British Airways Pilots Call Off Strike

 

British Airways pilots have called off a strike that had been due to commence on September 27.

The British Airline Pilots Association union confirmed this in a statement issued on Wednesday, a week after two walkouts.

“Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course,” BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said.

The union chief added that the airline’s “passengers rightly expect BA and its pilots to resolve their issues without disruption and now is the time for cool heads and pragmatism to be brought to bear.

“I hope BA and its owner IAG show as much responsibility as the pilots,” he added.

It was now “time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the (BA) brand.”

However the union added that should the airline “refuse meaningful new negotiations, BALPA retains the right to announce further strike dates”.

British Airways, which likes to call itself “the world’s favourite airline”, flew into turbulence last week as pilots staged a costly and historic two-day strike, tarnishing its global reputation according to aviation analysts.

Pilots walked out for the first time in the company’s 100-year history, sparked by a bitter and long-running feud over pay.

BA faced the embarrassment of grounding its entire UK fleet on September 9 and 10, causing the cancellation of about 1,600 flights.

The move sparked travel chaos for about 200,000 passengers who had been due to fly in and out of London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

The disruption continued into September 11 because half of BA’s 300 aircraft and more than 700 pilots were mostly in the wrong place.

As a result, BA was forced to cancel approximately ten percent of its daily 850 flights in and out of Britain that day.

BALPA and its members are demanding a bigger share of British Airways profits.

The airline has offered a salary increase of 11.5 percent over three years, which it argues would boost the annual pay of some captains to £200,000 ($250,000 or 226,000 euros).

However, the union has rejected the proposal made in July.

BALPA meanwhile estimates that last week’s 48-hour strike cost the airline £80 million.

BA is owned by IAG, which was formed in 2011 with the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia. IAG has since added other carriers, including Austria’s Vueling and Ireland’s Aer Lingus.

AFP

Sala’s Pilot Colour Blind, Not Authorised To Fly At Night – Report

Stadium stewards display a portrait of Argentinian forward Emilianio Sala, whose plane disappeared over the Channel Islands over a week prior, in the middle of the pitch before the French L1 football match between Nantes (FCN) and Saint Etienne (ASSE) at the La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, western France, on January 30, 2019.
SEBASTIEN SALOM GOMIS / AFP

 

The pilot of a small plane that plunged into the English Channel with newly-signed Premier League striker Emiliano Sala on board was not authorised to fly at night, the BBC reported on Saturday.

The report said the pilot, David Ibbotson, was colour blind, which would have automatically disqualified him from night flights.

Contacted by AFP, Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority did not confirm the report, saying only that an investigation was still underway.

The Air Accident Investigations Branch said: “Licensing continues to be a focus of the AAIB’s safety investigation, but matters of legality are an issue for the regulator.”

The AAIB last month said the plane carrying Sala was not authorised to make commercial flights.

But the investigators pointed out that Ibbotson had in the past transported people on a cost-share basis, which is authorised by the regulation for small planes.

Sala was on his way in the late evening from his old club Nantes in France to his new home at Cardiff City.

His body was recovered from the submerged wreckage of the plane. Ibbotson’s body has never been found.

Sala: Licence Of Pilot Flying Premier League Player Under Scrutiny

Cardiff In 'Shock' Over Sala's Disappearance
Picture released by Cardiff City FC via Noticias Argentinas, showing Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala posing with Cardiff’s jersey after signing for the club, in Cardiff, on January 20, 2019. HO / NOTICIAS ARGENTINAS / AFP

 

British investigators said Friday they were probing the licence held by the pilot of the small plane carrying Premier League player Emiliano Sala that went missing over the Channel this week.

The light aircraft transporting the 28-year-old striker, who signed for Cardiff City last weekend, disappeared from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Guernsey on Monday night.

The local coastguard on Wednesday named the pilot, the only other person in the plane, as David Ibbotson — a 60-year-old married father of three from northern England, according to reports.

A spokesman for Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) told AFP his licence would be reviewed as part of its probe into the plane’s disappearance.

“We would look at operational aspects of the flight and that would include licensing,” he said.

“Our purpose is not to apportion blame or liability. Our purpose is to establish the cause of an accident,” the spokesman added.

Ibbotson reportedly told a friend via social media shortly before take-off that he was “a bit rusty” with some of the controls on the plane.

Sala, who signed on Saturday from French club Nantes for a reported fee of 17 million euros ($19.3 million), was flying to Cardiff in a single-engine Piper PA-46 Malibu aircraft registered in the United States.

According to a US Federal Aviation Administration database, Ibbotson held a British private pilot licence which provided the basis for a similar certificate issued there in 2014 permitting him to fly single-engine planes.

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, which issues UK licences in accordance with European Union regulations, said Friday it could not “confirm the type of licence held by Ibbotson”.

According to EU aviation rules posted online by the CAA, a private pilot licence is “for recreational flying only”.

“You aren’t allowed to be paid for any flying you do using one, apart from some flight instructor work,” its guidance states, noting pilots receiving payment need a commercial license.

Rescue workers formally called off the search for the missing plane on Thursday, prompting Sala’s sister to make a desperate plea for its resumption.

Romina Sala said that she feels her brother and Ibbotson are still alive.

“Please, please, please don’t stop the search,” she told a press conference in Cardiff on Thursday. “For us, they are still alive.”

AFP

Body Of Pilot Found After Two Russian Fighter Jets Collide

File Photo
Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP

 

A rescue operation in the Russian Far East found the body of one pilot and rescued another after two fighter jets collided over the Sea of Japan during a training flight on Friday, Russian media reported.

Russian news agencies quoted the ministry as saying that the body of one pilot was found “without any sign of life.”

The Russian Su-34 bombers touched in mid-air and fell into the sea near the Strait of Tartary, which separates Russia’s Sakhalin island from the mainland, according to the country’s Investigative Committee.

The committee also said it had opened a criminal investigation into the case.

The accident took place during a scheduled training exercise 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the shore in Russia’s Far East, Russian news agencies reported citing the defence ministry.

According to Russian media, the pilots were able to eject from their jets.

Russia’s television channel Zvezda, run by the defence ministry, earlier reported that one of the pilots was evacuated by air to the city of Khabarovsk.

It cited a ministry source as saying that the pilot’s health was “satisfactory”.

The number of missing pilots has not been confirmed. Russian media initially reported that two pilots had been rescued, but later cited authorities as saying that only one pilot had been found.

According to Zvezda, an ongoing rescue operation continued in severe weather conditions on Friday involving six ships, three helicopters and three planes.

Neither of the jets carried munitions.

Senior Officers Pay Tributes As Nigerian Air Force Pilot Is Buried

 

Senior military and government officials on Friday paid tributes as Nigerian Air Force officer, Squadron Leader, Mohammed Bello Baba-Ari was buried.

The dignitaries including the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari; Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and others who were at Gudu cemetery where the officer was buried.

The 32-year-old pilot lost his life on Friday when two Nigerian Air Force F-7Ni aircraft participating in the rehearsals for the aerial display to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary celebrations had a mid-air collision.

 

According to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, the three pilots involved in the crash had ejected before their aircraft crashed into the general area Katamkpe Hill, but Baba-Ari succumbed to the injuries he sustained upon impact on the ground.

The two others who were injured in the crash are in stable conditions and currently receiving treatment at the Defence Intelligence Agency clinic in Abuja.

Air Marshal  Abubakar also announced that the Nigerian Air Force has since launched a probe into the cause of the crash.

Pilot Dies In NAF Aircraft Crash

The Nigerian Air Force has announced the death of one of its pilots.

The pilot died on Friday after two of the NAF aircraft were involved in an accident while rehearsing for the Independence Day celebration.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made the announcement on Friday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on. May his soul RIP,” Daramola said.

He added that details on the incident will be communicated later.

See photos from the scene of the crash below…

Dubai-Bound Flight Delayed After Pilot Fails Alcohol Test

Credit: Wikimedia commons

 

A Dubai-bound flight from Nepal was delayed by nearly 10 hours after the pilot was found to be under the influence of alcohol, officials said Monday. 

The FlyDubai flight eventually left Kathmandu with a different crew.

Crew members alerted airport officials that the pilot seemed impaired by alcohol less than an hour before the flight was scheduled to take off on Sunday morning.

“A breathalyser test showed he had consumed alcohol. A medical test confirmed the result,” Raj Kumar Chettri, Tribhuvan International Airport general manager, told AFP.

FlyDubai’s headquarters was informed and the flight with 154 passengers on board was suspended until the new crew arrived.

Authorities did not disclose the pilot’s nationality.

AFP

Pilot Dies In Military Plane Crash

A McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, registration J5009, of Swiss Air Force takes off from Payerne Air Base on March 28, 2018. / AFP

 

A Myanmar pilot died on Tuesday after a “technical failure” caused his military jet fighter to plummet into a paddy field in the centre of the country, the army said.

A live video on Facebook showed flames billowing up from the crash site near Kyunkone village about an hour away from the capital Naypyidaw.

Local people found the unconscious body of the pilot attached to his parachute nearby and tried to drag him away from the scattered debris for medical help.

The army chief’s office later confirmed on its Facebook page that the crash was due to a “technical failure” and that the pilot died of his injuries on the way to a military hospital in nearby Taungoo town.

“An investigation is ongoing,” the post added.

Police told AFP that the single-seater F-7 jet fighter went down around 10am on Tuesday morning while a military source said the pilot, Major Arkar Win, was in his mid-30s.

The F-7 is a Cold War era fighter jet — a Chinese made variant of the Soviet Union’s MiG-21.

Myanmar has seen a spate of aviation accidents in recent years, including a devastating military plane crash in June last year in which 122 people were killed.

Bad weather caused the Chinese-built Shaanxi Y8, which was carrying dozens of soldiers and more than 70 relatives of servicemen, including 15 children, to plummet into the Andaman Sea.

It took days for rescue workers to pull bodies and parts of the aircraft, including the black box, from the sea.

Russian Pilot ‘Killed In Fighting’ After Plane Downed In Syria

Russian Pilot 'Killed In Fighting' After Plane Downed In Syria
A picture taken on February 3, 2018, shows a Rebel fighter taking a picture of a downed Sukhoi-25 fighter jet in Syria’s northwest province of Idlib. Rebel fighters shot down a Russian plane over Syria’s northwest Idlib province and captured its pilot, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP

 

A Russian pilot was killed in Syria on Saturday after parachuting into rebel-held territory when his plane was shot down, the Defence Ministry said.

“A Russian Su-25 aircraft crashed during a flight over the Idlib de-escalation zone. The pilot had enough time to announce he had ejected into the zone, under the control of al-Nusra Front fighters,” the ministry said, quoted by Russian press agencies.

“The pilot was killed in fighting against terrorists.”

It added that “according to preliminary reports, the plane was shot down by a portable anti-aircraft missile system.”

The region where the plane crashed is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist outfit dominated by Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate.

Forces supporting president Bashar al-Assad’s regime, backed by Russia, launched an offensive at the end of December to recapture the southeastern province of Idlib, the last enclave completely out of Damascus’s control.

Opposition groups have in the past shot down Syrian planes, but rarely those of the Russian army.

In August 2016, five Russian soldiers were killed after their helicopter was shot down by rebel groups in Idlib.

In November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian military aircraft, which caused a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Ankara.

AFP

Solar Impulse Plane Lands In Hawaii

solar impulseRecord breaking achievement coming from Japan Aviation Service, Solar Impulse, an aeroplane that is mainly powered by the sun, has landed in Hawaii after making a historic 8,000 km flight across the Pacific from Japan.

Pilot, Andre Borschberg, brought the vehicle gently down onto the runway at Kalaeloa Airport just before 06:00 local time.

The distance covered and the time spent in the air, 118 hours are records for manned, solar-powered flight.

The duration is also an absolute record for a solo, un-refuelled journey.

According to reports, Mr Borschberg’s time betters that of the American adventurer, Steve Fossett, who spent 76 hours aloft in a single-seater jet in 2006.

Media reports that the plane weighs about as much as a family sedan and has 17,000 solar cells across its wingspan.

Governor Suntai Returns After 10 Months Absence

Taraba State Governor,Dambaba Suntai has returned to Nigeria after 10 months of absence.

The aircraft is reported to have taken off from the Republic airport in Long Island and made a stop-over at an unknown destination before it touched down in Nigeria.

The ailing governor who is still recuperating was involved in a plane crash near Yola State, a plane which he piloted according to report, arrived abode a chartered aircraft at about 1pm Nigerian time.

The governor was guided out of the chartered aircraft at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja and was received by friends and political associates, who had come to welcome him

He acknowledged greetings from friends and associates after which he was driven off by a waiting vehicle.

Amongst those at the airport to receive the governor is the former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana who expressed gratitude to God for the safe return of the governor.

Other associates said the return of the governor will put an end to many of the rumours surrounding his absence following the plane crash which left the governor badly wounded.

On the 25th of October 2012, governor Suntai’s plane which he was piloting crashed around Yola state with three of his aides with him.

According to the People of Namtari village; a suburb of Yola the capital of Adamawa state, who were the first eye witnesses to arrive at the scene of the plane crash said the plane was coming normally like any other aircraft, suddenly the sound changed, and that was followed by an immediate U-turn giving all signs that the plane was going to crash, as it eventually did in a very familiar farm behind the NNPC depot.

As they heard the sound of the crash, they picked their touch lights as it was already getting dark and they ran to the scene of the crash.

On arrival, one of the occupants was already out of the aircraft and crying for help, asking them to hasten up the rescue because three others including the Taraba state Governor were still inside the plane, for fear of possible fire outbreak.

They however confirmed that the governor was the last to be rescued because it took them time to locate his where about as he was equally trapped under the now wrecked plane and being held down by the seat belt.

Our ‘Perfect’ Aviation System Is Killing Us – Ikponwosa

A pilot, Benson Ikponwosa on Monday said the problem with the Nigerian aviation industry is the perception that we have a perfect system while in the real sense the system is outdated.

Mr Ikponwosa, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, said because our pilots think they are perfect, they die in ignorance.

“It could happen in those days that a perfectly normal pilot, who’s been flying on line, he goes for recurrent training. Suddenly, he fails in his ability to control the simulator if he was flying a twin engine airplane; he fails in his ability to control that airplane on one engine when the simulator simulate one engine situation for him.

“If he was flying a four engine airplane, he fails in his ability, if he was a first officer to fly that aeroplane on three engines or if he was a captain to fly it on two engines.

“When these things happen in those days, those pilots, what do the airlines do? They ground them until they are able to show that they can now handle the airplanes in those situations.”

Mr Ikponwosa said this is not the case nowadays where airlines recruit in-house trainers for their pilot because it was too expensive to send pilots out for training.

He said the problem with these in-house trainings is that “everybody passes” the test at the end of the recurrent training.