Pilot Fired After Rough Landing

Forget where your seat is located, how much legroom you have or the race to claim overhead storage space. These are all parts of flying that some passengers are better at coping with than others. One element of flight that all passengers share is landing. Usually, the aircraft glides in for a smooth landing or seems to hop or skip a bit as it touches down. But what if it hits the runway so hard that the plane’s nose gear collapses? That’s exactly what happened during the rough landing of a Southwest Airlines flight.

The result: Captain fired.

On Southwest Airlines flight 345 last July, a veteran captain and 13-year pilot took over the controls of the Boeing 737 as it approached the runway.Southwest policy calls for the aircraft’s main wheels under the wings to touch down first, reports Bloomberg. In this case, the front landing gear touched down first, snapped off and damaged the aircraft. Nine passengers were injured. Traffic at New York’s LaGuardia airport was disrupted for hours.

The incident is still under investigation.

Hyperloop High Speed Transport Plans Unveiled

We told you last month about plans for a new high speed transportation system that could whiz you between LA and San Francisco in as little as 30 minutes, and now, details of the so-called “Hyperloop” have finally been announced.

The man behind the idea, Elon Musk, says the solar-powered system will transport passengers in aluminum pods traveling inside steel tubes. The pods will travel at a whopping 800 miles per hour and will have the ability to transport both people and cars.Musk believes the Hyperloop could be constructed for about $6-10 billion dollars, which sounds like a lot but is significantly cheaper than other forms of high speed transport that have been proposed.

You can read the full details about the Hyperloop in this 57 page pdf released by Musk.

What do you think about the Hyperloop concept?

A Budget Bus Rider’s Worst Fears

There’s a moment when every frequent budget bus rider tells him or herself, “you get what you pay for.” This morning that thought was likely running through riders’ minds when a MegaBus hit an overpass at New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. The double-decker bus was too tall for the entrance clearance, causing the bus to get wedged into the space. Two people suffered minor injuries, and the driver got a ticket and is being investigated.

Budget bus companies like MegaBus ply the Northeast Corridor and other parts of the country, offering rates as low as $1 (if you get lucky and book really far in advance) between cities like New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The more usual one-way fares of $25-$30 are a steal when compared to Amtrak‘s prices for the same routes, and if all goes smoothly many of the bus trips take about the same amount of time as the train.

That’s if all goes smoothly.While no means of transportation is incident-free, some of the things budget bus travelers have to contend with include:

  • Buses that show up late
  • Buses that show up hours late
  • Buses that break down
  • Buses that are overbooked
  • Buses with no working bathroom/air conditioning/lights/outlets/Wi-Fi
  • Buses whose drivers get lost
  • Buses whose drivers need to pull over on the side of the road for a smoke
  • Buses whose drivers flag down another driver on the road to switch buses
  • Passengers who eat smelly food/get really drunk/sleep on their seat mates/talk loudly on the phone/pass out in awkward places on the bus
  • Buses that catch on fire
  • Buses that get in accidents
  • Buses that hit pedestrians (though that particular line is currently not in service)
  • And of course, traffic

Have a bus horror story to share? Post it in the comments.

Sydney Monorail Closes, Will Either Be Sorely Missed Or Soon Forgotten

Sydney’s monorail shut down on Sunday after 25 years of operation. The largely overlooked transit system ran between Darling Harbour and the Central Business District and drew some of its largest crowds on its last day.

Sydneysiders’ love-hate relationship with the retro monorail was evident on Twitter as the system shut down, with advocates mourning the loss of the landmark and opponents saying good riddance to the outdated train. The slideshow below highlights some of the best, the worst and the most absurd things people are saying about the monorail.


Chicago Hops On The Bike Share Craze

Chicago has put a fleet of 700 sets of wheels on the pavement as part of the city’s first bike share program, Divvy. Sixty-five solar-powered docking stations now dot the area within a few miles of the lakefront, and as many as 4,000 bikes and 400 stations are expected to pop up across the city by next spring.

The bike share’s goal is to provide Chicagoans with an additional transportation option, but at $7 per day there’s no doubt tourists will be using pedal power to explore the city, too. As with other bike shares, the heavy-duty commuter bikes come with built-in-lights and a small front basket, and can be returned to any station after a jaunt around town.

[via Skift]