence, as well as being skilled at juggling a challenging workload, often with competing business targets.Along with advising on general aviation safety, you'll also lead on specific areas of expertise, which means keeping your technical knowledge up-to-date and relevant.

Company Description
Shell Nederland BV is a platform for international collaboration, with Shell offering direct employment to around ten thousand people in the Netherlands alone, including roughly 2,800 non-Dutch employees from around 80 countries. Diversity is key at Shell Nederland, and our employees reflect the innovation that stems from a diverse workforce. By joining Shell Nederland, you will benefit from an unrivalled industry-leading development programme that will see you tap into a pool of expert knowledge that will help propel your career. Shell Nederland is the holding company of most Shell companies operating in the Netherlands. Shell Nederland also has an advisory and coordinating role in numerous areas.

You are holder of a valid professional Pilot fixed or rotary wing license (ATPL or equivalent). You have a strong track record in all aspects (incl. management)of aircraft operations and support, as well as an understanding of the commercial and legislative aspects of aviation. The relevant experience in the aviation industry may be gained within an aircraft operating company or equivalent military organization.

Extensive knowledge of aviation quality & safety management systems, aviation legislation and their application is required. The ability to write and brief all levels of management succinctly on complex aviation issues is also essential.

Shell's aviation professionals are required to travel extensively in support of our work and as such, must be able to travel anywhere in the world.

This position is based in The Netherlands on local terms, therefore the applicant must be able to work and live in The Netherlands.

Our values

Shell is a company with shared values. Honesty, integrity, and respect aren't simply a strapline: they are a part of everything we do. What's more, Shell is an equal opportunities company, and we place the highest possible value on the diversity of our people and our inclusive approach. Join us and you'll belong to a world where you can feel pride in your achievements and propel your career with global opportunities

Women's perspective

We care deeply about fostering a truly diverse workplace. We believe in doing everything we can to make Shell as flexible, appealing and supportive a place for women to work as possible. We help with things like our formal (and informal) flexible working. Like our global and transparent pay policies, backed by a leadership team fully supportive of our diversity ambitions. And we'll foster your career through our Women's Career Development programme.

People with an impairment

At Shell, we're all about top talent. End of story. We encourage anyone who may face an impairment to see Shell as a place where you'll be fully supported to grow and develop your career. It's as simple as that. If you'd like to apply, just let us know about your circumstances. We can support you throughout the process: from application, to interview, to your first day of a rewarding career with us.

Please apply via the 'Apply' button.




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Dear Aviation Professionals,


My name is Marta Delbecchi. I am an MSc student in Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology from King's College London, andas part of my degree requirements I am conducting a research study entitled: The wellbeing of air, marine and rail accident investigators. I am carrying out this research study with the support of Cranfield University's Safety and Accident Investigation Centre. I am looking for current or retired civil air accident investigator to complete an online survey. The purpose of the survey is to learn more about the health and wellbeing ofpersonnel who investigate the causes of accidents and serious incidents in the air, marine, and rail transportation modes.


Your participation would be a very important contribution to the current paucity of scientific literature and understanding concerning the psychological and emotional wellbeing of accident investigators.


Completing the survey should take no more than 35 minutes of your time and participation in this research study is entirely voluntary and anonymous. All your responses will be treated in the strictest confidence, and you will be able to withdraw from the survey at any time.


If you are able to assist by completing the online survey then please email me directly at [email protected] and I will forward you an information sheet and a link to the survey.


Thank you for your kind consideration,


Marta Delbecchi

Department of Psychosis Studies, PO63

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

King's College London

De Crespigny Park

London SE5 8AF

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Tianjin Airlines

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Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC is an international, multi-discipline technical, scientific and research consulting firm specializing in aviation and industrial safety. Our specialties are aviation litigation support (Expert Witness), aviation/airport safety programs, accident investigation and reconstruction, safety & quality assessments/audits (ISO-9001/AS-9100), system safety, human factors, Safety Management Systems (SMS) assessment/implementation & training, safety/quality training & risk management, aviation manual development, IS-BAO Auditing, technical writing & editing, airfield/heliport lighting products, patent infringement/invalidity expert testimony and Technical Support.