Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 138,116
2013: 330,818

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Lost Airline Livery of the Week: Impulse Airlines

Impulse Airlines Boeing 717-200

Impulse Airlines Boeing 717-200

Impulse Airlines was founded in 1992 and was a low-cost carrier that operated in Australia. It brought low-cost competition to long standing Qantas and Ansett airlines.

In 2001 Qantas wet leased all of Impulse’s services, gave the airline cash, and opened an option to later purchase the airline. A few months later, Qantas decided to purchase the airline and Impulse’s fleet of Boeing 717s and Beech 1900s were absorbed into QantasLink. Later the Beech 1900s were removed and the Boeing 717 fleet was expanded for QantasLink.

In 2004, all operations under the Impulse banner was ceased, however what remained was used as a springboard to start Qantas’ lowcost carrier, Jetstar.

The Parrot really gives the livery a mascot and is much more “fun” than their first more standard style livery.

Thanks Chris J!

Image: Boeing

Heading to Oshkosh 2010!

Southwest wingtip at Seattle. I am cheating, this is an older photo, but there are no Southwest planes at gates right now at SEA.

Southwest wingtip at Seattle. I am cheating, this is an older photo, but there are no Southwest planes at gates right now at SEA.

The air show of the year is going on right now in Oshkosh, WI and I can’t miss it. I am once again back at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (and loving their free Wi-Fi) waiting for my Southwest flight to Chicago (MDW). Then tomorrow, Southwest will be flying a special flight to Oshkosh from Midway just for the day. Only having one day to look around might be very, very hard, but I am excited to be going. I need to make a list of MUST-SEE’s.

Last time I flew Southwest, I slacked and ended up in the B-group. However this time I was vigilant and got in to the much coveted A-group. Window seat, here I come!

VIDEO AND PICS: Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA001 flies over Paine Field

Boeing 787 Dreamliner flies over Paine Field from David Brown on Vimeo.

On Sunday I was looking at FlightAware and noticed that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner ZA001 (the first one) was set to make a visit to Paine Field. Since I live close by, I decided to go check it out and caught it doing a low fly over. The video isn’t the best since I was trying to video and take pictures on my iPhone (bad idea), but it works.

Also went looking for the Allegiant Boeing 757′s getting winglets put on at Paine Field, but couldn’t find them. That is alright, I was able to see quite a bit of other cool stuff instead. Going around Paine Field never gets old.

Woman Sues Qantas Over Screaming Kid

QantasLink Boeing 717-200 (VH-NXH)

QantasLink Boeing 717-200 (VH-NXH)

Oh please! Are the airlines to blame for everything now-a-days? Well it sure seems passenger Jean Barnard thinks so, since she sued Qantas for, “physical and mental suffering, medical expenses and loss of income,” because a three year old passenger screamed into her ear on a QantasLink flight from Alice Springs to Darwin.

Don’t get me wrong, the hearing loss seems real. Barnard had to be taken off the plane and taken to the hospital for permanent ear damage. There is some question if she had previous hearing damage, but getting the blood-curdling scream into her ear, surely didn’t help.

However, how can this be seen as Qantas’ fault? In court, Qantas argued that they are not responsible for a child’s actions and, “Flight attendants cannot predict when children aboard an aircraft are about to scream. There is no evidence that the child was screaming in the terminal, or on board the aircraft prior to the particular scream which allegedly caused the damage.”

Qantas must have felt her argument or the idea of bad press was too great and (confidentially) settled with Barnard out of court. That is too bad, since I feel that Barnard was more out to make a few bucks than to really change how an airline operates. Other than putting a muzzle on every child, what could Qantas have done? If Barnard was walking on the street and a child did the same thing, what would she have done then? Sued the city that owns the street?

Thanks Chris S!

Source: Mail Online Image: Zach Liepa

Guest Blog: Birds – The Inspiration for Planes PART 2

Birds surround a British Airways Boeing 757. Photo by Adam Samu.

Birds surround a British Airways Boeing 757 in Budapest. Photo by Adam Samu.

Introduction from David: This is the continuation of my guest’s (aka my mom) blog posted last week about birds and planes:

At the beginning of the 20th Century, Man began to take over the skies. Birds had dominated for millennia, but now planes started to usurp the atmosphere.

At first it didn’t seem a problem. Man and bird managed to share the airways. However, as planes became more predominant, birds became more of a hindrance to the flight of humans.

Collisions between birds and planes  cause damage to the planes and on rare occasions, planes are downed. According to the FAA, twenty-three people have been killed and 209 injured by bird strikes. Not huge numbers. However the financial cost has been estimated at a total of $400 million. Of course the fatality to birds has been great. Since there are 5,000 bird strikes per year and 80% are not reported,many of our avian friends are lost. They have no chance when it comes to encountering a plane! Interestingly, the first bird strike was reported in 1905 by Orville Wright!

Since birds cannot solve this problem, it is up to Man to create a way for birds and planes to share the sky. Since the majority of strikes occur below 3,000 feet and during take-offs or landings, most of the research centers around airports, both civilian and military.

To discourage birds from hanging around airports, there have been experiments with electromagnets, ultrasonic devices, scarecrows and other predator effigies and noisemakers. None of these methods have been endorsed by the FAA. And even though there is still hope that someday there will be a “magic box” having to do with microwave alarms, the common wisdom as of now is much more simple.

According to Matt Klope, a civilian biologist at NAS Whidbey Island, “…the best management practice is to identify the problem species… and modify/alter the airfield habitats to encourage the birds to go somewhere else.” This stategy is also echoed by other experts.

In other words, birds need a habitat that includes, food, water, shelter and a place to raise their young. Birds are attracted to airports that provide some or all of these needs. Thus, if the airport eliminates them, the birds will leave.

So, airports need to minimize water at runway ends, close landfills and other food sources.If prey birds are discouraged from airports, predators won’t have food.  An additional tactic is to introduce predators and dogs to keep the much more numerous prey birds away.  Gulls and pigeons are the most common birds in strikes.

Airports also continue to experiment with random explosions and fireworks as well as gas cannons. As a birder, I am encouraged with the efforts to keep my feathered friends away from those huge metal avians. And I am realistic enough to concede that human life and financial considerations trump the lowly bird who once inspired Man.

Hopefully, Man will continue to find ways to keep these two fliers apart!

For more information:
* FAA
* USDA
* BLOG: Why don’t airlines put screens on engines for birds?
* Aubrey Cohen with the Seattle PI looks at dealing with birds at SEA

Image by Adam Samu via Airliners.net
Used with permission