Browsing Tag: FAA

The rear of the slate is de-laminating on this American Airlines Boeing 757 on flight 1990.

The rear of the slate is de-laminating on this American Airlines Boeing 757 on flight 1990.

Last Saturday American Airlines flight 1990 was about to take off from Miami to Orlando, when a passenger noticed a bit of damage to the wing’s right slat. As the flight of the Boeing 757 progressed the passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, noticed the small damage had spread to the width of several feet and he notified one of the flight attendants.

WESH of Orlando spoke with American spokesperson, Tim Smith, and he confirmed that the Boeing 757 did have some de-lamination on the plane’s right wing. He stated the plane was taken out of service and ferried back to Miami to have repairs completed. Smith stated the de-lamination occurred on the rear of one of the wing’s slats, and even if the problem had affected the operation of the slat, the slats simply make the plane more aerodynamic but do not affect the plane’s ability to fly safely.

“I really do want to assure folks that safety wasn’t compromised and no one was in any danger because of this,” he said.

Some others aren’t so sure. Eric Norber of Orlando FAA Safety Team feels that the pilots should have made an emergency landing. At first glance this might look like a serious incident, but I am not so sure.

First off the flight from Miami to Orlando is extremely short and it might have taken longer for the pilot to make an emergency landing back in Miami versus continuing to Orlando. Obviously American felt it was not a safety risk, since the plane was flown back to Miami with no passengers aboard.

Ice or debris on the leading edge of slats can cause a loss of lift and serious issues, however the damage was on the rear of the slats and appears to be mostly cosmetic. While the rear of the slat is make of laminated composite material, the front part is made of alloy and the damage would not been able to spread.

That being said, I will continue to find out more information about this incident, but on the most part, this might just be a non-incident (except for a few interesting photos).

Someone on Airliners.net also posted a very cool image showing how the rear of the slat (this photo is of a Boeing 747, but still similar construction) is to the front.

Thanks Chris S for pointing this story out!

Image: WESH
John F. Kennedy International Airport's control tower with a few jetBlue Airbus A320's in front

John F. Kennedy International Airport's control tower with a few jetBlue Airbus A320's in front

Ah, “Bring Your Kid To Work Day,” is a classic. It is nice  that your children are able to see what mommy and daddy do all day and your co-workers get to meet your little ball of joy you talk about so much.

However there are some jobs that it might be best for your child to skip visiting. On the surface it might seem harmless to bring your child to work if you are an air traffic controller. Maybe during your time off you can show him the view, let him see those big radar screens and listen to some of your co-workers in action.

Well, one traffic controller at JFK wanted his kid to get the full experience and let him talk to pilots. On a recording found on Gadling, it is quite clear the child is talking directly to the pilots, being assisted by his parent. The pilots don’t seem too put off by this, but the FAA sure isn’t amused.

An FAA spokesperson stated, “Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic. This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees.”

Sure, this might have been a little more “fun” at a smaller airport directing Cessna 172’s, not at JFK, directing large Boeing 747’s. I know I would feel a bit more comfortable knowing there aren’t children directing my next flight out of JFK.

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Image: TVL1970
ARJ21-700 Roll Out in Shanghai December 21, 2007 from Flight Blogger

ARJ21-700 Roll Out in Shanghai December 21, 2007 from Flight Blogger

Since the Chinese-made ARJ21 was announced I have wondered if it would ever make it to production. Although there have been quite a few delays (it was supposed to go into service in early 2007), the plane (which is heavily based on the MD-80) is still on track to succeed.

China has been making aircraft for quite sometime, but only sold them to countries with lax safety regulations. This week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going to be checking Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) ability to certify the ARJ21.

If the FAA certifies CAAC and CAAC certifies the ARJ21, then the ARJ21 can be sold globally. Currently there are three ARJ21’s in the test fleet, but they are only about 150 flight hours into the 2000 flight hours required to get Chinese certification. They were hoping to have Chinese certification of the aircraft done by the end of 2010, but it looks unlikely that will happen.

Would any US or European start-up airlines would be willing to try out using an all-ARJ21 fleet in the future? Right now I would guess no, but things can change.

More Information:
* Office website of the ARJ21
* A few photos of the ARJ21 from Airliners.net
* Wikipedia write up on the ARJ21

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Source: Flight Global Image: Flight Blogger

Not for those who have a fear of flying, this video showed the 1984 crash test of a Boeing 707. The video has multiple angles of the test, along with commentary on what happened. The goal was to conduct research on improved crash protection and reduce post-crash fire hazards.

The Boeing 707 was remote controlled and the plane was crashed in the middle of a desert outside Edwards Air Force base in California.

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