Travel Safety Update - Europe.
Aeroflot Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot is citing a notable reduction in the number of on-board incidents fuelled by intoxication, after banning alcohol sales on specific flights. It has imposed the sales ban in the economy-class cabins. Aeroflot, which stopped distributing free alcoholic beverages in early 2006, started testing the tighter restriction on particular services in February. The carrier selected a number of long-haul flights for the trial, stating that these usually resulted in the highest proportion of passengers engaging in drunken behaviour. Jun 2, 2010
Air France, Airbus Latest efforts to locate the wreckage of Air France flight AF447 have ended without success. French investigation agency BEA is not yet sure whether a new search will be undertaken. The search was the third since the loss of the aircraft almost a year ago in the South Atlantic while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Jun 1, 2010
Airbus, EasyJet Airbus is planning to test an infra-red detector which is designed to pick up traces of volcanic ash, using an A340 platform for the trial. It is to perform the test in co-operation with UK budget airline EasyJet, a prominent Airbus customer, using technology developed by the Norwegian air research organisation Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning (NILU). Airbus has been conducting test flights aimed at establishing the extent of the threat from volcanic ash, following the eruption in Iceland in April. Jun 4, 2010
EasyJet EasyJet to sue over flight bans caused by volcanic ash. EasyJet said the five-day closure of airspace over Europe due to volcanic ash from Iceland cost the discount carrier millions of dollars. The airline is planning to sue to win compensation for the money it lost when European air safety authorities imposed the bans. EasyJet CEO Andy Harrison said the carrier is talking to its competitors about a joint legal claim. "We are already working on it with a group of other companies, including those outside the low-cost sector," he said. Jun 1, 2010
Honeywell, Dornier Honeywell said last week that it will be analyzing the effects of ash ingestion in two of its TPE331 turboprop engines used to gather scientific data during the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland. The engines powered a Do-228 "and accumulated 10 hr. of operation in the volcanic ash cloud and an additional 22 hr. of operation in the outer zone of the cloud," the company said. Engines were returned to Phoenix for teardown and evaluation. The aircraft was operated by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council. Jun 2, 2010
ICAO A global standard for fatigue risk management will be adopted by March 2011 and become effective in September the same year if draft proposals are accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Council. ICAO's fatigue risk management project co-ordinator Michelle Millar says the proposal is for ICAO states to have the option of applying a prescriptive flight time limitations regime on its own, or to provide limitations with the option of running a bespoke fatigue risk management system (FRMS) instead. An operator could also be permitted to use flight time limitations for a part its fleet and fatigue risk management system for another. Splitting the compliance methods within a single carrier might be done, for example, to take account of differences between the needs of the long-haul and short-haul fleets. Jun 2, 2010
Tupolev Newly-released cockpit voice-recorder transcripts from the crashed Polish presidential Tupolev Tu-154M show that the terrain-awareness system sounded a 'pull up' warning eight times before the jet collided with trees and disintegrated. The first warning at 10:40:42, about 20s before the accident, came almost immediately after the crew had called the aircraft's height as 100m. This also happened to be the decision height for the approach, which was being attempted in dense fog. Transcripts from the accident also show that, although the aircraft was descending, the height was still being called as 100m seven seconds later at 10:40:49. This could indicate that the reading was not the aircraft's height above the runway, but rather the immediate height above terrain as given by the radio altimeter. Radio altimeter readings provide a 'snapshot' height above ground and can give a false impression of clearance margins in regions where terrain rises sharply ahead of the aircraft. The approach to Smolensk taken by the Tu-154 features a rising valley wall about 1km from the runway threshold. The transcript reveals that the Tu-154 continued to descend through the 100m decision height, the navigator calling 10m intervals, with no apparent comment from the crew until at 80m the co-pilot said, "Odchodzimy" - or "We're leaving" - which may have been a reference to a missed approach. There is no subsequent evidence, however, that the crew opted to abort the landing. At about 60m an 'unsafe height' warning sounded. The aircraft continued to descend, despite the continuing 'pull up' instruction from the terrain-awareness system, and a caution from the air traffic controller. Jun 1, 2010
Tupolev Russian investigators have formally transferred to Polish representatives copies of the cockpit-voice and flight-data recordings from the presidential Tupolev Tu-154M which crashed at Smolensk last month. The Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) says that the handover, in the presence of senior officials from both sides, included authenticated CD copies of information from the audio MARS-BM recorder, the MSRP-64M-6 data recorder, and a KBN-1-1 tape storage device and cassette. May 31, 2010
Yakovlev The Russian air force is investigating the cause of a non-fatal crash involving one of its new Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft. Both pilots ejected from the aircraft before it crashed near the city of Lipetsk on 30 May, according to Russian media reports. Selected to meet MoscowOs future pilot training requirements, the Yak-130 is currently involved in flight testing by the air force, which has a requirement to field almost 150 of the type. Jun 1, 2010
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