On a course headed for what might have been the worst disaster in aviation history, two Boeing 747 aircraft came within 100 feet of each other in a near-miss event over Scotland.
It happened in June of this year but the report is just now being released by by the UK Airprox Board, which examines near misses in UK airspace. The planes were 30 miles north of Glasgow when an air traffic controller noticed they were moving closer together. Ordered to fly in different directions, cockpit crews apparently got the instructions reversed and wound up flying towards each other.
“It was apparent that both crews had taken each others’ instructions, and the board found it hard to determine why this had occurred,” noted the Airprox report, a reported in a SkyNews article.Odds are all four pilots in the two aircraft probably were not paying a lot of attention to ground control, already having received clearance to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Compounding the problem: both planes had been ordered by air traffic control to fly at 34,000 feet.
The really scary part: A crash was only prevented because two pilots on each aircraft saw each other. Taking evasive action avoided collision with one plane climbing and the other diving.
Transaero Airlines is preparing to outfit its fleet of A380s and says it will furnish the planes with 652 seats across three different service classes — although naturally the vast majority of the seats (616 to be precise) will be dedicated to the economy class section of the plane. To give you a comparison, most other A380s are outfitted with 470-520 seats, so the Russian carrier’s plans represent a pretty significant step up in capacity.And while a body-constricting, knee-knocking, claustrophobia-inducing experience might be tolerable on a short domestic flight, the bad news is that these sardine-can-in-the-sky planes will be flying long haul. Some of the routes being proposed by Transaero include Moscow-Thailand and Moscow-Dominican Republic. But even domestic flights can be long haul when you’re talking about a country as large as Russia. One of the routes on the table includes Vladivostok to Moscow which clocks in at 4,000 miles. That’s a heck of a long distance to be squished up between 651 other weary fliers.
What do you think? Is airplane seating getting out of control?
Situated at the eastern end of the Himalayas, Bhutan isn’t the easiest place to get to, but with the launch of the country’s second airline, that could soon change. Up until now, the state-owned Drukair was the only airline available to the country, but tapping into the aviation infrastructure of next door neighbor Thailand, now the Bhutanese and travelers to Bhutan also have access to Bhutan Airlines.
Thanks to the new airline, there will be a daily flight between Bangkok and Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport.
This is good for the country whose new prime minister isn’t focusing on talking about happiness, but “reducing the obstacles to happiness.” Last year the country had 150,000 visitors, up a whole 60% from the previous year. With tourism as Bhutan’s main source of revenue, particularly thanks to the country’s Buddhist temples and monasteries as well as mountainous landscape, a second airline will help more people have easier access to the country.
We see a lot of strange things in airports around the world. But a kangaroo in the airport pharmacy?
At Australia’s Melbourne airport, an injured kangaroo made its way into a pharmacy, surprising travelers. It then received care, after being tranquilized and turned over to a veterinarian.
The area is frequented by kangaroos, so it’s not unusual to see them around the airport. But how “Cyrus” the hopping would-be air traveler made it into the Qantas Airways domestic terminal is still unknown.Unlike the 9 year-old who made it past security and on to Las Vegas-bound flight, Cyrus the kangaroo never breached airport security. Thoughts that this was a publicity stunt by Qantas Airlines (the airline with kangaroo on their tail) are apparently false.
Airline wine has never severely disappointed me, but it’s never left a lasting impression on me either -– though it seems it may soon do just that.
While airlines have been scrambling almost universally to add fees and reduce amenities whenever possible to make up for rising fuel prices, it appears as though airlines are becoming increasingly concerned with having quality wine around for their passengers. A piece from USA Today yesterday described the thorough process Qatar Airways undergoes to procure its wine. According to the article, Qantas Airlines spends more than $19 million on Australian wine alone each year. It seems as though airlines’ wine programs are becoming more thorough in response to consumers’ tastes. And I think that’s inarguably a good thing.