BA 747 returns to London after two wheels malfunction

A British Airways 747 returned to London today – flight 295 landed with two sets of wheels missing or stuck.


According to the Daily Mail, Flight 295 bound for Chicago returned to Heathrow today, after the gear failed to extend.

Here is the (word for word) report from the Aviation Herald:

A British Airways Boeing 747-400, registration G-CIVX performing flight BA-295 from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Chicago O’Hare,IL (USA), was enroute at FL330 about 160nm south of Keflavik (Iceland) when the crew decided to return to London’s Heathrow Airport due to a technical problem. On approach to Heathrow the crew dumped fuel, lowered the gear very early, subsequently reported an unsafe gear indication for both main gear, only nose and body gear had extended. The aircraft positioned for a 15nm final to Heathrow’s runway 27R and landed safely on nose and body gear only and stopped on the runway about 20 minutes after reporting the unsafe gear.

The airport reported the runway was unavailable for about one hour until the aircraft was secured and towed off the runway.

Passengers reported the crew advised they were returning to London due to a technical problem, about 20 minutes prior to landing the crew announced that the landing gear did not fully extend with only three of five sets of gear having lowered. After the aircraft was towed to the apron, passengers were told to disembark very slowly, aft cabin first, otherwise the aircraft would tip over and settle on its tail.

The aircraft had last flown on Jan 24th 2016, then remained on the ground in Heathrow and was doing its first flight since.

A replacement Boeing 747-400 registration G-CIVI is about to depart Heathrow estimated to reach Chicago with a delay of 10 hours.

According to an AH reader, the number 4 hydraulic system failed to work, thus disabling the system ‘mainly responsible for wing gear, outboard flaps, and normal brakes.’ The open gear doors suggest the crew attempted alternate extension, which failed. Also, according to him, the alternate flaps extension ‘takes ages’, thus accounting for the delay before landing, besides dumping fuel.

KOL172, my new young British friend, lives about two nautical miles from the end of the runway: did you see it?


United adding nonstop flight to Singapore!

Per Ben at OMAAT,

United Airlines has just announced that they will launch daily nonstop Boeing 787-9 flights between San Francisco and Singapore as of June 1, 2016. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

UA1 San Francisco to Singapore departing 11:25PM arriving 6:45AM (+2 days)
UA2 Singapore to San Francisco departing 8:45AM arriving 9:15AM

At 8,446 miles it’s quite a long journey, and is blocked at 16hr20min westbound and 15hr30min eastbound. This will make United the first airline to offer nonstop flights between San Francisco and Singapore, and the only airline to operate nonstop flights between the two countries as well. This will also be the longest flight operated by any US airline (beating Delta’s Atlanta to Johannesburg flight, which is just seven miles shorter).

United’s Boeing 787-9s feature a total of 252 seats, including 48 fully flat business class seats, 88 Economy Plus seats, and 116 economy seats.

Thanks for letting us know, Ben!
Well, knowing United…. I’m not sure I’d fly on that. Would you?

Friday Goals

Get out there and do some work!

I plan to:
– do some maintenance at the kansai catering building; add catering trucks in the KIC livery.
– add shared models to Kansai around the parkings
– make another hangar
– do a geograghy exam
– fly a prop somewhere to somewhere

What are your goals for today?

The ‘mystery’ of AA109

On Wednesday, an American Airlines 77W was flying from London Heathrow to Los Angeles when it turned round a couple of hours into the flight. Per ABC NEWS, at least six flight attendants and passengers fell ill.

One flight attendant “literally just fainted… just fell forward, put her hand out and hit the floor,” passenger Kris Evans told ABC News. “It was crazy.”

There are conflicting numbers — ABC reported 6 ill, while the NZ Herald reported 2 passengers ill, 5 flight attendants ill, and one flight attendant collapsed, besides many other passengers ‘looking pale’. The Daily Mail — probably the first to report on this — reported two passengers ill only.

I am no pilot, but in a case where flight attendants and passengers are collapsing, are there not any suitable runways in Iceland to land? I just happened to be watching FlightRadar2 when I saw the 77W begin a fairly tight turn as theh were approaching Iceland. The aircraft later squawked 7700 (emergency) over Manchester or Liverpool. At that point, I believe they were at FL290.


Of course, at Heathrow, there were other flights, Amerixan crew, American staff, and maybe a more suited emergency service. However, if I was feeling unwell, I’d rather be on the ground.

Confused here.

Interview: MSA-S23 (‘Ash’); CEO StarJet Virtual Airways

Today we have something special – an interview with Aiden, better known as ‘MSA-S23’ or ‘Ash’, who is the CEO of StarJet Virtual Airways.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 21.19.47

Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

I am a 12 year old. I’m male. I have always been massively inspired by things that fly. When I was 8 years old, I was given a Trainer flight, in a Cessna 152. For two years after that, I was making aircraft out of popsicle sticks and hanging them up and around  in my room. In April, 2014, I fell in love with FlightGear. I was just taking off and crashing wherever be, but everyone does that when beginning. 🙂 In November 2014, I went to Washington, DC, to meet my grandparents. We flew Alaska Airlines. During the flight, I made friends with every single flight attendant on board. (That’s typical Aiden for you) At the end of the flight, the Captain gave me a cockpit tour, and he even turned the hydraulics on again for me to move the flight controls. After that, I was most definitely hooked. We visited the Air and Space museum in DC, and the second night we came back, I made StarJet. The inspiration was a DC7 at the Air and Space, and some JetBlue ads on the train. So I started brainstorming for ideas, and came up with StarJet.
StarJet didn’t actually become a virtual airline until Dec. 5, 2014, where my first Forum Post was. But I already had the concept.

What motivated you to start your virtual airline?

Like stated above, the DC7 on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, and the JetBlue ads on the train. Oh, and also the giant Northwest 747 nose hanging out of the wall!!!!
I didn’t even think about a ‘virtual airline.’ I just thought I was having fun. It turned into something else indeed. 🙂

Would you call your airline a success?

Yes and no. Yes, it is my pride and joy, yes, I have people to work with. Yes, I have successfully merged into Merlion. Yes, I am moving into other simulators. Yes, I’m satisfied with my accomplishments. No, we don’t have a website yet. No, I only have 2 pilots. No, I have to go further. No, I haven’t made any other partnerships. And I can go on and on.

Could you please tell us something about what the future holds for StarJet? Any fleet expansions, or new routes?

Expect the 777X to arrive in our fleet (long ways off, yes, but…) and the 777-200 to completely leave our fleet.
Expect A320 operations soon.
Expect EchoAir PropPower leasing.
Expect A330-200 leasing.
We’ll start operations on the site.
Expect an X-Plane launch, and then shortly after an FSX launch.
Expect (far off, but will do) a detach from Merlion, and a pursue into other simulators.
Expect a professional network for simulation. (Custom website, forum, etc)
What else do you want? 😛

How do you feel about your partnership with Merlion and EchoAir?

I almost don’t feel able to move. I feel like StarJet is restricted in a way, but then it has so much potential. Almost confused. I also feel like I’m not pleasing the VA community, and I’d like to, so feedback please?



So that’s it for now. Expect another interview very soon with another person who has developed several aircraft for FlightGear 🙂



Flight Review: Easyjet 832 Belfast to Gatwick

We went for a trip to London in April 2015. On the way, we went Easyjet.
Here is a review of the unique, orange airline.

We booked it for £200 total a bit before, and spent a bit extra for selected seats. We did not take much — just backpacks, so no need to pay for bags.

Check in
Check in was online – fast and efficient. We had our boarding passes in no time.

We left home at 6AM after some breakfast. We drove down to Aldergrove, and parked there for the week.
We had no baggage, so we were through to the gate area in ten minutes. At about 7:30, we headed down to the gate for departure.
Belfast Aldergrove is a nice, small airport — very clean and tidy. We arrived at the gate, and were soon walking out to the A320E parked at stand 14. Boarding was through the for’ard and aft airstairs — very efficient. My first impression of the cabin was that it was… orange. Seriously. Even the toilets. But it was a nice orange. The seats did not recline; however they were perfectly comfortable for the hour long flight and good value!

We were soon ready to go. We had an uneventful quick flight to Gatwick, where we landed safely.

Gatwick Express
We booked the Gatwick Express from Gatwick to Victoria. The 45 minute ride was pleasant; we all found a seat beside eachother and had a nice trip down to Victoria.

We had a delightful week there — booked a hotel with Miles and More miles in the London City Airport area, then paid for two nights in a Holiday Inn elsewhere.

Bottom line
Easyjet is by no means a luxurious carrier; however, it delivers good value with efficiency, punctuality, and friendliness. Do not expect any extras and you will be pleased beyond measure.