30 July 2008

F-15 Crashes During Red Flag

An F-15D assigned to the 65th Aggressor Squadron crashed while participating in the Red Flag exercise conducted from Nellis AFB, Nevada. It was reported that one of the two man crew died in the crash. The other pilot was transported to Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital and was listed in stable condition and is under observation.

The 65th Aggressor Squadron is based at Nellis AFB. The cause of the crash is still under investigation and a formal news briefing is scheduled for Thursday.

The F-15 fleet was grounded after the investigation of a November, 2007 crash revealed a design defect which weakened the forward fuselage. The F-15 Eagle was first flown in July, 1972. It has never been defeated in air to air combat.

The U.S. Air Force plans to replace the F-15 fleet with the F-22 Raptor which is now operational.

Related Posts.

28 July 2008

White Knight II Unveiled

Virgin Galactic unveiled it's latest design, The White Knight II. The jet powered craft will carry the sub orbital Spaceship II aloft. Spaceship Two plans to carry up to twelve passengers who will pay $200,000 for the suborbital trip into space.

In flight meals will not be served.

The aircraft shown above is NOT the actual White Knight II, but rather a trainer for future pilots.

Virgin America Airlines is having a contest called "The Race for Space". Passengers will win tickets for the Spaceship Two.

65,000 people on currently on the waiting list for tickets when flight operations begin.

Explosion on Quantas 747

An on board oxygen bottle has never exploded on a passenger jet in mid-air, until last Friday. That's when Quantas flight QF30 from Hong Kong to Sidney, diverted to Manila after an explosive decompression at 29,000 feet. The 747-400 landed safely with 365 passengers and crew.

Fragments of tank and valve parts found point to an explosion of the aircraft oxygen tank. Passengers reported that the oxygen masks deployed during the controlled descent but were not working.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board continue their investigations. Terrorism has been ruled out as a cause.

Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon said Monday that the company did not know what caused the mid-flight blast but suggested the cause was likely mechanical and not human error.

"Obviously there is every chance it is something to do with the aircraft, and it is something that may have well been out of our control. More than likely it was," he said at a news conference in Sydney, Australia. He described Friday's events as "a very, very bad accident."

An air-worthiness directive, issued in April and effective in May, followed a report that certain oxygen cylinder supports in Boeing 747-400s may not have been properly heat-treated, which the FAA said could cause oxygen leakage and subsequent fire hazards.

David Cox, Qantas' head of engineering, told reporters on Monday that the FAA directive applies to a different type of oxygen system than the one being scrutinized in the Qantas emergency. The cylinders covered under the directive are located in a different part of the plane than where the Qantas aircraft sustained damage.

Sydney-based Qantas Airways has been ordered to urgently inspect every oxygen bottle aboard its fleet of 30 Boeing 747s, which is expected to take several days.

Quantas Airlines has never lost a jet airliner. It's last crash was in 1951 and involved a small aircraft.

08 July 2008

MD-80 "Death Trap" Takes a Shot at Obama

The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why a Midwest Airlines Boeing MD-80 carrying Senator Barack Obama was forced to make an emergency landing today.

The crew of the chartered aircraft earlier today diverted to St. Louis, Missouri, during a flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Charlotte, North Carolina, due to a suspected flight control anomaly.

While diverting around a thunderstorm, the crew reported heavier that normal loads on the elevator. MD-80 crews are currently trained to divert immediately when they encounter problems with the elevator controls.

Elevator failure was the primary cause of the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 in 2000.

Upon landing it was discovered that the aft emergency slide deployed in flight!

Example of slide deployment.

The Obama Campaign switched to a different MD-80.

Related posts about problems with the MD-80.

What Hit Northwest Flight 478?

Aircraft suffer bird strikes on a daily basis. What happened to Northwest Flight 478 remains a mystery.

The Boeing 757 was descending through 18000 feet when the crew reported a loud bang.

The crew did not suspect a bird strike due to their high altitude. They did suspect radome damage due to the failure of the radar system and slowed their airspeed.

The aircraft made an uneventful landing at Tampa International Airport with 182 passengers and crew.

Post flight inspection revealed impact damage to the radome. However it was not consistent with damage caused by a bird strike.

Neither the FAA nor the airline has determined whether the damage was the result of an unexplained structural failure, lightning or another cause.