Squawks & Headlines ✈ General ✈ New (This Week)

Nightmare at 20,000 feet: You may be seated next to a Chatty Cathy on the phone

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Bus drivers often remind passengers to keep their cellphone conversations as quick and quiet as possible, and now airline pilots might need to do the same. That’s right — on top of everything else that’s annoying about traveling with a bunch of strangers in a flying capsule, you may also have to endure hours of unintentional eavesdropping, as passengers could soon be allowed to make in-flight Wi-Fi calls. If a new proposal from federal regulators passes, you’ll be able to chat to your friends… (www.digitaltrends.com) More...

Plane crashes near Marengo, IL

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A man piloting a plane that crashed in a Marengo farm field has died, authorities said. Officials believe the only known occupant of the aircraft — the pilot — died shortly after the plane crashed into a cornfield near Meyer Road, just north of Pleasant Grove Road, said Joe Taylor, a Marengo firefighter and paramedic. (www.chicagotribune.com) More...

Accident: Safi B737 at Kabul on Dec 10th 2016, hard landing causes right main gear collapse

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A Safi Airways Boeing 737-400, registration JY-JAQ performing flight 4Q-502 from Herat to Kabul (Afghanistan) with 155 people on board, landed on Kabul's runway 11 at 12:24L (08:24Z) but touched down hard causing the right main gear to collapse (avherald.com) More...

Boise air traffic controller who couldn’t be reached fell asleep

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Police officers who entered the Boise Airport air traffic control tower after pilots could not reach controllers by radio on Nov. 19 found that one controller had fallen asleep and a second one had left the tower and smelled of marijuana, according to reports released Friday afternoon by the Boise Police Department. (www.idahostatesman.com) More...

Senator Calls on United Airlines to Drop New Carry-on Baggage Policy

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Senator Calls on United Airlines to Drop New Carry-on Baggage Policy (www.yahoo.com) More...

Boutique Air to Restore Portland-Pendleton Services

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San Francisco-based Boutique Air (4B) has announced plans to start services in Oregon between Portland International Airport (KPDX/PDX) and Eastern Oregon Regional Airport at Pendleton (KPDT/PDT) with three daily round-trips starting December 19, 2016, effectively restoring lost air service between the two cities following the bankruptcy and subsequent cessation of operations of SeaPort Airlines (K5), which occurred on September 20, 2016. All flights will be operated on Pilatus PC-12… (www.spokesman.com) More...

Boeing pledges $1 million for Donald Trump's inaugural events

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The company already had committed $1 million to help underwrite inaugural events when Trump took aim at the manufacturer this week, according to a Boeing official familiar with the planning, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the discussions. (www.usatoday.com) More...

Transatlantic for $69 plus tax one way??

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Norwegian Air to offer Upstate NY to Ireland flights. (www.poughkeepsiejournal.com) More...

Rolls-Royce and Boeing to Test New 787-10 Powerplant

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Rolls-Royce and Boeing have partnered to carry out the first flight of the Trent 1000-TEN powerplant aboard a Dreamliner, in Seattle on Wednesday. The aircraft, a 787-8 (ZA004 • N7874 • MSN 40693 • LN 4) departed from Boeing Field at 10:35 PST, for a two-hour round robin flight up to Paine Field, and back to Boeing Field at 12:27 PST. (airwaysmag.com) More...

United Airlines to Introduce its 777-300ERs on Hong Kong Routes

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United will introduce its new Boeing 777-300ER its San Francisco - Hong Kong flight, starting on March 25, 2017. (airwaysmag.com) More...

US flight regulators consider whether to allow or bar in-flight Wi-Fi calls

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The US Department of Transportation announced Thursday it was seeking public comment on the topic. It is asking the public to ponder whether a rule should demand that airlines, if they offer potential phone service, should provide advance notice to fliers (perhaps at the time of ticket purchase). Regulators also want public input on whether in-flight Wi-Fi calling should be banned outright. (arstechnica.com) More...

German pilot writes HELLO with flight track

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Wrote Hello and also drew a flower!! He may have too much time on his hands! (flightaware.com) More...

Balloon Pilot Who Killed 16 Was on Drugs and Had Five DWI Raps

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The pilot of a hot-air balloon that crashed last summer in Texas, killing himself and 15 sight-seeing passengers, had taken a cocktail of prohibited drugs including the opiate pain-killer oxycodone, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News. (www.msn.com) More...

John Glenn, first American to orbit the Earth, dies at 95

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John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and a longtime US senator, died Thursday, according to the Ohio State University. He was 95. (www.cnn.com) More...

Celebrating the “Airbus family spirit” on International Civil Aviation Day

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In celebration of today’s International Civil Aviation Day (7 December), Airbus has released a video showing its jetliner family in action – underscoring how the company is shaping the future of air transportation with its comprehensive product line of modern jetliners. (www.airbus.com) More...

Boeing's First 787-10 Enters into Final Assembly

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Boeing said on Thursday it has begun the final assembly of the first 787-10, a production milestone for the third and largest member of the Dreamliners. (airwaysmag.com) More...

NASA starts testing more fuel efficient jet engine tech

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A group of engineers have developed a new jet engine tech that can improve planes' fuel efficiency by four to eight percent, and NASA has begun testing it out. They created a new type of engine propulsor -- composed of the fan and a part called the inlet, which directs air into the engine -- designed to be embedded into a jet plane's body. Jet engines are typically placed away from the aircraft's surface, because of a highly distorted film of air called the boundary layer that envelopes the… (www.engadget.com) More...

Airbus Awarded $2.3B Canadian Search-and-Rescue Projec

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Airbus Awarded $2.3B Canadian Search-and-Rescue Projec (www.defensenews.com) More...

Incident: Southwest B737 near Jackson on Dec 6th 2016, loss of cabin pressure

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A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300, registration N374SW performing flight WN-214 from Atlanta,GA to Houston Hobby,TX (USA) with 118 passengers and 5 crew, was enroute at FL300 over Jackson,MS (USA) when the crew initiated an emergency descent due to the loss of cabin pressure, the passenger oxygen masks deployed (avherald.com) More...

Lufthansa criticises new fee structure at Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa has criticised Frankfurt Airport’s new fee structure following authorisation by the ministry of economic affairs, energy, transport and regional development of Hesse. The new fee structure not only involves an unreasonable increase in fees overall but also lowers fees for those airlines that are new to flying out of Frankfurt, argues the German flag-carrier. (www.breakingtravelnews.com) More...

Government spies surveil phones in flight, report says

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Turns out the skies are not so friendly after all, at least as far as privacy is concerned. American and British intelligence agencies have been surveilling cell phone use on commercial flights since 2005, according to a new investigation by Le Monde based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. (www.cnet.com) More...

PIA’s ATR 42-500 AP-BHO crashes in Pakistan, 47 people on board

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PIA-Pakistan International Airlines’ flight PK661 from Chitral to Islamabad, Pakistan with 47 crew members and passengers on board has crashed approximately 25 miles north of Islamabad on December 7, 2016. The flight was operated with the pictured ATR 42-500 AP-BHO (msn 663). The airframe was delivered new to PIA on May 15, 2007. (worldairlinenews.com) More...

Op-Ed: Pilots Can be Heroes, but Also Murderers

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The LAMIA 2933 crash that killed 71 people in Colombia was a foolish, irresponsible tragedy that should have been avoided by the Captain himself, as well a number of other people who hopefully will be investigated and brought to justice. (airwaysmag.com) More...

Pakistan: Plane goes missing with 40 passengers on board

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(CNN)Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK-661 carrying 40 passengers has lost contact with a control tower, the airline said in a statement Wednesday. (www.cnn.com) More...

Air Force One is an 'unrivalled flying fortress'

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It's time for the American president to get a new plane. On the outside, the new Air Force One (which are actually two identical jets) will maintain its iconic blue and white livery - however, the inside will be barely recognisable. Considering the current plane was built at a time when having a fax machine on board was groundbreaking, the technology on board will get a considerable upgrade. It was never going to come cheap. President-elect Donald Trump cast a spotlight on the project this… (www.nzherald.co.nz) More...

Rising oil price bad news for Qantas Airways Limited

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ntas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) faces the prospect of higher oil prices - responsible for much of the airline’s recovery over the past few years as we outlined in October this year. With oil prices plunging from an average of above US$100 a barrel in 2014 to briefly sink below US$30 a barrel earlier this year had seen Qantas save $1.2 billion in fuel expenses in the 2016 financial year. (www.msn.com) More...

Longest ever flight for LATAM as airline takes off for Melbourne, Australia

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LATAM Airlines Group has announced it will operate a new, non-stop service between Santiago and Melbourne, Australia, from October 2017. (www.breakingtravelnews.com) More...

Airplane Skids Off Pellston Airport Runway

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Snowy conditions may have been a factor in a plane skidding off a runway at a Northern Michigan airport. A Delta flight from Detroit was landing at the Pellston airport around 11:00 p.m. Sunday night when it skidded about 50 to 100 feet off the runway. (www.9and10news.com) More...

Donald Trump wants to cancel a government order for a new Air Force One

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The president-elect said in a tweet early Tuesday that the new Boeing (BA) 747 jet that's being built to carry "future presidents" already costs more than $4 billion, and that he wants to cancel the order. (money.cnn.com) More...

NY-NJ Port Authority Maps Noise Levels around LGA

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It turns out airplanes are sometimes loud and the FAA and Port Authority may pay to mitigate it. (www.gothamgazette.com) More...

GoPro Footage From Patriots Jet Team Performance at San Francisco Fleet Week

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I work with the Patriots Jet Team, the only civilian-owned 6-ship aerobatic jet team in the United States, and produce their social media videos. We have the ability to do some unique GoPro camera mounting on the aircraft, and had the chance to perform over one of the most iconic cities in the world — San Francisco! (www.youtube.com) More...

Cloud Global buys Perth Airport operator ACS Aviation

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Perth Airport operator ACS Aviation has been bought by aviation firm Cloud Global for an undisclosed sum. (www.bbc.com) More...

MH370 families urge residents of African coast to join debris search

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People whose loved ones disappeared on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have appealed to residents on the east African coast to search for plane debris and hand in anything they find to the authorities. (www.reuters.com) More...

Aviation giants to invest millions in Poland

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Germany’s Lufthansa Technik and America's General Electric have announced they will invest EUR 250 mln in a joint aviation engine-service centre in Poland. (www.thenews.pl) More...

Russian Su-33 crashed in the Mediterranean while attempting to land on Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

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Less than three weeks after losing a MiG-29, it looks like the Russian Navy has lost another aircraft during Admiral Kuznetsov operations: a Su-33 Flanker. (theaviationist.com) More...

Air Berlin sells Niki as Etihad approves new leisure airline

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Air Berlin Group has agreed to sell its shareholding in low-cost Austrian operator Niki to the United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Aviation Group as part of a scheme to create a new European airline. (www.flightglobal.com) More...

Incident: Norwegian B738 at Kristiansand on Nov 4th 2016, "racing start"

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Here is an odd duck I found at AVHerald. A low speed rejected takeoff, followed shortly by takeoff and flight limited to half it's cruising altitude. Also I think noteworthy is the AVH reporting their efforts to get the story straight. The incident is worth looking into. (avherald.com) More...

Incident: Southwest B737 at Memphis on Dec 4th 2016, bird strike

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A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, registration N290WN performing flight WN-486 from Memphis,TN to Houston Hobby,TX (USA), was climbing out of Memphis' runway 36L when the crew reported a bird strike (avherald.com) More...

Comlux Extends A321 Range With Auxiliary Fuel Tank

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Comlux will announce at the MEBAA show today that it is to offer a forward auxiliary fuel tank system for the Airbus A321, while Comlux America, the company’s completions and service center in Indianapolis, is announcing a new partnership with a quartet of leading designers to offer a range of aircraft interior concepts. (www.ainonline.com) More...

FlightAware’s Redesigned Flight Tracking Page

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FlightAware is excited to announce our new flight tracking page, our largest redesign to the flight page in our 12 year history. We’ve kept all the same important content and mapping features as we spent almost a year re-designing it to be easier to understand and more usable. (flightaware.com) More...

San Francisco airport introduces first 'therapy pig'

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In December, 2013 San Francisco International (SFO) joined the growing list of airports where handlers walk trained therapy dogs through the terminals to greet passengers and reduce the stress of travel. (www.usatoday.com) More...

Over 2 000 stranded at Chengdu Shuangliu Intl because of smog

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More than 20,000 people are stranded at an airport in Chengdu, China, as flights were grounded by heavy smog and fog, Chinese state-run media reported. Multiple flights to and from the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in central China were canceled or delayed, while many were forced to land at other airports, China’s Xinhua news agency reported, calling it “the worst fog to hit the … city in years.” (edition.cnn.com) More...

Lufthansa’ first Airbus A350-900 completes its first flight

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The latest Lufthansa fleet aircraft has completed its maiden flight to Munich around three weeks before delivery. The pictured Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 took off on its first flight in Toulouse on November 29, 2016 but without passengers. An international Airbus crew tested the on-board systems and the behavior of the aircraft during all flight stages. (worldairlinenews.com) More...

Virgin Galactic's new spaceship completes its first glide test

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Virgin Galactic just came much closer to resuming its dreams of private spaceflight in the wake of its tragic crash from 2014. The company has successfully conducted the first glide test flight for VSS Unity, better known as the new SpaceShipTwo. The vehicle was only flying free for 10 minutes and never traveled faster than Mach 0.6, but that was enough to get a healthy amount of data illustrating how Unity behaves in real life. (www.engadget.com) More...

United E175 (Skywest 494J) Suffers Nose Gear Failure and Lands at San Antonio International

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Skywest 494J operating Embraer E175 as United traveled departed Houston Bush (KIAH) enroute to Monterey MX (MMMY) and had gear problem. Diverted to San Antonio TX (KSAT) where it landed without nose gear. 55 souls on board. No injuries reported initially. (www.ksat.com) More...

Swiss pilot plans to fly solar airplane to the edge of space

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It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a Swiss pilot is preparing to fly to the edge of space in a solar-powered aircraft. According to Wired, Raphël Domjan is planning to fly his plane, SolarStratos, higher than any plane has gone before. His goal is to prove that renewable energy is not only equal to, but potentially greater than fossil fuels. (Video) (inhabitat.com) More...

December 4, 1991 - The Final Pan Am Clipper Flight

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December 4, 2016 marks the 25th Anniversary of the shutdown of the fabled Pan Am and the airline's final flight. This is the true story of Clipper Flight 436 from Barbados to Miami as The World's Most Experienced Airline flew west into history. (airwaysmag.com) More...

Blaine and the Plane, the best MH370 article for many months

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If you only read one MH370 story a month, this has to be the one (blogs.crikey.com.au) More...

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