Monday Misfortunes: Plane News

Engine defects brought down Lebanon homebuilt plane

Plane crashes on motorway in Russia

Regina plane crash hoax in December 2015

Piper Cadet lands too early; crashes in ditch at Texel


Lufthansa A380 diverts to Halifax for medical emergency

IranAir buys A380 and other Airbus aorcraft to modernize fleet after sanctions end

65k piece LEGO Concorde — immensly detailed!



Flight Review: Lufthansa 535 Caracas to Frankfurt

Route: CCS-FRA
Date: January 28th, 2015
Cabin: Lufthansa Business Class (New)
Seat: 11A
Aircraft: A330-343, D-AIKK

Here is the first of a mini-series of trip reports of a visit to the UK in 2015.
Booked it the week prior for, er, £160 each. Crazy exchange rates.

Proceeded to check in. Short queue — just one family ahead. Friendly attendant had us checked in no time. We got lounge inviatations for the Admirals Club and Premier Lounge.


Admirals Club
The Admirals club is located at the far western end of the airport, next to the American Airlines gate (25?). The receptionist welcomed us in, and we were soon seated in a nice private corner.
I took no photos of the lounge; however, I did get one of the AA 757 pulling in:


757 at Maiquetia from Miami

They had excellent, albeit salty chicken noodle soup — not so good as other Admiral Clubs, but decent enough for Venezuela, compared to the box of deviled ham samdwiches in the crowded Premier Club. Also had decent snacks and drinks. Clear views of apron and runway. Fairly fast WiFi — for Venezuela. Reccomended over Premier Lounge. Not very crowded, quite a premier atmosphere in that one feels comfortable taking out a camera for example without fear of being robbed.

Premier Lounge
Not too bad, compared to other reviews I have read of some abysmal lounges in say Cario. However, it pales considerably compared to the Admirals Club at the other end. You may access it with Priority Pass — however, it is very crowded during the European deparures period. The snacks are fine, some nice pumpkin cake, and a box of devilled ham sandwiches. Seriously. Would not reccomend taking out expensive electronics due to crowding, thus no photos. Very nice fresh juice and toilets.

Boarding was at gate 13 as usual for UA and LH. Fairly efficient. Slightly delayed.

This was one of the first routes flown with the new business hard product on this airframe, thus it was fairly fresh. I particularly enjoyed the large toilet behind 2R, with a window!

I was feeling a bit nervous, as I usually do on the first flight of the day — just nerves and excitement. Goes away after a couple of minutes. Thus, I have no cabin photos except for this one.



Sorry for the quality! The latter was over Cornwall as the sun was rising.

We pushed back a few minutes late, and made our short taxi to runway 10 in a couple of minutes. We waited for a takeoff and landing, and then rocketed off into the atmosphere. By then the sun was setting.


Climbout was uneventful until just about an hour after departure, when some light chop began, which continued for the duration of the flight. It worsened considerably off the east coast of America for a couple of hours; however, it never grew into turbulence. I managed a couple of hours sleep.

Not too bad compared with United. However, I mantain that Lufhansa economy and kids food is a lot better than the default business food. They try too hard to be fancy. By the time we finished the main course, the moderate chop had begun, and dessert was suspended. My main course choice was beef; I think the starter was chicken and lettuce?

Fairly good. Watched a movie of a 72 hour (I think) MD-11 Lufthansa Cargo journey until after dinner by which time I slept brokenly for a good 4 hours.
After that I read a couple of books and watched the IFE.

The sun rose over Cornwall. About 2 hours before landing, breakfast began. I went with a drink and a danish ‘express breakfast’ — not being up to an omelette at that point.

Descent began over the Netherlands. We came in from the northwest, and then began our turn over the snow covered fields for an approach to 25C. It was a pretty gusty approach; however, the landing was nice and smooth, yet firm.

Taxi, Parking, and Deboarding
We taxied to gate B24 IIRC, and saw some varied traffic.






We arrived, and were soon offthe aircraft, dashing for our next flight with a stopover for a quick refresher at the lounge — just 45 minutes to spare! Thankfully we were in the right concourse…

Bottom Line:
Lufthansa Business is perfectly fine for this 10 hour flight. Service was fairly good, despite flight attendants lack of charm, shall we say. They just didn’t really want to be there, and I can’t blame them. Venezuela isn’t the safest of places; it was a full cabin; it was a redeye. One aspect I found lacking was the food. It just tried too hard to be fancy… octopus anyone?
The seat was just right; although I found the old product which I flew in May more comfortable for lounging. Footspace was a little limited in this product. Amenity kit was excellent; headphones were lovely – noise cancelling too.

In a nutshell, Lufthansa is a very nice airline, which could use some work on its cusine, but has a very nice hard product.

Next Post: Lufthansa 978 – FRA-DUB, EuroBusiness

American 206 — ”horrifying” flight?

I heard about American 206 today —

  Plane passengers and a flight attendants were rushed to the hospital after an American Airlines flight experienced severe turbulence in flight that led to injuries.
The seat belt light was fortunately on when American Airlines flight 206 from Miami to Milan hit a pocket of extremely rocky turbulence.
The flight had to make an emergency landing in Newfoundland, Canada Sunday night around 9:45pm.

Read more:
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Not too bad, DM, after some ‘terror in the sky‘ articles which I have read on the DM site.

The fasten seatbelts sign was on — get them seatbelts on!

Don’t be frightened. Turbulence has never crashed a plane. Despite what you have heard online, you are not banking at 30 degrees, dropping 3000 feet in 2 seconds, or entering a spiral dive at any time.

“It rolled on its side. Everything went flying. It was pretty intense” Karen Case

I assure you, ma’am, it did not roll on its side. I understand how harrowing it would be, but I can assure you that you did not exceed 15 degrees of bank at any time.

Non Expert Analysis
J Redpath
Okay, this was most likely the remnants of the blizard.
It was fairly strong by the looks of the video, but it most definitely did not plunge.
Looking at FlightAware tracking logs, there are no plunges at all — just an ordinary descent into Newfoundland!

American 206 was a 767 operating MIA-MLN on the 24th of January, 2016 departing around 1500 EST.

Looking at some weather charts, there is still some turbulence over the North Atlantic.
High winds around 40N40W: see this picture:

Here are the eastbound NATS – complete with weather.
Apparently the 767 was at a maximum altitude of FL330 — lowest 270. By the time Flight 206 contacted Gander Center, it was at 330 — its filed altitude, probably. I was unable to get historic charts, but by the looks of the current one, Flight 206 hit the northmost jetstream marked yellow, and thus encountered fairly high turbulence.


Finally, here is the NAVCANADA NA turbulence forecast:
So by the looks of it, apart from the injuries, this was a non-event. Flight 206 could have continued to Milan without any trouble.

To any bashing the pilot for not changing the route or altitude:
The North Atlantic Tracks have a fair amount of traffic, and it is not as simple as asking for another altitude. With separations tight, it would be difficult to climb or descend the aircraft to another flight level without breaking the ten minute separation. With other tracks left and right, it is not as simple as turning aside a bit. In this event, I feel the injuries were simply caused by passengers disobeying the seatbelt sign, and flight attendants not being strapped in. Turbulence can be unexpected, and not on any weather charts. I experienced this firsthand on Lufthansa 535 back in January 2015. The pilot perhaps had no time to warn the flight attendants to be seated.

This post is simply the opinions of J Redpath, who is not a professional or pricate pilot. This is not a formal, final investigation into the incident.

Screenshot Saturday – fashionably late

Happy Saturday Monday!
Hope you all have had a nice weekend; here is the weekly screenshot.


Took it a while ago in Caracas. Lufthansa A340-300 just exiting the runway. Sorry for the smoke — looks like Capt’n Karl stamped on the brakes to exit by taxiway Charlie?

Life FlightGear Pro Tip: never stamp the brakes unless you are running out of runway — fast.

I’ll be back shortly with Monday Madness — I promise this one will be KRAZY (thanks for the new word, Israel!)