There's so many good commercial aviation blogs out there - mostly from the States and Canada. But none that I can see from this little island in Northern Europe. With the demise of a great blog by a BA Skipper that many I am sure followed (including me), I've decided to take on the challenge!

I hope you enjoy the commentary on all matters of civil aviation from my vantage point in the left hand seat of Virgin Atlantic's Airbuses!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carnage Matey!

Not the best advert for the biggest most powerful aeroplane turbine out there. It's about as bad as it gets - as those failures are supposed to be contained in the casing. As you can see, it didn't happen.

A380s can operate safely on just two engines and some experts say there was no real danger. But others caution that it was more potentially dangerous than it might first appear, particularly given that sections of the blown engine could have caused more damage to the wing and that controls for the adjoining engine seem to have been damaged - which might explain why the crew are said to have been unable to shut it down on landing - with it still powered as the airfield fire service sprang into action.

Emirates doesn't have the Trent - it went with the Alliance GP7000 but the rest as far as I am aware have them.

The crew did a brilliant job in bringing her back to Singapore - some said the landing was super-smooth - which is a testament to both their skills and the aeroplane in the aftermath of what is after all a major failure.

There is more to this story than meets the eye I suspect - and you will find the commentary here as it unfolds from various sources in Toulouse and elsewhere to whom Virgin Driver has access.

What's up with the BA Cabin Crew?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our New Commercial

It's pretty raunchy, it's very glam - and is getting mixed reviews.

What do you THINK?

Click here for the All-New 2010 Virgin Atlantic Commercial

Welcome to my second follower

Funky Town & Digital Rebel!
Enjoy the ride.
Promise lots more frequency going forward!

A380 uncontained engine failure - Qantas

Already lots of speculation as to what may have caused a newish engine (Trent 900) to fail in this catastrrophic way on the QF32. It's not supposed to happen this way - and certainly Rolls Royce (whose share price dived on news this morning) will be concerned - and so they should. Maybe 15,000 hours of use - sounds a lot doesn't it? But it's likely only 2 and a half years in. That means - questions have to be raised as far as the manufacturing integrity is concerned and then a good look at the QF maintenance (which I believe is done by Lufthansa for the A380).

All failures like this - given the flagship status of the A380 - are going to garner relentless press coverage and the key here is not to knee-jerk.

The only things that seem fairly sure at this moment are:
1. There was an uncontained engine failure, and
2. It appears to have been impossible to shut down #1 normally after landing

Thwew are some parts of the engine where a failure is not expected to be contained due to the high energy of the rotating parts. Therefore the engine is designed so these never experience a failure condition (by operation, maintenance, lifing). Equally it is not feasible to make an aircraft proof against every eventuality or it would be so heavy it wouldn't fly. The FMEA sets the severity of damage against the probability of it happening. The overall risk is mitigated by reducing the probability of the incident not protecting against its effects.
The investigators will be looking at -
1. What failed, and why, and is it a one-off?
2. Although the aircraft is not expected to withstand an uncontained engine failure is there sufficient redundancy in the engine control system?

As also indicated above the 'fail safe' condition for loss of signal to the engine control is to continue at last demanded power, it is obviously not a satisfactory condition if a single event can lead to loss of control - in which case there may be a major systems re-design on the books.

A few years ago, a Trent-700 on an Airbus A330 near Miami suffered virtually the same - and here we are again.

But to make it clear - this is the second safest method of travel in the world today - the safest being lifts (or elevators in the USA)!


I recently discovered a great friendly site set up many moons ago by Paul Wink - a purser with KLM.

It's not a rough and tumble place like pprune and seems pretty harmless and nothing more than a bit of fun.

Take a peek - and join in!