Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 93,970
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,015,570

The Last DC-10: Part 1 (Dhaka to Kuwait City)

S2-ACR on the ramp at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

S2-ACR on the ramp at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

So, you want to fly on a DC-10 in 2014? Bad news. Very bad news. I hate to tell you, but that ship has sailed. Until a few days ago, that was not the case.

Arriving into Dhaka at 4:51 am, the first thing I noticed was the haze. I really have no idea where it comes from – it seems to burn off by the afternoon. The next thing I noticed about Bangladesh was how easy it was to get a visa on arrival. If you were wondering, Dhaka is only certified for CAT-1 ILS approaches. This has been known to wreck timetables and force diversions to far off points.

The first thing I noticed was that the airport has a great degree of 1970’s Marxist-chic to it. I admit, the airport actually opened for passenger use in the 1980’s- but there were many stop-and-start construction efforts that make it, in some ways, the most amazing the airport was ever (semi) completed.

I had exactly twenty four hours in Dhaka and almost no idea what to expect. Dhaka’s a very fluid city; the buildings may look the same, but the traffic is a variable no one should mess with! Thankfully, the hotel shuttle never seemed to have much of a problem finding either a semi-paved or unpaved road to beat the chaos. The other thing not included in travel brochures about Dhaka is that no matter what hour of the day, someone is riding their car horn.

But I wasn’t  in Dhaka for the traffic or interesting architecture. I was there to take the last passenger DC-10 flight ever.

Continue reading The Last DC-10: Part 1 (Dhaka to Kuwait City)

A Historical Look at the DC-10 Before its Final Passenger Flight

S2-ACR, the last DC-10 in any sort of passenger service. Photo by Ken Fielding

S2-ACR, the last DC-10 in any sort of passenger service – Photo: Ken Fielding

This article was written for AirlineReporter by Kris Hull. 

Starting tomorrow, the last Douglas DC-10 will start its farewell tour as the last passenger DC-10. Biman Bangladesh Airlines will fly to Birmingham, UK, by way of Kuwait and then offer scenic tours before it is finally ferried to a final “resting” location in the US. Our own Bernie Leighton will be covering these events from Bangladesh and beyond, but before we tell the last chapter of this majestic aircraft’s life, we wanted to start at the beginning with this historical look at the DC-10.

The birth of the wide-body airliner as we know it today can be traced back to one event in the early 1960’s: The United States Air Force’s request for proposals for the CX-HLS, the program that would ultimately become the C-5 Galaxy. Lockheed won the CX-HLS competition, and as legend would have it, Boeing would strike gold when they converted their design into what we know today as the 747. However, that is not quite 100% true, and Boeing was not the only company to transfer design philosophies from the CX-HLS to the commercial market.

Continue reading A Historical Look at the DC-10 Before its Final Passenger Flight

Attending the Singapore Airshow 2014 – Asia’s Premiere Aviation Event

The Korean Air Force Black Eagles Aerobatic display team open the show with a magnificent fly past

Korean Air Force Black Eagles aerobatic display team opening the show with a magnificent fly-by                                                        Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

This was my first visit to the Singapore Airshow which is Asia’s largest bi-annual aviation event and has been running since 2008. My expectations of the show were pretty high given that Singapore is a world-wide leader within the aviation industry.

The Static display was just as impressive as the flying display - Photo: Jacob Pfleger

The static display was just as impressive as the flying display – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The event ran for six days, with the first four being reserved for trade visitors.

The flying display was limited to one hour during each day of the trade show. This is because when the display takes place, all arrivals and departures at Singapore Changi airport must be suspended due to the proximity of the display site to the approach/departure tracks of the airport.This restriction also meant that the display had to take place outside of peak hours, so it happened during the middle of the day. As such, the lighting conditions proved very challenging for photography and general viewing of some aerobatic displays.

At present, there is a strong possibility that the 2016 show’s display will be cut even further, to just 30 minutes, but with more than one display window during the day.

Continue reading Attending the Singapore Airshow 2014 – Asia’s Premiere Aviation Event

How Social Media is Shifting Breaking Stories Around the World

How many photos of a Ethiopian 787s did you see on the story about a 767? Photo: Bernie Leighton

How many Ethiopian 787 photos did you see on the story about a 767? Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The way people across the globe are able to get their breaking news is changing. I found it very interesting how the Ethiopian flight 702 story was broken and covered.

Personally, I had just wrapped up a great Aviation Geek Fest 2014 and was tired. I decided to head to a bar with Jason Rabinowitz and Ben Granucci (other AvGeeks and some who write for sites like Airchive.com and NYCAviation.com) to have a beer and write some emails. Then I got word from one of our writers, Bernie Leighton, that he thought an airliner had just been hijacked. Jason confirmed he was hearing some rumors as well. It was game time – I switched gears and tried to start confirming what we were seeing.

As Jason and Ben went running to their cars to grab their electronic devices, I started to coordinate with Bernie and our Associate Editor, Blaine Nickeson, via Google chat about who was going to do what with this story.

Continue reading How Social Media is Shifting Breaking Stories Around the World

All The Details of Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight 702 Being Hijacked

 Photo of the Boeing 767 (reg ET-AMF) that could be possibly hi-jacked as flight ETH702 - Photo: Fabrice Clerc | Flicker CC

Photo of the Boeing 767 (reg ET-AMF) that was hijacked as flight ETH702 – Photo: Fabrice Clerc | Flicker CC

At 5:00pm Pacific Time, Ethiopian Flight 702, a Boeing 767-300 (registered ET-AMF) was flying over Sudan when it started squawking 7500. The transponder code, is supposed to indicate a “hijacking.”

Sometimes, pilots accidentally switch to this code or equipment malfunctions. This however, does not appear to be the case. The aircraft can be tracked live via Flightradar 24.

This was hopefully just an error, but this was certainly a deviation from normal flight.

We have reached out to a source who is an aircraft electrical expert and they confirmed that a “7500” code can’t come from a glitch.

The flight, operating from Addis Abba to Rome has been confirmed by Rome Airport not to have arrived yet.  It is currently circling over Geneva Airport (GVA), with a military escort.  Emergency crews are standing by a GVA.

The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing. Image - Flightradar24

The unusual flight path the hijacked aircraft took prior to its safe landing – Image: Flightradar24

The aircraft landed in Geneva, safely, but with an extremely limited quantity of fuel remaining.

This story will be updated as details emerge.

We will also be live updating via twitter with #ET702

Ethiopian Airlines Press Release: 

Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and crew are safe at Geneva Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.

Once the press release went out to the public, the airline recanted it. Shortly it was re-released with minor changes.

UPDATES: 

  • The aircraft now has 20 minutes of fuel remaining (8:45pm PST) via LiveATC.net
  • Reports of one engine potentially flaming out (unconfirmed via LiveATC)
  • Reports of the aircraft being directed to make an approach but not landing until a response is given regarding the word “asylum” (via LiveATC)
  • Fuel warning has been received on the flight deck (Via LiveATC)
  • Aircraft apparently cleared for an ILS approach. What could be a hostage negotiator has been heard on the radio (Via LiveATC)
  • Response to the request will be given by Swiss Authorities on Short Final for landing on Runway 05 (via LiveATC)
  • AIRCRAFT HAS LANDED SAFELY (Via FlightRadar24 and LiveATC)
  • Pilots heard on radio stating they will be exiting via the aircraft flight deck window. (via LiveATC)
  • Airport/Airspace around Geneva is now closed (via LiveATC)
  • Geneva airport remains closed (updated at 10:01PST)
  • Unconfirmed reports the aircraft is parked at the end of Runway 05.
  • Asylum request still pending. (9:33PST)
  • International arrivals into Geneva are diverting to other airports (via FlightRadar 24)
  • “We will disembark our passengers within the next 5 minutes and we will call you back.” Heard over LiveATC. (10:13pm PST) According to John Walton- this may actually have been regarding the arrival of BA723.
  • Geneva Airport now saying that police are still negotiating with hijackers. (10:32pm)
  • As of 10:42pm, there are unconfirmed rumors there is a lone hijacker.
  • Geneva Airport Police confidently stating that no one has been hurt (10:45pm)
  • Swiss Authorities stating that they have arrested the hi-jacker
  • There is a press conference scheduled for 9:00am CET (12:00am PST)
  • Swiss Police confirming that a pilot aboard the aircraft is the individual in custody (10:54pm PST)
  • Signs of life on Geneva ATC are starting to be heard- normal airport operations are expected to resume shortly (10:56pm) (via Live ATC)
  • News from the press conference indicates that it may have been the first officer that hijacked the aircraft (12:16am PST)
  • The aircraft was apparently escorted by two Eurofighter Typhoons (12:20am PST)
  • The co-pilot locked himself in the flight deck and was unarmed (12:27am)
  • Regardless of where the hijacker is tried (either Geneva or Bern)- he is looking at a potential 20 year sentence.
  • Back in 1996 an Ethiopian 767 had to ditch in the water due to hi-jackers and lack of fuel. Fight 961