This Eritrean Airlines Boeing 767 obviously has its front door un-latched at the time of landing. Click photo for larger view and check the door handle. Photo by Ken Fielding.Â
AirlineÂ enthusiastÂ Ken Fielding caught an interesting shot while spotting in Manchester (MAN) on December 27, 2004. He took this photo of an Eritrean Airlines Boeing 767-300ER being ferried from Paris-de Gaulle (CDG). At the time, he did not realize theÂ significanceÂ of the photo and took a closer look when he recently uploaded it to Flickr. Take a close look near the front of the plane and you will notice that theÂ front door (1R) is unlatched (click on the photo, zoom in and you can easily see the handle in the up position).
It appears that the door was put into that position while at Â CDG and that the pressurization of the cabin kept the door closed during flight. Fielding reports that since the aircraft was on a ferry flight, there were no passengersÂ on board. Still, that doesn’t give the crew a pass at not completing a simple task of flying safely: make sure all the doors are shut and locked. The crew should have noticed when arming the doors (which they obviously did not do) and/or there should have been an indicator in the cockpit.
I tried to reach out to Eritrean Airlines, but their website is not very helpful for finding contacts and since they are high-lighting stories from 2004, I am guessing it is not the most accurate. The airline went out of business in 2008, but started up again on July 16, 2011 with a pretty slick new livery.
Photo by Ken Fielding
Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200
Nothing like a good ‘ol fashion false alarm hijacking to get the heart beating! A Delta Air Lines flight left from Northwest Florida Regional Airport bound for Atlanta last Wednesday. Shortly after takeoff, the plane was ordered by the TSA to return to the airport. Apparently a TSA employee who was on the flight was not properly screened.
This would have turned out to just be an annoying time delay, but no one informed the Air Force base near by for the flight change. When the military noticed the plane was altering its filed flight path, they were afraid it might be a highjack situation.
The USAF base sent word to the local Sheriff’s office stating, “at this time advising that there is a poss(ible) hijacked airplane in progress.â€
Further communication states: â€œOkaloosa airport cannot make contact with the plane at this time and this is considered a security breach.â€
It took about 20 minutes for the situation to get cleared up. The plane landed, the TSA employee successfully was screened and the flight was on its way back to Atlanta.
Currently, the TSA is, “reviewing the incident and will take appropriate action if necessary”, Sari Koshetz, spokeswoman for the TSA said. “If necessary?” They don’t see that maybe this is not the best practice? The simple solution is making sure TSA employees are screened properly, but if that solution doesn’t sound right, then maybe informing the USAF base next time a flight is diverted? Just my two cents.
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US Airways E-Jet, much like the one used on flight 3203. Thanks Dan!
US Airways Flight 3203 was on descent to Charleston from Charlotte on Wednesday, when the pilot had to turn around and head back to Charlotte. The Charleston International Airport has been closing at midnight since June 9th and will continue to do so until August 9th. From midnight to 6am, the airport has been working on a $30million project to rebuild one of the runways that has had work done on it in the past 40 years.
Trouble started for flight 3203 before it took off, when bad weather came into Charlotte. The flight was scheduled to depart at 10:30 PM, but weather didn’t allow it to depart until 11:43 PM. Carlo Bertolini, spokesman for Republic Airways, the carrier that operated the flight for US AirwaysÂ stated,Â â€œWe thought we were going to be able to make it in time. In addition, we thought the tower might remain open a little later.” The pilot of the flight and dispatcher for the airline were in communication during the flight and it was thought the flight could make it before the tower shut down operations for the night.
Bertolini says their flight plan showed them making it to Charleston 17 minutes before the airport was closing. But how is that even possible, when the flight left Charlotte at the time where they were expecting to land in Charleston? This seems like there has to be some mis-communication going on between the airline, dispatcher, airports and spokespeople. The flight is about an hour and the plane left about 17 minutes before the airport was scheduled to close. It shouldn’t have been hard to see the flight was going to be late. Maybe the pilot was hoping they would make an exception since they were coming anyhow?
The pilot and the airline took a gamble and lost. Unfortunately 66 unhappy passengers were stuck on an hour flight to nowhere.
Continental Airlines Boeing 737
Continental Airlines made a little mistake with sending a ten year old girl to Newark, when her grandparents were waiting for her in Cleveland.
Her grandparents called her father asking where she was when she didn’t get off the plane. For 45 long minutes the father was panicked trying to track down the location of his daughter, until discovering Continental had escorted her to the wrong airport.
Continental states that there were two flights leaving from the same doorway and miscommunication led to the girl being placed on the wrong flight. When the mistake was uncovered, the girl was placed on another plane and sent safely to her grandparents.
Continental offered to waive the $75 unaccompanied minor fee, but the father stated, “You can bet they’ll be refunding a lot more than that fee by the time I’m done with them. My father-in-law laughed when they made the offer, it was so outrageous.”
Certainly mistakes like this happen, but it seems like airlines should be ready to bend over backwards to make things right with the affected family, if for no other reason thanÂ to avoid bad publicity like they’re getting.Â
UPDATE: It turns out that Continental did this TWICE this weekend. They put an 8yr old girl on a wrong flight as well. Read more… Source: WCVB Image: code20photog